What are tests and measures?

" the methodology that deals with designs, administrations, and interpretations of measurement on individuals’ constructs such as abilities, attitudes, personality, knowledge... Tests & measures are the instruments, surveys, questionnaires and more designed to assess these constructs."

-- Quote by Hua-Hua Chang in the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity, Jr.. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. p587-590.

Non-Commercial v. Commercial Tests Measures

Tests are either commercial or unpublished.

  • Upublished/Non-Commerical Tests: The instrument has been developed more for research purposes and is not sold by a commercial test publisher.  The test author might choose to include the full text of the instrument in a journal article or dissertation, or might give permission for the instrument to be reprinted in a book.  It can be more difficult to find these. See the box below labeled Unpublished tests & measures for details on how to identify and locate unpublished tests and measures.

  • Published/Commercial Tests: The instrument is published by a commercial test publisher.  These tests must be purchased from the test publisher, so you will seldom, if ever, find the items from these instruments in the public domain.  Additionally, only qualified persons are allowed to buy these tests.  See the box below labeled Commercial tests & measures for details on how to identify and locate commercial tests and measures.

See the American Psychological Association's (APA) FAQ on how to find published and unpublished psychological tests. 

Visit our Psychological & Educational Tests guide for more information


APA's PsycTESTS database makes identifying and accessing the full text of test instruments MUCH easier! If you do not find what you need there, try some of the resources and strategies on the tests & measures research guide. .