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.


The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is one of the most widely used multiple-aptitude test batteries in the world. It was originally designed to predict success in military occupations and is used today to help both those considering entering the military (mostly high school-aged students, but also anyone who is eligible to enlist) as well as those not interested in military service (who comprise the majority of current ASVAB test takers) what sort of career may be the best fit for them. Scores from the ASVAB can be used when enlisting in the military. Students interested in taking the ASVAB should check with their high school to find out when and if the ASVAB will be offered at their school. If it is not offered, students should meet with their guidance counselor to determine if it is possible to schedule a testing session in the future. There is no cost to take the ASVAB.
It's important to understand the difference between the ASVAB Standard Scores, and the ASVAB AFQT score. Test takers will receive a separate score for each of the nine sections on the ASVAB. These scores are known as Standard Scores. A Standard Score is used to determine how the test taker compares to the "average" 18-23 year old American on that part of the ASVAB. Not long ago, a large number of people in this age group were given the tests, and these results are the benchmark for Standard Scores. Around half the people in this age group will score a 50 or higher, and about 16% will score a 60 or higher. In other words, the scoring is based on a standard bell curve distribution. Standard Scores are very important when it comes to determining which military job a person will be assigned to.

The content of the test has been clearly laid out, but there is still a ton of information concerning the actual place where the test is administered and the time that is allocated for each section. The computerized test is administered in a “military entrance processing station” (MEP) or a satellite region that is identified as a “military entrance tests site” (MET). The difference in the two locations is that the METs are the places that are responsible for administering the written test, while MEPs are the places that administer the computerized tests.


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.
In complete honesty, one can say that the test identifies with an entire life's worth of knowledge. It essentially pulls from 3 different aspects. First, it draws from concrete facts that were acquired from all areas of a person's educational career. Secondly, it draws from a person’s ability to comprehend and use context clues to make assumptions. Lastly, it draws from a person’s physical/verbal skills to see if they can properly administer those more physical aspects. Overall this is why people have identified it as the “SAT on steroids.”
Just as the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, are in charge of the entire military establishment, maintaining civilian control of the military, so too are each of the Defense Department's constitutive military departments headed by civilians. The four DoD branches are organized into three departments, each with civilian heads. The Department of the Army is headed by the Secretary of the Army, the Department of the Navy is headed by the Secretary of the Navy and the Department of the Air Force is headed by the Secretary of the Air Force. The Marine Corps is organized under the Department of the Navy, however it is still considered a separate and equal service. The Coast Guard is under the Department of Homeland Security and receives its operational orders from the Secretary of Homeland Security. However, the Coast Guard may be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President or Congress during a time of war, thereby placing it within the DoD.[19]
As an adjective, military originally referred only to soldiers and soldiering, but it soon broadened to apply to land forces in general, and anything to do with their profession.[2] The names of both the Royal Military Academy (1741) and United States Military Academy (1802) reflect this. However, at about the time of the Napoleonic Wars, 'military' began to be used in reference to armed forces as a whole,[2] and in the 21st century expressions like 'military service', 'military intelligence', and 'military history' encompass naval and air force aspects. As such, it now connotes any activity performed by armed force personnel.

The scores from the other tests are used to determine what type of specialty you might be best suited for.  These "composite" scores (also known as line scores, MOS scores, or aptitude area scores) are calculated by adding together combinations of the different sub test standard scores. These composite scores are then used to determine which different military jobs (aka Military Occupational Specialties or MOS) may be the best fit for you.  Each branch of the military will have their own approach to these composite scores.
Either because of the cultural memory, national history, or the potentiality of a military threat, the militarist argument asserts that a civilian population is dependent upon, and thereby subservient to the needs and goals of its military for continued independence. Militarism is sometimes contrasted with the concepts of comprehensive national power, soft power and hard power.
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.[1]
Standard Scores are scores that have a fixed mean and standard deviation in the population of examinees. A Standard Score indicates how many units of the standard deviation a particular score is above or below the mean. In the case of the ASVAB subtests, the mean is set to 50 and the standard deviation is set to 10. Thus, a Standard Score of 40 indicates that the examinee scored 1 standard deviation below the mean. A Standard Score of 70 indicates that the examinee scored 2 standard deviations above the mean. To learn more about how standard scores are derived and used, click here.

This study guide offers in-depth preparation for all areas of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). Each lesson comes with a fun, informative video to help you get up to speed on the same subjects the ASVAB will test you on. As you review each lesson, try the accompanying self-assessment quizzes to reinforce your understanding of the material. You can also access the course at any time using your computer or mobile device.


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.
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.
After adopting the test in 1976 the test became a way of indicating whether or not an individual was 100% qualified to serve. As previously mentioned this aptitude test has a colorful history. That is because it underwent a dramatic change in 2002 and another dramatic change in 2004. The change that occurred in 2002 expanded the categories of the test and the overall difficulty. This can be seen by the addition of all of the diverse categories below:
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