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.
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.
A good score on the ASVAB is different than a minimum required score. Each of the military branches will have their own minimum required scores (see below). In practice, however, each branch will be more selective in their recruiting. A score of 50 on the ASVAB implies that you scored as well or better than 50% of comparable test-takers. Since ASVAB scores are used for many purposes (e.g., enlistment eligibility, military job placements, and career exploration), it is important that you score well on the ASVAB. A score of 60 or better should be your minimum target.
The ASVAB is administered at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). If there is not a MEPS near you, you may take the ASVAB at a satellite location called a Military Entrance Test (MET) site. There are two formats of the ASVAB: computer-administered test (CAT) and paper and pencil (P&P). All MEPS administer the CAT-ASVAB, while MET sites administer the P&P ASVAB.
The categories of the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery are the following: General Science (GS); Arithmetic Reasoning (AR); Word Knowledge (WK); Paragraph Comprehension (PC); Auto and Shop Information (AS); Mathematics Knowledge (MK); Mechanical Comprehension (MC); Electronics Information (EI); and Sum of Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension (VE).
Quienes no viven cerca de un MEPS pueden realizar el examen (por lo general con lápiz y papel) en una ubicación satelital llamada centro MET (Prueba de Entrada a las Fuerzas Armadas, por sus siglas en inglés). Todos los reclutas militares deben realizar el ASVAB, incluso si ya realizaron el ASVAB CEP en la escuela secundaria. El ASVAB que se realiza en el MEPS añade una sección llamada Ensamblaje de objetos, con un total de nueve asignaturas.
The CAT-ASVAB has a total of 145 questions with a time limit of 154 minutes. The CAT-ASVAB test questions are computer-adaptive, meaning that they either increase or decrease in difficulty level based on your responses to previous questions. The questions, therefore, are tailored to each test taker’s ability. There is a penalty for wrong answers on this exam, so guessing is not to your advantage. The time of test completion depends on your individual speed. If you finish a section before the allotted time, you can move forward to the next without waiting for the other test takers.
The ASVAB test can be taken at your school or a MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Stations) or MET (Mobile Examination Test) sites. When the ASVAB is administered at your school, it is usually part of the Student Testing Program or Career Exploration Program. When the ASVAB is given at MEPS or MET sites, it is part of the Enlistment Testing Program. The ASVAB test content is the same no matter where you take it, except that you will not have to take the Assembling Objects test if you take the test at your school (as part of the Student Testing Program). When you take the test in the Student Testing Program you will receive three composite scores (Verbal Skills, Math Skills, and Science and Technical Skills). When you take the ASVAB as part of the Enlistment Testing Program, you will receive an AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test) score and Service composite scores. These scores are used for assigning your military job.