Since 1976, the multiple-choice ASVAB has been used for initial aptitude screening as well as MOS classification. The exam has changed since its inception. While some parts have remained, such as arithmetic reasoning and word knowledge, others like tool knowledge have been removed in favor of questions related to assembling objects. After nearly 20 years of research and development, a computer-adaptive version of the exam was implemented in 1996. The CAT-ASVAB is the first large-scale adaptive battery test to be administered in high-stakes environments like a Military Entrance Processing Station. The paper and pencil, or P&P version is still used at a variety of other military testing sites.

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?”


You should note that the exam is given only in English. This is because all of the documents you will need to reference during your military career are in English. Even if English is not your native language, you should be able to make the cut as long as you study enough. You may need to take another test, the ECL (English Comprehension Level), to make sure that you can read and follow instructions given English if it is not your native language.
The underlying model used for the ASVAB is a three-parameter logistic (3PL) model. This model represents the probability that an examinee at a given level of ability will respond correctly to an individual item with given characteristics. The characteristics used are difficulty, discrimination and guessing (this refers to the likelihood that a very low ability examinee would respond correctly simply by guessing).
Understanding the ASVAB score range is to understand standard deviations. The highest score on the ASVAB is a 99 and the lowest score is a one. Scores are based on the mean of all examinees. This is to say that a score of 50 would account for an average score. Each increment of 10 represents a single standard deviation from the mean score. So, for example, a score of 80 would be three standard deviations better than the meanwhile a score of 30 would be two standard deviations lower than the mean score.
The Arithmetic Reasoning section of the test measures your ability to solve arithmetic word problems. You may be asked questions such as “If the tire of a car rotates at a constant speed of 552 times in 1 minute, how many times will the tire rotate in half an hour?” Therefore, reviewing common math key words associated with each operation is recommended. For example, if you see the key words “in all,” the problem deals with addition. If the problem asks you to “find the difference,” you are being asked to subtract. If a question asks “how many times” per day or week, you know you are dealing with multiplication. If it asks “how many in each,” you should be thinking about division. The CAT-ASVAB has 16 questions in 39 minutes; the paper-and-pencil version has 30 questions in 36 minutes.
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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