Armed Services Assessment Is Helping Thousands of High School Students in Arizona Find Their Path

Phoenix, AZ | Submitted by Regan Mendina-Pellow, MS, PhDc

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No high school student can escape it – the never-ending questions from friends and family about their future… What do you want to be when you grow up? Are you going to college? What will you major in?

For many young students, the answer is still a mystery. But the U.S. Armed Forces are helping youth to answer that question, through a career exploration exercise.

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a series of exams that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success, for application both inside and outside of military careers. More than 40 million people have taken the test since it was introduced in 1968 and have benefitted from the ASVAB’s insights.

Over the course of the three-hour exam, students are assessed on:

  • Physical and biological sciences
  • Strength in high school mathematics principles, including word problems
  • Understanding of English language arts, including meaning of words and ability to obtain information from written passages
  • Knowledge of electricity and electronics
  • Understanding of mechanical and physical principles
  • Ability to determine how an object will look when its parts are put together

While the exam was originally intended as a military entrance measurement, it now provides valuable insight to any student, who can learn more about their own abilities and potential career options.

And now, schools that have the requisite technology will be able to offer the test online in a new adaptive version, able to provide even more specific results based on students’ knowledge. Beyond providing immediate results, the electronic version also significantly reduces the time required to complete the test.

About three weeks after taking the ASVAB, students receive their scores and are visited by local Armed Forces representatives, who help them interpret the results and review career paths that might be good for them. It’s an eye-opening experience, as many students are encouraged to consider options that they might not otherwise know exist. They can even use their personal report to explore more information online, including career tips that are specific to their potential future paths.

With the economy growing ever more complex and jobs more demanding, it is critical that our youth are not only prepared for the workforce, but that they are able to identify and pursue a path that will be well-suited to their abilities, values and interests. The research-based methods used in the ASVAB do just that.
The exam, and its corresponding results, are available at no cost to Arizona schools. To learn more, visit

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