School is back in session, and that means so are classes, homework and tests. While most high school juniors and seniors are preparing for the ACT or SAT, others are getting ready to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).
The ASVAB is a military aptitude test designed to determine whether or not a person is intellectually capable to join the military. However, this test can also benefit students who aren’t interested in joining the military. Many schools offer the ASVAB as a tool to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses in various academic areas so they can take that information into consideration when exploring future career options.
The ASVAB is composed of eight sub-tests:
• General Science
• Electronics Information
• Mechanical Comprehension
• Auto & Shop Information
• Arithmetic Reasoning
• Math Knowledge
• Word Knowledge
• Paragraph Comprehension
Like other standardized tests, each section is timed and receives an individual score, which is calculated into the overall composite score. By taking the ASVAB, students can pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses and then dedicate more study time to those areas in preparation for the ACT or SAT.
Students can retake the ASVAB at least three times to determine their level of improvement.Students may also consider taking the FYI (“Find Your Interest”), another test offered by the ASVAB program. The results are divided into six interest areas, which include Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. Various job opportunities are listed under each section, which, depending on the student’s score, serve as suggestions for future career choices.
Be Ready:How to prepare for the ASVAB:
• Be familiar with the eight sub-tests and their allotted time restrictions
.• Take online practice tests. 4Tests.com is a great resource, and this site also offers practice exams for the ACT and SAT.
Can the ASVAB help me even if I’m not interested in joining the military?
“Yes! The ASVAB Career Exploration Program is designed to be helpful to all students, whether they plan to enter the workforce right away or pursue further education at a university, community college or vocational institution. During School Year 2013-2014, over 690,000 students participated in our program. Of those students, 54 percent indicated they planned on attending some form of higher education after high school, 24 percent were undecided, 4 percent planned to go directly to work, while just 18 percent intended to purse a military career. The ASVAB CEP is all about helping students decide what they want to do, not where they want to do it.”- Robert Gaston, Education Services Specialist,Montgomery Military Entrance Processing Station
The ASVAB is administered throughout the year, though testing dates may vary by school. Testing materials are provided free of charge for both the students and the schools.