I have a love-hate relationship with the PiCAT test. In this post, I’m going to introduce to you the PICAT test. We’re going to go over the who, what, how, some of the pros and cons, and my personal recommendations if you are eligible to take this PICAT.
So the PICAT or the Pending Internet Computerized Adaptive Test, is essentially a version of the ASVAP test. Asap is your armed services vocational aptitude battery test, which is normally taken at a MEPs or your Military Entrance Processing Station or a MET site.
Essentially an alternate site where it’s proctored by a DOD contracted civilian to proctor the ASVAP test and to monitor to make sure you don’t cheat and to verify and validate your scores.
The PICAT, however, is an unproctored ASVAP version that you could take either at the comfort of your own home or a recruiting office, which is a preferred method, at least for me, because it’s more of a controlled environment.
A normal Proctored ASVab test is completed in three hours or less. So keep that in mind and you’ll see why later in this article. Military recruiters uses an authorization and reporting application to both register applicants and to check their scores when they complete the PICAT.
Applicants, however, use an alternate application to conduct and complete the PICAT. There are only two types of browsers that you could use to complete this PICAT, and that is Explore or Google Chrome. So if you have a Mac and you’re trying to use Safari or any other browser, it will not be compatible or work for you.
Your recruiter will provide to you, once registered, an access code which is good for 30 days. So once you log on and initiate your access code, you have now 48 hours to complete the PiCAT test. There is no time limit on the PiCAT, so you will have up to 48 hours to complete the PICAT unlike the ASVAB, which will be completed and finished in no more than three hours.
So once you complete the PICAT, your test scores for the PICAT will be good for 45 days before they expire, which is a recent change from the 30 day expiration. Note, only your recruiter who registered you for the PICAT will have access to view your scores.
Passed the PiCAT
So now that you’ve passed the PICAT, what happens now? So like I said, your scores will expire in 45 days, which gives you 45 days to take a verification test. The verification test is about 20 to 30 minutes long, which is a fraction of the ASVAB test questions that you will receive on a normal test.
The purpose of the verification test is to:
Check to make sure that you didn’t cheat because it’s checking your consistency of your PICAT results. So when you’re taking the PICAT, do not use any means to assist or help you to look up the answers and certainly do not use a calculator because that is not authorized on the ASVAP,so don’t cheat.
If your verification test scores are not consistent with the way you took the PICAT or your PICAT results, it will convert into the full version AzVab test, which you will need now to complete within three hours.
Also, about one out of 10 applicants will automatically be converted into the full version AzVab. Also, in the unfortunate event, the PICAT system is down the day that you’re taking the test, you will automatically be converted to the full AzVab.
Keep in mind that while taking the PICAT test, if you fail the first four sections, you will not continue and be able to finish the rest of that PICAT. So if you fail the first four sections of the PICAT, which is your paragraph comprehension, your word knowledge, arithmetic reasoning, and your mathematical knowledge, you will not complete the remaining sections of the test because those four sections make up your AFQT.
So if you’re not going to pass the test, there’s no need to figure out your job skill set with the additional sections of the test. The PICAT also can only be utilized prior to your first ASVAP or process at MEPs or a MET site for a test. Good news is it doesn’t count against you with your four ASAP attempts.
So who exactly is this PICAT test for? One, it has to be someone who’s never taken the as VAP test previously, even if it was more than two years ago. It is a one time test. So if you’ve already taken the as VAP, this ain’t for you.
So let’s get right down into the pros and cons of the PICAT and how it can help you or hurt you as the applicant and us as recruiters.
So I’m going to start with the ugly and then we’ll finish it up with some of the pros and end on a positive note.
Unfortunately, like I said, there is no time limit when you take the PICAT other than the fact that you need to complete the PICAT within 48 hours.
See, the difference between the PICAT and the Azav, like I mentioned earlier, is that you on the Azad, have to complete it within three hours. The PICAT, you have up to 48 hours, so you’re not going to finish each section like you would as if you were taking the real Azad.
So each section, just like when you took the SATs in high school, each section of the real Azad has a certain amount of questions to answer in a limited amount of time. So when you’re taking the PICAT, there’s no pressure having the countdown clock rushing you and keeping that pressure on you to finish that section within your allotted time.
So if you have all the time in the world, you are going to do better, regardless on the piecat.
Also, because the piecat is unproctored, there’s no one that’s going to prevent you from cheating. I’m not saying that you would cheat, but people do cheat, so don’t cheat.
Which leads me to why there is a verification test. Because people do cheat, because not everyone is 100 % honest or has that integrity, which is one of your army values, cheating hurts you as the applicant and us as recruiter because it wastes everyone’s time.
Because if you do cheat, you will be exposed because it will convert into the full version as web and you will get a lower grade, usually below a 31, and you won’t be able to join the army.
I have applicants that are scoring well over 60 on the on the pie chart, and then when they take the full version as app because they cheated or looked up answers or what have you, they inadvertently fail the real aSVAeb when it converts into the full version during the verification test. This is so annoying and I see this way too often as a recruiter.
Be sure to check out the article that I did down in the description area on what is the Aztec test based on when you get done reading this article. I see this also that when one passes the PICAT test, they become overconfident and they stop studying or they don’t study as much, or they just don’t really do as great on the verification test because they think that they are good to go. So do not get complacent. Make sure you continue to study because if it gets converted into a full version ASVAB, you’re going to need everything you have.
Also, previously discussed, if the systems are down, you will be converted to the full version as web test and you don’t want to set yourself up for failure.
So let’s get into some of the pros, the good things about this PICAT because if utilized properly, it is amazing. One of the great things about the PICAT is that when you go to take the verification test or to continue your process at MEPs, it’s going to be a much faster experience. Again, there’s no time limit, so that’s pretty cool. You could take the PICAT at your leisure, but heed my warning like I just previously discussed. And again, there’s no pressure into completing the test swiftly.
If the PICAT is taken correctly, this is a great way to gage how you’ll do on the verification or the full version aSVAB that test. Think of it as a really, really big at worst case scenario, a really good practice test.
On a great note, if you do pass your verification test, your scores will now validate and become for record.
It is also a great phenomenal tool to figure out what your MOS capability or potential is prior to going to Maps to process. So if you’re going for same day processing, you already know what MOS is you’re going to be pre qualified for so we can lock you in ahead of time so you know what MOS you’re getting unless, of course, you failed medical or something or failed the test.
But you’re already going to know what you’re signing up for that day. So same day processing is testing medical and contract all in one day. And if you fail the PICAT, no sweat off your back. It doesn’t count against your four attempts that you could take on the full version as VAP. It just becomes a really good tool for a practice test and to know what subjects to study and hone in on your weaknesses, making your studying more effective.
So my recommendation to you, if you are considering an otherwise eligible to take the pie chart test, take it to test yourself as a full version practice test and to figure out what your MOS potential is prior to going to MEPs when you go to do your contract and medical.
I highly suggest that you don’t cheat on the test because you’re only hurting yourself and wasting everyone’s time. Do not cheat. Do not use Siri. Do not ask Alexa. Do not go to Google. Do not use a calculator. No assistance, no help. Do not text anyone. This isn’t jeopardy where you have a lifeline, right? So just you and the test, that’s it.
So what I’ll do now, I’ll put on the screen if you were to take the full version of the Aztec test, I’ll show you and break it down to you for each section how much time is allotted so that when you do take the PICAT test, you can turn your phone on to airplane mode so you don’t get distracted by notifications and such, and time yourself however many minutes you have for each section. So that way you know that by the time that buzzer goes off, you should be done with that section to make it a little bit more realistic to the verification test. And if it gets converted to the Aztec to know and feel that pressure because that’s how the real AzVab is. Do not embarrass yourself by posting your piecat scores on social media.
So God forbid that you fail the verification test and then fail the ASVAB test, you’re going to feel embarrassed because you did not pass. So wait until after you have passed the verification and or the converted ASVAB test. Then announce it to the world so that everyone could be happy for you.
Lastly, my final words. In my 15 plus years as a recruiter, the ASAP test is the main issue that applicants have that prevents them from signing their contract and getting into the military. No one can get past the ASAP test or the medical except you.
I believe that if you put in the work and the effort and consistently put the dedication to your study habits, that you will prevail and pass the test. So if you’re looking for a pre test to have a good gage on if you’re going to be able to pass the PICAP or the ASVAB, the Iowa National Guard created this great 48 question pre-test, and I’ll post that link down below for you to check it out. But make sure that you take that pre test after you study for about a week or two. And if you are wondering how is the best way to study, I did a post on just that on ASVAB study tips.