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New ASVAB pretest available for applicants

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Thanks to a new program, applicants who hope to join the Air Force can now take the Armed Services Aptitude Battery pretest from any computer with internet access.

The Pre-screening, internet-delivered Computer Adaptive Test (PiCAT) is an unproctored version of the full ASVAB that currently provides recruiters with the ability to effectively determine if an applicant is qualified before sending them to a military entrance processing station or military entrance test site.

Air Force Recruiting Service currently has 260 recruiters authorized to register applicants and is working with U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command to register all Air Force recruiters.

"Currently, about 1,100 recruiters from all the services have code issuing authority," said Gaylan Johnson, a U.S. MEPCOM public affairs officer.

Recruiters will provide applicants with a unique access code. The applicant must start the test within 72 hours. Once the test is started, he or she will have 24 hours to complete the test. After the test is complete, the recruiter will have the ability to view the applicant's score instantly.

By taking the PiCAT, an applicant will gain familiarity with the ASVAB and recruiters will be able to determine whether or not applicants will achieve qualifying scores on the official test. This knowledge can potentially save the recruiter time and the Air Force money.

"We are looking at saving the recruiter's valuable time," said Master Sgt. Carmellea Abercrombie-Stokes, the AFRS enlisted standards superintendent. "We are also looking at a cost savings at the MEPS with testing personnel. There will be fewer testers who are not likely to pass the ASVAB."

Like the proctored test, applicants will not be permitted to use external sources such as books, internet, or people to assist them while they are taking the test.

"Since this test is taken by the applicant at their convenience there is no way of knowing if they are being aided while taking the test," Abercrombie-Stokes said. "Since this is only a practice to indicate the ability to pass, we don't need to monitor the applicant while they take the test. However, when they arrive at MEPS, it will be evident if they took the test themselves by how well they do on the official entrance exam."

PiCAT is expected to count as the official ASVAB as early as January 2014. When combined with a short verification test delivered at MEPS or MET, an applicant's score-of-record for enlistment will be available. Applicants who fail the verification test or applicants who don't want to use their PiCAT scores will be routed into a full-length proctored ASVAB.

For more information about this new test, please contact Air Force Recruiting Service at HQRSOPA@us.af.mil.

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