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Army prospect happy with her ASVAB test scores

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT DOES THE ASVAB MEASURE?

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery measures your knowledge and ability in ten different areas. It is not an IQ test, but the ASVAB does help the Army assess which jobs you are best suited to perform.

HOW CAN I PRACTICE FOR THE ASVAB?

You don’t have to go through any special preparation to take the ASVAB. Getting a good night’s rest and arriving on time are the two most important steps you can take to prepare.

WHO GIVES THE ASVAB, AND WHERE CAN I TAKE IT?

The ASVAB is usually given in schools by test administrators from the federal government. Schools determine where and when the ASVAB will be given. See your academic advisor for more information. If you’re not currently in school, contact your local recruiter for more information on ASVAB requirements and testing locations. You may now also take an unproctored version of the ASVAB test, called the PiCAT, at home at your own convenience.

WHAT IS THE PiCAT?

The Pending Internet Computerized Adaptive Test (PiCAT) is an alternative to current ASVAB testing procedures. It is an unproctored, full version of the ASVAB you may take on your own time. In order to take this test, you will need to contact a local recruiter in order to register and receive an access code. After completing the test, you may contact your recruiter in order to find out your score. If you choose to enlist, your PiCAT score will be validated at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) with a proctored verification test that will take 25-30 minutes.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT ON THE DAY OF THE TEST?

The ASVAB consists of ten short tests to complete during three hours or less. An ASVAB test administrator will give you instructions and tell you how long you have to complete each test. However, before you begin, you will have a chance to answer some practice questions and ask any questions about taking the test.

WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS WILL I BE ASKED ON THE ASVAB?

The ASVAB tests cover general science, arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, numerical operations, coding speed, auto and shop information, mathematics knowledge, mechanical comprehension and electronics information.

WHAT SCORE DO I NEED TO PASS THE ASVAB? WHAT DO MY SCORES MEAN, AND HOW ARE THEY USED?

While there is no "failing" the ASVAB, you will need to score at least a 31 on the exam to be considered for enlistment in the Army. Your scores will be provided to you on a report called the ASVAB Student Results Sheet, with additional information to help you understand your score.

Understanding the asvab test areas

The ASVAB is a series of tests developed by the Department of Defense and is used by the U.S. Army to determine whether you have the mental aptitude to enlist. The ASVAB also helps determine which Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) you qualify for. The ASVAB is required to enlist in the U.S. Army and is valid for two years. The ASVAB may be given in a computerized version at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) or in a paper version at various Military Entrance Test (MET) sites around the country or at high schools and colleges. 

ASVAB Test Areas

  • General Science - measures knowledge of life science, earth and space science, and physical science
  • Arithmetic Reasoning - measures ability to solve basic arithmetic word problems
  • Word Knowledge - measures ability to understand the meaning of words through synonyms
  • Paragraph Comprehension - measures ability to obtain information from written material
  • Mathematics Knowledge - measures knowledge of mathematical concepts and applications
  • Electronics Information - measures knowledge of electrical current, circuits, devices and electronic systems
  • Auto and Shop Information - measures knowledge of automotive maintenance and repair, and wood and metal shop practices
  • Mechanical Comprehension - measures knowledge of the principles of mechanical devices, structural support and properties of materials
  • Assembling Objects - measures ability with spatial relationships
 

 

ASVAB Scores and AFQT scores

The AFQT score is the most important ASVAB score, because it determines if you can enlist in the U.S. Army. However, the U.S. Army also converts the ASVAB test scores into 10 other composite score areas known as "line scores" that determine what MOS an individual may qualify for. Listed below are the parts of the ASVAB that affect your AFQT test scores and each of the ten line scores.

  • Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) - Paragraph Comprehension, Word Knowledge, Mathematics Knowledge, and Arithmetic Reasoning.
  • Clerical (CL) – Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge.
  • Combat (CO) - Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Auto & Shop and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • Electronics (EL) – General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge and Electronic Information.
  • Field Artillery (FA) - Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • General Maintenance (GM) – General Science, Auto & Shop, Mathematics Knowledge and Electronics Information.
  • General Technical (GT) - Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Arithmetic Reasoning (AR).
  • Mechanical Maintenance (MM) – Auto & Shop, Mechanical Comprehension and Electronic Information.
  • Operators and Food (OF) - Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Auto & Shop and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • Surveillance and Communications (SC) - Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, Auto & Shop and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • Skilled Technical (ST) - Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, General Science, Mechanical Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge.
 
 

  • Army Officers Capt. JOhnson, Capt. Lee and LT. Jeudy

    Commissioned Officer Candidate (09S)

    Officers are the leaders of the Army. They lead from the front and adjust to environments that are always changing.

    To be an officer is to be respected as a Soldier and an inspiring leader — both within the Army and its community. Officers earn this honor because they’re trained to enhance personal and professional development of all whom they meet and work with.

  • warrant officer cadet

    Warrant Officer Corps (09W)

    As the technical experts in the Army, warrant officers manage and maintain many of the Army’s combat systems, vehicles and networks. Once they reach the rank of chief warrant officer two, they are commissioned by the president and receive the same status as a commissioned officer.

  • Technical Engineer (12T)

    The technical engineer supervises or participates in construction site development in areas such as technical investigation, surveys, drafts and construction plans/specifications. They conduct land surveys, make maps and prepare detailed plans for construction projects.

  • Geospatial Engineer (12Y)

    Geospatial engineers are responsible for using geographic data that supports military/civilian operations for Disaster Relief and Homeland Security. They collect, analyze and distribute geospatial information to represent the terrain and its possible effects.

  • Soldier preparing a flight plan.

    Aviation Operations Specialist (15P)

    The aviation operations specialist is primarily responsible for scheduling and dispatching tactical aircraft missions. They help operate one of the largest fleets of aircraft in the world and keep them running safe and efficient.

  • Soldier checking the communication equipment in an AN/TSW-7A mobile air traffic control tower.

    Air Traffic Control (ATC) Operator (15Q)

    The air traffic control operator is responsible for tracking planes and giving them landing and takeoff instructions at air traffic control facilities.

  • Cyber Operations Specialist (17C)

    Cyber Operations Specialists conduct integrated and synchronized offensive cyberspace operations by targeting enemy and hostile adversary activities and capabilities. These specialists also conduct defensive operations to protect data, networks, net-centric capabilities, and other designated systems. They are responsible for detecting, identifying, and responding to attacks against friendly networks with other lethal and nonlethal actions that enable commanders to gain an advantage in cyberspace, across all domains.

  • Soldier working on a satellite.

    Information Technology Specialist (25B)

    Information technology specialists are responsible for maintaining, processing and troubleshooting military computer systems/operations.

  • U.S. Army Cyber Network Defenders

    Cyber Network Defender (25D)

    The cyber network defender performs specialized computer network defense duties, including infrastructure support, incident response, auditing and managing. The cyber network defender also protects against and detects unauthorized activity in the cyberspace domain and uses a variety of tools to analyze and respond to attacks.

  • U.S. Army Military Police Officers

    Military Police (31B)

    Military police protect the lives and property on Army installations by enforcing military laws and regulations. They also control traffic, prevent crime and respond to all emergencies.

  • CID agent at firing range

    Criminal Investigations Special Agent (31D)

    CID special agents are primarily responsible for conducting criminal investigations in which the Army is, or may be, a party of interest. They handle felony-level crimes that involve Army property and Army personnel.

  • 31E Soldier talking to a security Military Police Soldier.

    Internment/Resettlement Specialist (31E)

    Internment/resettlement specialists are primarily responsible for day-to-day operations in a military confinement/correctional facility or detention/internment facility.

  • Military Dog Handler with her service dog.

    Military Working Dog Handler (31K)

    Military Working Dog (MWD) handlers are responsible for the care and training of his or her service dog, which contributes to combat operations abroad and installation security at home by providing target odor detection (explosive/drug). Service dogs, generally seen as a non-lethal option for neutralizing a threat, also serve as a psychological deterrent during law enforcement operations.  

  • 35F Soldier using a computer.

    Intelligence Analyst (35F)

    The intelligence analyst is primarily responsible for the analysis, processing and distribution of strategic and tactical intelligence. They are integral to providing Army personnel with information about enemy forces and potential battle areas.

  • Geospatial Intelligence Imagery Analyst (35G)

    The geospatial intelligence imagery analyst is responsible for analyzing overhead and aerial imagery developed by photographic and electronic means. They provide Army personnel with critical information about enemy forces, potential battle areas and combat operations support.

  • Counterintelligence Agent (35L)

    Counterintelligence Special Agents conduct investigations and analysis to detect and counter foreign intelligence entities and international terrorist threats. They detect and identify the counterintelligence related inter threats and conduct the appropriate countermeasures.

  • Human Intelligence Collector (35M)

    The human intelligence collector is responsible for information collection operations. They provide Army personnel with information about the enemy force’s strengths, weaknesses and potential battle areas.

  • Signals Intelligence Analyst (35N)

    A signals intelligence analyst examines foreign communications/activity and relays that information by producing combat, strategic and tactical intelligence reports.

  • Cryptologic Linguist (35P)

    A cryptologic linguist is primarily responsible for identifying foreign communications using signals equipment. Their role is crucial as the nation’s defense depends largely on information that comes from foreign languages.

  • Soldiers in a Cyber room.

    Cryptologic Cyberspace Intelligence Collector/Analyst (35Q)

    A Cryptologic Cyberspace Intelligence Collector/Analyst performs initial cryptologic digital analysis to establish target identification and operational patterns; identifies, reports, and maintains Intelligence information in support of Commander'€™s Intelligence Requirements and uses technical references to analyze information.

  • Soldiers in a Cyber room.

    Signals Collection Analyst (35S)

    The signals collector/analyst is primarily responsible for the detection, acquisition, location and identification of foreign electronic intelligence. They exploit non-voice communications and other electronic signals to provide strategic/tactical intelligence.

  • Military Intelligence (MI) Systems Maintainer/Integrator (35T)

    The military intelligence systems maintainer/integrator is primarily responsible for maintaining intelligence computers and networks used by Military Intelligence Soldiers.

  • Soldiers in a Cyber room.

    Human Intelligence Collector Recruit (35W)

    The Human Intelligence Collector is responsible for information collection operations. They provide Army personnel with information about the enemy force’s strengths, weaknesses and potential battle areas.

  • Officer and Soldiers

    Psychological Operations Specialist (37F)

    Psychological Operations Specialists are influence experts, who assesses the information needs of a target population and craft messaging to influence and engage target audiences.

  • Civil Affairs Specialist speaking to villagers

    Civil Affairs Specialist (38B)

    Civil Affairs Specialists identify critical requirements needed by local citizens in combat or crisis situations. Civil Affairs Specialists are primarily responsible for researching, coordinating, conducting and participating in the planning and production of civil affairs related documents, while enabling the civil-military operations of the supported commander.

  • Soldier capturing a photo.

    Public Affairs Mass Communication Specialist (46S)

    The Army Public Affairs Mass Communication Specialist participates in and assists with the supervision and administration of Army public affairs programs primarily through news releases, newspaper articles, Web-based material and photographs for use in military and civilian news media.

  • Operating Room Specialist

    Orthopedic Specialist (68B)

    The orthopedic specialist assists with management of orthopedic clinic, or assists in treatment of patients with orthopedic conditions and injuries, under the supervision of an orthopedic physician, orthopedic physician assistant, or podiatrist.

  • Practical Nursing Specialist (68C)

    The practical nursing specialist supervises or performs preventive, therapeutic, and emergency nursing care procedures under the supervision of a physician, nurse or NCO.

  • Operating Room Specialist (68D)

    The operating room specialist assists the nursing staff in preparing the patient and the operating room environment for surgery and for providing assistance to the medical staff during surgical procedures.

    They also operate the centralized material service and are responsible for preparing and maintaining sterile medical supplies and special equipment for medical treatment facilities.

  • Soldier prepping dental equipment.

    Dental Specialist (68E)

    The dental specialist is primarily responsible for assisting Army dentists in the examination and treatment of patients, as well as helping to manage dental offices.

  • Physical Therapy Specialist

    Physical Therapy Specialist (68F)

    The physical therapy specialist, under the direction of a physical therapist and following medical referral, supervises or administers physical therapy to decrease physical disabilities and promotes physical fitness of patients.

  • Medical Laboratory Specialist (68K)

    The medical laboratory specialist conducts tests on the tissue, blood and body fluids of patients.

  • Soldier works with a patient performing hand movements and exercises.

    Occupational Therapy Specialist (68L)

    The occupational therapy specialist, under the direction of a registered military occupational therapist, supervises, tests and assists patients to facilitate maximum recovery. They also treat physical and mental disabilities resulting from illness or trauma, prevent injury, and promote life-style modification to improve fitness. 

  • Soldier treating a patient.

    Cardiovascular Specialist (68N)

    The cardiovascular specialist assists with the management of cardiac clinics and performs specialized, invasive and noninvasive cardiac tests and examinations.

  • Radiology Specialist (68P)

    The radiology specialist is primarily responsible for operating X-ray and related equipment used in diagnosing and treating injuries and diseases.

  • Soldier filling prescription bottle.

    Pharmacy Specialist (68Q)

    The pharmacy specialist is primarily responsible for preparing and dispensing prescribed drugs and medicines, while also maintaining pharmacy supplies and records.

  • Soldier conducting inventory of a field freezer.

    Veterinary Food Inspection Specialist (68R)

    The veterinary food inspection specialist inspects food designed for human consumption, while also supervising food inspection and combined veterinary service activities.

  • Soldier filling a prescription bottle.

    Preventive Medicine Specialist (68S)

    Preventive medicine specialists are primarily responsible for conducting or assisting with preventive medicine inspections, surveys and preventative medicine laboratory procedures. They also supervise preventive medicine facilities or serve on preventive medicine staffs.

  • Animal Care Specialist (68T)

    The animal care specialist is primarily responsible for the prevention and control of diseases transmitted from animal to man, as well as the comprehensive care for government-owned animals.

  • Soldier shows a technique to check the ear drums of a patient while conducting a physical after a hearing test.

    Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist (68U)

    The ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist supervises or conducts routine diagnostic tests and assists in the care and treatment of ENT and audiology patients. ENT specialists work alongside otolaryngologist assisting in care of patients with ear, nose and throat issues and recovery.  

  • Soldier treating a patient.

    Respiratory Specialist (68V)

    The respiratory specialist is primarily responsible for helping with the management of a respiratory unit by administering respiratory therapy and performing pulmonary function tests under the supervision of a physician or nurse anesthetist.

    The respiratory specialist is strictly an advanced level position. 

  • Health Care Specialist

    Combat Medic Specialist (68W)

    The combat medic specialist is primarily responsible for providing emergency medical treatment at point of wounding on the battlefield, limited primary care, and health protection and evacuation from a point of injury or illness.

  • Behavioral Health Specialist (68X)

    The Behavioral Health Specialist is primarily responsible for assisting with the management and treatment of inpatient and outpatient mental health activities.

  • Soldier examining a patients eyes.

    Eye Specialist (68Y)

    The eye specialist supervises or conducts routine diagnostic tests and assists in the care and treatment of ophthalmology or optometry patients. Eye specialists work closely with ophthalmologists, optometrists and ophthalmic specialists in caring for patients with eye problems.

  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Specialist (74D)

    Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Specialists are primarily responsible for defending the country against the threat of CBRN weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction.

  • Soldier receives ammunition.

    Ammunition Stock Control and Accounting Specialist (89A)

    The ammunition stock control and accounting specialist operates the Standard Ammunition and Accounting System-Modernized computer hardware and software, and utilizes manual records to perform stock control and accounting procedures for ammunition, explosives and associated explosive components.

  • Soldier inserting bullets in a magazine.

    Ammunition Specialist (89B)

    Ammunition specialists are specialized Soldiers who are responsible for the management of ordnance (ammunition and explosives). They are tasked with receiving, storing and issuing conventional ammunition, guided missiles, large rockets, explosives and other ammunition and explosive related items.

  • Soldier explaining the standard operating procedures he has to execute when units submit fuel sample to the PQAS-E at the Joint National Training Center.

    Petroleum Laboratory Specialist (92L)

    Petroleum laboratory specialists are primarily responsible for supervising or conducting laboratory tests on petroleum, oil and lubricant products.

Insert your line scores above to see what jobs you could be qualified for.

OTHER RESOURCES TO PREPARE FOR THE ASVAB TEST

Check out other Department of Defense websites for more information about the ASVAB and AFQT tests and practice questions.

March 2 Success

March 2 Success provides materials to help improve scores on the standardized tests, such as SAT, ACT, state exit exams and ASVAB.

ASVAB CAREER EXPLORATION PROGRAM

The ASVAB Career Exploration Program was developed with input from a panel of career-development experts and designed to encourage students to increase their level of self-knowledge and to understand how that information could be linked to civilian and military occupational characteristics.

Today's Military

Today's military website provides a section dedicated to exploring military tests, specifically the ASVAB, and helping potential military candidates learn more about their skills and interests, helping match them up with possible career paths.

ARMY CAREER EXPLORER

Take a look at the jobs and career paths that fit your goals by creating an account and exploring your options. Part of the Army career explorer is a practice ASVAB test that will give you a general idea of your strengths and weaknesses, and average ASVAB score.