Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The ASVAB is the most widely used multiple-aptitude test in the world. There are three versions. Approximately 900,000 students take the high school version of ASVAB each year. The test is offered at more than 13,000 high schools and post secondary schools in the United States.
Proctors monitor the 186 juniors and seniors who took the ASVAB Tuesday morning. Courier photo
The ASVAB, introduced in 1968, was originally designed to predict future academic and occupational success in military occupations. According to asvabprogram.com, "Numerous validation studies indicate the ASVAB assesses academic ability and predicts success in a wide variety of occupations."
Logan Junior Aimee Silva took the test Tuesday because "my mom wanted me to." Like many who took the test, Silva said she doesn't "plan on going to war and the military," but she called taking the test "a good experience."
Silva, an honors student, said she "breezed through the math and english portions of the test, but "didn't know anything about the parts on cars and electrical things."
The test period, which started at 8:05 and ended near midday, "went by pretty fast," she said.
According to ASVABprogram.com, "Several composite scores are formed from different combinations of ASVAB test scores. Three composites, or Career Exploration Scores, are provided specifically to help students engage in career exploration. These scores help students to get a good sense of their verbal, math, and science and technical skills compared to other students in the same grade.
"ASVAB results are reported to students and counselors on the ASVAB Summary Results sheet. This report shows grade-specific, gender-specific, and combined standard scores and score bands for all eight tests and three Career Exploration Scores. It also provides students with percentile-based interpretations of those scores. The ASVAB Summary Results sheet provides students with appropriate explanations of the scores, as well as suggestions for their use."
According to about.com, "There are currently three versions of the ASVAB. Results from any one of them can be used for military recruiting purposes.
High School Version. The "High School Version" is officially called "Form 18/19." It's a paper-based ASVAB commonly given to juniors and seniors in high school 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.
Paper ASVAB for Recruiting. The paper version of the ASVAB used for military recruiting is officially known as "Forms 20-22." This version, little used now, 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.
CAT-ASVAB. The third version of the test is the CAT-ASVAB, which is a computerized version of the Forms 20-22 ASVAB. Most people score better on the CAT-ASVAB than on the paper versions because the mathematics knowledge and arithmetic reasoning questions on the ASVAB are "weighted," with harder questions worth more points than easier questions. When a correct answer is given, the computer automatically selects a more difficult question worth more points. After an incorrect answer, the computer selects an easier question for the next question.
The ASVAB contains nine separately timed sub-tests:
General Science - 25 questions with an 11 minute time-limit.
Arithmetic Reasoning - 16 questions with a 36 minute time-limit.
Word Knowledge - 35 questions with an 11 minute time-limit.
Paragraph Comprehension - 15 questions with a 13 minute time-limit.
Auto & Shop - 25 questions with an 11 minute time-limit.
Mathematics Knowledge - 25 questions with a 24 minute time-limit.
Mechanical Comprehension - 25 questions with a 19 minute time-limit.
Electronics Information - 20 questions with a 9 minute time-limit.
Assembling Objects - 16 questions with a 9 minute time-limit.