There is another ASVAB score that's equally important, if not more so, because it is the score that determines if a person is eligible for military service. It's the Armed Forces Qualification Test score, or AFQT score. This score is calculated from only four of the nine Standard Scores on the ASVAB - Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), and Word Knowledge (WK). First, the WK and PC scores are added together, then the sum is doubled. This is known as the Verbal Expression (VE) score. The VE, MK, and AR scores are then added together, and the sum is the AFQT. This score is a straight percentile measure, expressed as a number from 1-99. The number is the percentage of people who scored lower than the test taker. For example, if a person receives an AFQT score of 63, that means that he did better on the test than 63% of the people who have taken it.
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.
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 (ASVAB test--also known as the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test). This is the score used by the recruiter to determine a potential recruit’s enlistment eligibility, assign a recruit to a military jobs, and aid students in career exploration. The AFQT is actually a subset of the ASVAB - only with scores of four of the ten test sections calculated.
The SAT requires training of the mind. More specifically it requires one to be able to pick up on context clues, make valid assumptions, and express concrete facts. This is why millions of students study intensely before they jump right into the test. Imagine if another area was added onto that same test. The person studying for that test would then need to study even harder. That is the logic that should be put forth when preparing for the ASVAB. It requires that a person expresses the previously mentioned skills while adding the verbal/physical aspects. The question becomes “How does one prepare themselves for this rigorous test?”
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.