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Frequently Asked Questions Assessment Policy

How do I create occupational questionnaire items?

The goal of writing occupational questionnaire questions, or items, is to write them in terms of observable and verifiable behaviors.  One tip is to use a strong action verb to begin the item (e.g., ‘writes’ instead of ‘develops’, ‘assembles’ instead of ‘prepares’).  Also, specificity is critical; therefore, you will want to write the item so that it is very clear to the applicant what you mean by someone being an expert in, for example, computer programming.

Writing items is an art and it does take time, effort, and practice to write quality items.  We suggest having other people (hiring manger, job incumbents, etc.) review the items to ensure they are written clearly and are valid.  

If you have additional questions regarding occupational questionnaires, please contact us at Assessment_Information@opm.gov


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