Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


First Advisor

James Bovaird

Date of this Version



Stevens, Jared T., "The Development of a Situational Judgment Test to Assess Collegiate Judgment: A Pilot Study" (2018). Public Access Theses and Dissertations from the College of Education and Human Sciences.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Psychology, Under the Supervision of Professor James A. Bovaird. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2018

Copyright (c) 2018 Jared T. Stevens


Traditionally, colleges and universities have focused primarily on cognitive predictors (e.g., ACT/SAT scores, high school GPA), and have struggled to find an accurate and objective way of measuring non-cognitive skills, often resorting to personality measures or interviews, or deciding not to measure them at all. Recently, there has been a push for alternative forms of student selection that result in less adverse impact and do not ignore important skills and traits that are necessary to be successful in college (Peeters & Lievens, 2005; Atkinson, 2001).

Growing evidence suggests Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs) may be one way to achieve this goal. SJTs are a type of psychological aptitude test in which respondents are presented with a short vignette/scenario about a particular situation, and are then asked to either rate the effectiveness of the responses (knowledge SJTs), or indicate what response the participant would choose if they were in that situation (behavioral tendency SJTs).

The current study collected pilot data from undergraduate students at a large Midwestern university. Students answered several SJT items, a measure of the Big 5 (Goldberg’s Big 5 Markers), and a small number of demographic items, including students’ GPA and standardized test scores (ACT/SAT). Students’ responses on the SJT items were compared with the other data collected to determine if there was validity evidence for the use of SJTs in predicting college GPA. The results provide evidence that SJTs may be useful for admissions departments to aid in the selection of students or for student retention and development.

Advisor: James A. Bovaird