The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a test that covers basic knowledge such as math and verbal skills, writing skills, and vocabulary. It is a required test for entrance into the military, but it can also be an indicator for general aptitude skills for other purposes. For those looking to go into military service, the ASVAB score is a crucial indicator of prospective job placement, so it is very important to take this test seriously and to focus on your strengths when taking the exam. Higher test scores often mean better jobs, higher salary, and more opportunities for advancement in the military.
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).
Personnel may be recruited or conscripted, depending on the system chosen by the state. Most military personnel are males; the minority proportion of female personnel varyies internationally (approximately 3% in India, 10% in the UK, 13% in Sweden, 16% in the US, and 27% in South Africa). While two-thirds of states now recruit or conscript only adults, as of 2017 50 states still relied partly on children under the age of 18 (usually aged 16 or 17) to staff their armed forces.
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).
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.