By Fonda Bock
USAREC Public Affairs
August 05, 2016
FORT KNOX, Ky. -- The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery's Career Exploration Program is getting a virtual upgrade to both its test and its online career discovery program in the coming months.
The new online version of the ASVAB test, the Career Exploration Program Internet Computer Adaptive Test, is scheduled to launch in September, and asvabprogram.com will release its new, self-paced career exploration website by the end of the fiscal year.
While the paper-and-pencil ASVAB test will still be available for schools that want it, the computerized version automatically adjusts the difficulty of the questions based on the individual test taker's responses, which can benefit schools with reduced test times. The CEP iCAT also offers immediate results, so students can see which careers, both civilian and military, are recommended for them right after they finish the test.
"Contrary to popular belief, we're not offering the test so every student will join the Army," said Tony Castillo, education division chief for U.S. Army Recruiting Command. "We're offering the program in schools to help kids identify careers and expose them to another career opportunity - military service."
Since a key element of the test results is the ability to explore career options that align with the individual's abilities, the ASVAB CEP's national program manager, Dr. Shannon Salyer, wanted to improve the online tools in addition to the new test.
"Until now, participants were sent to several different sites to find the occupational information necessary to explore all their career options," Salyer said.
When launched, the asvabprogram.com website's improved, self-paced career exploration tools will be easier to navigate and will allow students to search twice the number of career options than previously offered, which, for the first time, will include military occupational specialties.
"The redesigned website not only has a modernized look-and-feel, but will give students the tools to explore any occupation and the pathway to those occupations in one place," Salyer said. "There's a tool where they can save their favorite jobs in a portfolio and provide that to school counselors. It's also easier for educators and parents to find relevant information."
From the recruiting perspective, Castillo said it's important for recruiters to work with their battalion education services specialists to arrange school visits after test scores are released. The recruiters can help interpret test scores and ensure students understand the benefits of the ASVAB CEP.
"If recruiters want to build an enduring relationship with schools, they need to be doing the interpretations," Castillo said. "That is where they build leverage with the schools and students, because we're showing them how their test scores compare to other students' scores across the country - their future competition in the job market. Recruiters can show the students how they can identify a career plan so they can be successful in the future - whether that's enlisting in the Army or something else they want to do."
The ASVAB CEP is the Department of Defense's free career-planning program for 10th- 12th grade and first-year college students. It is offered through participating schools and consists of three components: theArmed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, a section to help students determine their skills and interests, and a database for identifying and exploring more than 1,000 occupations that match students' interests and aptitude.