Psychometrics

Accurately measuring the development, skills, attitudes, opinions, wellbeing and behaviours of pupils, students, practitioners and senior leaders is vital for much of our clients’ research and assessment work. NFER psychometricians play a vital role in making sure that our measures and assessments are valid and reliable.

NFER psychometricians and statisticians work with our researchers to use psychometric techniques to develop rigorous assessments, survey instruments and measures. It is very important to us that our clients can be confident in the data and evidence arising from these tools, not least because they are often used to inform national policy and practice decisions. To this end, we use psychometrics to:

  • ensure that our measurements are both valid and reliable
  • identify sources of measurement error within an assessment or survey instrument and control for these
  • understand how scores measured by one instrument or test can equate to scores measured by a different instrument or test
  • define how scores on a test correspond to externally defined levels of competence
  • identify different dimensions of skills or behaviours and examine how these relate to one another.

We have deep understanding and expertise in applying Classical Test Theory (CTT) and Item Response Theory (IRT). We have used psychometrics on high-profile assessment work, including statutory tests in England and Wales and in developing the National Reference Test for Ofqual. We also use psychometrics to develop and update NFER’s own suite of optional tests for Years 1-5, which help teachers to monitor pupil attainment.

We can deliver psychometrics work in the UK and internationally.

If you are interested in commissioning us to work with you, please contact our Bid Team.

Read the report Read the article