Gamified Assessment: Questions That Need Answering to Prove its Role in Assessing Candidates

June 28, 2017 Richard Justenhoven

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On-going Research in Gamified Assessment

Interest in gamified assessment has seen a dramatic increase in the past two years and is seen as one of the hottest topics in psychometrics today. This is, in part, due to:

  • the new capabilities of technology;
  • the growth and acceptance of online gaming by a wider range of people;
  • the ‘gamification’ of other parts of talent and HR activity such as in-house training;
  • the desire by companies to assess candidates in a way that sets them apart from their competition.

And with companies and organisations looking at how recruitment and development assessment may be used, test developers are looking to see what can be done and still retain the psychometric quality and robustness of assessment tools.

So what is gamified assessment?

These assessments have a psychometric basis, make use of games or gaming elements and the abilities of communication and information technology (Warszta & Siemsen, 2017)

Research has found (e.g. Hamari, 2015) that using gamification in non-game contexts may increase motivation and activity and so it is no wonder that test developers and test users alike are keen to see how it can support candidate assessment. But, past research (e.g. Coyne et al, 2015) also shows that changing the mode of administration may change the psychometric properties of an assessment.

Committed to taking the best that technological advances offer to improve assessments while not compromising test quality, we are investing heavily in research around gamified assessment. 

We have a major study set up in different universities in different countries, all under the guidance of our Research team.

They are exploring the following hypotheses:

  1. Taking part in a game-based assessment will make candidates perceive the organisation in a more positive way compared to taking an assessment that isn’t game-based.
  2. The gamified version is seen as fairer than a non-gamified test.
  3. Participants will experience higher flow when completing the gamified version.
  4. Participants will experience higher test motivation when completing the gamified version.
  5. There is a difference in the psychometric properties between the gamified assessment and the non-gamified version.

We’ll share the results as soon as we have them.


Coyne, I., Warszta, T., Beadle, S., & Sheehan, N. (2005). The Impact of Mode of Administration on the Equivalence of a Test Battery: A Quasi-Experimental Design. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 13(3), 220 – 224.

Hamari, J. (2015). Do badges increase user activity? A field experiment on effects of gamification. Computers in Human Behavior.

Warszta, T. & Siemsen, A. (2017). Gamified Assessment. In K. Lochner (Chair), Game-based assessment – Concepts and insight from research and practice. Symposium at the 32nd annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Orlando, FL.

About the Author

Richard Justenhoven

Richard Justenhoven is the product development director within Aon's Assessment Solutions. A leading organizational psychologist, Richard is an acknowledged expert in the design, implementation and evaluation of online assessments and a sought after speaker about such topics.

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