Significance of CAT ASVAB

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test is a standardized test to determine the eligibility of candidates who want to join the Armed Forces. The ASVAB test is conducted at high schools, at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS), and at satellite locations known as Military Entrance Test (MET) sites. To know more about the enlisting procedures, you will need to contact your high school counselor or a recruiter at your local MEPS.

The ASVAB test is administered in two formats:

  • Paper-and-Pencil based test, also known as the P&P-ASVAB.
  • Computerized test, also known as the CAT ASVAB.


The P&P-ASVAB is the traditional way of appearing for the test. P&P-ASVAB is usually conducted at MET sites. Your answer sheet is sent to the MEPS by your test administrator. Your scores are verified and calculated at the MEPS and the recruiter then sends you your scores.

The test format comprises a question sheet as well as a response sheet. Candidates appearing for the P&P-ASVAB receive the same set of questions as the other candidates. You can review your answers and erase them in case you need to modify them.

Except for your Identification proof/card, you need not bring anything for the P&P-ASVAB. The test administrator will provide you with the following:

  • Pencils
  • Paper for rough work
  • Question booklets
  • Answer sheets


  • You are not allowed to bring or use a calculator for the test.
  • Do not use a pen to mark anything on the response sheet. Also, do not use pencils that you may have brought to mark your answers. The answer sheet reader, used to read your answers, is a sensitive machine and any other mark detected will negate/nullify your answer sheet.


The CAT ASVAB test format has, over the years, gained popularity over the P&P-ASVAB because of the familiarity with technology as well as its adaptive nature. The CAT ASVAB format does not require any special knowledge of computers and is easy to appear for. The CAT ASVAB is adaptive and hence it the test customizes and changes according to your response in the previous question. For example, if you answered question 3 correctly, question 4 will be of a slightly advanced level whereas if your answer is incorrect, your next question will be relatively simple. In this way, the CAT ASVAB adjusts to your competency level.

Thus, if your response is correct, you will move to a harder level of question whereas if your response is incorrect, you will be given questions that are of an easy level.

However, there are a few disadvantages of the CAT ASVAB. For example, unlike the P&P-ASVAB, you cannot revert to questions or your responses after you have answered the question; therefore, you will not be able to correct your answer to a question if you realize that you have not attempted the question correctly. Moreover, there is no scope to erase or modify your answer.

Advantages of CAT ASVAB

The advantage of CAT ASVAB is that a candidate can appear for the test according to his/her ability. This is because the format adjusts according to your response, thereby enabling you to answer questions at a certain level. For example, if a candidate has a high ability, the questions range from medium to hard in the difficulty level. Likewise, if a candidate has low ability, the questions range from low to medium difficulty.
Another advantage of the CAT ASVAB format over the P&P-ASVAB is that the test can be of a shorter duration, which depends on the candidate. When you finish a section, you can move on to the next section without waiting for the other candidates to finish. This way, you can work at your own pace and lessen the test time. The CAT ASVAB has a maximum time limit of 154 minutes but research has shown that a candidate can finish the test in a shorter span. For more information about the CAT ASVAB, see the official site of the ASVAB at

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