What is the Caliper Test?

The Caliper Profile Test is widely used across the U.S., as well as some other countries, as a central tool in assisting employers with selecting appropriate candidates, usually for roles which carry significant responsibility within a company.

The Caliper Test was created by the talent management company Caliper over 50 years ago and builds upon Raymond Cattell et al.’s 16PF Questionnaire which was originally published in 1949. It is intended to measure a range of personality traits – from thoroughness to assertiveness – that pertain to core skills required in a given role, such as time management and leadership ability.

Caliper Test Questions

When the candidate is administered the test, they will be told that in the self-assessment section there is no binary right or wrong answer. However, there is a guiding rationale behind the questions and, as with any test, a certain pattern of behavior will inevitably be preferable. To this end, Prepterminal’s expertly formulated course material will ensure that you understand the ‘correct’ course of action in meeting the job requirements, providing a secure step towards your desired career path.

Caliper Test Format

The Caliper test consists of 180 questions in total, with no time limit. All questions must be answered – there is no option to skip questions. Generally speaking, it is found that candidates tend to require two to three hours to fully complete the test.

Questions are delivered in a variety of formats. The majority of questions take a self-assessment format, while others involve pattern recognition problems.

In the case of the self-assessment questions, questions can require that the candidate grades a number of statements from ‘most’ to ‘least’, or that a single statement is selected out of a number of options. For example:

Grade from ‘most’ to ‘least’:

  1. Sometimes it’s better to lose than to risk hurting someone
  2. Established practices and/or standards should always be followed.
  3. I’m generally good at making “small talk.”
  4. I sometimes lose control of my workday.

Or

What describes you best?

  1. I am responsible.
  2. I am resourceful.
  3. I am a leader.
  4. I have great communication skills.

As is seen here, it is common for questions to force the candidate to select a response from a number of positive statements about themselves. This means that it is extremely difficult to tailor one’s performance to the requirements of the role as it would seem that most options reflect favorable traits.

In the case of the pattern recognition questions, a sequence of number/letters/shapes is presented and the candidate is required to identify the next letter/number/shape in the sequence. For example:

2, 7, 26, 101, 400 – What is the next number in this sequence?

Where the answer is calculated as 4*2-1=7, 4*7-2=26, 4*26-3=101, 4*101-4=400,
4*400-5=1595.

The pattern recognition component of the examination is considered to be relatively challenging. This is, of course, compensated by the unlimited time allowance, but many might find this manner of question to be insurmountable depending on the complexity of the problem. Prepterminal’s Caliper Assessment Test preparation course will prepare you for these questions by equipping you with the know-how and tricks required to accurately and effectively overcome these challenging problems. In a matter of hours, you can go from being completely clueless with pattern recognition problems to being 100% confident in your ability to overcome these obstacles.

Caliper Test Scoring

Once a candidate’s answers have been gathered, they will be analyzed by professionals specifically trained to analyze Caliper test results. Test results are assessed in relation to the job requirements, so that these experts may appropriately identify which job applicants are best suited to that particular position.

Answers are presented as a series of scores to indicate a variety of different personality traits, with four main aspects of personality being covered, with several characteristics which are individually scored as subcategories of these four main aspects:

  • Persuasiveness/leadership skills
    • Assertiveness
    • Aggressiveness
    • Ego
    • Empathy
    • Resilience
    • Attitude to risk-taking
    • Urgency/motivation
    • Cautiousness
  • Interpersonal skills
    • Empathy
    • Flexibility
    • Openness to other people’s views and ideas
    • Skepticism
    • Ability to work as part of a team
    • Sociability
  • Problem-solving/decision making
    • Creativity/originality
    • Flexibility
    • Attention to detail
    • Abstract problem-solving
    • Cautiousness
    • Risk-taking
    • Urgency
  • Personal organization/time management
    • Approach to risk-taking
    • Degree of motivation
    • Thoroughness

While there is no outright ‘wrong’ profile to receive from the test, it is inevitable that some are more desirable for a given job role, and as such employers will seek out a certain type of profile when assessing prospective employees.

In order to accurately reflect the inner qualities that you want employers to see, it is highly recommended that you undergo the appropriate preparation in order to understand how questions are tailored to assess your traits in the context of a given job role. With the proper preparation, you can improve your performance by ensuring an optimal self-presentation as well as accurate solving of pattern recognition problems. Prepterminal’s course comes with text and video modules composed by our psychometric experts to accurately prepare you for optimal performance in the Caliper Assessment Test.

If you have been asked to take a Caliper Test and wish to demonstrate to your prospective employer that you’re perfect for the job, sign up for Prepterminal’s course today.

How Do Employers Use Caliper Test Results?

Caliper assessment results, also known as Caliper Profile results, are used to bring an added level of depth to the interview process. For instance, results indicated by the Caliper Test can be used as a benchmark against which other responses given during the interview process can be compared. For instance, a candidate may be asked how they would behave in a hypothetical leadership situation. If their response does not match up well with results gathered from the Caliper test, it may be discerned that that particular response is not a true reflection of their general attitude towards leadership, and is, in fact, a specifically-tailored response meant to appease the interviewer.

The test may also be used as a metric of future potential in a given candidate or existing employee, through the assessment of the individual’s natural propensity to success in a given role due to their personality type. Similarly, the test may be used in order to identify areas for improvement in employees, to inform decision making for further training.

The test is also helpful in obtaining balance within a team so that it might achieve optimal outcomes. By establishing a Caliper Profile for each member of a team, an accurate snapshot of the competencies of the team is established, and so any deficiencies across the team can be addressed. For instance, it may be indicated that no team members possess a required trait such as abstract problem-solving. By isolating the problem it is far easier to resolve the issue, for instance via training or the placement of an additional team member with an identified capacity for abstract problem-solving.

Caliper Test Tips

1

Choose the right job – The Caliper test assesses how well a candidate’s personality fits the job role with good reason. It is vital that you apply for jobs for which you genuinely feel your personality matches. It is far easier to pass the Caliper test when your personality traits legitimately match up with those required in the job position.

2

Research the job role – When applying for a role, ensure that you take the time to research and fully understand the ideal profile for the job. This will allow you to assess your own personality against the ideal profile before undergoing to process in order to identify strengths and weaknesses in the process.

3

Practice – Appropriate preparation and familiarity with the questions which will arise in the test can be pivotal in success in the test. In particular, preparation for the pattern-based questions is vital. Prepterminal’s Caliper Test preparation course provides all the necessary components for your success.

4

Get sufficient sleep – It is unanimously agreed that getting a good night’s rest before an examination can significantly improve performance on the day. Combine a proper night’s sleep with a healthy breakfast and adequate hydration so that you are in optimal condition for the examination.

5

Don’t panic – The test has no time limit; it is not intended to trip you up. Take your time in answering questions and give proper thought to how your responses reflect that you are the best candidate for the job.