Air Force recruits must score at least 36 points the 99-point ASVAB. The overall ASVAB score is known as the AFQT score, or Armed Forces Qualification Test score. Exceptions may be made, however, for a handful of high school graduates who can score as low as 31. The vast majority, some 70 percent, of those accepted for an Air Force enlistment achieve a score of 50 or above.
The Mechanical Comprehension section of the ASVAB practice test measures your understanding of basic mechanical principles and mechanisms. You may be asked why an intake valve on a pump opens when the piston goes down, or what direction friction is going when shown a diagram of a skier. The CAT-ASVAB has 16 questions in 20 minutes; the paper-and-pencil version has 25 questions in 19 minutes.
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.
The obligations of military employment are many. Full-time military employment normally requires a minimum period of service of several years; between two and six years is typical of armed forces in Australia, the UK and the US, for example, depending on role, branch, and rank. Some armed forces allow a short discharge window, normally during training, when recruits may leave the armed force as of right. Alternatively, part-time military employment, known as reserve service, allows a recruit to maintain a civilian job while training under military discipline at weekends; he or she may be called out to deploy on operations to supplement the full-time personnel complement. After leaving the armed forces, recruits may remain liable for compulsory return to full-time military employment in order to train or deploy on operations.
The Student ASVAB is the most flexible of the exams. It is typically provided to high school students to help them assess their skills, job prospects, potential military positions, or college majors. The ASVAB for students is essentially the same as the MET ASVAB exam, only students are not necessarily testing for positions within the military. The students’ school counselors examine their scores and help them decide on what to do after graduating from high school. This test is still an important component of a student’s education because it can help them identify their strengths and weaknesses and help set them on the right track for their future career goals.