To enlist in the United States armed forces, you must take an entrance examination called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The ASVAB test helps the military determine your qualifications for enlistment. The ASVAB first appeared in 1968. By 1976 it was required by all branches of the military. The test was completely redone in 2002.
The ASVAB test is a multiple choice exam that is intended to measure your competency in four main areas: Verbal, Math, Science and Technical and Spatial. To evaluate your aptitudes in these areas, you are given a series of questions in ten different categories, as shown below:
|GS - General Science||Physical and biological science||Science/Technical|
|AR - Arithmetic Reasoning||Arithmetic word problems||Math|
|WK - Word Knowledge||Identify right definition of words presented in context. Identify word synonyms.||Verbal|
|PC - Paragraph Comprehension||Read text passages and identify meaning.||Verbal|
|MK - Mathematics Knowledge||High school mathematical principles.||Math|
|EI - Electronics Information||Electricity and electronics.||Science/Technical|
|AI - Auto Information||Automobile technology,||Science/Technical|
|SI - Shop Information||Tools, shop technology, processes and procedures.||Science/Technical|
|MC - Mechanical Comprehension||General mechanical and physical principles.||Science/Technical|
|AO - Assembling Objects||Determine how objects will appear when parts are put together.||Spatial|
ASVAB testing can be administered at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) or at a satellite location called a Military Entrance Test (MET) site. At the MEPS locations the ASVAB test will be given via a computer. A paper and pencil version of the test is administered at the MET sites.
The scores from the Word Knowledge, Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, and Paragraph Comprehension are combined together and known as the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). Your AFQT scores represent a percentile between 1 and 99 and measure your ranking compared to scores from other 18 to 23 year olds. If you score a 70 on your AFQT, this implies that you scored better than 70% of test takers. Your scores on the other six ASVAB tests will help identify which jobs may be appropriate for you in the military.