A wide variety of tests are available to determine the physical ability of the human body and the likelihood of success or failure in work or sports human performance. Well-defined tests can be used to eliminate unsafe conditions, as in the case of medical fitness for airline or military pilots, real-time DUI tests for drivers or drug testing that looks for a history of substance abuse. Tests can be used to determine health status or detect disease and tests can be used to evaluate progress of treatment, rehabilitation, physical conditioning and sports-specific training. Many tests are designed to find the best candidates for a team or workforce. Subjects may be tested serially, one at a time with appointments or in groups (in parallel), as in testing for sports teams, such as baseball showcases or the NFL Combine.
Tests may target a complex human performance, a standardized fitness-related performance, a particular organ’s function (heart, lung, thyroid, brain, kidney) or the presence or level of a single mineral, nutritional substance, hormone, drug or other chemical status. Tests may also determine the speed of a complex human performance, the speed of a simple task, the rate of organ performance, or the rate of a chemical or nutritional process.
Test results can produce an objective numerical value or reference range that usually can classify the result as pass/fail, normal or abnormal or in other cases below average, average, above average and excellent.
Subjective tests can use observation and evaluate holistic properties, such as structural integrity, coordination, individual awareness, team awareness, personality, attitude, creativity, adaptability and other complex actions during testing and performance.
Testing can have legal ramifications when subjects challenge the safety of the test, the validity of the test, the fairness of the test and the objectivity or lack of bias (e.g., racial, sexual) in the test.