ASVAB Test Explained


The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is the most widely used multiple-aptitude test battery in the world. As an aptitude test, the ASVAB measures your strengths, weaknesses, and potential for future success. The ASVAB also provides you with career information for various civilian and military occupations and is an indicator for success in future endeavors whether you choose to go to college, vocational school, or a military career.

Your ASVAB Score can be Critical

ASVAB test scores are broken down by the individual sub-tests and composites of the sub-tests. One of the most critical of these scores is the Armed Forces Qualification Test, which is used to determine if you are qualified to join the military service. Each service determines the qualification AFQT score for enlisting in their service.

The AFQT is comprised of your test results in Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Math Knowledge (MK), and Verbal Composite (VE) x 2. Your Verbal Composite score is a combination of your Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension scores.

“It’s important to know what the minimum scores required in each section are so you can work on the areas you might need a little help on. You may ace one section but fail another and that may limit the careers paths the recruiter will consider for you,” said Kris Michaelson, Director of Content for Peterson’s Test Prep, a leading test prep provider.

Check out the following AFQT qualifying scores for each branch of service.


Service Branch Required AFQT Score*
Army 31
Navy 35
Marines 31
Air Force 36
Coast Guard 45
* These scores are subject to change without notice.

In addition, your scores on the other ASVAB composite tests will determine your career field or military occupation eligibility. Since enlistment bonuses are usually tied to your choice of occupations, the better the score, the more opportunities you have. But keep in mind, it is impossible to literally "ace" the ASVAB, so your goal should be to simply do your best.

TIP: Be sure you are ready before you take the ASVAB -- use the ASVAB practice tests to find the areas you may need to work on. In addition you can read about ASVAB study techniques.

Three Versions of the ASVAB

There are three distinctly different versions or formats of the ASVAB; the CAT-ASVAB (computer adaptive test), the MET-site ASVAB, and the Student ASVAB. Each ASVAB has different benefits and limitations. Many potential military recruits take the CAT-ASVAB.

Interested in Joining the Military?

We can put you in touch with recruiters from the different military branches. Learn about the benefits of serving your country, paying for school, military career paths, and more: sign up now and hear from a recruiter near you.

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