Getting Started with APA PsycTests: FAQ’s – Using a Test You’ve Found

Intended for users who want to become familiar with APA PsycTests®, this post is the second in a short series — with more to come! For an overview of content basics and how to begin searching APA PsycTests, we recommend reading the first post: What is APA PsycTests, and How Can It Help Me?


You’ve found a test in the APA PsycTests database that you’d like to use in your research and are maybe wondering, “Now what?”

The FAQ below explains how to use the APA PsycTests database record (“test record”) to find important information and related clues to help identify your next steps. The test record includes two separate but related tabs: Test Profile and Source Citations.  

  • The Test Profile tab displays the subset of fields used to describe the test (note that not all fields will appear for every test).
  • The Source Citations tab displays reference information for research related to the test, including any available links to the publication sources.

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PsycTESTS Expert Tip: Finding Supporting Documentation

PsycTESTS is APA’s database that provides descriptive summaries, full text, and relevant citations on the development and assessment of tests and measures that can be used in research and teaching.

Every PsycTESTS record includes a test profile with dozens of descriptive fields such as test name, summary, construct measured, permission, and reliability.

The full-text test can be found as a linked PDF in about half of PsycTESTS records.

Some PsycTESTS records also include an additional link for supporting documentation.

These are a few of the types of Supporting Documentation that can help you administer a test or analyze the data gathered:

  • Answer Sheet
  • Directions/Instructions
  • Instructor/Test Manual/Guide
  • Norms/Analyses

When searching PsycTESTS on its own, you will see an option on the advanced search page to limit your results to a particular type of Supporting Documentation.

When the original test author and publisher have granted APA permission, the supporting documentation will be included with the full text of the test as part of the PsycTESTS record.

If you have questions about supporting documentation that aren’t answered in the PsycTESTS record, you can always:

  • check the Correspondence field for author contact information or
  • check the Source Used field for a doi link to the original full-text publication that developed the test.

The screenshots above show how these fields appear in the APA PsycNET version of PsycTESTS.  

You can see how this looks on EBSCOhost, Ovid, or ProQuest in this step-by-step guide.

Getting Started with APA PsycTests: What Is It, and How Can It Help Me?

This is the first post in a series for anyone wanting to become familiar with APA PsycTests®. Today we’ll cover what you’ll find in APA PsycTests, how to begin your search for a test, and resources to learn more about searching APA PsycTests. Future posts will cover how you can use a test that you find, and tips for navigating the platform.


Are you looking for a test to use in your research, or planning to develop your own? We have a database that can help!

APA PsycTests provides detailed information about the use of thousands of tests, scales, and measures reported in the behavioral sciences literature. Designed to connect researchers, students, educators, librarians, and practitioners with assessment tools, APA PsycTests is an ideal starting point for a new research project, helping you to avoid “reinventing the wheel” as you’re considering your metrics.

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APA PsycTests Expert Tip: Finding Psychometric Information about a Test

APA PsycTests® can help you find an existing test that you can reuse in your own research. In doing so, you may want to evaluate the psychometric data that were reported by the original test developer.  

Psychometrics is the branch of psychology that studies the quantification and measurement of mental attributes, behavior, and performance, as well as the design, analysis, and improvement of the tests and other instruments used in such measurement.  

You will find three types of psychometrics included in an APA PsycTests record, when the information is provided by the original author and publisher of the test.  

  • Reliability describes the consistency of scores across contexts (e.g., different times, items, or raters), and provides an estimate of the amount of score variance that is due to true variance between subjects rather than to error.  
  • Validity is the degree to which a test or instrument is capable of measuring the stated construct, rather than some other trait or concept.   
  • Factor Analysis is a broad family of mathematical procedures that reduce a set of interrelations among stated factors to a smaller set of unobserved latent factors.  
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Webinar Alert: Fall Sessions for PsycINFO & PsycTESTS

Beyond Subject Searching

Join us this fall for a Beyond Subject Searching webinar – designed for librarians and other expert users of PsycINFO. If you’re looking to expand your search skills, or just need a PsycINFO refresher, we hope you’ll join us!

This 45 minute session includes a behind the scenes look at the PsycINFO record structure and live search demos.

Learn how to use PsycINFO for more than just locating articles, such as identifying the types of research being done at a particular institution and finding journals in which to publish new work.

We’ll also search for information on grants and sponsorships, and on tests and measures and will highlight our Record Structure and Field Guide — tools that can help you become your library’s PsycINFO expert.

You can register with GoTo Webinar for one of the following times.

  • Thursday, Sep 12, 2019 2:00 PM EDT
  • Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 1:00 PM EDT
  • Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 2:00 PM EST

Can’t join us at the times listed?

New Features on PsycTESTS

PsycTESTS is APA’s research database that provides access to psychological tests, measures, scales, surveys, and other assessments as well as descriptive information about each test and its development and administration.

In May 2019, APA released a major update for PsycTESTS, which restructured how records display and added new searchable and descriptive fields.

If you use PsycTESTS on EBSCOhost, you can register for a webinar scheduled for Wednesday, September 25, to learn more about the new features.

If you use PsycTESTS on ProQuest, keep an eye on our Vendor Reload Status page or ask your vendor when these changes will go live. A training from APA will be coming soon!

If you use PsycTESTS on APA PsycNET or on Ovid, please see the recordings of these trainings on our YouTube channel.

Want to learn more? Read our blog post New Features Added to PsycTESTS.