As the speed of technological advances accelerated in civilian applications, so too warfare became more industralised. The newly invented machine gun and repeating rifle redefined firepower on the battlefield, and, in part, explains the high casualty rates of the American Civil War. The next breakthrough was the conversion of artillery parks from the muzzle loading guns, to the quicker loading breech loading guns with recoiling barrel that allowed quicker aimed fire and use of a shield. The widespread introduction of low smoke (smokeless) propellant powders since the 1880s also allowed for a great improvement of artillery ranges.

There are many misconceptions about what it’s like to serve in the U.S. military. If you don’t know any soldiers personally, you might think of the military as a place for infantry, trudging though rough terrain and loading giant artillery. Although that may have been true in the past, today’s military offers many opportunities that aren’t readily apparent to the typical high school graduate. For example, there are jobs in aviation mechanics, medicine, and accounting. There are also peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts by the United States military that require skills in verbal and written communication. Taking the exam can help you determine if you would be well-suited to one of these occupations.


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. 
You often hear people say something like, "I got a 70 on the ASVAB." What they are talking about is the ASVAB AFQT score or Armed Forces Qualification Test Score. Many people think the AFQT score is the overall ASVAB score, but that's not correct. In fact, the AFQT score is derived from only four of the nine ASVAB subtests: Paragraph Comprehension (PC), Word Knowledge (WK), Mathematics Knowlege (MK), and Arithmetic Reasoning (AR).
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.
AFQT scores are the primary measure of recruit potential. Figure 2.7 indicates the percentage of NPS recruits who scored at or above the 50th percentile (Categories I–IIIA) since FY 1973. Numerical data are in Appendix D, Table D-12. The drop in Category I–IIIA recruits after FY 1976 was due primarily to the miscalibration of the ASVAB. [1] In FY 1976, when new versions of the ASVAB were introduced, an error in calibrating the score scales made the new versions "easier" than the old versions (i.e., applicants received test scores higher than their actual ability). In FY 1980, an independent study of the calibration was made and the test was correctly calibrated. Then, Congress added legal provisions stipulating that no more than 20 percent of accessions could be in Category IV and that such accessions had to be high school diploma graduates. [2] However, as previously stated, Defense Planning Guidance decreases this limit even further, allowing no more than 4 percent of recruits to come from Category IV.
The AFQT score is the most important ASVAB score, because it determines if you can enlist in the U.S. Army. However, the U.S. Army also converts the ASVAB test scores into 10 other composite score areas known as "line scores" that determine what MOS an individual may qualify for. Listed below are the parts of the ASVAB that affect your AFQT test scores and each of the ten line scores.
It’s best to keep the contact information of your nearest recruiting office or your actual recruiter; they are your best bet for getting your scores. ASVAB scores are valid for up to two years before you need to retest so most offices will send your current scores via mail. If you can’t get yours by mail, you can pick them up from your local recruiting office.
What is the military? In simple terms, the U.S. Armed Forces are made up of the five armed service branches: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. There are three general categories of military people: active duty (full-time soldiers and sailors), reserve & guard forces (usually work a civilian job, but can be called to full-time military duty), and veterans and retirees (past members of the military). And of course there are the millions of family members and friends of military members, past and present. But you're here to learn more about the military. There is much to learn! So first the basics. Exactly who is in charge?
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is more commonly known as the ASVAB Test. If you are interested in a military career, you will need to pass this challenging test in order to qualify. It is used for all branches of the military which includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, and Coast Guard. It is also used to gauge your abilities in specific areas that may be relevant to your job assignments within the military. For more information about the exact details of this exam, check out our article titled What is the ASVAB Test?
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]
If you are pressed for time, it may be worthwhile to look into future ASVAB test dates in order to plan ahead in case you get a poor score on your upcoming ASVAB test. You can check with your high school counselor or your military recruiter to make sure that you will be eligible to take future tests along with your planned upcoming test date in the event that you get a bad ASVAB score.
Battlefield commission: under certain conditions, enlisted personnel who have skills that separate them from their peers can become officers by direct commissioning of a commander so authorized to grant them. This type of commission is rarely granted and is reserved only for the most exceptional enlisted personnel; it is done on an ad hoc basis, typically only in wartime. No direct battlefield commissions have been awarded since the Vietnam War. The Navy and Air Force do not employ this commissioning path.
Again, would you rather go into the ASVAB unsure of what to expect and not knowing if you studied the right things or would you prefer to have taken similar tests covering content commonly tested for on the real thing? Taking practice tests is a great way to build your knowledge, your confidence and your ASVAB familiarity so that you feel relaxed and confident on test day.
The Electronics Information section of the practice test gauges your knowledge of electrical equipment and parts, including circuits, currents, batteries, and resistors. An example may be, “Because solid state diodes have no filament, they: don’t work, are less efficient than tubes, require less operating power, or require more operating power?” The CAT-ASVAB has 16 questions in 8 minutes; the paper-and-pencil version has 20 questions in 9 minutes.
Understanding the ASVAB score range is to understand standard deviations. The highest score on the ASVAB is a 99 and the lowest score is a one. Scores are based on the mean of all examinees. This is to say that a score of 50 would account for an average score. Each increment of 10 represents a single standard deviation from the mean score. So, for example, a score of 80 would be three standard deviations better than the meanwhile a score of 30 would be two standard deviations lower than the mean score.
The four most important sections of the test—Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, and Mathematics Knowledge-make up your Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT) score. Your AFQT score ranges from 0 to 100 and determines if you are able to enlist in the military and which jobs and programs you may qualify for when you are in.
Since 1976, the multiple-choice ASVAB has been used for initial aptitude screening as well as MOS classification. The exam has changed since its inception. While some parts have remained, such as arithmetic reasoning and word knowledge, others like tool knowledge have been removed in favor of questions related to assembling objects. After nearly 20 years of research and development, a computer-adaptive version of the exam was implemented in 1996. The CAT-ASVAB is the first large-scale adaptive battery test to be administered in high-stakes environments like a Military Entrance Processing Station. The paper and pencil, or P&P version is still used at a variety of other military testing sites.
The CAT-ASVAB is an adaptive test which means the test adapts to the ability of the test-taker. It is possible to administer a shorter test this way than with the pencil and paper test. When you complete a subsection of the test, you can then move onto the next section of the test without having to wait for an administrator. Subsections are still timed however and on average it takes about 1 ½ hours to complete the computer ASVAB.
On 3 December 2015, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that all military combat jobs would become available to women.[40] This gave women access to the roughly 10% of military jobs which were previously closed off due to their combat nature.[41] The decision gave military services until January 2016 to seek exceptions to the rule if they believe that certain jobs, such as machine gunners, should be restricted to men only.[42] These restrictions were due in part to prior studies which stated that mixed gender units are less capable in combat.[43] Physical requirements for all jobs remained unchanged, though.[43] Many women believe this will allow for them to improve their positions in the military, since most high-ranking officers start in combat positions. Since women are now available to work in any position in the military, female entry into the draft has been proposed.[44]
During World War I, the need to break the deadlock of trench warfare saw the rapid development of many new technologies, particularly tanks. Military aviation was extensively used, and bombers became decisive in many battles of World War II, which marked the most frantic period of weapons development in history. Many new designs, and concepts were used in combat, and all existing technologies of warfare were improved between 1939 and 1945.
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.

The process of allocating resources is conducted by determining a military budget, which is administered by a military finance organisation within the military. Military procurement is then authorised to purchase or contract provision of goods and services to the military, whether in peacetime at a permanent base, or in a combat zone from local population.


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).
AFQT scores are the primary measure of recruit potential. Figure 2.7 indicates the percentage of NPS recruits who scored at or above the 50th percentile (Categories I–IIIA) since FY 1973. Numerical data are in Appendix D, Table D-12. The drop in Category I–IIIA recruits after FY 1976 was due primarily to the miscalibration of the ASVAB. [1] In FY 1976, when new versions of the ASVAB were introduced, an error in calibrating the score scales made the new versions "easier" than the old versions (i.e., applicants received test scores higher than their actual ability). In FY 1980, an independent study of the calibration was made and the test was correctly calibrated. Then, Congress added legal provisions stipulating that no more than 20 percent of accessions could be in Category IV and that such accessions had to be high school diploma graduates. [2] However, as previously stated, Defense Planning Guidance decreases this limit even further, allowing no more than 4 percent of recruits to come from Category IV.

The ASVAB also known as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is a test that measures your aptitude which is how well you do something.  A common mistake by most people is thinking that it is a measure of you IQ. Many people either forget this or don’t know this and they get worked up about the exam.  Saying that, it is also important to take a ASVAB sample test to insure you know what type of questions will be asked.    Another thing to keep in mind is every person in the armed forces has to take the exam and you are not being called out to take it. 


If you didn't earn a score that was high enough to be accepted to your chosen branch of the military, or if you didn't earn a line score high enough to qualify for a desired career option, then you may retake the ASVAB. You must wait a full month before you can take the ASVAB a second time. If you wish to take the test a third time, you must wait another month from the date of your second attempt. After the third attempt, there is a waiting period of 6 months before you can take the test again.
Personnel may be posted to bases in their home country or overseas, according to operational need, and may be deployed from those bases on exercises or operations anywhere in the world. During peacetime, when military personnel are generally stationed in garrisons or other permanent military facilities, they mostly conduct administrative tasks, training and education activities, technology maintenance, and recruitment.
The military organization is characterized by a strict hierarchy divided by military rank, with ranks normally grouped (in descending order of authority) as officers (e.g. Colonel), non-commissioned officers (e.g. Sergeant), and personnel at the lowest rank (e.g. Private Soldier). While senior officers make strategic decisions, subordinated military personnel (soldiers, sailors, marines, or airmen) fulfil them. Although rank titles vary by military branch and country, the rank hierarchy is common to all state armed forces worldwide.
Military history has a number of facets. One main facet is to learn from past accomplishments and mistakes, so as to more effectively wage war in the future. Another is to create a sense of military tradition, which is used to create cohesive military forces. Still, another may be to learn to prevent wars more effectively. Human knowledge about the military is largely based on both recorded and oral history of military conflicts (war), their participating armies and navies and, more recently, air forces.
All of the branches work together during operations and joint missions in Unified Combatant Commands, under the authority of the Secretary of Defense with the typical exception of the Coast Guard. Each of the Unified Combatant Commands is headed by a Combatant Commander, a senior commissioned officer who exercises supreme command authority per 10 U.S.C. § 164 over all of the forces, regardless of branch, within his geographical or functional command. By statute, the chain of command flows from the President to the Secretary of Defense to each of the Combatant Commanders.[22] In practice, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff often acts as an intermediary between the Secretary of Defense and the Combatant Commanders.
A Note About Raw Scores. A raw score is not the same as the standard scores you see on your ASVAB score sheet. On the ASVAB, harder questions are worth more points than easier questions. The raw score is the total number of points you earned on that particular ASVAB subtest. You won't know what your raw score is because the military doesn't include that information on the ASVAB score sheet.
Army.mil says of ASVAB/PiCAT testing, “The ASVAB is usually given in schools by test administrators from the federal government. Schools determine where and when the ASVAB will be given. See your academic advisor for more information. If you’re not currently in school, contact your local recruiter.” Test administration and scheduling procedures are handled differently by each branch of the military.
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.
×