National norms are norms that are developed using a nationally representative sample of examinees that are at the age or educational level for which the test is developed.
National norms provide a basis for evaluating performance for all examinees nationwide. National norms are created by conducting national norming studies. Because national norming studies are a difficult undertaking, they tend to be conducted fairly infrequently.
National norming studies for the ASVAB Testing Program are typically conducted every 15-20 years. The current national norms for the ASVAB were implemented in 2004. A nationally representative sample consisting of about 6,000 American youths aged 18-23 was utilized in the creation of the norms. These youths were identified from a screening of over 90,000 housing units, as part of the Profile of American Youth 1997 (PAY97) study. In the summer and fall of 1997, the CAT-ASVAB was administered to study participants under standardized conditions. The performance of this reference group was then used to develop new norms for the ASVAB.
Learn more: PAY97 Study