At first, I had NO idea what the PiCAT was. Luckily, I found out before I had to goto MEPS and take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) Test. My youngest brother enlisted into the Marine Corps last year around the same time and he had mentioned to me that I should ask my recruiter about the PiCAT, which is what he took. PiCAT stands for “Pre-screening, internet-delivered Computer Adaptive Test”.

The PiCAT is an un-timed, un-proctored version of the ASVAB. You take the test at home on a computer and the results get sent to your recruiter when you complete the test. The best part about taking the PiCAT is that it counts as your ASVAB and you can keep your score when you goto MEPS so long as you pass the verification test. This means when you goto MEPS instead of taking the ASVAB, you will complete a short (maybe 30 minute long) test to verify you were the one who took the PiCAT (you didn’t cheat, etc). Most of the questions on the verification test, if not all of them, are the SAME exact questions from the PiCAT you took at home. If you fail the verification test, you will have to take the full ASVAB as soon as the verification test concludes. Don’t get too excited- there is a catch that your recruiter probably WILL NOT tell you. There is a SMALL percentage of people that are selected at random to take the full ASVAB regardless if they successfully passed their verification test as part of a study. Luckily I did not get selected to take the full ASVAB after I passed the verification test. I did get worried when the verification test was over and the screen said something along the lines of “You have completed part 1/8 of the ASVAB” and made me think it was about to roll over into the full test. When I hit the next button it then said I was finished (THANK SWEET BABY JESUS). I personally recommend taking the PiCAT versus the ASVAB. If anything it is a great practice test before you go take the ASVAB. So if you look at it that way, it can come in handy as a useful study tool as you can see which areas you really need to study in. I chose to take the PiCAT because I am a terrible test taker, a nervous wreck when taking tests. Being able to take it in the comfort of my own home without worrying about the time was great. It was a risk I was willing to take, going to MEPS not knowing if I was going to have to take the full ASVAB even if I passed the verification test. But I passed and it did not roll over. Reminder: Even though the PiCAT is taken at home, you still are NOT allowed to use a calculator. If you cheat, you are only cheating yourself. The test is designed to match you with jobs you would be successful at based on your knowledge. You will only be allowed a pencil and scratch paper at MEPS so stick to that at home if you take the PiCAT. If you have any questions drop a comment below!

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