ASVAB Test Provides Opportunity for Career Exploration


Laure Schulders

This year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the ASVAB test was taken digitally as opposed to its usual paper and pencil format.

Paige Maki, Entertainment Editor

On March 23, North held its annual ASVAB (Armed Services Voluntary Aptitude Battery) test designed to measure students’ strengths to guide their career interests inside and outside of the military.

The test has been offered annually at North for the past five years, and prior to that, it was administered based on student interest.

The test is free, and it’s easy to sign up for. March 7, information regarding the test was detailed in the CCR update. The update also prompted students to sign up using the provided google form if interested. 

The test was designed by the Department of Defense and therefore was initially intended for those interested in joining the military.

“We work with the military because they’re the ones that do the administration of it, and it’s traditionally been a military readiness test,” said John Peters, Assistant Principal of College and Career Readiness. “It helps students that are very interested in the military in getting a score and trying to determine if they’re going to be accepted, and then what direction they could go within the military.”

While the test was designed for military purposes, it also serves as an aptitude test for careers outside of the military as well.

“It is a career exploration exam, and it’s a really good one. It’s been taken so many times by so many different people. It helps with the norming of it, and the results you get are pretty good, pretty strong in terms of helping to give students direction,” said Peters.

Senior Stella Mollsen was one of the students who decided to take the ASVAB test last year to help guide her career interests.

“I heard that it could help you, and it would recommend careers for you. I honestly had no clue what I wanted to do when I signed up to take it. So, I figured it’d be a really good way to see where my strengths were and see what careers were recommended for me because I was just totally lost,” said Mollsen.

The test helps to determine students’ strengths through multiple-choice questions in nine different sections: general science, arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, mathematics knowledge, electronics information, auto and shop information, and mechanical comprehension.

“It kind of reminded me of a PSAT because we had different sections,” said Mollsen.

North students have taken career exploration tests through Career Cruising in the past and now have access to similar tests through Naviance. 

However, ASVAB is more in-depth. When taken on pencil and paper in past years, it was a three-hour test. But this year due to COVID-19, it was taken on Chromebooks for a duration of two hours.

“After you take the test, there are going to be people who come to North and then they’re going to talk to you about your scores,” said junior Eileen Sheetz.

The results will provide students with a list of careers based on their strengths to help guide them in the right direction. The results also include a score providing information on how well one might do in the military. 

“I think it gave me a lot of options and a lot of things to think about. It really helped me narrow down and figure out what I want to do,” said Mollsen, who plans on majoring in hospitality.

The test is available to sophomores, juniors and seniors. When determining what year to take the test, it’s important to consider the student’s personal goals.

“If your motivation is the career piece and career exploration and really trying to figure that out, I would say anytime. Some people start looking for that kind of stuff as early as sophomore year and that’s not a problem because you can definitely take it every year,” said Peters. “But if you’re looking more towards this as a military placement, then you’re better off taking it senior year because then that score is more recent for the military to be able to use for your recruitment.”