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    © SHL GROUP plc, 2000 

    The Technical Test Battery Manual & User’s Guide

    INTRODUCTION TO THE TTB Rationale

    Short Descriptions of the Tests

    Choice of Tests

     Administration

    Scoring

    Technical Support

    Distribution Controls

    RATIONALE

    The use of ability tests in the technical and engineering sectors of the economy is well established. Since its launch in 1979, SHL’s Technical Test Battery (TTB) has been widely used for the assessment and selection of engineering and craft apprentices as well as technicians and process operators. The emphasis in the TTB has always been on the assessment of relevant work-related skills rather than the measurement of abstract conceptions of human intelligence. Accordingly, the TTB has been updated so as to reflect

    changes that have taken place in the workforce since its original launch. Following consultations with major users and extensive re-analysis (including sex and ethnic bias), we have replaced or modified several of the original tests. The new tests are an improvement in four main respects:

    1. They are more up to date

    2. More reliable

    3. More valid

    4. Less prone to bias.

    Each of the eight tests in the new edition of the TTB is presented separately to ensure greater flexibility, enabling users to select the most appropriate mix of abilities to be tested for

    a given job. Additionally, two versions of the most popular tests will be available to allow use of parallel versions on different occasions. This is valuable in helping to avoid any potential problem which may result from the over-exposure of individual tests, as well as in the retesting of individual candidates.

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     As previously mentioned, the TTB can be used for the assessment and selection of staff for a wide range of technical jobs. The types of industry for which the TTB has been used include: paper and printing, gas, railways, heavy engineering, glass, the motor industry, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, the building industry and metal refining and processing. This list is by no means exhaustive of the areas in which the tests have been or could be used. The list

    should also be considered to include jobs in both the public and private sectors.

    SHORT DESCRIPTIONS OF THE TESTS

    The updated TTB is composed of eight tests, and these are summarised below. Parallel versions of four tests, namely, NT2.2, MT4.2, VT5.2 and ST8.2 will be available a few months after the initial launch of the updated TTB.

    Verbal Comprehension (VT1.1)  – measures vocabulary and basic word skills using language which reflects the requirements of technical occupations.

    Numerical Computation (NT2.1 and NT2.2)  – assesses basic number skills with the emphasis on straightforward calculations and the understanding of arithmetical operations.

    Visual Estimation (ET3.1)  – measures spatial perception involving the comparison of shapes and lengths.

    Mechanical Comprehension (MT4.1 and MT4.2)   – measures understanding of basic mechanical principles.

    Technical Understanding (VT5.1 and VT5.2) – measures a candidate’s understanding of written passages containing the type of verbal material likely to be encountered in a technical setting, such as equipment manuals and operating instructions.

    Numerical Reasoning (NT6.1) – measures more advanced number skills, with the emphasis on reasoning and recognising short cuts to reach solutions, rather than complex calculations.

    This test has been developed specifically for use with hand-held calculators.

    Fault Diagnosis (FT7.1) – measures the candidate’s ability at finding faults in systems. The candidate must locate which element of an arrangement of processors is not working as specified.

    Spatial Recognition (ST8.1 and ST8.2) – measures the ability to recognise shapes in two dimensions, even after rotation.

    CHOICE OF TESTS

    Choice of tests should be founded on careful job analysis, which will identify the abilities and

    attributes required to perform the job. The resulting, well researched person specification,read in conjunction with test descriptions, validity evidence, etc, presented in this manual and elsewhere, should enable the selection of an appropriate combination of TTB tests. Wherever possible, validity research should be conducted prior to the introduction of tests to ensure that they are appropriate for their intended purpose and fair to all applicants.

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    ADMINISTRATION

    The administration of the TTB tests is a straightforward procedure through the use of separate administration cards. The total testing time for this battery is 1 hour and 50 minutes. With administration and example questions, it would take just over 3 hours for all

    the tests to be completed. These tests can, however, be used singly or in various combinations to establish a profile of an individual’s abilities depending on the skills required for a particular job.

    Experience has shown that a selection of three or four of the tests is typically more appropriate, and most combinations of this number of tests can be completed in about 1½ hours.

    SCORING

    The tests in the TTB can be scored either by hand or machine. They are all in multiple- choice, paper and pencil format. The multiple-choice format and special answer sheets permit quick scoring using plastic scoring key overlays. In additions, the tests can be scored

    using the NCS “Opscan 5®” optical mark reader, connected to a personal computer.

    Machine scoring is particularly effective where a large number of applicants need to be tested. (Please contact SHL’s Computer Services Department for further information.)

    TECHNICAL SUPPORT

    The Technical Test Battery is supported by SHL’s ongoing research and development programme and test users are regularly updated with recent norms and validation studies from a range of organisations.

    Norms for particular organisations can be provided on receipt of raw scores (and basic bio-

    data such as age, sex, educational qualifications), and test users are encouraged to send data to us. Advice or assistance with job analysis and validation studies is also available. Such research is important to ensure test relevance as only relevant measures contribute to the effectiveness and intrinsic fairness of selection decisions.

    DISTRIBUTION CONTROLS

    These tests are not freely available to the general public, but are distributed under strict control to suitably trained and qualified test users. SHL runs training courses in occupational testing to standards laid down by international psychological associations.

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    2. DESCRIPTION OF THE TTB TESTS

    Overview

    Verbal Comprehension

    Numerical Computation

    Visual Estimation

    Mechanical Comprehension

    Technical Understanding

    Numerical Reasoning

    Fault Diagnosis

    Spatial Recognition

    OVERVIEW

    The SHL Technical Test Battery is a collection of tests designed specifically for the selection and allocation of a wide range of apprentice and technical personnel.

    The eight tests in the TTB can be divided into two groups. NT2.1, MT4.1, VT5.1 and ST8.1 made up a group of core skills, while the remaining tests measure more specific aptitudes. Together, the tests provide for a wide ability range from those with no formal educational

    qualifications through to GCSE or ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level standard.

     All the tests are available in individual booklets and are designed to be used separately or in any combination. The choice of test or tests to be used should be based on the results of a

     job analysis, a detailed job description or a validation study. This will identify the attributes required to perform effectively in the job.

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    The time limits and number of items in each test are given below:

    TEST NUMBER OF

    ITEMS

    TIME LIMIT

    (minutes)

     APPROX.  ADMIN TIME

    (minutes)

    VT1.1 NT2.1

    ET3.1

    MT4.1

    VT5.1

    NT6.1

    FT7.1

    ST8.1

    Verbal Comprehension Numerical Computation

    Visual Estimation

    Mechanical Comprehension

    Technical Understanding

    Numerical Reasoning

    Fault Diagnosis

    Spatial Recognition

    36 36

    36

    36

    36

    25

    36

    36

    12 10

    10

    18

    20

    12

    18

    10

    20 20

    20

    30

    30

    20

    30

    20

    More detailed descriptions of the individual TTB tests follow. In order to provide a clear understanding of the item format, copies of the example pages are also included. These reflect only the easier items. For an overview of the complete test, the question booklet itself should be consulted.

    The indications given in this manual of the jobs for which these tests may be applicable are intended as guidelines only; test relevance should be examined in relation to each individual

     job. Users who have concerns about test choice should seek professional advice before implementing the tests.