Are you a prospective military recruit looking to find out if you can retake the ASVAB exam? Are you looking for information on retaking the ASVAB so that you are knowledgeable if you fail the exam? Regardless of why you are here, you have come to the right spot.
The ASVAB exam is administered in two forms. The test can come in a more traditional format, utilizing pen and paper, or a computer-based option. Students are given nine subtests on the computer, whereas students are given eight subtests on the traditional exam. Regardless of which option you take, the retesting policy is the same.
This article will provide you with information about the ASVAB retest policy. Still, we will also give you the information surrounding several scenarios you may encounter when attempting to retake the exam. All you have to do is keep reading to find the information that you need.
What is the ASVAB Retest Policy?
No matter the circumstance, there is a strict wait period enforced before a student can retake the ASVAB exam. A test taker is only eligible to take the exam after they have waited one month (30 days). The month begins the day that you take the ASVAB for the initial time. For example, if you take the exam on March 20th, you will be eligible to retake the exam on or after April 20th.
This is a strict requirement, and regardless of the date of your enlistment or any other circumstances, you will need to wait the full month to retest. One exclusion to this rule is if your first attempt was taken in high school. This would not be considered an initial attempt.
If you need to take the exam multiple times, stipulations will change based on how many times you have taken the exam. After taking the ASVAB for the second time and failing, you will need to wait a more extended amount of time between the second exam and your next attempt. You will then need to wait six months to take the exam. After your second attempt, there will be a six-month wait between every effort that you make. One great thing to note is that your scores can be used for up to two years for your enlistment. However, this also means that if you have never enlisted in the service before, your scores will be valid for two years.
These are the general rules for the ASVAB exam. Each branch of service also has specific stipulations that test takers must adhere to be considered for enlistment. It’s also important to remember that when you retake the exam, these become your new scores. You can’t simply take the highest score.
Coast Guard Rules
When retaking the exam, applicants must wait for at least six months after taking the exam to get into the coastguard. This 6-month wait period is for individuals who are merely looking to raise their scores to select a specific enlistment option.
However, for some, waiting for the full 6-month period may not be necessary. If you can bring forth a reason why the score does not reflect your aptitude, the recruiting center may authorize a retest after 30 days have passed.
If you have your sights set on getting into the army, it’s important to note that they will not allow a retest until your previous ASVAB scores have expired or unless your score does not meet enlistment qualifications. The army also gives individuals the option to retake the exam if it is missed due to unusual and emergencies.
Since incentives are offered for enlistment, the test cannot be retaken with the sole intention of qualifying for more incentives, special programs, or jobs. Unfortunately, if you have taken the ASVAB and scored high enough to enlist but not high enough to receive incentives, you are out of luck.
Much like the army, they will not allow a retest until your previous ASVAB scores have expired, or your score does not meet enlistment qualifications. Students of the Delayed Entry Program are also not allowed to retake the exam unless part of the Navy’s DEP Enrichment Program. This program aims to help high school students pass the exam with a score higher than a 31.
Marine Corp Rules
Similar to the last two areas of service, the Marine Corps follows a similar structure. Students are only allowed to retest if their score has expired or if a recruiter determines that the scores do not reflect their true potential. Students also may not retest to raise their scores for a particular job.
Air Force Rules
Individuals looking to get into the air force may have a hard time getting a retest. This is because retests are only granted when your job qualification scores do not align with an air force skill. If you have previously enrolled in the DEP program or hold a job reservation, a retest for the ASVAB will not be allowed.
Invalidation & Other Scenarios
Aside from these general rules, there are many reasons why an individual’s scores can be invalidated. This invalidation may occur due to administrative reasons like fire drills or circumstances beyond your control and retaking the exam before your wait period has ended. Cheating is also a significant way to have your exam automatically invalidated.
If your first or second exam attempt has been invalidated due to administrative reasons, this test will not count as your initial test attempt. If an individual’s exam has been invalidated for cheating, a mandatory six-month waiting period must pass before retesting.
In the event that you have taken the exam and scored substantially higher on your retake, a confirmation exam may be administered. This is known as a critical AFQT gain. If a confirmation test or Critical Gain Retest is needed, the one-month retest window will be waved, and the individual may sit for the exam immediately.
How Many Times Can You Retake the ASVAB?
Retaking the ASVAB can be done if a test taker does not achieve a qualifying score or if a recruiter feels that the score does not reflect the student’s true potential. This can be categorized as “failing.” This qualifying score, also known as the AFQT, is used for enlisting in your desired service. This means that you will need to garner a higher score in one of the four subtests.
If you have failed the ASVAB exam in the past, don’t worry, it is okay! You will have the opportunity to take the exam in the future. However, it’s essential to know that each different branch of service has different requirements for retaking the ASVAB exam.
Though there is technically no limit to the number of times that you can retake the ASVAB, the stipulations change after taking the exam the first two times and based on your desired service area.
Can You Retake the ASVAB While Enlisted?
After you are no longer eligible for a retake of the ASVAB exam and have successfully enlisted in the army, there is no need to let your scores haunt you. The ASVAB exam is used to determine your enlistment eligibility. Therefore, once you have enlisted in the service, your initial ASVAB score will stay with you through your life. However, in exceptional circumstances, your original ASVAB scores may be used when requesting retraining.
What Happens if You Fail the ASVAB Three Times?
Though failing the ASVAB 3 times is not a death sentence, it makes it increasingly harder to get into the service. When taking the ASVAB test for the first two times, the ASVAB test minimum waiting time is only 30 days. However, after failing the second time, a six-month waiting period is required between each attempt.
If for any reason, you take the exam before the waiting period has ended, your score will be invalidated.
Wrapping Things Up: Can You Retake the ASVAB?
The ASVAB is a highly respected test created by the Department of Defense. Passing the ASVAB exam is essential to enlisting into various branches of the service, but it also determines the eligibility for specific incentives upon enrollment. Though you should not apply to the ASVAB exam until you are ready, receiving an unfavorable score is not the end of the world.
Retaking the exam, the first and even the second time simply require a 30 day wait period. During this 30-day window, you should be studying and spending time improving in the areas in which you need further assistance. You should also check in with the service branch or your designated recruiter to determine if there are service-specific stipulations to adhere to.
Can you retake the ASVAB? The answer to this question is a resounding yes. If you feel that your score does not reflect your ability or you have not scored enough to qualify for your desired branch, there is nothing wrong with retaking the exam. The ASVAB retest policy is not an unreasonable one. Passing is in your future – good luck!
If you’re wondering about the difference between ASVAB and AFOQT, check out our comparison post here.