I quoted one section but the article covers a lot more. It was written by a six-year screener @ SNA. Labor Notes: Scrutinizing the Scrutinizers: Airport Screeners Dislike Pass-Fail Tests Currently TSA officers are subjected to three separate tests to ensure competence. It often takes nearly half a year to assess each officer.The consequence for failing any one of these tests is termination. Two of the three have been highly criticized by TSA officers: a practical skills examination (PSE) and a quiz called the Screening Operations Procedures Assessment (SOPA). The third test is an X-ray imaging test called the Image Mastery Assessment.The PSE is a hands-on demonstration of various procedures officers do at airport checkpoints, like pat-downs and bag checks. Officers are in a room with two management-appointed testers and must demonstrate proficiency and commit no so-called “critical errors.” A critical error results in a failure.The controversy among TSA officers is that if an officer claims to have done a complete procedure but the management-assigned tester says he did not, the tester’s word is taken. Calls to have the examination videotaped to allow an “instant replay” have been road-blocked.The SOPA is a 30-or-more-question, multiple-choice quiz. It is controversial among TSA officers because many questions are ambiguous, making it tricky to identify the best answer, and because some questions don’t seem relevant to security in the first place.Federal law prohibits citing an example, since the test questions are labeled Sensitive Security Information. But imagine a police officer being quizzed: How many officers can pursue a suspect? Imagine the police officer‘s rulebook being so sloppily written that in one section one answer is given but another section with a different scenario gives a different answer. What is the officer to mark as a reply?Checkpoint TSA officers get one quiz; baggage TSA officers another; “dual function” officers get more questions. Missing a percentage of answers means failure.The X-ray imaging test is less controversial. At many airports, officers are allowed to practice on TSA software to prepare. (While there is equivalent preparation for the PSE, none exists for the SOPA.) However, the preparation software is to the actual X-ray test as a Dr. Seuss book is to a John Steinbeck novel. And the difficulty of the tests seems only to increase.Again, failure to identify a percentage of images correctly is a failure. This seems like a reasonable consequence for TSA officers hired to screen passengers and baggage, but I am reminded of my college biology course. The professor made it clear from day one that this biology course was for liberal arts and fine arts students, not for aspiring doctors. It was to meet a university requirement and to give us a good foundation in science. If this same professor had given us as a final exam his tests from his pre-med course, we would have largely failed.Does the TSA want liberal arts students or pre-meds? The hiring, training, and tests need to conform to clear standards....Which begs basic questions about the testing protocols. If the TSA were really that concerned with competence, wouldn’t it recruit former law enforcement officers, explosives experts, and military police, and pay them commensurate to their skills—rather than hire young high-school graduates and then submit them to a battery of tests?