The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is used to determine to assign recruits to military jobs, aid students in career exploration, and enlist eligibility for potential recruits.
It is important to know how ASVAB scores are calculated and what they are used for before taking the test. This includes 10 subtests, and the scores of these subtests are used to determine the best jobs for people entering a branch of the military. The scores of the four sub-tests are used to determine the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score, which determines eligibility for enlistment. Each branch of the army has different standards.
The ASVAB test is a timed multiple-choice aptitude test that is available on paper or computer to Armed Forces applicants. Each multiple-choice question has four answers, of which only one answer can be correct.
You will not be penalized for incorrect answers, but you will be penalized for questions that are left blank, as these will count as incorrect answers. Each question is 1 point, so if you leave 15 questions blank, you will automatically reduce your ASVAB score to 85.
Test takers are given a standard score for each of the sub exam. Standard scores are derived from your raw scores. The standard score is a score that is statistically derived and typically varies from 30 to 70 for each subtest. Standard scores are generated in such a way that 50 represents the mean score and there is a standard deviation of 10. The applicant’s standard scores in each of the individual subtests are used to calculate two separate scores: Composite Scores and the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) scores. These are important scores used to determine enlistment eligibility and MOS/Job qualifications
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AFQT scores – eligibility for enlistment
AFQT scores are one of the most important components of your ASVAB scores. AFQT scores are calculated based on your scores from four subtests:
- Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
- Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
- Word Knowledge (WK)
- Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
AFQT scores are displayed in percentages ranging from 1 to 99. The percentile score shows how a candidate’s score is compared to a reference group of testers. For example, if an ASVAB candidate has an AFQT score of 75, it means that his score is higher than 75% of the test-takers in the reference sample group.
The formula for AFQT scores is as follows:
AFQT = MK + AR + 2xVE, where
- MK = your mathematics knowledge scores
- AR = your arithmetic knowledge scores
- VE = WK + PC = your word knowledge scores (WK) + your paragraph comprehension scores (PC)
This score is converted to a percentile by comparing it with the scores of the representative sample group. Once the AFQT score is calculated as a percentile, it is then categorized as follows:
|I||93 – 99|
|II||65 – 92|
|III A||50 – 64|
|III B||31 – 49|
|IV A||21 – 30|
|IV B||16 – 20|
|IV C||10 – 15|
|V||1 – 9|
COMPOSITE scores – MOS/JOB assignments
Combined scores are sometimes referred to as “line scores”, “aptitude area scores” or “MOS scores”. These scores are obtained by adding different combinations of standard sub-test scores. Combined scores are used to determine which military career (or MOS) is best for you. These combined scores are just one factor in determining which military job is right for you. Each branch determines the minimum AFQT score that recruits must obtain to register. Specialized jobs have their own specific needs for skills and knowledge.
The minimum score requirements and composite scores of the different branches of the United States Armed Forces are listed below:
1- Air Force AFQT score requirements:
- minimum AFQT score (with high school diploma): 36
- minimum AFQT score (with GED): 65
The job of the Air Force is “AFSC” (Air Force Specialized Code) – to be eligible, you must obtain a minimum score in Verbal Expression (WK + PC) and Arithmetic Reasoning (AR).
2- Army AFQT score requirements
- minimum AFQT score (with high school diploma): 31
- minimum AFQT score (with GED): 31
The Army job is called “MOS” (Military Occupation Specialty) – All specialized MOSs require you to score well on one or more ASVAB specialty subtests.
3- Marine Corps AFQT score requirements
- minimum AFQT score (with high school diploma): 32
- minimum AFQT score (with GED): 50
The Marine Corps job is called “MOS” (Military Occupational Specialty) – All specialized MOSs require you to score well on one or more ASVAB specialty subtests.
4- Navy AFQT score requirements
- minimum AFQT score (with high school diploma): 35
- minimum AFQT score (with GED): 50
Navy and Coast Guard jobs are called “Ratings” – Most Navy rankings require one or more specialized subtests, with a few exceptions. An exception is Master at Arms, which requires a minimum score of WK 45 and a minimum combined WK + AR score of 100.