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Vocational Assessment Test Review


The test review on vocational assessment focuses on an instrument designed to measure vocational or special abilities. The instrument used in this case is Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS). The review includes general features such as title, author, publisher, date published, age ranges and time required for administration of the test among others. There are description test, psychometric properties, and discussion of items, issues or concern and summary sections. The review concludes by re-examining the challenges that students with special need face and how they should be addressed.


Individuals with special needs have been discriminated against or alienated for several years now. However, this practice is coming to an end as people and organizations are turning their focus to the individuals to ensure they feel part of the society. Several programs have been put in place to help incorporate them in the daily activities done by normal individuals. Besides, more programs are yet to be implemented and tests have been done to determine the effectiveness of the programs. This is the point of focus in this paper review.

Title: Test review on an assessment instrument designed to measure vocational or special abilities



Date Published 2015

Age ranges 10-17 years

Purpose: Designed to measure the behavior of students with special needs when Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS) instrument is introduced in secondary school education programs.

Administration: Individual or Group

Time: (30-40) minutes

Review of the test on an assessment instrument designed to measure vocational or special abilities among students in secondary education programs

DESCRIPTION: The test on an assessment instrument designed to measure vocational or special abilities consists of an evaluation of the behavior of students with special abilities and needs in secondary education programs when introduced to a new instrument- Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS). The students aged between 10-17 years with special needs are placed in various programs, which have no influence on their personal aspirations or career goals. The test may be individually or group administered and the time to administer and score the test is from 30-40 minutes. Administration requires observing the behavior of students while placing them in different programs and filling the observed data in a scoring form. Authors recommend that the individuals observing the behavior of the students with special needs trained in assessment and have knowledge of current theories of behavioral development (In Robinson, 2014). The manuals of the individuals carrying out the assessment provide technical information, normative data and expected outcomes or findings. The test may be inappropriate for use with students with no disabilities; hence the presence of students with no special needs is highly restricted.

PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES: The test is reliable as there is some evidence of internal consistency and stability among the students with special needs when introduced to different programs. The co-efficient alpha estimates for the age groupings vary and there are standard errors of measurement that vary during the test and its calculation by gender indicates the same range of co-efficient.

The test comes up with validity information based on theory, on content, on internal structure, on response processes, and on relationship to other constructs with the content of the test being used to determine the behavior of students with special needs in several other measures. A rationale for the test proposes that not every individual with special needs, regardless of the background, social or economic, changes the career choice even if introduced to new programs in educational institutions (Urbina, 2013). The content is also less influenced by pressure from teachers and colleagues.

A difference in the scores recorded is evident. With the test focusing on students with special needs of between the ages of 10 and 17, it is established that at 10 years, the students are likely to be excited about new careers, thus can decide to shift from their initial choices. Influence the students of the mean age 14 have on choices made is small, and can easily change while at 17, to make their final career choices.

DISCUSSION OF ITEMS: The test developer observes that the students with special needs exhibit different behaviors when placed in different programs. The students of age 10 are observed to be very happy to be placed in different programs. They murmur and share ideas with their colleagues, an indication that the introduction of the new program is likely to change their career choices. Students of age 12-15 appear to be anxious though they are calm. This is an indication of confusion i.e. they do not know whether to change their career choices or not. Students of age 16-17 are seen to be depressed and uneasy with the new programs. This is because at that age, they have made final decisions on their professions and careers and the decisions have been greatly influenced by their physical disabilities. Thus, they do not intend to change their careers and an introduction to new programs in their institution is depressing and confusing (In Escorpizo et al, 2015).

The test administered through observation, where the behaviors of the students with special needs are observed after being placed into different programs. The test developer has no freedom of communicating to the students as this may interfere with the scores.

There are different items of the test ranging from change in behavior to no change in behavior. The items are scored objectively as the test developers have no influence on the decisions made by the students with special needs.

ISSUES/CONCERNS: Some of the students especially those between the ages of 16 and 17 resist and oppose the idea of being included in the test and these make it difficult for the test developers. The educational institutions do not allow the test developers to communicate to the students and this may affect the scores. Moreover, few students are present during the test and this does not enable the provision of a wide range of scores.

SUMMARY: The test on assessment instrument designed to measure vocational or special abilities among students in secondary education programs can be used for rough screening and verifying other test results, particularly when the behavior of students with special needs in institutions is an issue. The development of this test has been done using modern constructs and modern psychometric methods. The weakness of the test is that the reliability and validity information is limited though this is a justification for its cautious use.


            As articulated in the test review, students with special needs should be given special attention in educational institutions. This will enable them feel appreciated as part of such institutions. For instance, teachers and other stakeholders should strive to help them find good careers that will not be derailed by their disabilities. Instruments such as Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS) if used in educational institutions will help the students with special needs identify with the right careers.


In Escorpizo, R., In Brage, S., In Homa, D., & In Stucki, G. (2015). Handbook of vocational rehabilitation and disability evaluation: Application and implementation of the ICF.

In Robinson, R. H. (2014). Foundations of forensic vocational rehabilitation.

Urbina, S. (2013). Essentials of psychological testing. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.