Details About the Computer-Based ASVAB Test

How Challenging is ASVAB CAT

The computerized version of the ASVAB (CAT-ASVAB), is the format in which, most candidates take the examination, to enlist in the military.The online examination is conducted at the Military Entrance Processing Stations or MEPS. These are the regular test centers that hold the CAT-ASVAB. There are additional test centers known as the Military Entrance Test sites or MET sites that also hold the CAT-ASVAB. If you are planning to take the computer version of the examination, you need to be prepared to face certain challenges.

Using a Computer:

The computer version of the test requires the use of a keyboard and mouse. Although you will be offered training for using a computer for the purpose of the test, it will be better if you are already familiar with it. If you feel that you haven't used a computer often enough to feel comfortable, it will be best to practice using a keyboard and mouse as you prepare for the test. This will leave your mind free to deal with the questions of the test, rather than on how to navigate a mouse.

Which Version is Easier?

People have differing views on which version of the test is easier but in reality, both are equally challenging. The online test adapts to the ability of the candidate. If the candidate answers a certain question correctly, the next question is of a higher difficulty level. If the candidate gets the answer wrong, the test proceeds to a lower difficulty level. In the paper and pencil version, all questions are the same for all candidates. The one thing to be careful about in the computerized version of the examination is that you cannot change an answer once you have entered it into the system.

The Duration of the ASVAB Test:

The total duration of the online test is 154 minutes to answer 145 questions. Most people find that the time allotted for the computer version is sufficient for them to complete the test. However, while practicing pre tests, you find yourself taking too much time with the questions; you may want to increase your speed before you take the actual test.

Preparation for the ASVAB Online Test:

The CAT-ASVAB consists of the following ten subtests:

  • General Science (GS)
  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  • Word Knowledge (WK)
  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  • Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
  • Electronics Information (EI)
  • Auto Information (AI)
  • Shop Information (SI)
  • Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
  • Assembling Objects (AO)

The questions are multiple choice types and they test each candidate's abilities in four domains:

  • Verbal
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technical

The truly challenging part of taking the computer-based format of the test is to prepare well for it. You can begin with a book that covers all the subtest subjects and then take a few practice tests. Online practice tests are also available. If you are concerned about not getting sufficient preparation help from books and the internet, you can engage a personal tutor. If the cost of preparation is a challenge for you, you can try to get used books from, or even borrow from friends. Your high school teachers may also be willing to help you prepare for the test.

Passing the ASVAB Online Test:

There is no pass or fail score for the ASVAB. The various military services have their own requirements of the minimum scores. For example, the minimum AFQT scores required by the Army, Navy and Air Force are 31, 35 and 40, respectively. If your scores are below the required level, you can take the test again, after doing additional preparation. You are permitted to take a retest after one month and a second retest after another month. The third retest can be taken after a period of 6 months.

The online version of the examination will present you with many challenges, but as long as you are prepared, there is no reason for you not to perform well.