AFQT scores are grouped into five main categories based on the percentile score ranges. Categories III and IV are divided into subgroups because the services sometimes use this chart for internal tracking purposes, enlistment limits, and enlistment incentives. Based on your scores, the military decides how trainable you may be to perform jobs in the service.
The military offers boundless opportunities for people looking for a career in serving their country. The five branches of the military (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard) all have active, reserve, and guard units with jobs unique to each branch and level of commitment. Examples of different jobs include military police, telephone technician, psychological operations specialist, journalist, dental specialist, and oboe player. Each job allows for different levels of advancement depending on factors such as job performance and length of service.
Examinees also receive a score on what is called the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). AFQT scores are computed using the Standard Scores from four ASVAB subtests: Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), and Word Knowledge (WK). 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 norming study conducted in 1997. Thus, an AFQT score of 90 indicates that the examinee scored as well as or better than 90% of the nationally-representative sample of 18 to 23 year old youth. An AFQT score of 50 indicates that the examinee scored as well as or better than 50% of the nationally-representative sample.
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Trends in recruiting 1975–2001 showing total numbers of enlisted recruits in all branches of US armed forces in light blue and percentage of recruiting goals met in dark blue. Percentage of recruits with at least a high school diploma is shown in gold, percentage with an above average AFQT in orange, and the percentage called "high quality", with both a diploma and above-average AFQT score, is in purple.
The Mathematics Knowledge section of the exam measures your knowledge of various math areas, such as algebra and geometry. You may be asked to find the square root of a number or the volume of a brick with given dimensions. Algebraic problems may require finding the value of “y” in a given equation. A review of math symbols—such as ≠, ≤, and √—can help you solve the given problems much faster, and using our ASVAB math study guide to practice answering the algebra and geometry questions on the test can help increase your overall AFQT score. The CAT-ASVAB has 16 questions in 20 minutes; the paper-and-pencil version has 25 questions in 24 minutes.
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.
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Obviously, the most important way to prepare to take the test is to spend plenty of time reviewing practice test questions. Look at questions from all sections of the test, but pay special attention to questions on the Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, and Mathematics Knowledge sections, which will be used to calculate your Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score for enlistment.
Whereas recruits who join as officers tend to be upwardly-mobile, most enlisted personnel have a childhood background of relative socio-economic deprivation. For example, after the US suspended conscription in 1973, "the military disproportionately attracted African American men, men from lower-status socioeconomic backgrounds, men who had been in nonacademic high school programs, and men whose high school grades tended to be low".
Don’t let the PC section of the test throw you for a loop. Unlike the individual multiple choice questions in other sections, here you will need to read a paragraph and answer several questions in a row based on that one paragraph. The people who designed this section of the exam really knew how to make sure you are able to read detailed (and often boring) documents, remember the details of what you read, understand why they’re important, and be able to pick out the key concepts they illustrate. When you read each paragraph, it’s helpful to know the kinds of questions you’ll be asked at the end. There are basically four kinds of questions to test your comprehension:
Somewhat earlier, in medieval China, gunpowder had been invented, and was increasingly used by the military in combat. The use of gunpowder in the early vase-like mortars in Europe, and advanced versions of the long bow and cross bow, which all had armour-piercing arrowheads, that put an end to the dominance of the armoured knight. After the long bow, which required great skill and strength to use, the next most significant technological advance was the musket, which could be used effectively, with little training. In time, the successors to muskets and cannon, in the form of rifles and artillery, would become core battlefield technology.
The AFQT has been used in non-military settings as a proxy measure of intelligence, for example, in Herrnstein & Murray's book The Bell Curve. Because of the test's significance both inside and outside military settings, it is important to examine what the test measures, i.e. to evaluate the construct validity of the AFQT. Kaufman's 2010 review stated that David Marks (2010) scanned the literature for datasets containing test estimates for populations or groups taking both the AFQT and tests of literacy. One study on nine groups of soldiers differing in job and reading ability found a correlation of .96 between the AFQT and reading achievement (Sticht, Caylor, Kern, & Fox, 1972). Another study showed significant improvements among Black and Hispanic populations in their AFQT scores between 1980 and 1992 while Whites only showed a slight decrement (Kilburn, Hanser, & Klerman, 1998). Another study obtained reading scores for 17-year olds for those same ethnic groups and dates (Campbell et al., 2000) and found a correlation of .997 between reading scores and AFQT scores. This nearly perfect correlation was based on six pairs of data points from six independent population samples evaluated by two separate groups of investigators. According to Marks, "On the basis of the studies summarized here, there can be little doubt that the Armed Forces Qualifications Test is a measure of literacy." However, it is important to note that AFQT has been shown to correlate more highly with classic IQ tests than they do with one another, and that the "crystallized" intelligence measured by AFQT is measured very similarly by Wechsler, in particular.