Yeah I was actually just talking to a former PJ (I'll leave his name out as he's rather well known) who's extensively involved with research with these kinds of things and his words:
"The TAPAS is an absolutely terrible testing platform. It has no ability to predict any success"
Also, interestingly enough, the indoc cadre claim they can literally talk to anyone for 5 minutes and tell if they're going to make it and have been right every single time. It's not something you can test didactically, it's just some kind of weird gut instinct an operator can sense. I wouldn't know as I'm only a cone and don't think I'm near that level yet but this is what they said. Brings up an interesting point as they have also said: how are you supposed to test that? You need special ops liaisons to conduct interviews and not have things like the TAPAS test. It would just be hard to orchestrate as no operator wants a job thats basically that of a recruiter and the career field is already undermanned. It would take quite a few PJ's for that. And they have to be the right PJ's. Interesting problem.
TAPAS has the same flaws all test lacking performance to competently completing a task have. Even the PAST has this flaw as individuals can do the required number of pushups, situps and rum and swim the required distances in the required times but still lack the ability to competently and/or the ability and/or willingness to do necessary tasks in the operational environment.
What is in disfavor is TAPAS has become excuse bitch.
Further in todays I'm being victimized by an unfair interviewer the lawyers and courts require scientifically validated measurements rather than interviewers opinions. Pararescue validated the TAPAS requirement during a five year research study. I talked to the Indoc folks when TAPAS was implemented and again just a few ago and was told TAPAS combined with PAST scores are pretty good in predicting aa TAPAS scores don't get seen until the student SIEs or is eliminated from training.
If you notice the PJ PAST is a bit more rigorous than the CCT/SOW, SERE, TACP, and EOD requirements. Why so? Because PJ operational environment is inclusive of mission need to be immediately placed as emergency response into six geographic disciplines: mountain, desert, arctic, urban, jungle and water, day or night, to include friendly, denied, hostile, or sensitive areas.
Further Pararescue is often there to provide assistance in and performs survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE). Whereas SERE develops, conducts, manages, and evaluates Formal SERE training and refresher SERE training.
If you notice PJ TAPAS requirement is 60 or better whereas:
SERE requires TAPAS score of 40 or better.
The twenty point difference has some connection to being responsible for the safety and leading of others in a field training or training exercise environment is less demanding than encountered in the operational mission environment. The twenty point difference has some connection to provides emergency trauma and field medical care, and security. Moves recovered personnel and materiel to safety or friendly control when recovery by aircraft is not possible is duress and demands for being competent, effective and proficient in a large inventory of takes and knowledge that requires possession of significant psychological and mental fitness in addition to significant physical fitness.
CCT/SOW and TACP require TAPAS Score of 30 or better.
From 1947 to present those not successful in completing any required course were, if the slot was available, was offered a chance to be SERE. Until 1988 CCT was also offered if the slot was available.
Since 1977 to present those not successful in completing any required course for award of PJ 3-skill level were, if the slot was available, was offered a chance to be TACP.
EOD PAST Requirement Published on Mar 24, 2016---It's been discontinued effective immediately.
FYI: The AF EOD PAST was implemented in January 2012 only as an AF EOD prerequisite for the Naval Ordinance Disposal Course at Eglin AFB, FL.
AF EOD implemented a PAST requirement only because more than half of the students that successfully made it through training could not pass the Air Force fitness test.
BTW: The Air Force EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL specialty (MOS) is not a Special Operations Forces gig, it's also not a Battlefield Airman AFSC.