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SKILLS TEST


Alternative terms: activity test, practical test, skills test, case-file test

What is it?

A test that allows you to demonstrate that you can conduct particular professional skills correctly and adequately

In addition to specific knowledge, you must also possess certain skills in order to practise your profession. By completing a skills test:

  • You (and the lecturer) gain insight into your degree of command over the necessary skills.
  • You learn to function as a professional practitioner.
  • You discover what skills you need to work on.
  • Depending on the intended educational objective, assessment takes place regarding whether you possess a particular skill in its entirety or certain specific aspects of that skill.

At first glance, skills tests and behavioural assessments seem to be very similar. However, the difference is as follows:

  • A skills test only assesses certain skills, while a behavioural assessment gives an overall picture of your performance.
  • Results of behavioural assessments have a much greater impact (can result in you not being admitted to your next study phase), while skills tests often only carry a few credits.

What is tested?

The following skills could be tested:

  • Thinking: cognitive skills.
  • Actions: motor/psychomotor skills.
  • Responding to people and situations: reactive skills.
  • Interaction with others: interactive, social or communicative skills.

How will I be tested?

Your skill is mostly tested via a practical or activity-based assignment. For example, you may complete:

  • A hands-on test, in which you conduct a task in a real-life or simulated practical setting, possibly using real equipment (e.g. a massage table or particular software). During the propaedeutic year and at the beginning of the main phase, simulated situations are often used. In later stages, these tests are used as part of internship assignments and practical assignments.
  • A hands-off test in which you demonstrate knowledge of what has to be done in particular situations. You can also demonstrate how you would act, which considerations would come into play or how you would ensure adequate action during an internship conducted in a real-life professional setting. However, you would not actually carry out the actions on-site. A reflection assignment may also be linked to this.

How will I be assessed?

  • The degree to which you demonstrate command of the skill in question. The accuracy of this demonstration will be assessed by means of the predefined assessment criteria.
  • Whether you can show that you also possess the knowledge necessary to adequately execute this skill.
  • Optional: How effectively you communicate during the test.
  • Standard assessment forms and assessment criteria defined by professional practitioners are frequently used for this purpose.

What is the best way to prepare myself?

  • By getting a lot of practice during – and if possible outside – the lessons (possibly together with other students).
  • Also ask for feedback during the practice.
  • Studying and applying the underlying theory is also an effective way to prepare. • Ensure that you know what is expected of you: check in advance that you understand the assessment criteria and ask the lecturer for explanation if necessary.
  • Ensure that you know what is expected of you: check in advance that you understand the assessment criteria and ask the lecturer for explanation if necessary.

What feedback will I receive?

  • An assessment in the form of a mark.
  • An oral or written explanation.

You will receive feedback from:

  • The examiners.
  • Other students.
  • Yourself, in the event that a reflection assignment is set.

How can I achieve the highest score possible?

  • Ensure you know how the test is structured and what is expected of you.
  • Practise until you can carry out the skill without having to think about it. Only then will you have made the skill your own.
  • It isn't about what you know, it's about what you do. Just knowing what you have to do is not enough.
  • Stay calm, breathe deeply and concentrate solely on the test itself: nothing else.
  • If relevant, pay attention to signals given off by the client or patient.

Tips

  • In the event of a simulation assignment, pay attention to any signals from the actor. They often give subtle hints about what you could/should do next. It is rare that actors try to make you fail, despite students often feeling like this is the case.
  • The best preparation for a skills test is simple: get as much practice as possible. Opportunities for practice are often given during classes, although these alone are not always enough. You should therefore get extra practice outside the classroom with fellow students, or you could ask friends, family members or neighbours to act as test subjects.
  • At first glance, skills tests and behavioural assessments seem to be very similar. However, the difference is that skills tests only focus on particular skills, while assessments give a general picture of your overall performance. As a result, the outcome of behavioural assessments have a much greater impact: a poor mark can result in you not being admitted to your next study phase, while skills tests often only carry a few credits.
  • Things can go wrong during the test. If this happens, the best thing to do is not let it put you off and simply get on with what you have to do next. Concert pianists who play wrong notes in the middle of a Chopin sonata simply continue undeterred. Just take a few deep breaths, stay calm, and carry on. By doing so, you always gain more than if you simply give up. The show must go on!

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