First, the ASVAB measures your accumulated knowledge in different areas. So if you are currently in school, stay focused and study hard. Your overall knowledge gained in school will most likely be reflected in your ASVAB score. Second, though accumulated knowledge is important, you may be able to raise your score by preparing specifically for the ASVAB, especially in areas where you are weak. Various study guides are available for this purpose (listed left).
Anyone who is planning to enlist in the United States Armed Forces should be familiar with the military’s standards and screening processes. An important part of this screening process is the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), which is a subsection of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). This standardized assessment measures a candidate’s skills in the areas of paragraph comprehension, word knowledge, arithmetic reasoning, and mathematics knowledge.

The content of the test has been clearly laid out, but there is still a ton of information concerning the actual place where the test is administered and the time that is allocated for each section. The computerized test is administered in a “military entrance processing station” (MEP) or a satellite region that is identified as a “military entrance tests site” (MET). The difference in the two locations is that the METs are the places that are responsible for administering the written test, while MEPs are the places that administer the computerized tests.
If you are pressed for time, it may be worthwhile to look into future ASVAB test dates in order to plan ahead in case you get a poor score on your upcoming ASVAB test. You can check with your high school counselor or your military recruiter to make sure that you will be eligible to take future tests along with your planned upcoming test date in the event that you get a bad ASVAB score.
In broad usage, the terms "armed forces" and "military" are often treated as synonymous, although in technical usage a distinction is sometimes made in which a country's armed forces may include both its military and other paramilitary forces. Armed force is the use of armed forces to achieve political objectives. There are various forms of irregular military forces, not belonging to a recognized state; though they share many attributes with regular military forces, they are less often referred to as simply "military".
You are tested in four critical areas — Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge (see below) — these scores count towards your Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score. The AFQT score determines whether you’re qualified to enlist in the U.S. military. Your scores in the other areas of the ASVAB determine how qualified you are for certain military specialties. Score high, and your chances of getting the specialty/job you want increase. The better score you get, the better chance you have of pursuing the specialty or field that you desire.
The General Science section of the test covers earth, space, and physical and life sciences. Because science is such a vast and dynamic topic, focus your study on basic principles. This gives you a good foundation to work through any question that is asked of you. Typical questions may include: “Why is air less dense than water?” or “How do you convert Celsius temperature to Fahrenheit?” The CAT-ASVAB test asks 16 questions in 8 minutes, while the pencil-and-paper version asks 25 questions in 11 minutes.

If you are interested in using your test scores for military service, you will receive an Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score. This score is calculated using the scores from the Word Knowledge (WK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), and Mathematics Knowledge (MK) portions of the exam. AFQT scores are expressed as percentile scores in order to better compare results among all potential military recruits.


There are nine sections on the exam: General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronics Information, Automotive and Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension, Assembling Objects, and Verbal Expression. The time limits for each section range from 10 – 36 minutes; the entire exam takes three hours.


Battlefield commission: under certain conditions, enlisted personnel who have skills that separate them from their peers can become officers by direct commissioning of a commander so authorized to grant them. This type of commission is rarely granted and is reserved only for the most exceptional enlisted personnel; it is done on an ad hoc basis, typically only in wartime. No direct battlefield commissions have been awarded since the Vietnam War. The Navy and Air Force do not employ this commissioning path.
Limited Duty Officer: due to the highly technical nature of some officer billets, the Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard employ a system of promoting proven senior enlisted members to the ranks of commissioned officers. They fill a need that is similar to, but distinct from that filled by warrant officers (to the point where their accession is through the same school). While warrant officers remain technical experts, LDOs take on the role of a generalist, like that of officers commissioned through more traditional sources. LDOs are limited, not by their authority, but by the types of billets they are allowed to fill. However, in recent times they have come to be used more and more like their more-traditional counterparts.
While you may want to get the ASVAB over with, it is important to give yourself enough time to prepare and practice for the ASVAB. Once you take the test you will have to wait 30 days before you are eligible to re-take the test if you got a non-passing score, or if you want a better grade. After you retake the test twice, you will need to wait for a 6 month time period before being able to take the test again. For this reason, it is important to pick an ASVAB test date that gives you plenty of time to practice and prepare for each section of the test.

The content of the test has been clearly laid out, but there is still a ton of information concerning the actual place where the test is administered and the time that is allocated for each section. The computerized test is administered in a “military entrance processing station” (MEP) or a satellite region that is identified as a “military entrance tests site” (MET). The difference in the two locations is that the METs are the places that are responsible for administering the written test, while MEPs are the places that administer the computerized tests.
You’ll find a great practice test and lots of other information about the ASVAB at the Department of Defense's ASVAB Career Exploration Program site (ASVABprogram.com). Since your test scores can have an impact on your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)—and whether or not you can attend certain special schools (like Airborne school, Sniper school and many others)—we recommend you make the most of these additional resources.
The ASVAB is a population-referenced exam, which means that the score you receive for the ASVAB is not an exact measure of how you scored on the test, but rather how you scored in relation to a national control group who took the test in 1997. Standard Scores are used on the ASVAB: in each subtest, about 50% of the population received a Standard Score of 50, while only 16% scored over 60. You will receive an estimated score after taking the paper test and official scores later through your recruiter, usually within days. You will immediately receive your scores upon completing the computer test.
The percentages of FY 1999 active duty NPS accessions in each AFQT category are shown in Table 2.8. The percentage of recruits in Categories I and II was approximately the same as their civilian counterparts (males - 39 versus 39 percent; females - 34 versus 33 percent). Category III accessions greatly exceeded civilian proportions (males - 61 versus 30 percent; females - 66 versus 37 percent), while the percentage of recruits in Category IV was much lower than in the civilian population (males - 1 percent versus 20 percent; females - less than 1 percent versus 22 percent). The low percentage of Category IV recruits is, in part, a result of DoD limits of 4 percent Category IV recruits, with even lower Service limits. Ten percent of civilian males and 9 percent of civilian females scored in Category V; DoD allows no Category V recruits.
Army.mil says of ASVAB/PiCAT testing, “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.” Test administration and scheduling procedures are handled differently by each branch of the military.
For those who are interested in enlisting in the military, they are screened using the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), which is comprised of a subset of scores from the ASVAB. Successfully passing the AFQT is not the sole requirement for enlisting but is one of the qualifications that must be met. There are various requirements for the different branches of the military and those interested are encouraged to contact recruiters to obtain more information about requirements specific to that branch.
Every single individual that goes through the enlistment process should excel both mentally and physically. That is the number one principle that has consistently inspired this nation to serve these brave and honorable individuals with unwavering efforts. Those efforts officially came to the forefront when the country as a whole decided to correct perhaps the most significant enlistment related problem (passing the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test). Countless hours of hard work and dedication are currently reflected by the top-of-the-line ASVAB practice tests that this nation offers.
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