Relevance. The article discusses the possibility of a new technique for testing the professional knowledge. This is a technique of "matrix testing" (or semantic scaling). In the introduction, the author introduces a distinctive system of constructs that allows to localize a new technique in the context of a number of traditional (testing method) and non-traditional methods of assessing educational achievements and professional knowledge.
Objective. The author has set the purpose to reveal potential of "semantic scaling" for a quantitative assessment (measurement) of student competence.
Method. The method of semantic scaling was applied by the author to scale sports with the help of special scales-criteria that denote different types of interaction between athletes and motivational regulation of their activities and thus turn the technique into "psychosemantic scaling". The study was conducted on 150 senior students of the faculty of psychology of MSU, who attended a special course of the author on "Psychology of competition".
Results. The main result (the insignificant correlation coefficient between the success of this technique and the total efficiency of students during the course) does not allow to conclude that the main goal is achieved. More interesting were the additional results from the application of this technique, namely: subset of sport species, obtained by cluster analysis, allow us to talk about the "psychological classification" of these species, or at least on the "psychosemantic classification". This classification is much closer to the classical "Olympic classification", but has a number of specific features.
Conclusion. The positive result of the study can be considered a high similarity of the obtained matrices with the reference matrix (ideal model), from which it can be concluded that the technique of "psychosemantic scaling" contributes to the conceptual learning of students-psychologists – their independent work on mastering the system of concepts in this subject area.