The ITB as an affiliated institute of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
It all began with talent research and the development of tests
In 1971, the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes founded its own “Institute for Test and Talent Research”, or ITB for short. In this way, ITB became a pioneer in the German-speaking world in the field of research on giftedness and the selection of students using test procedures. The institute quickly attracted the interest of universities and other educational organisations with its well-founded scientific work as well as the innovative concepts based thereon. On behalf of the Federal Government, the Länder and other public institutions, the ITB psychologists developed selection and counselling tests and self-assessments for potential students. These include, for example, the Test for Medical Study Programmes (TMS) – a project that at the time was not only scientifically but also politically exciting. The TMS is currently still one of the most significant study aptitude tests in Germany. Almost half a million applicants have now taken the test.
Moving from science to business
By the mid-1980s, the Institute had also acquired such a good reputation beyond the university landscape that even renowned companies became aware of the ITB. The scientific findings on the selection of students were also to be applied to selection procedures for employees and managers. The ITB was thus also engaged to develop test and assessment centre procedures for companies.
The expansion of the range of tasks led to the Institute becoming ITB GmbH in 1992, officially ITB Consulting GmbH in 2000. The four founders, Dr. Franz Blum, Dr. Ernst Fay, Dr. Ulla Maichle and Prof. Dr. Günter Trost, aimed to share their expertise and experience with a broader target group. Despite the expansion of the range of tasks, new customers and a new entrepreneurial legal form, the ITB has always remained true to its scientific approach and foundation as well as to the development and implementation of selection procedures in the educational sector.
The two business areas – Academic Tests and Company Solutions – continue to exist side by side on an equal footing. In the years since the foundation of the GmbH, both areas have been strengthened and expanded.
In the area of Academic Tests, the Institute for Test and Talent Research develops numerous other aptitude tests and selection procedures for scholarship holders in addition to the TMS, and conducts research on talent and aptitude together with scientists from the field of psychological aptitude diagnostics. The focus continues to be on the prognosis of academic success and the design of aptitude tests. Furthermore, we are looking for innovations with which we can optimise our procedures and make them fit for the future. Many of our tests are up-to-date online tests supervised in test centres or with the help of proctoring.
In the Company Solutions division, we consult organisations on all questions relating to personnel selection and personnel development – starting with procedures for trainees up to procedures for managers.
Synergies through the combination of both areas
The linkage of the two business areas creates numerous synergies and both areas can benefit from each other. For example, the Institute for Test and Talent Research provides consultancy services for corporate solutions through scientific advice and accompanying research. Through its cooperation with companies, the ITB is familiar with the requirements that future employers place on graduates and always keeps abreast of the latest developments. In the case of new developments, e.g. technological and digital, in the area of company solutions, these are also available to the Institute