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Towards the Development of African Psychometric Tests

Fred Zindi


Test development and psychometric principles are among the more difficult topics for Psychology students in Africa. In this article, a look at how psychometric tests designed in Western countries and used in African countries is made. Thirty six masters degree students from past educational psychology programmes were given an assignment to develop a psychometric test to replace the WISC-R using African cultural norms. The students were asked to conceptualise tests, write items, administer the tests, perform item analysis on the data, and calculate the instruments’ reliability and validity. At the end they came up with a draft psychometric instrument to replace the WISC-R which was to be finalized and pilot-tested on a sample of 2000 pupils aged between 12 and 13 years which is in keeping with international best practices. The success of the adapted WISC-R, which was named the ZIPE test, would determine further adaptations of other psychometric instruments such as Personality, Aptitude and Interest Inventories.