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Why is standardisation of psychometric test administration important?

Standardisation is an agreement about the process of the test administration. Standardisation of test administration ensures that the assessment is conducted under specific conditions which can be repeated. A standardized test provides you with confidence about repeating the test in the future and ensures that all candidates are treated in the same way. It is also important because it ensures objectivity of scoring and administration conditions. It is important that all candidates are treated in the same way for ethical and comparison standards. For example, if one candidate was administered an ability test, such as the Swift Comprehension Aptitude test, in a quiet room, and another person undertook the test next to a construction site which is really noisy, then it is safe to say that individual who undertook the test in noisy conditions would be affected by the noise. Our confidence in the test scores would decrease when making a comparison. The candidate’s performance on the test could be affected because of distractions, which us why we have to be considerate about the conditions under which the test was administered. 

All of the above factors will impact upon the reliability (consistency and error) of the test result.  An unreliable test cannot be a valid test – it is unable to consistently predict performance.  If we do not administer tests in a standardised manner, according to the publisher’s instructions, error increases, reliability decreases and therefore, validity decreases.  If we allow validity to decrease, it raises the question as to why we bother to use the test in the first place!