Using situational judgment tests (SJTs) in the selection process of prospective teachers

In brief

  • Non-cognitive attributes (motivation, personality, resilience, interpersonal skills) play an important role in effective teaching
  • SJTs provide a cost-effective, valid and innovative method to assess non-cognitive attributes of prospective teachers
  • Development of an SJT for prospective teacher selection is currently underway

A convincing body of evidence shows that teachers are the most significant in-school influence on student achievement. The process of selecting the most effective future teachers has implications not only for individual applicants and education systems, but for society as a whole.

Latest News & Publications

The Guardian published an article written by Professor Rob Klassen, outlining the importance of teacher selection, and exploring the latest research into the traits of successful teachers, and how this could inform recruitment. Read the full article here.

Teacher Selection Project Brochure

Publications and Conference Presentations 


Professor Rob Klassen talks about using situational judgement tests

More about the theory and research  »

The Team and Collaborators Behind the Research

Researchers from the Psychology in Education Research Centre (PERC) at the University of York are working with Work Psychology Group to develop a reliable, valid, practical and evidence-supported SJT. Results show our pilot SJT exhibits excellent psychometric properties and is significantly correlated with interview criteria, meaning that the test may be useful for initial screening of non-cognitive attributes.  Initial results demonstrate the feasibility of the approach and provide a robust rationale for extending the work on a wider platform.

Our work has now been extended to Australia, Canada, Finland, Ireland, and Oman with a number of teacher training providers and education authorities involved in development of locally-relevant content and norms. Further development of SJTs to reflect the differential non-cognitive attributes necessary for success in primary and secondary settings is in development.

Rob Klassen - Lead Researcher

Rob Klassen

Lead Researcher

Professor and Chair
Psychology in Education Research Centre
University of York, UK


  • Cambridge University (England)
  • University of Jyväskylä (Finland)
  • Liverpool Hope University (England)
  • Stranmillis University College (Ireland)
  • Strathclyde University, (Scotland)
  • Teach First, (England)
  • Ministry of Education and Science (Lithuania)
  • New South Wales Dept of Education (Australia)