Georgians struggle with military entry exam

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  When high school seniors prepare for graduation they have three main options: continue their education and go to college, enter into the workforce or join a branch of the military. But with thousands failing the military entry-test, what does that mean for future recruitment?

Of the thousands of Georgia high school graduates who take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery -- or ASVAB – test, 25 percent of them are failing.

A recent report shows Georgians are doing slightly worse than the national average of 23 percent when it comes to the test that helps decide what job someone would be qualified for in the military.

ASVAB is a series of ten short tests over three hours that measure an applicant's knowledge in areas including math, electronics, general science and word knowledge. The minimum score a high school graduate is required to make is a 31 out of 99, but one-fourth of test-takers in Georgia aren't cutting it.

This is a growing concern for military recruitment in the country because not only are students not passing the entry-level test, but studies show 75 percent of Americans between 17 and 24 don't even qualify to take the test because of physical requirements, criminal history or they didn't graduate high school.

This low eligibility rate may not be noticeable now, since the Department of Defense says recruitment goals are being met, but in the coming years, that could change.

Even with a 25 percent ineligibility rate for Georgia, it still isn't the worst in the country. Hawaii had the highest with more than 38 percent of test-takers failing. Wyoming came out on top with only 13 percent failure rate.

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