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 CAT-ASVAB is a computer-based exam that is only provided at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) for enlistment purposes. The test is customized based on the taker’s answers, so if one question is answered correctly, the next one will be more difficult. This exam is timed, although users have the option of pacing themselves throughout the exam. However, it is not possible to go back through the test and check answers or change responses after they have been submitted. The CAT-ASVAB is broken down into 10 subparts, including basics such as arithmetic and verbal skills as well as auto information, electronics, shop, and mechanical knowledge.
General Science tests the ability to answer questions on a variety of science topics drawn from courses taught in most high schools. The life science items cover botany, zoology, anatomy and physiology, and ecology. The earth and space science items are based on astronomy, geology, meteorology and oceanography. The physical science items measure force and motion mechanics, energy, fluids, atomic structure and chemistry.
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.
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.
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.
The vast majority of ASVAB test takers will ultimately not enlist in the military. The ASVAB Career Exploration Program claims that only two-and-a-half percent of those who participate in the ASVAB join the military. Forty-seven percent of those who take the exam indicate an interest in attending a four-year college, and 16 percent of those who take the exam originally indicate some kind of an interest in joining the military.
The Assembling Objects section of the ASVAB practice test measures your ability to determine how an object will look when its parts are put together. You will be shown an illustration of pieces and asked to choose which one, among a selection of finished diagrams, shows how they fit together. The CAT-ASVAB has 16 questions in 16 minutes, while the paper-and-pencil version has 25 questions in 15 minutes.
A good score on the ASVAB is different than a minimum required score. Each of the military branches will have their own minimum required scores (see below). In practice, however, each branch will be more selective in their recruiting. A score of 50 on the ASVAB implies that you scored as well or better than 50% of comparable test-takers. Since ASVAB scores are used for many purposes (e.g., enlistment eligibility, military job placements, and career exploration), it is important that you score well on the ASVAB. A score of 60 or better should be your minimum target.
Each year, many high school and postsecondary students take the free Armed Services Vocational Aptitude battery (ASVAB). The ASVAB is the most widely used multiple-aptitude test battery in the world. It consists of eight tests that measure your skills and abilities in the following areas: General Science; Arithmetic Reasoning; World Knowledge; Paragraph Comprehension; Mathematics Knowledge; Electronics Information; Auto and Shop Information; Mechanical Comprehension.
A military recruiter determines if the candidate is a possible recruit. A recruiter will ask about marital status, health, education, drug use, and arrest record. It is important for the candidate to be upfront and truthful when answering questions. Once the recruiter has determined the individual is qualified for additional processing, the ASVAB is scheduled. A physical examination may also be conducted at the time of the test.
The primary reason for the existence of the military is to engage in combat, should it be required to do so by the national defence policy, and to win. This represents an organisational goal of any military, and the primary focus for military thought through military history. How victory is achieved, and what shape it assumes, is studied by most, if not all, military groups on three levels.
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).
I have already served in the military years ago. But I wondered if there was a primer that might have helped me improve my test scores. I think this book would help. Unfortunately it's hard to learn enough from a book to do well on the math and reading comprehension of the ASBAB test. Study hard in math and English class in high school. It's hard to cram from a book to pass a comprehensive test that covers many topics. I think it may give you a few extra points, however.
The Auto and Shop Information section of the ASVAB test measures your knowledge of automobile technology and basic repairs. The shop questions are about basic wood and metals. For example, you will encounter questions such as “Shock absorbers on a car connect the axle to the: wheel, chassis, drive shaft, or exhaust pipe?” You may be asked what sanding blocks are used for, followed by the following choices: preventing high spots and ridges on sanded surfaces, preventing dirt from collecting on the sandpaper, stretching the length of sandpaper, or prolonging the use of the sandpaper. The CAT-ASVAB test has two parts: the first part covering automotive material asks 11 questions in 7 minutes; the 11 shop information questions are allotted 6 minutes. The paper-and-pencil version asks 25 questions in 11 minutes.
In 1974, the first six women naval aviators earned their wings as Navy pilots. The Congressionally mandated prohibition on women in combat places limitations on the pilots' advancement, but at least two retired as captains. In 1989, Captain Linda L. Bray, 29, became the first woman to command American soldiers in battle during the invasion of Panama. The 1991 Gulf War proved to be the pivotal time for the role of women in the U.S. Armed Forces to come to the attention of the world media; there are many reports of women engaging enemy forces during the conflict.
The Word Knowledge section of the test gauges your ability to recognize the meaning of words both individually and when used in a sentence. A question may be phrased as, “‘Antagonize’ most nearly means: embarrass, struggle, provoke, or worship.” Because there are so many words in the English language, you may find it difficult to study the specific words on the test. However, striving to improve your language and vocabulary usage with a practice test like this one can help you not only in preparing for the ASVAB test but also in your career and personal life. The CAT-ASVAB test has 16 questions in 8 minutes, while the paper-and-pencil version has 35 questions in 11 minutes.
AFQT scores are reported as percentiles between 1-99. An AFQT percentile score indicates the percentage of examinees in a reference group that scored at or below that particular score. For current AFQT scores, the reference group is a sample of 18 to 23 year old youth who took the ASVAB as part of a national study conducted in 1997. Thus, an AFQT score of 95 indicates that the examinee scored as well as or better than 95% of the nationally-representative sample of 18 to 23 year olds. An AFQT score of 60 indicates that the examinee scored as well as or better than 60% of the nationally-representative sample.
The format is different depending on where you take the test. At MEP sites, the test is computer-based and is given in an adaptive format. This means that questions may get easier or harder based on your answers to previous questions. The ASVAB-CT does not allow you to review or change your answers, which some recruits may find difficult, but it has some advantages over the pencil-and-paper version given at satellite MET locations. Overall, the exam takes only about 1 ½ hours to complete, doing each section at your own pace – and you can see your scores as soon as you finish taking the test. The pencil-and-paper version takes longer (3-4 hours total time), is not adaptive, and has a time limit for each subtest. You are allowed to change your answers for each subtest before moving on to the next one, but only before the time limit is reached for that subtest. In addition, scores must be processed manually and so they are not available for a few days – although a preliminary AFQT score will be calculated and given to your recruiter once you have completed the test.
After adding so much information to the aptitude test, there was a bit of difficulty interpreting the test results. In addition to that, a vast majority of test takers were deemed as being under qualified based on their test results. This is why the percentile change was made. It ensured that a 50% actually correlated with a person doing better than 50% of the test takers. Those revisions have worked hand-in-hand with the preparation of the armed forces.