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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.
 
 

  • Soldiers assess an area.

    Power Distribution Specialist (12Q)

    The  power distribution specialist is primarily responsible for the electrical distribution system in the Army.

  • Interior Electrician (12R)

    The interior electrician is primarily responsible for the installation and maintenance for all of the Army’s interior electrical systems.

  • Soldier repairing a Apache helicopter inside a hangar.

    Avionic Mechanic (15N)

    The avionic mechanic performs maintenance on tactical-communications-security, communication, navigation and flight control equipment.

  • Soldier working on a computer.

    Financial Management Technician (36B)

    The finance management technician is responsible for financial management duties such as budgeting, disbursing and accounting for government funds. They make sure vendors are paid, budgets are balanced and financial matters are met so the Army keeps running.

  • Religious Affairs Specialists serve as assistants to Army Chaplains.

    Religious Affairs Specialist (56M)

    Religious Affairs Specialists provide much-needed support to the chaplains during missions and everyday activities. A Religious Affairs Specialist’s primary purpose is support for the unit ministry team programs and worship services.

  • Soldier filling out paperwork.

    Patient Administration Specialist (68G)

    The patient administration specialist is primarily responsible for supervising and performing administrative duties in the patient administration division of an Army hospital or other medical facilities.

  • Soldiers assemble medical supplies for aid stations.

    Medical Logistics Specialist (68J)

    The medical logistics specialist is primarily responsible for receiving, storing, recording and issuing Army medical supplies.

  • Transportation Management Coordinator

    Transportation Management Coordinator (88N)

    Transportation management coordinators are primarily responsible for scheduling and selecting the modes of transportation for personnel and equipment. They organize, plan and oversee the movement of those vehicles, personnel and cargo worldwide.

  • Ordnance Officer talking to an enlisted Soldier.

    Ordnance Officer (91A)

    Ordnance officers are responsible for ensuring that weapons systems, vehicles and equipment are ready and available — and in perfect working order — at all times. They also manage the developing, testing, fielding, handling, storage and disposal of munitions.

  • Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic (91B)

    The wheeled vehicle mechanic is primarily responsible for supervising and performing maintenance and recovery operations on wheeled vehicles and associated items, as well as heavy-wheeled vehicles and select armored vehicles.

  • Track Vehicle Repairer (91H)

    The track vehicle repairer is primarily responsible for performing maintenance on tracked vehicles and supervising activities that include fuel and electrical system repair and maintenance.

  • Soldier closing a Fuel System Supply Point valve.

    Quartermaster and Chemical Equipment Repairer (91J)

    The quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer are primarily responsible for supervising or performing maintenance on chemical equipment, quartermaster machinery, forced air-heaters and special purpose equipment.

  • Soldiers working on equipment.

    Construction Equipment Repairer (91L)

    Construction equipment repairers are responsible for maintaining trucks, bulldozers, power shovels and other heavy equipment that are needed for construction operations.

  • Bradley Fighting Vehicle System Maintainer (91M)

    The Bradley fighting vehicle system maintainer handles the maintenance and repair of the M2/M3, A2/A3 Bradley fighting vehicle, the M6 Bradley linebacker air defense vehicle and the M-7 Bradley fire support team vehicle.

  • Soldier preparing a M119A3 Howitzer.

    Artillery Mechanic (91P)

    The artillery mechanic is primarily responsible for supervising and performing maintenance and recovery operations of all self-propelled field artillery cannon weapon systems — including automotive, turret, fire control and chemical protection subsystems.

  • Soldiers discussing a training event.

    Quartermaster Officer (92A)

    Quartermaster officers are responsible for making sure equipment, materials and systems are available and functioning for missions. More specifically, the quartermaster officer provides supply support for Soldiers and units in field services, aerial delivery, and material and distribution management.

  • Soldier inspecting equipment.

    Unit Supply Specialist (92Y)

    The unit supply specialist is primarily responsible for supervising or performing tasks involving the general upkeep and maintenance of all Army supplies and equipment.

  • Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Repairer (94P)

    As an essential member of the Army’s weapons maintenance team, the multiple launch rocket system repairer supervises and performs maintenance on various rocket systems, including the Multiple Launch Rocket System, High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and the self-propelled launcher-loader.

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.