The CAT-ASVAB and Computer Based Testing Study Guide for McGraw-Hill's ASVAB
How the CAT-ASVAB Works
The CAT-ASVAB is the computer-based version of the test that is offered to potential recruits at the military facilities called MEPS. If you take this version of the test, you will be seated in front of a computer and monitor in a room with others. The test comes up on the screen. As you answer the test questions, the program records your answer, scores it, and then calculates your ability level. Based on that information, the next item is selected. If you get the first answer wrong, the computer will give you an easier item. It you get it correct, the computer will give you a more difficult item. This process continues until you have completed the items selected for you. After you have completed the test, the AFQT and composite scores will be calculated.
One advantage of taking the CAT-ASVAB is that it takes less time than the paper-and-pencil version. Also, the test can be scored immediately, and scoring errors are reduced because of the automation. The test can be administered with minimal advance notice, while administration of the paper-and-pencil ASVAB needs to be scheduled well in advance.
Unlike scores on the paper-and-pencil ASVAB, the CAT-ASVAB score you get is not based solely on the number of items you answered correctly. Some people have claimed that the CAT-ASVAB is easier and can give you better scores because you get more "points" for answering more difficult items.
Unlike the paper-and-pencil ASVAB, the CAT-ASVAB does not give you an opportunity to go back to questions you previously answered to change your answer or think about the question again. You also cannot skip questions and go on to other questions that you might know. If you get items wrong, the computer will give you easier items, but your score will be lower than if you answered a few difficult items.
When you arrive to take the CAT-ASVAB, you will be escorted to a waiting room. You will complete various forms, if you haven't already done so. Your social security number will be verified. There you will get a briefing similar to the one that follows.
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