Your ASVAB Scores: The Key to your Military Future

It wasn’t too long ago that almost anyone could show up at a recruiting station and join the military. Those desperate days of the war time military are now gone. These days, if you are serious about joining the military, you’ll want to know all of the requirements prior to arriving at your recruiter’s office. A key requirement that will be instrumental in determining the path of your future military career is your performance on the ASVAB.  Your ASVAB Scores must meet the minimum threshold or you will have a very difficult time getting accepted.

The Basics

In some ways the ASVAB is like many other standardized tests you may be familiar with. Like the SAT or ACT it is a timed, multiple choice exam that tests various types of knowledge. It contains nine different sections (ten for the Navy) that are individually scored.

The ASVAB is broken down into the following sections:ASVAB Scores
General Science (GS)
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
Word Knowledge (WK)
Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
Electronics Information (EI)
Automotive and Shop Information (AS)
Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
Assembling Objects (AO)
Verbal Expression (VE)= (WK)+(PC)
Coding Speed (CS) (Navy only)

You will receive an overall score called an AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test) score based on how well you do on the Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension. This overall score can range from 0% to 99% and will determine whether or not you can begin the enlistment process. Minimum qualifying scores vary among branches.

The ASVAB Process

Prior to the taking the ASVAB, you may be asked to take a short pretest at your recruiter’s office. However, the actual ASVAB test will probably be administered at a MEPS (military entrance processing station) closest to you. The test itself is three hours and each section of the test is timed. The test can be given in paper-and-pencil format or on the computer.

It is incredibly important to do well on this test, as the better your scores are, the greater your job options are in the military. Also be aware that the affect of this test on your military career doesn’t end at enlistment. Your ASVAB scores will be taken into consideration every time you attend advanced schools throughout your military career. They will also be looked at should you ever wish to change your military occupation.

If you receive a qualifying overall score for your service branch, you will sit down with a career counselor to determine what occupations are open to you. Your scores from various sections of the test will be combined in various ways to create between four and eleven different composite or line scores.

ASVAB Scores – Composite/Line Scores

Composite or line scores determine your eligibility for various career fields and are different for each service. However, it’s important to note one composite/line score in particular known as the GT (General Technical) or G (General) score. For all branches this score is incredibly important in determining your eligibility for many of the most sought-after occupations such as Special Forces, Aviation and Intelligence. This score is computed from your Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension scores. If you are weak in any of these areas it’s incredibly important to study prior to taking the test.

Whether you go to MEPS interested in a particular job field or you plan on waiting to see what your options are, it’s important to take the ASVAB seriously. The job options you have available to you hinge on several factors, the most important of these being your ASVAB scores. Your happiness and job satisfaction during your military career will depend greatly on which job you accept. Come prepared to do your best, so that you may take full advantage of what the military has to offer.