ASVAB Score – What it Takes to Get You in the Military

For all military aspirants, scoring high in ASVAB is critical. ASVAB or the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test is a multiple-choice test, conducted by the United States’ Defense Department. This standard military entrance examination ascertains the service sector of the military you are most suited for. However, taking the exam does not make it mandatory for you to get enlisted. ASVAB test was first started in 1968, and was put into action in the entire military by 1976.

What is an ASVAB test?

ASVAB evaluates the abilities of the candidate and suggest a suitable prospective occupational path for him. Every year, more than one million applicants, mostly high school students take this test and are accessed in four major categories – Arithmetic Reasoning, Knowledge of Mathematics, Paragraph Comprehension and Word Knowledge. There are some other sub-tests as well, but their scores are considered only for determining military occupational specialties (MOS) and recruitment bonuses.

You can appear for the test at a nearby Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), where you take the computer administrated version of the test, also called CAT-ASVAB. However, if you do not reside near any MEPS, then you can opt for taking the ASVAB examination at a satellite location created in government offices, schools, or Reserve centers. These locations are Military Entrance Test or MET sites and here you have to take the paper and pen version of the ASVAB test. The number of problems and the time allotted for each section is different for both the formats.

ASVAB Score System

The ASVAB Score System is an amalgamation of individual and composite scores of different sub-tests. Your ASVAB scores are valid for two years and you can reappear for the exam after every 30 days. At present, the ASVAB examination consists of a total of eight subtests:

•  Arithmetic Reasoning (MEPS/MET – 16/30 questions, 39/36 minutes): This test evaluates your ability to solve mathematical word problems.

•  Word Knowledge (MEPS/MET – 16/35 questions, 8/11 minutes): The purpose of this sub-test is to ascertain your language understanding.

•  Paragraph Comprehension (MEPS/MET – 11/15 questions, 22/13 minutes): Paragraph comprehension analyses your ability to understand language and derive information from a given paragraph.

•  Mathematics Knowledge (MEPS/MET – 16/25 questions, 20/24 minutes): This test checks your understanding of mathematical principles and formulas.

•  General Science (MEPS/MET – 16/25 questions, 8/11 minutes): Evaluates knowledge of physical science and biology.

•  Electronics Information (MEPS/MET – 16/20 questions, 8/9 minutes): This sub-test ascertains your understanding of radio principles, electronics and electricity.

•  Auto & Shop Information (MEPS/MET – 22/25 questions, 13/11 minutes): This sub-test question knowledge of tools, automobiles and shop practices & terminology.

•  Mechanical Comprehension (MEPS/MET – 16/25 questions, 20/19 minutes): Mechanical comprehension tests your knowledge of mechanical and physical principles.

•  Assembling Objects (MEPS/ MET – 16/25 questions, 16/15 minutes): The result of this sub-test is useful only for navy enlistment and it measures the candidates’ structural skills.

The most important of the composite scores is Armed Forces Qualification Test or AFQT score ( This score is the combination of the test results of Verbal Composite, Arithmetic Reasoning and Knowledge in Math. Verbal Composite comprises of Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension. Each service branch has a minimum AFQT score requirement for their enlistment qualification. The minimum eligible score for Army enlistment is 31, Navy enlistment is 35, Marines enlistment is 31, Air Force enlistment is 36 and a Coast Guard enlistment is 45.

Achieving a higher ASVAB score will offer you the flexibility of choosing your preferred specialty and will get you the signing bonus you desire. So go ahead and buy some study guides and take practice tests to score more in ASVAB.