Tests of subject-specific knowledge (mathematics, physics, and English as aforeign language for non-English-speaking countries) are commonly used in testbatteries for the selection of ab initio pilots – for example, the AirForce Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) or the German Aerospace Center (DLR)assessment. However, in validity research, knowledge tests are oftenunderrepresented. This study evaluated the predictive validity of knowledgetests compared with cognitive ability tests and school grades. The validitycriterion was the outcome of pilot training (pass/fail) of a preselectedgroup of applicants (N = 402) who completed a 2-year flighttraining program. The predictive validity of the entire test battery wasr = .55. Cognitive ability tests, knowledge tests, andschool grades emerged as comparably valid predictors. These findings arediscussed in the framework of Cattell’s theory of fluid and crystallizedintelligence, suggesting that knowledge tests are predictively valid becausethey are indicators of motivation and of being a good learner.
Aviation Psychology and Applied Human Factors – American Psychological Association
Published: Nov 17, 2014