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There are many versions of the ASVAB (although you probably won't have a choice which one to take). , but they have two main differences: the paper version and the computerized version. Each version has advantages and disadvantages.

If you are taking up ASVAB as part of the high school student program or if you are already in the military and retaking ASVAB to qualify for another job, you can take the paper version.

If you take the ASVAB with you into the military, take the ASVAB draft. This version is available on paper and via computer. There is a great chance you are using the computerized version (CAT-ASVAB) because to save time and money, the recruitment services often send applicants to the nearest Military Entry Station (MEPS) to investigate, investigate and recruit . One-stop shopping). MEPS only uses the computerized version, so you know you will not be using the paper version if you plan to take the ASVAB at MEPS.

If you are committed to taking the test on paper, ask your hiring manager if there is a Mobile Examination Test (MET) location nearby. Approximately 685 MET locations are located across the United States.

The advantages and disadvantages of the paper version

Modern technology is not always better. Using the pencil and paper version of the ASVAB can provide you with a number of benefits:

  • You can skip questions you don't know the answer to and come back to them later. This option can be useful when you are racing against the clock and want to get as many responses as possible. You can change an answer for the sub-test you are currently working on, but you cannot change an answer to a sub-test after that sub-test times out.
  • You are not allowed to score any points in the exam brochure. However, you can take notes on your note paper. If you skip a question, you can slightly circle the item number on your answer sheet to remind yourself to go back to it. If you don't know the answer to a question, you can mentally cross the answers that seem unlikely or incorrect, and then guess based on the remaining answers. Be sure to erase any scatter marks on your Answer Sheet.

Killing trees isn't the only downside to the paper-based test. Other disadvantages are:

  • More difficult questions are randomly mixed up with easier questions. This means you can spend too much time trying to find the answer to a question that is too difficult for you and possibly fail to answer some simpler questions at the end of the subtest, lowering your overall score.
  • The paper answer sheets are graded using an optical mark scanning machine. The machine goes wrong when it comes across an incomplete answer circle or a stray pencil mark, and often stubbornly refuses to give you credit even if you answered correctly.
  • It can seem like it takes forever. The timeline varies. However, your recruiter will have access to your score no later than 72 hours (3 days) after completing the test (not counting which days the MEPS is not working, e.g. weekend days or holidays).

The pros and cons of the computerized test

The computerized version of the ASVAB, called the computer-adaptive exam, or CAT-ASVAB, contains questions similar to the paper version, but the questions are presented in a different order. The CAT-ASVAB adapts the questions it offers you based on your level of knowledge (this is why it is called adaptive). Translation: The first test is difficult on average. If you answer this question correctly, the next question becomes more difficult. If you answer it wrong, the computer will give you an easier question. In contrast, on the ASVAB paper, hard and simple questions are presented at random.

The CAT-ASVAB also has significantly fewer questions than the pencil-and-paper version of the test, although the questions tend to be a bit tougher, which tends to lead to the same results (level of knowledge).

Military recruiters have found that among applicants who have used both the paper-based and computerized versions of the ASVAB, many applicants tend to score slightly higher on the computerized version of the test.

You don't have to be a computer guru to appreciate the benefits of the computerized version of the ASVAB:

  • It is impossible to write your answer in the wrong place on the answer sheet. Questions and possible answers are displayed on the screen and you press the key that corresponds to your answer choice before moving on to the next question. Often times only the A, B, C, and D buttons are activated when you run the test.
  • The difficulty of the presented test objects depends on whether you answered the previous question correctly. For ASVAB's two math subtests, harder questions are worth more points than easier questions, so this method will help maximize your AFQT score.
  • You get your scores instantly. The computer automatically calculates and prints your standard values ​​for each subtest and your line values ​​for each service branch. This machine is a pretty smart cookie - it also calculates your AFQT percentile value instantly. Typically, you will know if you qualify for military service the same day you take the test, and if so, which posts you qualify for.

On the other hand, you cannot skip questions or change your answers after entering them on the CAT-ASVAB. Instead of being able to answer all of the questions, you have to answer each question as it comes, which can make it difficult to gauge how much time to spend on a difficult question before guessing and moving on. If you have a few minutes at the end of the test, there is no way you can go back and make sure you marked the correct answer for each question.