As a general rule of thumb, anything over an 85 on the ASVAB will qualify you for nearly any position in the armed forces. But there are slight breakdowns within each score. For example, in order to qualify for Surveillance and Communications (SC) in the Army, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, Auto & Shop and Mechanical Comprehension all require high marks. Though scoring an 85 or above would guarantee you scored in a high enough percentile to qualify for SC.
The Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a test all enlisted candidates must take with the recruiter during the enlistment process. It is typically taken in the office on the computer in a shortened format. Then you will take the full ASVAB again at Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) on the day you swear into the Delayed Entry Program (DEP). The test is actually multiple subtests and graded with an overall percentile score – not percentage score. In other words, you are ranked accordingly with other recruits and by a percentage that you got correct.
There are essentially two options when it comes to preparing for this test. First, a person can attempt to reassess all of the information that they learned over a decade by spending hours compiling information. Secondly, a person can find a specially formatted ASVAB practice test that covers all areas of both the written test and computerized test. Clearly, the best choice is the ASVAB practice test. The question becomes “Where does one find an accurate ASVAB practice test?”
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 P&P ASVAB has a total of 225 questions with a time limit of 149 minutes. The written ASVAB test questions contain the same content as the computer-administered version, but in the paper-and-pencil version, all test takers are given the same questions regardless of ability and knowledge. On this version of the test there is no penalty for wrong answers and it is to your advantage to eliminate unlikely choices and make an educated guess if you are unsure of the answer.
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.