According to Military.com, there are three versions of the ASVAB. One, the CAT-ASVAB (CAT stands for Computerized Adaptive Test) is taken only on the computer and is available only at military processing stations for enlisting soldiers. The second type of ASVAB is the P&P ASVAB, which is the Paper and Pencil ASVAB. This test is also called the S-ASVAB on some websites. S stands for student. The paper and pencil ASVAB is for high school and college students who may never enlist. The third ASVAB is the MET-ASVAB (Mobile Examination Test), which is given only to enlisted soldiers at a mobile testing center.
The ASVAB is a timed test that measures your skills in a number of different areas. You complete questions that reveal your skills in paragraph comprehension, word knowledge, arithmetic reasoning and mathematics knowledge. These are basic skills that you will need as a member of the U.S. military. The score you receive on the ASVAB is factored into your Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score. This score is used to figure out whether you qualify to enlist in the armed services.
Arithmetic Reasoning tests the ability to solve basic arithmetic problems encountered in everyday life. One-step and multistep word problems require addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and choosing the correct order of operations when more than one step is necessary. The items include operations with whole numbers, operations with rational numbers, ratio and proportion, interest, percentage and measurement. Arithmetic Reasoning is one factor that helps characterize mathematics comprehension, and it also assesses logical thinking.
Non-Prior Service applicants with AFQT scores less than 50 must have a Tier I education status (i.e... Traditional high school diploma graduate, 15 semester hours of accredited college credit or other approved avenues - check with your Navy Recruiter for your education Tier status). If you are Prior Service, you may enlist with ASVAB scores obtained from your previous enlistment, regardless of your AFQT score, provided you are enlisting in the equivalent Navy job, or meet line score eligibility for the rating you are enlisting. Prior Service applicants not line score eligible shall be re-administered the ASVAB and processed with the new line scores, regardless of the AFQT score obtained. Other Service Veterans (OSVETS) with military training/skills directly convertible to a Navy rating may enlist in the directly convertible rating, regardless of your previous AFQT or line scores.
Word Knowledge (WK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Electronics Information (EI), Auto & Shop Information (AS), and Mechanical Comprehension (MC). These subtests focus on basic knowledge of science, math, writing and vocabulary, an understanding of structural development and mechanics, auto function and repair, and a knowledge of electric currents, electronic systems, and circuits. These are all skills and knowledge that are necessary for different sectors of military service. Scores in each subtest are based on the student’s ability to answer the questions correctly and to complete the test in time to answer as many of the questions as possible.
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Mathematics Knowledge. This section measures one's knowledge of mathematical principles and concepts. Arithmetic, geometry, and high school level algebra will comprise most of the problems. Knowing how to factor, solve, and simplify algebraic expressions; understanding exponents, absolute values, and systems of equations and solving inequalities will be helpful. You will also encounter words problems. Test takers should know how to solve word problems by creating algebraic equations. See product recommendations for more advice.
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The various armed forces adopted all of those aspects in 1976. At that point in time, the test was in its written form rather than today’s more common form (computerized test format). The written form covers all of the previously mentioned areas as well, which is why both forms are still available. All-in-all that answers the question concerning the intention of the test.