The ASVAB tests recruits in ten different areas. It is presented as ten short tests administered over a three-hour period. Traditionally, the ASVAB is a “proctored” test, meaning that it has required supervision to administer in order to maintain the integrity of the test. However, changes to military recruiting and technology in general have helped the ASVAB evolve as a 21st century tool.
Our comprehensive study guide for the AFQT is written by our AFQT experts, who painstakingly researched the topics and the concepts that you need to know to ace your AFQT. Our original research into the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), offered by the Department of Defense (DOD), reveals the specific content areas and the essential skills that are critical for you to know on the AFQT. We've taken the information and developed a study guide that is guaranteed to help you be successful on the AFQT.
With very few exceptions, becoming a non-commissioned officer (NCO) or petty officer in the U.S. Armed Forces is accomplished by progression through the lower enlisted ranks. However, unlike promotion through the lower enlisted tier, promotion to NCO is generally competitive. NCO ranks begin at E-4 or E-5, depending upon service and are generally attained between three and six years of service. Junior NCOs function as first-line supervisors and squad leaders, training the junior enlisted in their duties and guiding their career advancement.
To be admitted to the ASVAB testing room you will need to show a valid id. It is also important to be on time (or early!) since you will be turned away if you show up after the scheduled start time. The ASVAB can be given via computer or pencil and paper.  If you are testing at a MEPS site you will take it on a computer.  The pencil and paper version is given at most MET sites.  The computer version of the test is given as a "computer adaptive test" (CAT) which means that the test will adapt based on the level of the individual test taker (e.g., if you answer many questions correctly, you may be shown fewer questions).
The ASVAB is routinely reviewed to eliminate any potential biases from questions and scoring. The exam underwent a major revision in 2002. Two years later, a renormalization of the percentile scoring system was performed to ensure that a 50 percent score represented performing better than 50 percent of all test takers. The 10-section ASVAB improves the matching of volunteers with available jobs and helps match job openings with qualified individuals.
This advice, though well-intentioned, doesn’t address the needs of some new recruits who are interested in specific career fields but are worried about their test performance-especially in areas related to math comprehension. Potential recruits who feel deficient in math, language, or science skills should have a frank conversation with their recruiter to discuss possible refresher study or even supplemental classes in any self-perceived “problem areas” before taking the test.

In complete honesty, one can say that the test identifies with an entire life's worth of knowledge. It essentially pulls from 3 different aspects. First, it draws from concrete facts that were acquired from all areas of a person's educational career. Secondly, it draws from a person’s ability to comprehend and use context clues to make assumptions. Lastly, it draws from a person’s physical/verbal skills to see if they can properly administer those more physical aspects. Overall this is why people have identified it as the “SAT on steroids.”
Later this became known as military science, and later still, would adopt the scientific method approach to the conduct of military operations under the influence of the Industrial Revolution thinking. In his seminal book On War, the Prussian Major-General and leading expert on modern military strategy, Carl von Clausewitz defined military strategy as 'the employment of battles to gain the end of war'.[36] According to Clausewitz:

Taking the PiCAT exam may, depending on circumstances including scores and other factors, may relieve a new recruit of having to take the ASVAB in a proctored setting. In the past, recruits who were preparing to enter military service at Military Entrance Processing Station would take the ASVAB in a group setting; PiCAT can help new recruits avoid having to retake the test. PiCAT test performance and other factors will determine whether or not the ASVAB has to be taken at MEPS.
The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) covers four sections from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB): Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, and Mathematics Knowledge. These four sections and your scores on them make up the Military Entrance Score, also known as the AFQT. Your AFQT score is used to determine your eligibility for entrance into the Armed Services.

A lot of people see the “CAT” term attached to the ASVAB test when they first start looking into the test and aren’t sure what that stands for. This term is an acronym and it stands for “Computerized Adaptive Test”. There are three different versions of the ASVAB test. The CAT is available at military processing stations for enlisting soldiers. The pencil and paper (also known as the P&P or S-ASVAB) version of the test is available for high school and college students who may not actually enlist. The third type of ASVAB test is the MET-ASVAB, or Mobile Examination Test, which is available only for enlisted soldiers at mobile testing centers (this test is also done with paper and pencil).

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.


Each branch of the service operates its own Service Academy as a four-year institution of higher education. All students receive a full scholarship with a small monthly stipend. Upon graduation, you're commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps or as an ensign in the Navy or Coast Guard. Appointment to a service academy is extremely competitive. For more information, call 1-800-822-8762 (US Military Academy in West Point, New York), 1-800-638-9156 (US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland), 1-800-443-9266 (US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado), 1-800-883-8724 (US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut), and 1-866-546-4778 (United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York).

The remaining six sections on the ASVAB are used to drill down and determine what job you are best suited for in the military as these scores will provide in-depth insight into your knowledge, skills and interests. These six sections are: General Science (GS), Mechanical Comprehension (MC), Electronics Information (EI), and Assembling Objects (AO), Auto Information (AI) & Shop Information (SI). Please note: AI and SI are combined into one single score (labeled AS) on the paper and pencil test.
These scores include your Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score as well as your scores on each of the 9 individual subtests that make up the ASVAB.  When you get your report, the most important score you will want to look for first is your AFQT score.  This score determines your eligibility to serve in the military and to enlist in the U.S. Marines you need to have achieved a score of at least 32.
In addition to the MGIB, there may be additional funds available from the College Fund and Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) "kicker". If you are receiving Tuition Assistance (TA) from your branch of service, you may be eligible to use MGIB to supplement or "top up" your tuition assistance. Benefits end 10 years from the date of your last discharge or release from active duty. You may be able to transfer your MGIB entitlement to basic educational assistance to one or more of your dependents, including your spouse and/or children. To apply, file VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits. For more information, call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) or visit the GI Bill Education Benefits web site.
Once you have learned about yourself, you are ready to begin exploring different career options.  Chances for a rewarding career are improved if you select a career field that matches your interests, values, skills, and abilities.  While learning about various careers, you should be constantly asking yourself, “How well does this career match my current interests, values, and abilities?” and “Will this career lead to a lifestyle I want?”
If you are enlisting in the military, good - a patriotic journey, where you can build skills and see the world. However there is one thing your recruiter didn't tell you. Your ability to get into a department that you want, depends on how well you can take a quiz - just like you did with the SAT, or whatever those test are called in current times. Those test asked those really stupid questions about the cost of ice cream if a train leaves New York at 4:00 and it is 20 degrees on Colorado. This book will teach you how to answer those ridiculous questions that WILL control your destiny. Get a copy and memorize it... then serving your country will lead to a great career.

Test scores provide only one measure of your skills and abilities.  Test scores and grades, combined with information about your interests, values, skills, and achievements may help you select appropriate occupations for career exploration.  As you explore careers, you can compare your skills with the skill requirements of occupations in which you are interested.
With very few exceptions, becoming a non-commissioned officer (NCO) or petty officer in the U.S. Armed Forces is accomplished by progression through the lower enlisted ranks. However, unlike promotion through the lower enlisted tier, promotion to NCO is generally competitive. NCO ranks begin at E-4 or E-5, depending upon service and are generally attained between three and six years of service. Junior NCOs function as first-line supervisors and squad leaders, training the junior enlisted in their duties and guiding their career advancement.
The ASVAB is routinely reviewed to eliminate any potential biases from questions and scoring. The exam underwent a major revision in 2002. Two years later, a renormalization of the percentile scoring system was performed to ensure that a 50 percent score represented performing better than 50 percent of all test takers. The 10-section ASVAB improves the matching of volunteers with available jobs and helps match job openings with qualified individuals.
As of 2017, the U.S. spends about US$610 billion annually to fund its military forces and Overseas Contingency Operations.[6] Put together, the U.S. constitutes roughly 40 percent of the world's military expenditures. The U.S. Armed Forces has significant capabilities in both defense and power projection due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful technologies which enables a widespread deployment of the force around the world, including around 800 military bases outside the United States.[12] The U.S. Air Force is the world's largest air force, the U.S. Navy is the world's largest navy by tonnage, and the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps combined are the world's second largest air arm. In terms of size, the U.S. Coast Guard is the world's 12th largest naval force.[13] [14][15]

Ready to start preparing for the ASVAB? Take our free, 15-question ASVAB practice test on Study.com. Each free practice test comes with a diagnostic report of your strengths and weaknesses, so you'll know what to study next. After establishing a high-level understanding of what you need to focus on, become a Study.com member and gain access to custom ASVAB study guides and additional practice tests!
The ASVAB is routinely reviewed to eliminate any potential biases from questions and scoring. The exam underwent a major revision in 2002. Two years later, a renormalization of the percentile scoring system was performed to ensure that a 50 percent score represented performing better than 50 percent of all test takers. The 10-section ASVAB improves the matching of volunteers with available jobs and helps match job openings with qualified individuals.

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.


Jump up ^ The United States Coast Guard has both military and law enforcement functions. Title 14 of the United States Code provides that "The Coast Guard as established 28 January 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times." Coast Guard units, or ships of its predecessor service, the Revenue Cutter Service, have seen combat in every war and armed conflict of the United States since 1790, including the Iraq War.
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.
In order to perform well on the ASVAB, you should take a practice test to get an idea of what you’ll encounter on the actual test. Also, completing a practice test will help you to feel more at ease on test day. Reading the test instructions and focusing your full attention on each question are both important steps to take. As you work through the test, avoid spending too much time on a single question. The test has a time limit and you don’t want to fall into the trap of running out of time before you arrive at the end of the test. Taking the time to provide thoughtful answers to test questions allows you to offer a clear picture of your skills and capabilities. Earning a high score on the ASVAB may give you more options when it comes to choosing a specialty.
The SAT requires training of the mind. More specifically it requires one to be able to pick up on context clues, make valid assumptions, and express concrete facts. This is why millions of students study intensely before they jump right into the test. Imagine if another area was added onto that same test. The person studying for that test would then need to study even harder. That is the logic that should be put forth when preparing for the ASVAB. It requires that a person expresses the previously mentioned skills while adding the verbal/physical aspects. The question becomes “How does one prepare themselves for this rigorous test?”
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