chapter  3
32 Pages

Development of the Computerized Adaptive Testing Version of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

The Computerized Adaptive Testing version of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (CAT-ASVAB) is one of the most thoroughly researched tests of human proficiencies in modern history. Data from over 400,000 test-takers collected over a 20-year period have been used to address crucial research and development issues. In spite of its lengthy and thorough development cycle, CAT-ASVAB was the first large-scale adaptive battery to be administered in a high-stakes setting, influencing the qualification status of applicants for the U.S. Armed Forces. CAT-ASVAB was first used operationally in Septem­ ber 1990 at six locations. From 1990 to 1996, about 7% of all military appli­ cants were administered the adaptive version. In 1996, implementation of a new CAT-ASVAB system began at 65 Military Entrance Processing Sta­ tions. CAT-ASVAB is currently used to test about two-thirds of all appli­ cants, resulting in administration rates of over 400,000 adaptive tests annually. This chapter outlines the development of the battery and describes

some of the challenges and dilemmas faced in constructing a CAT version that is interchangeable with its preexisting paper-and-pencil (P&P) counterpart.