Inconsistent Scores on Speeded ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) Subtests
CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA MARINE CORPS OPERATIONS ANALYSIS GROUP
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The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery ASVAB is used by all branches of the armed services to measure the mental aptitudes of applicants for enlistment. The ASVAB is administered to applicants at Military Entrance Processing Stations or at associated satellite sites. The ASVAB is also administered to approximately a million high school students in 14,000 schools each year as part of the Department of Defense Student Testing Program. Scores from the Student Testing Program may be used either for vocational counseling or enlistment qualification. The ASVAB is composed of speeded and nonspeeded subtests. The nonspeeded subtests allow a generous time for responding so that most test takers have time to answer each question. The speeded subtests attempt to measure speed of response and consequently have short time limits so that most test takers do not have time to answer every question. Scores on both speeded and nonspeeded subtests are meaningful only when compared to those of a reference population. The ASVAB reference population consists of a nationally representative sample of American youth who were administered the ASVAB under carefully controlled conditions. The purpose of this report is to present data indicating that scores obtained on ASVAB speeded subtests administered in some high schools follow inconsistent patterns, to assess the implications, and to recommend corrective measures.