Technical Support Social & Behavioural Sciences (TOP)

Test sessions

What is a test session?

Test Sessions (‘testzittingen’), formally The Testweek, are part of the studies of all first year (‘propendeuse’) students of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam.

The first function of the Test Session is the performance of a large number of research oriented question-and-answer tests. The advantages of this approach are two-fold: Firstly there is a large amount of data collected for each subject, and secondly, a number of tests are repeated each year producing a degree of continuity of data collected,

The second function the Test Sessions is educational: Students learn something of psychological research by taking part.



The Research Group

The Test Session attracts about 450 students per year. The average age of participants is about 21 years and the male/female division is about 30/70. There are about 10% of participants whose mother-tongue is not Netherlands




The participants take part in six sessions of 1.20 hours each. 
Up to 2011 this was one pen-and-paper session and four sessions on the computer, each of three hours. From 2012 there are five sessions on the computer, and each session was reduced to two hours duration.

Up to 2014 the sessions take 2.15 hours each (15 minutes break included). From 2015 the sessions are shorted to 1.20 hours each. From 2015 the sessions are spread between the two semesters; three sessions in October/November and three sessions in February/March.


At the start of the first session each student receives test session number. Use of this number allows the participants to remain anonymous. 

Questions lists, test and experiments,

The computer session lend themselves to the performance of various tasks: Question lists, tests and experiments. The session can also provide:

·       Time limits for any task.

·       Random distribution of tasks across the group.

·       Use of sound and video material.

·       Test/Retest measurements.

·       Selection of subjects on the basis of demographic data,

* Should there be other criteria or requirements, then researchers should contact the Testzittingencoördinator ( in order to discuss what is possible.



Researchers are required to pay 6 eurocent per subject per minute.


Ethical Requirements


As with any other research, the test sessions fall under the ethical requirements of the department. Each paricipanbt receives a test session number, which is the only means of identification of subjects. This protection of subjects’ identity allows researchers to ask personal questions. Further, the connection between test session numbers and data collected is protected in other to guarantee the anonymity of subjects.


4 August 2016