The Mechanical Comprehension section of the ASVAB practice test measures your understanding of basic mechanical principles and mechanisms. You may be asked why an intake valve on a pump opens when the piston goes down, or what direction friction is going when shown a diagram of a skier. The CAT-ASVAB has 16 questions in 20 minutes; the paper-and-pencil version has 25 questions in 19 minutes.
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While considered part of the non-commissioned officer corps by law, senior non-commissioned officers (SNCOs) referred to as chief petty officers in the Navy and Coast Guard, or staff non-commissioned officers in the Marine Corps, perform duties more focused on leadership rather than technical expertise. Promotion to the SNCO ranks, E-7 through E-9 (E-6 through E-9 in the Marine Corps) is highly competitive. Personnel totals at the pay grades of E-8 and E-9 are limited by federal law to 2.5 percent and 1 percent of a service's enlisted force, respectively. SNCOs act as leaders of small units and as staff. Some SNCOs manage programs at headquarters level and a select few wield responsibility at the highest levels of the military structure. Most unit commanders have a SNCO as an enlisted advisor. All SNCOs are expected to mentor junior commissioned officers as well as the enlisted in their duty sections. The typical enlistee can expect to attain SNCO rank after 10 to 16 years of service.
In complete honesty, one can say that the test identifies with an entire life's worth of knowledge. It essentially pulls from 3 different aspects. First, it draws from concrete facts that were acquired from all areas of a person's educational career. Secondly, it draws from a person’s ability to comprehend and use context clues to make assumptions. Lastly, it draws from a person’s physical/verbal skills to see if they can properly administer those more physical aspects. Overall this is why people have identified it as the “SAT on steroids.”
The U.S. Armed Forces are one of the largest militaries in terms of the number of personnel. It draws its personnel from a large pool of paid volunteers. Although conscription has been used in the past in various times of both war and peace, it has not been used since 1972, but the Selective Service System retains the power to conscript males, and requires that all male citizens and residents residing in the U.S. between the ages of 18–25 register with the service.
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