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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 PREPARE 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.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT ON THE DAY OF THE TEST?

The ASVAB consists of ten short tests to complete during three hours. 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.

HOW DO I FIND OUT WHAT MY SCORES MEAN, AND HOW ARE THEY USED?

To be considered for enlistment in the Army, you need to score at least a 31 on the ASVAB. 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

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

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 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.
 
 

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

OTHER RESOURCES

Check out other Department of Defense websites for more information about the ASVAB test.

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 Web site provides a section dedicated to exploring the ASVAB test 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.

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