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Alpha and Beta Testing

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The United States military has been using testing of people trying to enter the military for many years. In 1917-1918, the Army Alpha and Army Beta tests were developed so that military commanders could have some measure of the ability of their personnel

The tests were administered to groups of people and tested their verbal ability and their abilities to follow the orders that they were given. The commanders had to know what they were going to war with. The other part of the test, the Army Beta was used to test the uneducated. People who had not been drafted and spoke no English or who just volunteered.

According to Gulliksen (1987), "both the Army Alpha and Army Beta were recognized as prototypes for subsequent group administered cognitive ability tests. Over the course World War I, some 1.5 million recruits were given tests to identify those who were capable of serving, to classify them into military jobs, and to select those who appeared to be candidates for leadership positions." Before the beginning of World War II the Army General Classification Test (AGCT) and the Navy General Classification Test (NGCT) were used in the place of the alpha and beta tests.

In the early 1950's the military returned to using the single test. It was used to measure how military trainees would absorb the information and training that they were giving. It tested them on their ability to apply the information to everyday military life. The Army had a number of recruits to take the test to get some analysis from to see how well the test took information from the educated and he non English speaking recruits. After the war was over the information that was taken and analyzed and to the amazement of the researchers the average recruit had the mental capacity of a 13 year old.

According to Welsh, Kucinkas, & Curran (1990), "In 1976, the ASVAB was first used by all of the Services for selection and classification. Since 1976, a variety of content changes have been introduced to the test. In 1979, the Department of Defense initiated a joint Service project to develop and evaluate the feasibility of implementing a computer adaptive version of the ASVAB. It was the first high scale adaptive test battery to be administered in a high stakes setting since the use of the Army alpha and beta test.

As each year of the military passed researchers found different ways to administer test to military personnel. With the rest of the test that were used not measuring up to the alpha and beta test they went away from using them. That brings us to the test that we us today the ASVAB. After years of research it was found to be the most effective and do some of the same things as the alpha and beta test did but with better results.

The test showed that females out performed males in the coding speed, numerical operations, and paragraph comprehension. While the males outperformed

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