The ASVAB: What's It All About?

The ASVAB: What’s It All About?

The ASVAB is a multiple choice test used to determine a candidate’s aptitude for service in one of the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. “ASVAB” is an acronym that stands for “Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery”, a term employed by the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command since the introduction of the test in 1968.

The ASVAB consists of several timed sections: General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronics Information, Automotive and Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension, and Assembling Objects. Each section contains a number of multiple-choice questions that can be answered within allotted time frames. The total time given for each test is 3 hours. A score is given to each test-taker, from a scale of 1 to 100. The test is weighted such that a score of 50 means that the test-taker performed better than 50% of all other people who took the test that year. A score of 50 or higher is required for entrance into most branches of the military, except for the Army, Army National Guard, and Marines, who accept candidates with lower scores. Somewhat higher scores are required from applicants who have a GED than for high school graduates.

The ASVAB that we know today evolved from a series of tests developed by the Department of Defense following World War II. The purpose of the test was to evaluate the mental aptitude of Armed Forces draftees, thereby channeling candidates to positions where they would be most successful. The test has had many revisions over the past several decades but has existed in its present form for a decade. Though we no longer have the draft in the United States, the ASVAB is currently administered to all U.S. high-schoolers in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. For those students not intending to enter the military, the test serves as a tool for high school guidance counselors to give better advice for career and continuing education.

The military employs new recruits in dozens of career capacities. The possibilities are varied and often very lucrative. For instance, college graduates can enjoy salaries in excess of $100,000 a year in fields as diverse as medical and healthcare, engineering, and political science. For servicemen who enter the Armed Forces straight out of high school, the possibilities are equally diverse. They can work as court reporters, medical assistants, and in special agent positions, to name just a few. They will acquire on-the-job training, qualifying with little or no work experience. Compensation equals and often betters career options available outside the military.

A career in the military is an excellent choice for tens of thousands of young people around the country. Not only is it a career path with some of the greatest job security anywhere, the military also makes provision for health insurance, housing, tuition support, and 30 days of paid vacation every year. Recruits will enjoy the advancements that come with experience and training, as well as the benefits that continue long after their career with the military comes to an end. For career options as diverse as those offered by the military, the ASVAB is a valuable resource. It is perfect for those who are sure that the Armed Forces is for them as well as for those who simply want to know more about their options. Talk to a recruiter today about a location near you where you can take the ASVAB and kick-start your future.

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