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Test-specificity of the advantage of retaking cognitive ability tests

Abstract : In selection settings, when people retake the same cognitive ability tests, scores are generally positively biased. Our approach aimed to test whether these previous exposure effects are test-specific or transferable to other tests. We compared the differences between scores for first-time test takers and retakers for 2 kinds of material: "old" tests, known only to the retakers, and "new" tests, unknown to both groups. The current study used data collected during 2 sessions -S and S+1- of a selection process for entry into the French national air transport pilot training system, with at least 500 first-time test takers and 130 retakers in each session. For Session S, on average, retakers scored higher on the "old" tests, but not on the "new" tests. Moreover, the material that was new to retakers at Session S was old at Session S+1, and the finding for old tests could be replicated at Session S+1. The finding that the acquired skills that led to higher scores on old tests were only test-specific is discussed.
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Nadine Matton, Stéphane Vautier, Éric Raufaste. Test-specificity of the advantage of retaking cognitive ability tests. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Wiley, 2011, 19 (1), pp 11-17. ⟨10.1111/j.1468-2389.2011.00530.x⟩. ⟨hal-01021627⟩

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