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Why Performance Testing?

Why Test?

Testing, or assessment, allows us to validate what an individual knows or doesn’t know. For example, did an individual learn what they were supposed to learn from a training course? Can we diagnose where an individual’s skill set is insufficient? Can we say with confidence that an individual has mastered a certain domain of knowledge?

These are questions that can be answered by testing. The larger question becomes, “why performance-based testing?” What is it and what value does it add to the evaluation of an individual? Performance-based testing allows us to assess both what an individual knows and can do (in contrast to what they just know).

Performance-based testing is a means of measuring individual competence by having the individual do the actual tasks or performances of their work environment. For a car mechanic, it might be to have them calibrate sparkplugs. For a school-age child, it might be to have them create a writing sample. For a computer technician, it might be to have them diagnose and fix a software problem. The key to performance-based testing is just that: to have individuals perform tasks as close as possible to the actual real-life setting so that actual performance can be measured. This allows us to validate what an individual can do or not do.

Why performance testing? By having individuals actually perform tasks related to their job or real life situation, a different kind of evaluation occurs. There is an exponential return on how that individual’s knowledge and skill are measured for the evaluator. There is greater confidence and motivation for the individual being tested, because they are evaluated on worthy tasks that “show what they know.”

More specifically:

To Measure Intellectual Capital

To Predict How People Will Perform

To Measure the Need for Training

To Assess the Effectiveness of Training

Our aim at the Performance Testing Council is to promote the development, usage, and proliferation of performance-based testing. Testing by doing - more than our tag line, it is the way to measure true performance.

Welcome to Performance Testing!