Non-cognitive selection tests for student-teacher candidates


Assessing the suitability of teacher-education candidates based on non-cognitive measures.

Introduced in 2015, MESILA is an innovative screening system that considers the candidates’ personality characteristics in addition to their cognitive abilities. A multi-national review of selection batteries revealed that although suitable personality characteristics are vital for success, the entrance criteria for most teacher-education programs are based solely on cognitive measures such as matriculation scores, GPA, or psychometric entrance exams.

This innovative program was developed in response to a growing need for a screening system that addresses both the personal and professional suitability of candidates for teacher-education studies. It allows admissions officers to look at the candidate’s personality, tendencies, behaviors, values, motivations, expectations, and interpersonal abilities. A report is produced for each candidate, which includes sub-grades in seven indices and a general suitability score for teaching.

The MESILA screening process includes interactive group dynamic exercises and simulations that are assessed in real time by the evaluation team, a semi-structured interpersonal interview, peer ratings, personality measures, a situational judgement test, and a biographical questionnaire.

Our research findings show that MESILA succeeds in predicting academic success, pre-service education success, and lack of dropout from teacher education studies. These findings highlight the contribution of personality screening to predicting success in teaching studies.