Psychological tests and measurements

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What are psychological tests?

Psychological tests (also known as mental measurements, psychological instruments, psychometric tests, inventories, rating scales) are standardized measures of a particular psychological variable such as personality, intelligence, or emotional functioning. They often consist of a series of questions that subjects rank as true or false, or according to a Likert-type scale (agree, somewhat agree...), however tests can use written, visual or verbal methods.

Many tests are commercially published. One well-known commercial test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Commercial or published tests may need to be purchased from the publisher, and publishers may require proof that users have the professional credentials to administer the test.

In addition to commercial tests, there are countless unpublished tests that researchers design for particular studies in psychology, education, business and other fields.

Access to psychological tests

Note: The SFU Library does not maintain a print or online collection of standardized tests.

Please note that full access (the measurement + scoring key and/or manual) to most clinical Psychological measures is not available to student researchers. Access to clinical tests is often restricted to Registered Psychologists only (those with a PhD in Psychology), to the clinical Psychology graduate students they supervise, and other professionals in health and counselling fields. Restricting access to tests helps ensure the validity of tests, including their persuasiveness when reported upon in a legal context, and reduces false diagnoses and misapplications by non-professionals.

In addition, there are also often publisher-imposed copyright and licensing restrictions (e.g., prohibitions on reproducing tests) which further restrict access.

Commercial psychological tests/measures require a fee to access them, and some (particularly in Business) may be prohibitively expensive for students. You will also likely require professional credentials to access them. However, library resources provide helpful descriptive and evaluative information about commercial tests.

Unpublished/non-commercial tests are free to access, but you may require permission from the test creator(s) to use or obtain the test, and access may be restricted, depending on your credentials.

Information about both specific commercial and unpublished and psychological tests is amply available, including journal articles that discuss the application and scoring of a particular test. In many cases, you may be able to track down the test or measure itself of unpublished tests, but without the scoring key or manual. And indeed there still exists a selection of tests with scoring keys that are available to general researchers.

It can be helpful to look at tests (even those without a scoring manual), such as those indexed in PsycTESTS, and reviews of commercially available psychological tests, to see how other researchers have measured a construct. This can inform you own research methods. 

Test Databases at SFU Library

Search these databases to find:

  1. Descriptive information and reviews of both commercially published and unpublished tests
  2. The full text of a unpublished psychological test or measure (usually without the scoring key, with some exceptions)


PsycTESTS provides information on over 71,000 psychological tests, measures, and other assessment tools (as of January 2024). In many cases, the full-text of the test instrument is provided. However, scoring materials are rarely provided. PsycTESTS provides information on both commercial and unpublished tests, with the focus on unpublished tests. For these, you may wish to contact the test creator directly to inquire if further information can be provided directly to you. Contact information is often available via PsycTESTS.

See also APA's FAQ: Finding information about psychological tests

Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print

The two resources can be searched online separately or together as Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print.


Tests in Print (TIP) provides descriptive bibliographic information on almost all known commercially available tests in English. The most recent edition is the 10th (2022). (Archival versions also in print).


Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY) provides evaluative reviews of commercial tests, for example, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory. The MMY includes comprehensive test detailsinsightful reviews about a test, such as its construct validity and reliability, and information on obtaining a test. (Archival versions also in print). The most recent edition is the 22nd from 2024, with the latest triennial edition anticipated in 2027.

Health and Psychosocial Instruments

Health and Psychosocial Instruments Evaluation and measurement tools, including questionnaires, interview schedules, checklists, index measures, coding schemes/manuals, rating scales, projective techniques, vignettes/scenarios, and tests, in health and psychosocial studies. 1985-present.

Psychological Test Adaptation and Development

The open access journal, Psychological Test Adaptation and Development, publishes papers "the adaptation of tests to specific (e.g., cultural) needs, test translations, or the development of existing measures."

Tests found in journal articles, databases, and books

Tests that have been published within books, journals, or other sources are readily available. Note that many articles and books provide information about tests, but only some of them may include the actual test instruments.

Journal articles

  • PsycINFO: Type "appended" in one of the search boxes and select Tests & Measures from the drop-down menu to the right of the search box. This will narrow your search to articles with tests appended. Use additional search boxes to add keywords.
  • Medline​
    Try searching by MeSH (medical subject headings) terms such as Surveys and Questionnaires and Psychological Tests.
    Search/browse in the "IN Instrumentation" field. This will find articles that used a particular test.
  • ERIC (EBSCO): Type "tests/questionnaires" in one of the search boxes, and select Publication Type from the drop-down menu to the right of the search box to search for tests. Add keywords via additional search boxes.
  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Abstracts and Index
    Tests may be included as part of a dissertation/theses.

Open Access Repositories

Open access repositories are a growing resource for accessing test measures, for example:


Search the catalogue by these subject headings for books about and/or including tests and measures:

Sample of books from the above searches:

Note: There is no definitive way to identify books in the Library Catalogue that contain tests.

Featured Resources

Sage research methods online (SRMO) Includes 600+ books on research methodologies

Book series: Essentials of Psychological Assessment (1991-2021)

Departmental collections

University of British Columbia holds a collection of standardized tests at the Psychoeducational Research and Training Centre (PRTC) within the Faculty of Education. Professional members of the SFU community may use this collection under some circumstances, but you should contact the Centre first. The collection is restricted to "qualified UBC faculty and students, but professionals can make arrangements to review materials at the Centre".

Citing psychological tests

The APA blog outlines the format for citing a Psychological test or measure. APA prescribes the general APA syntax for citing a test or measure:

Who (Author) - When (Date) - What (Title) [format note] - Where (Place)

A distinction on whether you are citing the database record for a test, or the test itself is made by writing [Database record] or [Measurement instrument] in square brackets after the test's title.

Note that older citations for print tests (pre-internet) can look exactly like the citation for a book. This can be confusing when tracking down citations. If unclear, you can trying search PsycTESTS or WorldCat to elicit more information.