Pentagon to allow calculators on military entrance exam amid low recruitment

"These declines are not simply a byproduct of the pandemic."


The Pentagon is going to be changing its entrance exam to qualify for the military. Amidst dropping recruitment, the Pentagon is set to allow calculators on the timed exam.  

The exam has a time limit and determines academic performance as well as what jobs applicants can obtain in the military, according to sources who spoke to

The change could help with the slump in applications by inducting those not able to usually pass the test. Much of the drop has been attributed to applicants not being able to perform well enough on the test.  

One official from the Pentagon said that the measure is helping the military take a "systematic approach, which will assess the impact of calculator use." He added that going forward calculators will be used.  

The United States Military has been facing lower-than-normal recruitment for the last couple of years and the number of people applying to military programs has been shrinking. Retaining members of the military has also been difficult.  

This includes the branches of the Army, Navy, and Airforce, which are all expected to run short of their goals in 2023. 

Some have suggested that political issues have made the military appear too left-wing, resulting in bad recruiting numbers. One such instance was when the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs said that military members needed greater access to abortion services. 

The most common problem is that those who apply are being turned away because of poor performance on the aptitude exam. Last year, to alleviate the issue of poor performance on the test, the Army started its Future Soldier Preparatory Course. The course is designed to prepare those who just missed the mark of qualifying.  

Focuses of the two-track course include academic performance as well as a second track for losing body fat.  

So far, according to, the Army has gotten over 9,200 students into basic training through the course with the majority taking the aptitude track and the smaller share doing the fitness course.  

Lower scores on the test from the Pentagon come as the average ACT score also dropped to its lowest point, 19.8 out of 36, in 30 years.  

"These declines are not simply a byproduct of the pandemic," the CEO of ACT told "They are further evidence of longtime systemic failures that were exacerbated by the pandemic."

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Why not just have a proctor take the exam for them? As long as the military is lowering the mental and psychological standards, why not just make it a simple test? Does the recruit have a heartbeat?

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