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What the ASVAB Means to You? | Marco O'Brien

Everybody has taken tests; many of us have taken more than we can even remember. There are few tests are as important as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery or ASVAB. What is the ASVAB? Why is the ASVAB so important? And what if anything can you do to prepare?

The ASVAB s a series of tests testing your knowledge and aptitude in the following subjects: Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, General Science, Auto & Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension, Electronics Information, and Assembling Objects. There are currently three versions of the ASVAB – the one given by high schools, two given by Armed Forces Recruiters. The test results from any one of them can be used for military recruiting purposes.

High School Version. This paper-based version of the ASVAB is commonly given to high school juniors and seniors through a cooperative program between the Department of Defense and the Department of Education. The primary purpose of this test is not for enlistment in the military (although the test scores can be used for military enlistment). The primary purpose of this test is to help school counselors and students discover where a student's basic aptitude lies. An advantage of taking the test in high school is most of the information your tested on is fresh in your mind and you do not have to visit the recruiting office to take it.
Paper ASVAB for Recruiting. This version is given by the Armed Forces for enlistment purposes only. While the questions on the high school version and the recruiting version are different, they are equal in difficulty. The paper test is still widely used and is given at Military Exam Test (MET) Sites. Times and locations vary by area so check with your local recruiter.

CAT-ASVAB. The third version of the test is the CAT-ASVAB. As each question is answered on the computer screen, the computer automatically selects the next question. On the CAT-ASVAB, when one gets an answer right, the computer automatically selects a more difficult question (worth more points). If one gets a question wrong, the computer selects an easier question next.

The ASVAB is not an IQ test. It does not measure your intelligence. This battery of tests was designed specifically to measure your aptitude to be trained to perform specific jobs.

So what does the ASVAB mean to you? Your score on the ASVAB is one of the determining factors for getting into the military. It is a test that is worth preparing for, worth trying your best on, and worth retaking if you happen to fall a bit short. Your overall score is called your “QT” score; this score is the important score for entrance into the military. Once your QT score is at or above the minimum required to join a particular service then your line scores are used to determine the jobs that best suit you. Each branch uses the same ASVAB, however they use different line scores to determine job qualifications. Preparation is the key to scoring well on the ASVAB – check out the ASVAB Practice Tests, visit your local library or bookstore for an ASVAB study guide, and talk to your recruiter. A recruiter can give you all the particulars about the test; when and where it is given and what you need to bring to the test.

It all starts by contacting a recruiter; they are standing by to answer your questions about starting a career in the military.

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