The Alva Glossary

These are terms that you will often see when you use Alva

Kajsa Asplund avatar
Written by Kajsa Asplund
Updated over a week ago

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A sub-scale to one of the five factors in Alva's personality test. For instance, Assertiveness is one of the facets for the factor Extraversion.


A scale in Alva's personality test that captures a broad personality trait, in line with the five-factor model of personality.

Five-factor model of personality

The gold-standard model for how personality is structured and how it should be measured. Alva's personality test is based on this model. According to this model, personality consists of five broad traits, or factors, that are normally distributed in the population.


General mental ability (GMA)

The very broad, general capacity for learning new things, interpreting information, reasoning abstractly, and drawing correct conclusions. Sometimes also called general intelligence, the G factor, or general endowment. A test of logical ability is the best single metric to indicate someone's GMA, but logical ability is still a narrower capacity than GMA.


Job performance

All the aspects that make a person considered a high performer in, and good fit for, their work role. This includes both task performance and so-called organizational citizenship behavior, i.e., one's tendency to be a good colleague and do all of those things that are not part of one's job description. Job performance also includes the absence of counterproductive work behavior and premature turnover.

Logical ability

The capacity to handle information, think abstractly, solve problems, and learn new things quickly. This capacity has turned out to be the most effective predictor of future work performance. It is what we measure in Alva's logic test.


Matrix reasoning test

A widely used test format for measuring logical ability, which we also use in Alva's logic test. A matrix reasoning test presents the test-taker with a number of matrices containing abstract figures, and the task is to identify the pattern or rule according to which the figures appear. Based on this rule, you should pick the figure that should logically appear next in line.

Normal distribution

A distribution curve that occurs naturally in many cases, sometimes referred to as the bell curve. In a normal distribution, most of the cases end up around the average, i.e., in the middle of the scale, while the more extreme results are more rare. Logical ability and personality traits are both examples of characteristics that are normally distributed.



A statistical concept by which you divide a distribution into 100 equal groups. Using these numbers, you can then give an indication of a person's standing on this particular variable. For instance, if your result on a test is in the 63rd percentile, it means that 63 percent of the test takers have gotten a lower result than you. Alva uses percentile ranges to complement the 1-10 point results that you get on our tests.


Recurring patterns in behavior, thoughts, and emotion that are relatively stable over time and across situations โ€“ a person's natural character. Personality has consistently turned out to be predictive of job performance. Alva's personality test measures personality according to the five-factor model.


The general probability that a person will be able to take on an array of more complex roles in the future, and perhaps have a more accelerated career development than usual. At Alva, we define potential as having the broad, basic characteristics that drive success in a wide array of roles. Psychometric tests are usually a suitable way to identify potential.

Predictive power / predictive validity

The capacity of a certain metric or method to accurately predict an outcome in the future. In Alva's context, the outcome of interest is usually job performance. When we talk about predictive power, we usually talk about different selection methods' capacity to predict which candidates will do a good job in the future.


The science of measuring psychological phenomena in a quantitative way. A core part of psychometrics is the construction of tests of characteristics on which humans differ, such as personality and logical ability.


Having all (or almost all) of the critical experiences necessary to take on a specific, more complex role at the present moment. This is usually contrasted against potential, which is a broader concept. Readiness can be identified with e.g. structured interviews and case exercises.


A statistical concept that refers to the accuracy and replicability of a measurement. This is a key indicator of quality in psychometric tests: A test with good reliability will give the same result if a candidate takes it twice and have a small error margin.

Role fit

The matching score of a candidate's test results against a certain test profile, expressed in percentages. 100% role fit means that the candidate's results matches the profile completely.




A statistical concept that refers to the extent to which a certain measurement actually measures what it claims to measure. This is a key indicator of quality in psychometric tests. E.g., a valid logic test must be documented to measure logical ability, not miss any important aspect of logical ability, and not measure anything else than logical ability.

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