What’s on the ASVAB Test?

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Have you decided it’s time for you to take the next step in your life and head to the military? Are you looking to serve your country y going to the military? Whatever your reason, the first step in your military career is the ASVAB exam.

The ASVAB, also known as Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, is an exam that all prospective military enlistments must take. This test is crucial for your military career, and the more options you have, the better you fare.

No matter if you are a great test taker, we will provide you with guidance on what you can expect from the ASVAB.  We will also provide you with information on how the exam is administered and so much more. Keep reading to get answers to some of the most asked questions about the ASVAB.

What is the ASVAB Test for?

What is the ASVAB Test for?

What is the ASVAB Test for?

Before you can begin to prepare for the ASVAB, its vital that you understand its purpose and the impact that it can have on your military career, the ASVAB is an aptitude test which determines how qualified you are to serve in the military. Its scores are used to determine if you are a quality enlistment candidate; your scores also help you receive things like enlistment incentives, rank, and even monetary bonuses. Your ASVAB may also be a factor later on in your military career, no matter how good you are in your current position.

The exam measures four areas of educational fitness. These include arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, mathematics, and comprehension. All of these areas are then combined and calculated to give you your AFQT score.  This score is then used as a baseline for entrance into the military.

Each branch of service has a different score than individuals looking to enlist in their branch must reach. The ASVAB allows a maximum score of 99. The ASVAB is taken by any individual, male, or female looking to enlist in the military. This test is also often given to juniors and seniors in high school. The ASVAB provides them with another alternative to a traditional college.

There are two versions of the ASVAB. These versions include the enlistment ASVAB as well as the CEP ASVAB. The enlistment version is given to individuals who are sure that they would like to enlist in the service. This form of the exam must be scheduled through a recruiter. This is a free exam and is generally given at a test processing station.

The alternative ASVAB exam is generally given with the intent of career exploration. It is known as the Career Exploration Program ASVAB. It aids students in picking a career in or outside of the military.

Air Force Requirement

If you are thinking of enlisting in the Air Force, individuals will need a minimum score of 36 though some exceptions can be made for high school graduates scoring at least a 31. Though the minimum scores are reachable, more than half of the individuals accepted into the Air Force score at least a 50.

The test also serves as an indicator for what jobs are the fittest for your skillset. The higher your score, the more options you will have when enlisting into the military. You will also receive better incentives, and even pay increases as your score increases.

Individuals who are GED holders may have a harder time reaching the needed score, starting at a 65.

Marines Requirement

If you’re interested in enlisting in the Marines, you will need to score higher than a 32 on the ASVAB. Much like its counterpart, the Air Force, it is nearly impossible to be accepted into the branch without a high school diploma. If you are an applicant coming into the test with a GED, a higher minimum score is requested. A 50 is the minimum accepted score for a person with a GED.

Navy Requirement

If you are looking to serve your time away from land by enlisting in the Navy, you will need a minimum of 35. However, if you are looking to go into the reserves, a minimum of 31 is required. Aside from scoring above the Navy’s minimum, individuals looking to go into the Navy must not have any record of drug use and provide three influential references. Another major stipulation is that individuals cannot have had any prior police involvement.

Coast Guard Requirement

Last but not least, if getting into the coast guard is the goal you have in mind, you will need at least a 40 on the exam. However, many individuals who make it into the coast guard score above a 50.

How Do You Take the ASVAB Test?

How Do You Take the ASVAB Test?

How Do You Take the ASVAB Test?

If you are looking to enlist in the military and have graduated high school, you can kickstart the process of taking your ASVAB by contacting a recruiter. The recruiter will aid you in not only taking the ASVAB but walking you step by step through the process.

If you are a high school student, you can begin taking the ASVAB by reaching out to your high school counselor.  Your high school counselor will either help you with the process and inform you of your school’s testing dates or connect you with a recruiter who can help.

The ASVAB is available at high schools all over the country. If it is not available, there are several military entrance processing stations or (MEPS) or at other remote locations. The ASVAB is also offered in 2 formats. This includes the traditional format on paper and pencil, as well as taken via the computer.


Generally, the traditional version of the ASVAB is given through a program in conjunction with the Department of Education & Department of Defense. This version of the exam is offered through high schools. When taking the paper version of the exam, everyone will be taking the same version of the exam. This exam takes about 3 hours to complete.

The traditional version can also be requested through a recruiter; however, it is rarely given. There are several pros and cons to taking the paper version.  When taking the paper version, one significant advantage is that you can skip around and easily navigate to questions that you are unfamiliar with. This is not something that you can do on the computer version.

With the traditional version, you are also able to write all over your test booklet. If you want to make notes, you can do so directly on the questions. Though these are excellent benefits, the traditional version couldn’t come without its share of cons.

Using the paper and pencil version of the exam means that you will not get your score right away. How long does it take to get ASVAB results? This is a question that most traditional test-takers wonder about. Since it was done manually, the tests will need to be sent off and graded. You will then need to wait for them to arrive. This should take no more than three weeks.

When taking the paper exam, you must also be sure that you erase entirely and clearly mark your answers. This is because machines are grading the paper test. These machines are referred to as optical scanning machines.  If you fail to fill the bubbles on your manual exam completely, your answer may be marked incorrect, even if it is correct.

Computer-Adaptive Testing

The alternative option to the traditional test is the computer-adaptive version. The computer version of the ASVAB is generally used at Military Entrance Processing centers. Some may see the computer version as being harder than the traditional version. This is because as you answer more questions correctly, the questions increase in their difficulty.  However, these are the same questions as the paper version. Though the questions may get harder, harder questions are worth more points.

In today’s society, we live on screens. This can include mobile phones, laptops, or tablets. Recruiters have mentioned that individuals do better on the computer test.  This may be a matter of comfort.  The computer-based exam is also self-paced, whereas, in a traditional setting, everyone must stop a given section at the same time. This allows you to move through the test quicker without waiting for others and leave once you have completed it. On average, people can complete this version of the exam in 1.5 hours.

Another excellent reason to opt for the computer adaptive test is that your scores are given immediately. There is no guessing or waiting. Your scores are printed right after you take the exam, and you will know right then and there if you are eligible for enlistment.

Though these are some excellent advantages to taking the computer-based version of the exam, it certainly has its pitfalls. The biggest con is that you are not allowed to skip through questions. You must finalize your answers on the spot. For some individuals, this creates an issue in the way they take exams. Since you cannot move back and forth between the questions, if you are unsure about an item, you must figure something out instead of returning to it.

Spending too much time on a difficult question can also eat away at your time, causing you to have less time to finish the rest of the exam.

There are a few differences in the computer-based exam and the traditional exam to be noted. When administered via the computer exam, the Auto Information and Shop Information tests are separated. However, when taking the paper exam, they are combined into one subtest.

What Kind of Questions Are on the ASVAB?

The ASVAB offers an abundance of different questions and types. For the Arithmetic area of the test, you will see a surplus of word problems and simple calculations. You will need to read each question thoroughly and for understanding.

The Word Knowledge section of the ASVAB will ask you to find the correct meaning of a word and identify synonyms and antonyms. Similar to this section is the Paragraph Comprehension area of the exam. The questions for this subtest will be based around a specific reading passage.

You will also see questions which ask for simple calculations and definition.

If you feel that you are not ready to take the ASVAB, speak to your recruiter about taking the Pre-ASVAB. This pre-test can gauge what you need to work on and determine areas you are strong in.

How Many Questions Are on the ASVAB?

How Many Questions Are on the ASVAB?

It is important to note that there are more questions on the paper version of the exam than the computer version.  The computer-adaptive version of the exam boasts 145 items, whereas the paper version has 225 questions.

What are the ASVAB Test Areas and What Does it Measure?

What are the ASVAB Test Areas and What Does it Measure?

What are the ASVAB Test Areas and What Does it Measure?

The ASVAB was created to measure a person’s aptitude or knowledge in four major areas. These areas include Verbal, Math, Science, Technical & Spatial.  Each domain boasts several different Subtests. Below you will find a list of all of the ASVAB test sections on the exam.

  • General Science (GS)
  • Word Knowledge (WK)
  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  • Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
  • Auto Information (AI)
  • Electronics Information (EI)
  • Shop Information (SI)
  • Assembling Objects (AO)
  • Mechanical Comprehension (MC)

The test is designed to measure your skillset and general knowledge in a variety of areas. This is the general knowledge that you have gained through receipt of a high school education or a GED. The ASVAB can easily be compared to your typical standardized college entrance exams.

Different branches of the service have different requirements for your ASVAB scores. For example, your ASVAB scores for Navy can be different from the scores you would need for the air force.

Wrapping Things Up: What’s on the ASVAB Test?

Taking the ASVAB is nothing that you should take lightly. Therefore, you must know what is on the exam, what to expect, and how to prepare for it. Having this information allows you to walk into the exam on test day confidently and be ready to achieve the highest score possible.

Depending on where you are taking the ASVAB, it’s important to note that it can be given in two formats. This includes the computer-adaptive version or a traditional paper version. Each version of the exam has a variety of advantages and disadvantages.

If you are someone who likes to check your work before submitting, you may have a hard time with the computer-based option. However, if you opt to participate in a pen and pencil version of the exam, you will be able to move around the exam freely and even right in the textbook.

Regards of which format you end up taking the exam in, it is crucial that you adequately prepare for not just the content but the format itself. The exams have several different question types. This ranges upward from definition questions and simple equations.

Now that you have an idea of what you can expect to see on the exam, you are ready to prepare for it adequately.

All of our armed services reviews of study guides can be found here.

> What is a GT Score on the ASVAB?

> What Kind of Math is on the ASVAB?

> Can You Retake the ASVAB?

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Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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