Candidates taking the ASVAB are given a AFQT (Armed Forces Qualifying Test) score which is simply a combination of your scores from four tests (Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Word Knowledge, and Paragraph Comprehension). This AFQT score is represented as a percentile (from 1-99) which depicts how well you scored compared to other test takers. For example, if your score is a 57, this means that you scored better than 57% of the other test takers. The AFQT score is used to determine whether you are qualified to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces.
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.
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.
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 United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces and forms military policy with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States.
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.
After a candidate has completed the ASVAB they must wait one calendar month before retaking the exam. An additional calendar month must pass before retesting a second time. Six calendar months must pass before retaking the test a third time. The scores received from the ASVAB may be used for enlistment for up to two years from the initial test date.