Cover: Estimating AFQT Scores for National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS) Respondents

Estimating AFQT Scores for National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS) Respondents

Published 1998

by M. Rebecca Kilburn, Lawrence M. Hanser, Jacob Alex Klerman


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback69 pages $25.00

This is the first report of a two-part project that estimates the determinants of individual enlistment decisions using the 1992 and 1994 waves of the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS). The authors estimate AFQT scores for NELS respondents using test scores reported in the 1992 NELS, test score trends from the 1978-1992 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and the sample in the 1980 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) that was used to norm the AFQT. Percentile scores on the NELS tests are equated to percentile scores on the AFQT in the NLSY with an adjustment to reflect test score trends observed in the NAEP over the period 1980-1992. In addition to estimating AFQT scores for NELS respondents, the authors examine test score trends between 1980 and 1992 to draw implications for recruiting policy. The evidence suggests that concerns that a rising share of minorities in the youth population will result in a decline in the potential supply of high-quality youth are unwarranted. Even though minorities in the early 1990s continued to score lower than average on the AFQT, the growth in their population share was outweighed by their greater-than-average test score growth during the 1980s and early 1990s. The net result of these countervailing trends was that a larger fraction of minorities were estimated to be high-quality potential recruits and that the share of the entire high school senior population scoring in that range was largely unchanged.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.