Air Force recruits must score at least 36 points the 99-point ASVAB. The overall ASVAB score is known as the AFQT score, or Armed Forces Qualification Test score. Exceptions may be made, however, for a handful of high school graduates who can score as low as 31. The vast majority, some 70 percent, of those accepted for an Air Force enlistment achieve a score of 50 or above.
ASVAB stands for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. It is a test that was originally established in 1968 to measure and predict the success of an applicant in various academic and occupational pursuits in the military. High school and post-secondary students and adults take the test more than one million times each year. If you’re interested in joining the military, or if you already have and would like to take a sample test, simply navigate through the ten practice test sections and take whichever tests you’d like as often as you’d like.
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 Electronics Information section of the practice test gauges your knowledge of electrical equipment and parts, including circuits, currents, batteries, and resistors. An example may be, “Because solid state diodes have no filament, they: don’t work, are less efficient than tubes, require less operating power, or require more operating power?” The CAT-ASVAB has 16 questions in 8 minutes; the paper-and-pencil version has 20 questions in 9 minutes.
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In the 1950s, the military adopted a single exam known as the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). Used as a screening tool, the AFQT measured a recruit’s ability to absorb military training and their future potential. It was supplemented by service-specific battery tests for the purposes of MOS classification. In 1972, the Department of Defense determined that all services should use one exam for screening and assigning individuals to an MOS. The AFQT was phased out over a two-year period in favor of the current Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test.
Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the low numbers, the algorithm that computes the AFQT is very sophisticated. Just because your ASVAB score is 40 doesn’t mean that you only got 40% of the questions correct, it could simply mean that you lack strength in one area, but succeed with high praise in another. Your ASVAB score is only a means by which you are categorized for available positions; it is by no means a measure of intelligence.