Alternative terms: performance assessment, proof of competence, simulation, practical test, practical observation
What is it?
A behavioural assessment is a testing format in which your behaviour is observed and assessed while conducting typical professional tasks of a critical nature. This assessment is conducted based on criteria specified in advance. A behavioural assessment can take place in an authentic professional setting or in a simulation, where you will be placed in a critical professional scenario or scenarios.
This assessment is particularly used to assess competencies that are only demonstrable via behaviour and not by means of a product or portfolio.
The assessment consists of:
- Observation of your behaviour.
- An assessment interview with an assessor.
- Establishment and recording of a substantiated judgement by the assessor.
- Provision of feedback by the assessor.
What is tested?
In short, behavioural assessments test whether you are capable of demonstrating professional conduct within typical and critical professional contexts and scenarios, in accordance with the required assessment criteria.
How will I be tested?
The behavioural assessment may take the form of a:
- Role play
- Collaborative assignment
- Assignment in a practical situation
You will be observed during your behavioural assessment. You will receive instructions in advance regarding the assignment and the duration.
Upon completion of the assignment, an interview with the assessor will be conducted, in which the assignment will be discussed. The assessor will ask you why you made particular decisions during the assignment.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed based on:
- The observation of your behaviour: based on the assessment criteria in a protocol, assessors register which required behaviour they have observed.
- Your justification of the behaviour displayed, obtained from the assessment interview.
For each professional task/dilemma, the assessors will examine the information obtained and establish whether you conducted yourself in compliance with the required assessment criteria. They will substantiate their assessment with findings from the observation and the assessment interview, record the assessment on the assessment form and submit it to you together with feedback.
What feedback will I receive?
You will receive feedback about your degree of development in the assessed competencies. The assessors give this feedback in terms of a comparison of the displayed behaviour with the required behaviour. In this way, it is clear what behaviour you are capable of displaying and where possible points for improvement exist.
When your development is central to the assessment (e.g. in practice situations), you can receive feedback from a supervisor/assessor (usually a lecturer), an actor (in the case of simulations), a workplace supervisor (behavioural assessment in the professional field) and fellow students.
How do I prepare for the test?
- By practicing the desired behaviour via simulations conducted during study time.
- By gaining experience in the professional field via internships and practical periods and receiving feedback on these periods.
- By carrying out example simulations, including an assessment interview, or showing footage of an actual behavioural assessment and discussing it in class.
- By examining the list of example questions that assessors may ask about simulations or practical tests. These questions relate to the justification of the choices made regarding specific behaviour in various situations.
How can I achieve the highest score possible?
- Practise the assessment with other students.
- Show what you know and what you can do.
- Reflect upon the assignment as quickly as possible upon completion: this way, the information is optimally fresh in your mind.
- Be honest: state what you thought didn't go well.
Assessment is a term that can be interpreted in a huge number of ways. For this reason, your programme may have a different idea to the one described here. You should therefore clarify with your programme exactly what their views and expectations are for assessments.
Show what you know and what you can do. Think of it as a job interview: you want to show in person that you are an interesting and polite person with good conversational and other skills, and good awareness of and adaptability to the situation you are in.