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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 training in a field.

    Infantryman (11B)

    The infantry is the main land combat force and backbone of the Army. They are responsible for defending our country against any threat by land, as well as capturing, destroying and repelling enemy ground forces.

  • Soldiers firing a mortar.

    Indirect Fire Infantryman (11C)

    The indirect fire infantryman is a member of a mortar squad, section or platoon. The mortar has the most power and range of any weapon in an infantry unit.

  • Soldiers training in a field.

    Infantryman (11X)

    The infantry is the main land combat force and backbone of the Army. It’s also the starting point for many advanced schools such as: Special Forces, Airborne School, Ranger School, Sniper School, and Pathfinder School.

  • Engineer Soldiers performing basic demolition.

    Combat Engineer (12B)

    Combat engineers primarily supervise, serve or assist as a member of a team when they are tackling rough terrain in combat situations. They provide their expertise in areas such as mobility, countermobility, survivability and general engineering.

  • Bridge Crewmembers building an Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB).

    Bridge Crewmember (12C)

    Bridge crewmembers provide bridge and rafting support for dry and wet gap crossing operations when a squad, section or platoon tackles rough terrain in combat situations.

  • Soldier putting away ammo.

    Field Artillery Firefinder RADAR Operator (13R)

    The field artillery firefinder radar operator is responsible for detecting enemy forces and alerting the units in the Army. Using a “firefinder” — which are highly specialized radars — they can detect various objects and their locations.

  • Avenger Crewmember (14S)

    An Avenger Crewmember operates and maintains an Army surface-to-air missile system, designed to provide protection  against cruise missiles, and low-flying aircraft. The crewmember is responsible for operating and maintaining the Avenger system, which consists of eight STINGER missiles enclosed inside of two missile pods. It is also combined with a remotely fired .50 cal machine gun that is mounted to a Humvee.

  • PATRIOT Launching Station Enhanced Operator/Maintainer (14T)

    A Patriot Launching Station Enhanced Operator-Maintainer, is in charge of one of the world’s most advanced missile systems: the Patriot. The Patriot system is the center piece weapon system against multiple air threats, including  ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. The operator-maintainer is responsible for operating and maintaining the Patriot Launching Station, which includes transporting, emplacement, electronic and maintenance.

    The 14T is also responsible for the transport, preparation and loading of technologically advanced interceptor missiles that ensure the Patriot missile system is capable of tracking, launching, and destroying enemy air threats at a moment’s notice.

  • 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.

  • U.S. Army Cavalry Scout using radio.

    Cavalry Scout (19D)

    The cavalry scout is responsible for being the eyes and ears of the commander during battle. They engage the enemy in the field, track and report their activity and direct the employment of weapon systems to their locations.

  • Soldiers firing the M1A1-SA Abrams Tank.

    M1 Armor Crewman (19K)

    The M1 armor crewman is responsible for operating armored equipment such as the M1A2 Abrams to destroy enemy positions. As part of the tank and armor unit, they are ready to defend our country anywhere in the world.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.  

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Motor Transport Operator

    Motor Transport Operator (88M)

    Motor transport operators are primarily responsible for supervising or operating wheel vehicles to transport personnel and cargo. They are the backbone of the Army’s support and sustainment structure, providing advanced mobility on and off the battlefield.

  • 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.

  • Culinary Specialist (92G)

    The culinary specialist is primarily responsible for the preparation and service of food in field or garrison food service operations.

  • 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.