The ASVAB Test
The ASVAB Test
You’ve heard taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is your ticket to a great U.S. military career. If you’re serious about joining the military, then it’s time also to get serious about taking the ASVAB by using ASVAB practice tests.
What is the ASVAB test?
The ASVAB is a timed, multi-aptitude test, which is given at more than 14,000 schools and Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) nationwide and is developed and maintained by the Defense Department (DoD).
The ASVAB helps the DoD not just determine whether you are a good fit to join the service, but also which service branch you might be best for and even what military jobs you can hold after you finish basic training or boot camp. The better your ASVAB score, the broader your options.
You can start preparing now by taking our ASVAB practice tests (click or tap on the test links in the header above). These tests will give you an idea of how you’ll score and identify areas for improvement. Then, use our suggested resources and ASVAB study guides to learn how to prepare for the ASVAB test.
Related: Your ASVAB questions answered
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How Your ASVAB Results Are Used
The ASVAB helps the DoD determine whether you are a good fit to join the service.
The test results also suggest which service branch might be best for you, and even what military jobs you could hold after you finish basic training or boot camp.
Read More: ASVAB Test Explained
The better your ASVAB score, the more options you have. A very high score can give you a wide array of job options, some of which might come with special pay and bonuses. That means it’s a good idea to study for the ASVAB and do your best to score well.
You don’t just want to take the ASVAB. You also want to get a good ASVAB score that can help open doors to a wealth of military opportunities.
“There are two types of ASVAB scores,” according to the U.S. Army. “First, your Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score determines whether you’re eligible to join, and you’ll need to score at least 31 to enlist. Second, your ASVAB category scores, called line scores, determine job opportunities based on your knowledge and skills in these 10 different areas.”
How to Prepare for the ASVAB
As with any test, how well you do depends in large part upon how well you prepare. To study effectively for the ASVAB, you really need to begin studying at least two months, if not more, before you plan to take the test.
Here are some basic steps to take:
- Find a comfortable, quiet area to study.
- Gather paper, pens and pencils, a calculator and other tools.
- Make a basic study schedule.
Read More: How to Study for the ASVAB Test
You can start preparing by taking our ASVAB practice tests. Click or tap on the test links at the top of this page.
These tests will give you an idea of how you’ll score and identify areas for improvement.
Related: Your ASVAB questions answered
As you get ready to take the ASVAB test, you will need to spend time studying. Remember, the higher your ASVAB score, the more job options you have for your military career, including an array of special pay and bonuses.
What’s the best way to study for the ASVAB? Start by taking a practice test to set a baseline score and understand the portions of the test that might be extra challenging for you.
Find a quiet place to study, gather the tools you need and set a study schedule for yourself. You can take ASVAB practice tests on Military.com and learn more about ASVAB study tips.
What Is AFQT?
ASVAB test scores are broken down by the individual subtests and their composites. One of the most critical of these scores is the AFQT, or armed forces qualification test, which is used to determine whether you are qualified to join the military service.
The AFQT is part of the ASVAB, not a separate test. It is a score derived from four of the ASVAB subtests that is used, along with other criteria, to determine your eligibility for service.
The AFQT consists of your results in arithmetic reasoning, math knowledge and verbal expression (VE) times two.
ASVAB Branch Requirements
Each service determines the qualifying AFQT score for enlistment purposes.
|Service Branch||Required AFQT Score*|
|Navy||35, or 26 with waiver|
|Coast Guard||36, or 32 with waiver|
* Army and Coast Guard requirements verified July 2022. Other verifications pending. All 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.
ASVAB Test for Army
After you take the ASVAB, the Army translates your results into 10 calculations known as “Army line scores.” The line scores help the service know which Army jobs, or military occupational specialties (MOSs), you qualify for.
They are broken down into clerical; combat; electronics; field artillery; general maintenance; general technical; mechanical maintenance; operators and food; surveillance and communications; and skilled technical.
Read More: ASVAB Scores and Army Jobs
ASVAB Test for Navy
Each Navy job is given a code known as a Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC). Every NEC has different ASVAB score requirements.
Read More: ASVAB Scores and Navy Jobs
ASVAB Test for Marines
Each Marine Corps job is given a code known as a military occupational specialty (MOS). Every MOS has different ASVAB score requirements.
After you take the ASVAB, the Marine Corps translates your results into five calculations known as “Marine Corps line scores.” These help the Marine Corps know which jobs, MOSs, you qualify for. They are broken down into clerical, electronics, general technical, mechanical maintenance and skilled technical.
Read More: ASVAB Scores and Marine Corps Jobs
ASVAB Test for Air Force
Jobs in the Air Force are called Air Force specialty codes (AFSCs). To find what jobs you qualify for, the Air Force breaks down your ASVAB subtest scores into groups known as qualification areas.
Those subtests are general science (GS), arithmetic reasoning (AR), word knowledge (WK), paragraph comprehension (PC), mathematics knowledge (MK), electronics Information (EI), auto and shop information (AS), and mechanical comprehension (MC).
Read More: ASVAB Scores and Air Force Jobs
Why ASVAB Is Important for Your Future Job
Your ASVAB scores help determine not only which military jobs you qualify for, but whether you’re suitable even to enlist.
“The things that are going on in the world, we don’t need a whole lot of brute strength,” Staff Sgt. Kenneth McCall, a local recruiter for the Army National Guard, told the Daily Journal, a local newspaper serving a community outside Chicago. “Brute strength, yeah, we’ve got people for that, but a lot of the battles we are facing are more technological. The smarter you are and the more skills you have in arts and sciences and mathematics, you will be more beneficial for military service across the board.”
Kris Michaelson, director of content from Peterson’s Test Prep, a leading test prep provider, says: “If you know what you want to do in the military, then studying and taking practice tests is even more important. If you miss the required minimum test score in the field of your choice, you may be slotted in for a job you don’t care for once you join.”
Can You Use a Calculator on the ASVAB?
No, because outside help is not allowed while taking the ASVAB, including the math sections of the test.
Depending on which version you take, the ASVAB will include up to 55 questions on math concepts. Start studying by taking the ASVAB practice test.
Can I Retake the ASVAB?
Yes, you may retake the ASVAB, but after your first attempt, you must wait one month for a redo. If you would like a third try, you then must wait six months.
Regardless of how many retests you take, the score that counts is the most recent one, not the highest.
Can I Take the ASVAB in Spanish?
No, the ASVAB test is administered only in English.
Is the ASVAB Available on Paper or Online?
Both. The ASVAB can be taken either on paper or online. The online version, called CAT-ASVAB, adjusts to your knowledge level as you’re taking the test. About 70% of test takers choose the online version, which takes only about half the time to complete, on average.
Is Any Alternative to the ASVAB Available?
As an alternative to the ASVAB, you may take the Prescreen Internet Computerized Adaptive Test, or PiCAT. This is an unproctored version of the full ASVAB that military recruiters can use as a tool to help gauge whether an applicant is qualified for enlistment.
The PiCAT provides a “pending” ASVAB score that then must be verified at a controlled testing location in order to be valid.
Read more: The PiCAT Pretest Can Help You Ace the ASVAB
What Is a Good ASVAB Score?
Each military service has different minimum ASVAB score requirements for entering the service or holding specific types of jobs. The maximum score for all ASVAB tests is 99.
You can learn more about what makes a good ASVAB score for individual service:
- ASVAB scores and Army jobs
- ASVAB scores and Navy jobs
- ASVAB scores and Marine Corps jobs
- ASVAB scores at Air Force jobs
How Many Questions Are on the ASVAB?
This depends on which version of the test you take. There are three versions of the test, with two given at military facilities and one by high schools and colleges.
Different Versions of the ASVAB
- The CAT-ASVAB. The CAT-ASVAB is a computer-based test given at MEPS.
- The MET-site ASVAB. The MET-site ASVAB is given at a mobile examination test (MET) site. This test is used solely for enlistment into one of the military services. Test sites are located in different cities. You will need to be referred by a recruiter to take the MET-site ASVAB.
- The Student ASVAB. The student ASVAB is given by schools for career exploration.
The CAT-ASVAB has a time cap of 154 minutes with nine test subsets and 145 questions. The MET-site ASVAB has 225 questions and a cap of 149 minutes.
What Can ASVAB Results Reveal About Career Paths?
High scores in various sections of the ASVAB may suggest potential career paths that would be a good fit. Here are a few examples.
- Auto and shop may mean you’re a good fit for combat, general or mechanical maintenance, operations and food, or surveillance and communications.
- Arithmetic reasoning could suggest a career in artillery, clerical work, electronics, surveillance and communications, or a technical field.
- Electronic information may match with electronics (of course), but also general or mechanical maintenance.
- General science may mean you’re a good fit for electronics, general maintenance or skilled technical.
- Mathematics knowledge may match with artillery, clerical work, electronics, general or mechanical maintenance, or skilled technical.
- Mechanical comprehension could suggest a career in artillery, combat, operations and food, skilled technical, or surveillance and communications.
- Verbal expression could suggest a career related to clerical work, combat, operations and food, surveillance and communications, or a technical field, including skilled technical.
Related: Understanding Military Time
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Summary You’ve heard taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is your ticket to a great U.S. military career. If you’re serious about joining the military, then it’s time also to get serious about taking the ASVAB by using ASVAB practice tests. The ASVAB is a timed, multi-aptitude test, which is given at more than 14,000 schools and Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) nationwide and is developed and maintained by the Defense Department (DoD).