Historical & General Background
For almost half a century, the U.S. military has been a pioneer in the use of aptitude tests to select individuals with sufficient skills and abilities to absorb military training, adjust to military life, and become successful military members (“History”, n.d.). The Army’s screening of recruits began in World War I, with the Army Alpha and Army Beta Tests, which were replaced with the Army General Classification Test during World War II. When Congress passed the Selective Service Act in 1948, the Department of Defense (DoD) developed the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) in response to Congress’ mandate that a uniform screening test to be used by all services be developed (‘Armed Services,’ 2014). In the 1960’s, DoD decided to develop a standardized military selection and classification test and administer it throughout U.S. high schools. In 1968, the DoD began administering the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery free of charge to interested 10th, 11th and 12th grade students and to students in postsecondary schools as a means to help provide enlistment eligibility information for military service (Armstrong, Chalupsky, McLaughlin, & Dalldorf, 1988), but it wasn’t used for military recruiting until a few years later. As of 1976, three years after the draft ended, the ASVAB was adopted as the single selection and classification battery for enlistment testing, and is administered to all potential recruits, with the results used to determine enlistment eligibility, job placement and the awarding of enlistment bonuses (‘Armed Services,’ 2014; Center, 2009). Table 1 lists and describes the ten different areas scored by the ASVAB.
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... the Army and the taxpayer suffer when the course prerequisites (the Army’s electronics composite score) don’t accurately reflect a necessary level of knowledge and/or proficiency necessary to be successful in the course and subsequently in the career field as a whole.
Summary of Literature Reviewed
The overall result is that in order for recruits to be successful in training and throughout their career, they must meet the prerequisites that have been proven to predict success necessary for that field. Those prerequisites, however, must be valid, which requires them to be aligned with the training objectives. If the current minimum composite electronics line score is an inadequate measure of the baseline recruits need to have prior to being assigned an electrical-heavy MOS, the Army needs to conduct a needs analysis to determine what that score should be.
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