ASVAB offers alternative for Keystones

Although the ASVAB is typically seen as a test for students heading into the military, the test is also being used to meet the state’s Keystone requirement and as a career readiness tool.

The ASVAB, or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, is a test used to gauge one’s suitability for certain occupations based off of one’s current abilities. Although many assume that the test is only appropriate for those going into the military, the test is applicable to all high school students.

“The ASVAB, I feel, is a valuable test that students can take any time,” said guidance counselor Stephen Thompson. “It gets, especially this spring, very confusing that if you take the ASVAB you are going to get drafted into the military which is far from the truth.”

Although the military can see one’s scores if a student chooses, there is no obligation to serve in the military after taking the test nor are there are military references within the test. For those going into the military, the test is a necessity, and one’s test results play a role in what military occupational specialties are available on top of certain testing requirements for each branch.

“It is a test that seniors, sophomores, juniors all can take just to help them get a better idea of what maybe are some career options that they would be good at or maybe didn’t even think of before,” said Thompson.

The ASVAB contains questions pertaining to general science, arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, mathematics knowledge, electronics information, auto and shop information, mechanical comprehension, and assembling objects. The school will be using the test to fulfill the state Keystone requirement via pathway four in cases where the Keystones did not work out for students.

“I think anytime that we provide our students with a tool that will identify strengths ands and skills for future success that is important,” said principal Chris Groff.

The state offers five pathways to meet the Keystone requirement for graduation. Because many students missed one or two Keystone exams when COVID-19 hit in 2020, the ASVAB is being used to take the place of those exams.

Other students may have satisfied the state requirement through scores on the PSAT, SAT, or ACT which are also found within pathway four. Additionally, the school is looking to administer the ASVAB to every junior starting in the 2022-2023 school year as a way to give juniors an idea of what careers would be good for them, especially before senior course registration.

"We are excited, and we think it’s a great tool for kids,” said Groff.

The ASVAB is a useful tool for assessing one’s abilities and future occupations based off of them. After the test is completed, students receive a small booklet that relays possible careers for the student based off of the self-career survey in the book.

“You can study for it, but the results are supposed to reflect what you would be best at, so I didn’t study,” said senior Cassie Miller who took the ASVAB. “I thought it was a lot easier than any AP test because they are simpler and more general questions, but you also get a lot less time to answer which was kind of stressful.”

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