Accession Number:



Summary of Literature Review of Item Exposure, Test Security, and Forensics for the Weighted Airman Promotion System (WAPS)

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,02 Jan 2018,19 Apr 2019

Corporate Author:

Human Resources Research Organization Alexandria United States

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The U.S. Air Force AF uses the Specialty Knowledge Test SKT and Promotion Fitness Examination PFE as part of its Weighted Airman Promotion System WAPS. These tests are presently administered once per year for pay grades E-5 Staff Sergeant and E-6 Technical Sergeant. Because candidates for promotion not selected during their first year of eligibility can retest as long as they remain eligible for the targeted higher rank a period of 5 to 8 years, Airmen can complete the SKT or PFE on multiple occasions. Thus, promotion candidates could complete the SKT for E-6 as many as four to seven times. This leads to the likelihood that candidates will see some of the same test items upon re-administration. Elevated item exposure raises questions about the potential for test compromise for later test administrations provided to a given candidate. To help address AF concerns regarding the effects of item exposure on WAPS test performance, HumRRO examined the testing literature concerning item exposure, test compromise, forensics to detect itemtest compromise, and test security in general. These topics are discussed in three sections a Test Security, Item Exposure, and Test Compromise b Test Forensics and c Recommendations.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: