The Air Force has long recognized the importance of selecting the most qualified officers possible. For more than 60 years, it has relied on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) as one measure of those qualifications. A variety of concerns have been raised about whether the AFOQT is biased, too expensive, or even valid for predicting officer success. The authors conducted a literature search to answer these concerns. They conclude that the AFOQT is a good selection test that predicts important Air Force outcomes and is not biased against minorities or women. The Air Force would not benefit by replacing the AFOQT with the SAT primarily because it would still have to administer subtests that measure specific aptitudes and knowledge needed for predicting pilot and combat systems officer success. However, other valid selection tools, such as personality tests, could be used to complement the AFOQT.
The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.
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