UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The construction and development of an objective carpenter's trade test Shirran, Alexander F.


The purpose of this study was the construction and development of an objective written carpenter's trade test which would represent an economy in the screening of trade applicants. A brief survey was made of the major developments and current trends in the trade testing movement and available pertinent statistics regarding other reported studies was presented. A trade test consisting of two hundred and four items was then constructed. They were multiple choice items and an effort was made to make as many of the items pictorial as was possible. The Canadian Army trade specifications for the trade of carpenter was selected as the subject area which was to be sampled by the test. Material was chosen from existing carpentry tests, technical journals and technical books and incorporated into acceptable items. Each item was reviewed by at least three competent carpenters and evaluated in accordance with the criteria of a good test item before inclusion in the test. The test was then administerd to 240 subjects; 96 novices, 81 apprentices and 63 carpenters. The Wonderlic Personnel Test was administered at the same time in order to obtain an indication of the subject's intelligence. The 204 item test was then scored. The number of items correctly answered by each individual and the percentage of each group answering each item correctly were computed. For each individual item the standard errors of the percentage for each group, the standard error of the difference between the adjacent groups and the "t" ratios were determined. Items for the final test were then selected upon a twofold criteria; these were that a "t" ratio of at least three be obtained between two of the adjacent groups and that not less than fifty percent of the carpenters correctly answered the item and that not more than fifty percent of the novices correctly answered it. One hundred items were selected for the final test. The average "t" ratio between carpenters and apprentices and between novices and apprentices was 3.61. These items were then rescored for each individual. The standard errors of the means for each group, the standard errors of the differences between the means of the adjacent groups and "t" ratios were computed. The resultant "t” ratios were 13.61 between the carpenters and the apprentices groups, 13.55 between apprentices and novices groups and 35.18 between novices and carpenters group. These would indicate very significant differences between the three groups. The reliabilities of the test for each group was determined by the split-half method increased by the Spearman-Brown formula. Reliabilities of .79, .88, .73 and .96 were obtained for the carpenters' apprentices' novices' and total groups respectively. The relationship between trade test scores and other variables was determined. The test showed a statistically significantly reliable, but low, correlation co-efficient with intelligence as measured by the Wonderlic Personnel Test but education, age and experience had a negligible relationship to trade test scores. A reasonable degree of validity was exhibited. The conclusion was drawn that the test would serve a useful adjunct in the screening of trade applicants and that the method followed in its construction could be extended to the development of similar tests for other ocupations.

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