Aptitude

For many years, high school students have taken a vocational aptitude test provided by the military. The Baltimore Sun reports:

The test, which has been given to recruits since 1968, measures verbal and math skills, and knowledge in areas such as automotive maintenance and repair, electronics and mechanics. It was expanded to schools at the urging of the federal Labor and Education departments, Defense Department officials say.

. . . Nationwide, 722,450 students took the test during the past school year, according to the Defense Department.

My daughter took the test at liberal Palo Alto High, learning that she was not well suited for a career in engineering. No kidding. It was optional thing kids did in advisory, if memory serves.

Now the test is controversial: Parents fear recruiters will discover who’s got an aptitude — and adequate skills — for military service.

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Comments

  1. The only aptitude test my high school gave us was the one affiliated with the practice ACT. (I always found that amusing as my high school didn’t offer the real ACT, but everyone had to take the practice one.) Anyway, I remember it told me I was too inconsistent to have a career focus. I polled my friends and found out quite a few of us (maybe 20%?) got that result. I wonder if it was worth all the class time and guidance counseling over the results when so many people found it useless.

    If the military version actually gives useful results, I might have been interested in taking it, even though I had no desire to join the military.

  2. I took the military’s ASVAB test way back in high school along with all other 10th graders in my High School. It did give us some interesting results, which the military recruiters shared with us.

    After I earned my B.A, I took the test again before I joined the army reserve.(Which paid many of my college expenses.)

    Before I actually reported for duty, I had to be at least 18 years of age. (17 year-olds can enlist with parent permission, but there is an easy escape clause if the trainee has a change of heart.)

    Are the parents aware that their childen will be young adults, capable of making decisions for themselves? Are they also aware that we are a Nation at war and are in need of people from all backgrounds that are willing to serve?

  3. I also took the ASVAB way back when. The results have always bothered me. I did well on the test, scoring mostly 99th percentiles (except for “attention to detail” where I was below average). The part that really concerned me, though, was that the military figured my best (military) career option was clerical work. Wouldn’t you want a clerk to be good with details? My next best option was auto mechanics. I didn’t pursue a military career.

  4. I also took the ASVAB way back when. The results have always bothered me. I did well on the test, scoring mostly 99th percentiles (except for “attention to detail” where I was below average). The part that really concerned me, though, was that the military figured my best (military) career option was clerical work. Wouldn’t you want a clerk to be good with details? My next best option was auto mechanics. I didn’t pursue a military career.

  5. I took the ASVAB as well. Scored in the 98th and 99th percentile in all areas. An Army recruiter called my house, wanting me to join. At the time, however, I was pregnant with my daughter. I told him so, and he said ‘that’s all right, we’ll be here after she’s born.’ Kept asking me to come down to the recruiter’s station to talk over my options and what they thought I’d be good at. My then-boyfriend (now husband of 14 years) had already enlisted in the Marine Corps on the delayed entry program. I tried to picture myself at boot camp, but couldn’t help laughing at the image of me attempting to complete the physical tasks. Now THAT’S and area in which I needed (and still need!) remedial training. The Army really would have had it’s work cut out for itself. Ha!

  6. Walter E. Wallis says:

    It is unconscionable ignorance to continue the anti-military jihad of the Aquarian left. Service in the U.S. military is a far higher calling than most of those pathetic 70s holdovers could ever ascribe to.

  7. Jack Tanner says:

    ‘the Aquarian left. ‘

    Cool. I love it.

    If it’s like voluntary what’s the issue? And if it’s not I agree it should be.

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