Pros And Cons Of The Computerized ASVAB

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB) is a test required of people in the United States who plan on joining any branch of the armed forced. This is an important test that will be used to determine what job you receive once you are enlisted, so solid ASVAB test prep is key in making sure you get the best job possible. When you sign up for this exam you will get to decide which version you take. Your options include the paper version and the computerized version. Each have their own pros and cons, which is why we’ve compiled the facts around both versions below to help you decide which is right for you.

Option #1: Paper

Some people prefer having a pencil and paper in front of them for such a significant exam. This is a common version that many students use to practice with during their ASVAB test prep phase or when they work with a tutor.

You Can Skip Questions

This can help with your timing if you feel rushed or are battling test anxiety. Since you have the entire test in front of you, it is easy to focus on questions you know and save the ones you are less sure about for later.

You Can’t Make Notes On The Exam

You will have to be very deliberate with the marks that you make. You will be provided scratch paper to use, but you cannot leave any random marks anywhere on the exam. You must also be careful to completely erase any answers you change on your answer sheet. The machine that scores the exams is very sensitive, so the bubbles on your answer sheet need to be filled in carefully.


Your recruiter will receive your score directly within 3 business days. If you are nervous about the test, you may be more comfortable with the computerized version as that will give you your score immediately upon completion.

Option #2: Computer

There are fewer questions on the computerized version, though they tend to be more difficult than the paper exam. Many students find that they score higher on the computerized version, but a large part of this will depend on how you take you practice exams.

You Can’t Mess Up Your Answer Sheet

It can be easy to mismark your physical answer sheet or accidently lose track of a skipped question when you take the paper version. Taking the ASVAB on the computer can be easier as it keeps track of your answers automatically.

The Exam Will Be A Computerized-Adaptive Testing (CAT) Format

CAT exams base the next question off your previous answer. This way the test can adapt to your knowledge and skill level as you go to better judge your abilities. For example, if you answer a question correctly, the computer will make you next question more difficult. If you answer the question incorrectly, you next question will be easier.

You Can’t Change Your Answers

Since the CAT-ASVAB is constantly adapting, you cannot skip questions as you work through your exam. This can present a challenge when trying to budget your time or know when to simply guess and move on.


The ASVAB is a very important test that will affect your military career. Because of this, you need to be careful to make an informed decision about how you study and what test version is right your test-taking style. A key part of this is good ASVAB test prep as it allows you to explore different options to know which is best. With strong will and determination, you will undoubtedly do well on the ASVAB. Good luck!


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