I have worked with dozens of ASVAB Students over the past six years and there is one common thread I have seen above all; that they take the ASVAB for granted. According San Francisco's "The Onion" and Careercast.com, the U.S. Military is only made up of the bottom 10% of citizens in the intellectual pool. Apparently they don't know much about lawyers because this a conclusory statement, they also know nothing about the ASVAB. I recently worked with a student trying to get into the Air Force. She was an "A" and "B" student in High School in a very "high" state for public education and had a full ride to a four year private university. After one year she had flunked out, and this student who had scored a 2250 on the SAT and was a National Merit Scholar. Guess what she scored on the ASVAB? A whopping 17! Here is a little known secret about the ASVAB; around 1992 the United States Department of the Army (who is in charge of MEPCOM) decided that the AFQT/ASVAB was too rudimentary for the current soldier. The aptitude requirements were still geared to assessing whether a draftee would be a grunt, or a communications specialist, or a medic. They were geared towards the soldier who had less than 2 years of high school or a GED. However in 1992 the US DoD instituted a new program to categorize recruits called "Mental Groups". These are Upper, Middle, and Lower Mental groups. Each were given a point value and recruiters began pursuing only the upper two categories because they got the most points for them. They also began to require that only High School Graduates were eligible, but that you could admit a certain amount of GED candidates on waivers. The ASVAB was the next focus, with the help of test writers from ETS and other contractors, the ASVAB evolved from a simple vocational aptitude test, to a test that now blasts the SAT out of the water in terms of difficulty, and sends supposed "smart kids" home crying. Now, under the ACE (Armed Forces Certification on Education); if a service member is an E-5, and has been coded as an upper mental group service member, they may waive the SAT for admission to a four year university. The completion rate among these service members has skyrocketed as well! As compared to a traditional high school student, turned college freshman, the service member is 5 times more likely to matriculate with a degree! Further they score approximately .6 higher than the average matriculating traditional student. Think the ASVAB is for dummies? Not a chance, this is one of the toughest tests out there! I have all of my students take several practice exams before I release them, the Math, Science, and Grammar are tougher than you think. Public Schools are ruining our kids and driving them to stupidity; most of my most difficult students have been students who have been in the public school system their entire lives, and in the same district. My best students are home school, private school, and working drop outs. Why? Three big reasons for this:
1) Public schools have dismissed the use of Phonics in reading and have eliminated Latin (not Spanish) from their curricula. They have gone to what is called "The Whole Language" method which is used in other countries. The problem is, those other countries are like Russia, Greece, China, India...why is it a problem? Because the alphabet in those languages include whole words rather than letters equating to sounds. Latin is the root of our English language and every other Romance language. If we learn what sub-words like Uni, hemi, ect. mean we can decode a word to figure out what it means.
2) The second problem is not letting kids fail, and there being no fear of failure. Kids today are so apathetic that you could tell them they are getting kicked out of school an they will say "well it's OK."
3) The third problem is that there is no accountability in the public school and no way to get rid of bad teachers. Contrary to popular belief, there are tons of bad teachers out there and yes, some are actually out to get you. However, we cannot fire them and parents have no say in what they teach or do.
I spend a lot of time, especially with my younger students re-teaching concepts that they should have gotten in High School or Middle School but didn't. If your kid tells you that his teacher hates him, or is out to get him/her; listen to them. Ask them why they think so, have them provide facts. You may see that your child is not just lazy.