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Test’s utility is used in several procedures that require separation of a group from another. An example is where test’s utility is used by pain physicians to carry out psychological evaluation of a patient. The tests are also useful in evaluating the extent of understanding by a student in high school or college and sometimes used in the selection process for any specific program. The test’s utility comes in handy to identify and separate individuals in situations where it could be difficult to identify without test assistance. In this paper we examine the test’s utility key issues, concerns and challenges of judgment. This paper will consider the concept of test’s utility from the perspective of test developer, test user, test taker, its nature and purpose as well as cost effectiveness and its importance to the society.
Test’s Utility Concepts
The test’s utility used by pain physicians will be our focus in analyzing the general concepts of test’s usefulness. The key element of tests used is that they should be able to carry out the desired measurement and return results that are accurate and valid. Therefore the developer of a test should be able to assess the needs of the test user so as to design the test that meets the requirement. As for the test to carry out psychological evaluation, the developer should assess carefully physician’s requirements so as to develop a useful test that will give the physician the desired results. Therefore the developer focuses his attention on the usefulness of the test as required by the test user (Pearson Assessment, 2003).
The developed test will be put into utilized by the user who is a physician in our case of psychological test has objective of the test. They require a test’s utility that can easily be administered easily by any person such as nurse on behalf of physician. Moreover, it should be short and fully administered within a few minutes, can be scored, interpreted, and can be used immediately after test completion. In addition, the user requires a test that is statistical reliable and valid as well as being a normal representation without bias (Pearson Assessment, 2003).
The test should be user friendly to the test taker and it is important that the taker be comfortable in taking the test. The test should not be shameful, degrading and meaningless nor create worry on the test taker. The test taker should be willing to take the test without intimidation or fear. Moreover, it is important that the taker be informed of all the consequences of taking the test including the scoring method as well as the expected outcomes. The test should be properly introduced to an individual like a patient in a caring manner so as create a favorable environment (Lezak, 2003).
The test nature of the test will depend on its purpose. The test used to carry out psychological evaluation of a patient will be designed in the nature that is acceptable to a patient. The purpose of a test will dictate the design and the procedure of administration. The test should be sensitive and specific to a particular condition so as to achieve maximum utility and required results. Specific nature of tests is selected for particular patients so as to meet the physician’s requirements. Furthermore, the tests should also make economic sense to the test user in that it should not be expensive which is discouraging. The aim is to have a reliable test within a low budget for it to make economic sense. For instance, some tests were too expensive for neuropsychologists to afford and as such they neglected. This means that any test’s utility can only be realized if the actual test is affordable (Lezak, 2003).
The test’s utility is important to all stakeholders who are the developers, users and test takers. Therefore the tests have specific effect on the diagnosis made by the physicians because the tests are valid. Therefore the segment of the society including physicians that uses the tests is assisted in evaluating their subjects. Moreover, the entire society has benefited from the test’s utility because they give reliable results that can be utilized effectively to solve human problems such as diseases. Furthermore, the test developers earn their living by developing and improving the test’s utility.
The test’s utility is significant in the society because they enable the society to identity and diagnose problems accurately. The tests are relevant, valid and cost economical thus attracting several users. Thus test’s utility will continue to be used in the foreseeable future especially by physicians.