Research Guides

Educational and Psychological Tests and Measures

Introduction

There are thousands of educational and psychological assessment tools available to students and researchers. Some of these tools are available free to the general public, while others are quite expensive, available only directly from the test publisher, and their use limited to psychologists and other professionals.

This guide will help you understand how to find tests that measures a certain trait or aptitude, how to find reviews of the tests, and how to track down copies of the instruments.

Terminology
You may see the terms tests, measures and instruments used interchangeably. They all refer to tools which measure specific variables - characteristics, traits, attitudes, abilities, intelligences, skills, behaviors, disorders, etc. Types of instruments include questionnaires, inventories, scales, indexes, checklists, batteries, surveys, and profiles.


Published vs Unpublished Tests

  • Published Tests: This term usually refers to instruments available for purchase from established commercial test publishers. The publishers, who hold the copyright to the tests they publish, limit the sale of some tests to licensed professionals. In some cases, you are required to provide your professional license number or proof of credentials.
  • Unpublished Tests: These instruments are generally not published by or available for purchase from established commercial test publishers. They may, however, be found in journal articles, ERIC Documents, books and dissertations. You can also try contacting the test's author and asking for a copy.


Access to Tests
Odum Library does not collect the actual tests. The library does have a few books which contain tests, but odds are you will have to do some researching and digging to track down the tests. You may have to pay copyright and use fees for published tests or purchase copies of unpublished tests directly from the author.


More Information on Tests and Measurements
The APA Science Directorate has an extensive FAQ on Finding Information About Psychological Tests.

 

Identifying a Test on a Particular Topic

There are a number of resources to consult when you want to find an instrument that measures a certain trait, aptitude, intelligence, etc. You can consult:

Databases

The Mental Measurements Yearbook Database contains full-text information on commercially-available, standardized English-language tests covering educational skills, personality, vocational aptitude, psychology, and related areas. Information given on instruments includes test name and classification, author(s), publisher, publication date, price, time requirements, existence of validity and reliability data, score descriptions, levels, and intended populations. Published reviews of the tests are referenced. MMY provides coverage from Volume 9 (1985) to the present.

Tests in Print, also included in the MMY Database, is produced by the Buros Institute of Mental Measurements at the University of Nebraska, and (TIP) serves as a comprehensive bibliography to all known commercially available tests that are currently in print in the English language. TIP provides vital information to users including test purpose, test publisher, in-print status, price, test acronym, intended test population, administration times, publication date(s), and test author(s). A score index permits users to identify what is being measured by each test. Tests in Print also guides readers to critical, candid test reviews published in the Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY) series.

Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HaPI) provides access to information on measurement instruments (i.e., questionnaires, coding schemes, rating scales, vignettes/scenarios, tests) in the health fields, psychosocial sciences, organizational behavior, and library and information science.  HAPI assists researchers, practitioners, educators, administrators, and evaluators, including students, to identify measures needed for research studies, grant proposals, client/patient assessment, class papers/projects, theses/dissertations, and program evaluation.

Websites

The ETS Test Collection (also known as Test Link) contains descriptions of over 20,000 published and unpublished tests and measurements. Click on the Search Test Link Database link and then type in your search.

You can also use the freely-accessible MMY Test Reviews Online to search for citations to reviews of educational and psychological tests. For example, a search for anxiety scale pulls up citations dozens of tests, displayed in order of relevance. Each citation tells you which volume of the MMY contains the actual review of the test.

Test Reference Books

Tests in Print (TIP) (REF BF176 .T47- ask at the Ref. Desk)

TIP is a bibliography of commercially-available tests that are in print and available for purchase. You can use the Classified Subject Index (pp. 857-910) to look up tests by subject. The Subject Index classifies the tests into 19 major categories, including Achievement, Behavior Assessment, Personality, Reading, and Speech and Hearing. You can also use the Score Index (pp. 999-1130) to look up tests by variable. Examples of variables/scores include: Family Cohesion, Language Errors, Feelings About Parenthood, Memory Skills, and Scientific Attitude.

Test Critiques (REF BF176 .T419- ask at the Ref. Desk)

This set of books contains detailed critiques describing the practical applications and technical aspects of tests. You can use the Subject Index (at the back of the book) to look up tests by subject.

Mental Measurement Yearbook (MMY) (REF BF176 .M46- ask at the Reference Desk)

This multi-volume set of books contains descriptions, critical reviews and references for hundreds of tests. Like Tests in Print, the MMY has a Classified Subject Index and Score Index.

Handbooks and Guides

The following books, available in Odum Library, contain information about tests on specific topics. The sources do NOT contain the tests themselves.

  • Adult Assessment: A Source Book of Tests and Measures of Human Behavior (REF BF176 .A52)
  • Dictionary of Behavioral Assessment Techniques (BF176.5 .D53 1988)
  • Handbook for Measurement and Evaluation in Early Childhood Education (LB1115 .G635)
  • Handbook of Behavioral Assessment (RC469 .H36)
  • Handbook of Family Measurement Techniques (HQ728 .T68 1990)
  • Handbook of Psychiatric Measures (REF RC473 .P78 A46 2000)
  • Handbook of Research Design and Social Measurement (H62 .M44 1991)
  • Measures for Psychological Assessment: A Guide to 3,000 Original Sources and Their Applications (REF BF698.5 .C45)
  • Measuring Human Behavior: Tools for the Assessment of Social Functioning (BF698.5 .L34)
  • Major Psychological Assessment Instruments (REF BF176 .M35 1996)
  • Testing Adolescents: A Reference Guide for Comprehensive Psychological Assessments (BF724.25 .T47 1986)
  • Tests and Measurements in Child Development (REF BF722 .J643)
  • Tests and Measurements in Music (ML3838 .L43)
  • Women and Women's Issues: A Handbook of Tests and Measures (REF HQ1180 .B43)

 

Finding Reviews of Tests

The following sources contain descriptions, critical reviews and references for thousands of tests. These sources do not contain the actual tests; however, test publishers' contact information is available in each source. In addition, sample questions are often included in the articles referenced in the reviews.

Mental Measurement Yearbook (MMY) Database and Print (REF BF176 .M46- ask at the Reference Desk)

This multi-volume set of books contains descriptions, critical reviews and references for hundreds of tests. Each entry includes the test's intended population, forms and prices, test author, reliability, validity, norming data, and much more.   Each entry also includes the name of the test publisher, and a Publishers Directory is located in the back of each MMY volume.   When using the print volumes, use the MMY Comprehensive Index or MMY Test Reviews Online to find out which MMY volume includes your test.   The company that publishes the MMY has a helpful webpage that includes a step-by-step How to use the Mental Measurements Yearbook guide.

Test Critiques Print (REF BF176 .T419- ask at the Reference Desk)

This set of books contains detailed critiques describing the practical applications and technical aspects of tests. Each entry includes information on authors, purpose of test, scoring, reliability and validity, and opinions from experts regarding the technical adequacy of the test.  Use the Index of Test Titles, which appears in the back of Volume X (10), to see if a test has been reviewed and in which volume the review appears.  The publisher is listed under the title of each test, and an Index of Test Publishers is located at the back of each volume.

ETS Test Collection Online and Print (REF BF176 .E87 1986 ask at the Reference Desk)

This collection is an extensive descriptive catalog of approximately 17, 400 tests and other measurement devices. Publisher information is provided.   Some tests can be ordered directly from ETS. For more information, see How to Order a Test.

Tests in Print VII (TIP) Database and  Print (REF BF176 .T47 ask at the Reference Desk)

TIP is a bibliography of commercially-available tests with references to critical reviews. You can use TIP to find out in which volume of the MMY a particular test is reviewed. Publisher information is provided.

 

 

Tracking Down Tests

Remember that "published tests" are generally available for purchase through a commercial publisher and only by licensed professionals. Copies of "unpublished tests", on the other hand, may be found in ERIC Documents, journal articles, dissertations, websites, and books. You can also try contacting the test's author and asking for a copy.

Tracking Down Published Tests

If you've found the title of a test in the print copies of the MMY, Test Critiques, Tests in Print, or ETS Test Collection, the name of the publisher is included in the test entry. All of these sources include sections, usually found at the back of each volume, listing publisher contact information.

If you found a test using the ETS website, the entry for the test should include the publisher's address. A small percentage of tests found in ETS can be purchased online in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. (For more information, see How to Order a Test.)

The Association of Test Publishers provides an alphabetical list of publishers, with links to contact information.

Tracking Down Unpublished Tests

Websites
Be very cautious about using tests and measurement instruments you find "on the web". Remember, anyone can put up a webpage claiming to be an expert. Your best bet is to look for websites sponsored by professional organizations or educational institutions. Below are links to testing websites maintained by reputable organizations.

Psych Web Scholarly Resources on the Web: Testing and Assessment

Psychiatric Rating Scales and Diagnostic Aids: full text sources maintained by Adelaide University Library

Self Report Measures: Charles S. Carver, University of Miami Psychology Department

Tests and Measures in the Social Sciences: Helen Hough, Health Sciences Librarian, Central Library, University of Texas at Arlington.

 

 

Finding Books about Testing

Do a subject heading search in the online catalog to search for books available in Odum Library.

  1. Go to the library’s catalog, and click on Advanced Search
  2. Type your subject into the search box.
  3. Select Subject from the drop-down menu.

There are a number of subject headings related to educational and psychological tests and measurements:

  • ability testing
  • achievement tests
  • behavioral assessment
  • competency based educational tests
  • educational tests and measurements
  • examinations design and construction
  • examinations validity
  • family assessment
  • intelligence tests
  • mental illness diagnosis
  • minnesota multiphasic personality inventory
  • personality tests
  • psychological tests
  • psychological tests for children
  • psychometrics
  • scaling
  • sociometry
  • test bias

 

Finding Articles about Testing

You can use several library databases to find journal articles that describe experiments and the tests used to measure the variables. There are also articles which discuss the reliability, validity and bias of specific tests.

Tips for ERIC

 

  • For general information on a specific test, type in the full name of the test:
    iowa tests of basic skills
  • If the test is commonly referred to by the acronym, try a search such as:
    itbs or iowa tests of basic skills.
  • To find articles on the validity, reliability, or norming data, try searches such as:
    children's depression inventory and test validity
    mathematics anxiety rating scale and test reliability
  • To find articles on developing tests to measure certain variables, try searches such as:
    test construction and anxiety
    test format and computer attitudes

Tips for PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES

  • For general information on a specific test, type in the full name of the test:
    minnesota multiphasic personality inventory
  • If the test is commonly referred to by the acronym, try a search such as:
    mmpi or minnesota multiphasic personality inventory.
  • To find articles on the validity, reliability, or norming data, try searches such as:
    stanford binet intelligence scale and test reliability
    state-trait anxiety inventory and test validity
  • To find articles on developing tests to measure certain variables, try searches such as:
    test construction and child and anxiety
    test construction and computer attitudes

Tips for Sociological Abstracts 

  • Try combining terms:
    wechsler and validity
    intelligence tests and socioeconomic status

Tips for HaPI (Health and Psychosocial Instruments)

  • Primary Source Search: Information from the original source in which an instrument was published. The items you find may contain a copy of the test.
  • Secondary Source Search: Information on articles which use an instrument. The instrument was originally developed by another author, or for another study.