Factors affecting performance on the certified professional secretary examination
Craig, Frances Marie
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The Certified Professional Secretary Examination was established by The National Secretaries Association (International) for the purpose of certifying the standing of the secretary as one means of elevating the standards of the secretarial profession. The first CPS examination was given in 1951, and in 1954 Bonnie Allen Lockwood made a study of the characteristics of the Certified Professional Secretaries. The present study was a follow-up study to determine if the factors of (1) level of past work experience, (2) extent of higher education, (3) present age-salary status, and (4) present work level, which the Lockwood study found to be important, were still operative and could be considered as effective predictors of success on the CPS examination. In addition, the present study was to determine if the factor of assistance from the employer had any effect on success on the CPS examination. The present study covered a random sample of the candidates from the 1968 CPS examination. The information was developed through the use of questionnaires sent to two groups of candidates—those who had certified following the CPS examination and those who had passed two, or fewer than two, sections of it. The replies were tabulated by the use of the computer. The information developed covered the general background, educational background, and work experience background of the candidates. The biserial coefficient of correlation was used to determine the significance of the findings. No correlation was found between the level of past work experience and success in passing the CPS examination, although there was some indication that experience in the job classifications of "secretary" and "executive secretary" was more valuable than other types of experience. No correlation between the extent of higher education and success in passing the CPS examination was developed. However, there was an indication that education at regular academic Institutions which was directly related to one of the six sections of the CPS examination was helpful, CPS refresher courses taken at the junior college level seemed to be particularly valuable. No correlation was found between present age-salary status and success in passing the CPS examination. While the certified secretaries made higher salaries at a younger age than the secretaries who failed to certify, the differences were so slight they were insignificant. No correlation existed between present work level and success in passing the CPS examination, although employment in the job classification of "executive secretary" seemed desirable. No correlation was discovered between assistance by the employer and success in passing the CPS examination. However, there was a strong indication that the majority of employers were interested in the CPS examination and encouraged their secretaries to take it.