CAT-ASVAB is an automated test administration system that (a) displays questions, (b) scores and records answers, (c) scores ASVAB subtests, (d) computes AFQT and composite scores for all the Services, (e) logs results and electronically sends the results to the Manpower Information and Retrieval System, and (f) allows for flexible start times and self-paced responding.
The CAT-ASVAB subtests measure the same abilities as the paper-and-pencil (P&P) ASVAB subtests. One difference is that the P&P-ASVAB’s Automotive and Shop Information subtest is broken into two separate subtests in CAT-ASVAB. In addition, the tests are adaptive.
With a group-administered P&P test, all examinees answer the same questions in the same order. An adaptive test dynamically tailors questions to the ability level of the individual examinee. All examinees start with a question of medium difficulty. If the examinee answers the question correctly he/she is given a question that is more difficult. If the examinee answers the question incorrectly, he/she is given a question that is easier. This pattern continues until the test is complete. Therefore, the examinee only answers questions that are appropriate for his/her ability level, not wasting time answering questions that are too easy or too difficult.
The adaptive item selection process of the CAT-ASVAB results in higher levels of test-score precision and shorter test lengths than the P&P-ASVAB.