Predictors of performance on the Certified Professional Secretaries Examination

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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which scores on the Certified Professional Secretaries® Examination could be predicted by selected education, work experience, test preparation, and demographic variables. A secondary purpose was to develop descriptive profiles of candidates who passed and who failed to pass on their first attempt on the new three-part CPS® Examination.

The independent variable categories were education, work experience, test preparation, and demographics of professional associations, work status, and salary. The dependent variables were the scores on the three parts of the May 1995 CPS® Examination.

The sample in the study consisted of 300 randomly selected examination candidates, 150 from the pass group and 150 from the fail group, of the May 1995 CPS® Examination. Data were collected by having Professional Secretaries International® mail a questionnaire to the candidates to ensure anonymity. After three questionnaire mailings and a postcard follow up, seventy-nine percent (79%) of the questionnaires were returned.

Data analyses were completed by using both descriptive and regression statistics. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample and revealed some striking similarities between the pass and fail groups. Regression analyses were used to examine ability of the variables selected for inclusion in this study to predicting performance on the Certified Professional Secretaries® (CPS®) Examination. The extensive regression analyses on the nationally representative sample of candidates included in the present study, however, revealed only limited statistical significance in the final equations. It was therefore concluded that based on these findings, the selected variables do not have practical utility for predicting future performance on the CPS® Examination.



occupation, examination, certification, professional, secretaries