The ASVAB test is administered to potential military recruits to help determine which branch of service and which military jobs they will be best suited for. It is not a test of intelligence and is administered only in English. The test consists of nine subjects: General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronics Information, Auto and Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension, and Assembling Objects.


High school students can take the test in their sophomore, junior, or senior years, although scores from sophomore tests can’t be used for enlistment purposes. There is no charge to sit for the exam, and the results will have no impact on your high school academic record or your college application. This is a risk-free way to better evaluate your opportunities for the future after high school graduation.
Arithmetic Reasoning tests the ability to solve basic arithmetic problems encountered in everyday life. One-step and multistep word problems require addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and choosing the correct order of operations when more than one step is necessary. The items include operations with whole numbers, operations with rational numbers, ratio and proportion, interest, percentage and measurement. Arithmetic Reasoning is one factor that helps characterize mathematics comprehension, and it also assesses logical thinking.
There are several different authorized pay grade advancement requirements in each junior-enlisted rank category (E-1 to E-3), which differ by service. Enlistees in the Army can attain the initial pay grade of E-4 (specialist) with a four-year degree, but the highest initial pay grade is usually E-3 (members of the Army Band program can expect to enter service at the grade of E-4). Promotion through the junior enlisted ranks occurs after serving for a specified number of years (which can be waived by the soldier's chain of command), a specified level of technical proficiency or maintenance of good conduct. Promotion can be denied with reason.

Standard Scores are scores that have a fixed mean and standard deviation in the population of examinees. A Standard Score indicates how many units of the standard deviation a particular score is above or below the mean. In the case of the ASVAB subtests, the mean is set to 50 and the standard deviation is set to 10. Thus, a Standard Score of 40 indicates that the examinee scored 1 standard deviation below the mean. A Standard Score of 70 indicates that the examinee scored 2 standard deviations above the mean. To learn more about how standard scores are derived and used, click here.

Armed Forces & Society (AFS) a quarterly publication with international scope publishes articles on civil-military relations, veterans, force effectiveness and diversity, military culture, officer education and training, military institutions, ethics, unit cohesion, military families, peacemaking, privatization, public opinion and conflict management. The editors and contributors include political scientist, sociologist, psychologists, legal scholars, historians and economists as well as specialists in military organization and strategy, and peacekeeping.

The various armed forces adopted all of those aspects in 1976. At that point in time, the test was in its written form rather than today’s more common form (computerized test format). The written form covers all of the previously mentioned areas as well, which is why both forms are still available. All-in-all that answers the question concerning the intention of the test.
In order to take the ASVAB at a MEPS for enlistment purposes, an individual will need to speak with a recruiter and schedule a time to take the test. ASVAB testing at a MEPS is self-paced and taken on a computer, and it may be retaken after a one-month waiting period.  Entitled the CAT-ASVAB, the test is adaptive – meaning it adapts to your ability level.
The ASVAB test can be taken at your school or a MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Stations) or MET (Mobile Examination Test) sites.  When the ASVAB is administered at your school, it is usually part of the Student Testing Program or Career Exploration Program.  When the ASVAB is given at MEPS or MET sites, it is part of the Enlistment Testing Program.  The ASVAB test content is the same no matter where you take it, except that you will not have to take the Assembling Objects test if you take the test at your school (as part of the Student Testing Program).  When you take the test in the Student Testing Program you will receive three composite scores (Verbal Skills, Math Skills, and Science and Technical Skills).  When you take the ASVAB as part of the Enlistment Testing Program, you will receive an AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test) score and Service composite scores.  These scores are used for assigning your military job.
The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) is used by all of the Services to determine if an applicant is eligible for the military. Four of the ASVAB subtests are combined to form the AFQT. It measures general cognitive ability and is composed of verbal and mathematics subtests. AFQT scores are grouped into categories for reporting purposes. The table below shows the AFQT categories and the percentile score ranges corresponding to the categories. Applicants that score in AFQT category IIIA or higher may qualify for enlistment incentives.
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