Dave Evangelisti By: Dave Evangelisti
What is the ASVAB Test?

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is an exam given to individuals who are interested in joining the U.S. Military. All individuals who wish to enlist will need to take this exam, regardless of which Military branch you wish to enter.

We provide you with a ton of resources and information to prepare you for the ASVAB Military test. If you want to start your prep, use our ASVAB practice test to begin.

Please note – this exam is also commonly referred to as the ASVAB Military Test or the Military Test.

As we stated above, the ASVAB definition is Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The exam is given to interested individuals who wish to enlist in the United States Military. All branches of the Military require a certain ASVAB score.

There are a total of 10 subtests given – each subtest is timed. The amount of time and number of questions you need to answer will depend on the type of ASVAB you take. The ASVAB test has 2 different kinds of formats:

  1. CAT-ASVAB (Computer Adaptive)
  2. P&P-ASVAB (Paper and Pencil)

The CAT-ASVAB is the more common format given to individuals. In this ASVAB exam, the questions adapt to the user based on how they answer the questions. Typically, if you answer a question incorrectly, you will be shown an easier question next.

The number of questions on the ASVAB exam depends on which version you are taking (CAT-ASVAB or P&P-ASVAB).

The CAT-ASVAB exam has a total of 135 questions while the P&P-ASVAB has a total of 225 questions.

Just like with the number of questions, the amount of time given for the ASVAB exam varies depending on which version you are taking (CAT-ASVAB or P&P-ASVAB).

The CAT-ASVAB exam lasts for 173 total minutes while the P&P-ASVAB lasts for 149 total minutes.

As with the number of questions and time limits, the sections of the ASVAB vary ever so slightly depending on which format of exam you will be taking (CAT or P&P).

We have broken down the different ASVAB sections for you in the table below.

CAT-ASVAB Sections

Section Questions Time Limit
General Science (GS) 15 10 minutes
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) 15 55 minutes
Word Knowledge (WK) 15 9 minutes
Paragraph Comprehension (PC) 10 27 minutes
Math Knowledge (MK) 15 23 minutes
Electronics Information (EI) 15 10 minutes
Auto Information (AI) 10 7 minutes
Shop Information (SI) 10 6 minutes
Mechanical Comprehension (MC) 15 22 minutes
Assembling Objects (AO) 15 17 minutes
Total 135 173 minutes

P&P-ASVAB Sections

Section Questions Time Limit
General Science (GS) 25 11 minutes
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) 30 36 minutes
Word Knowledge (WK) 35 11 minutes
Paragraph Comprehension (PC) 15 13 minutes
Math Knowledge (MK) 25 24 minutes
Electronics Information (EI) 20 9 minutes
Auto & Shop Information (AS) 25 11 minutes
Mechanical Comprehension (MC) 25 19 minutes
Assembling Objects (AO) 25 15 minutes
Total 225 149 minutes

The biggest difference with regards to ASVAB sections is that the paper ASVAB exam combines auto and shop information into one section where the computer ASVAB exam separates the two sections.

There are a couple of different options for individuals who wish to take the ASVAB. However, the first thing you need to do is talk to your local recruiter.

Your local recruiter will walk you through all of the steps and help get you setup. Once the recruiter has determined you are qualified, you will be able to schedule the ASVAB Military Test. There are 3 possible locations for taking the ASVAB exam:

  1. Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)
  2. Military Entrance Testing Site (MET)
  3. At your school via the ASVAB Career Exploration Program

For a complete breakdown, visit our guide to ASVAB testing locations.

Each branch of the Military has their own required minimum score when it comes to ASVAB testing. The way the score is calculated can be very confusing. In simple terms, you will be given something called an AFQT score.

This AFQT score is given as a percentile and is based on your scores from only 4 sections of the ASVAB:

  1. Arithmetic Reasoning
  2. Word Knowledge
  3. Paragraph Comprehension
  4. Mathematics Knowledge

You can view the passing scores for each branch of the Military in the table below.

Military Branch Min. Score (HS Diploma) Min. Score (GED)
Air Force 31 50
Army 31 31
Coast Guard 40 50
Marine Corps 32 50
Navy 35 50

For more information on scoring, visit our guide to ASVAB scores. We break down everything in that guide including more information on each branch of the Military, composite scores, and how your scores are calculated.

You can take the ASVAB a total of 3 times. In order to take the ASVAB exam a 2nd time, you must wait 1 month from your original test date.

If you would like to take the exam a 3rd time, you will need to wait 6 months from the time you took your 2nd exam.

It is important to be prepared for this exam – consider using our ASVAB practice to ensure you get the score you would like on your first try.

Students who prepare properly for this exam will find more success versus students who do not put in the proper preparation. We suggesting the following steps:

  1. Take a practice exam – this will help you get a baseline score and help you figure out what subjects you need to dedicate the most study time too.
  2. Find study resources – you should find some study resources that work for you. We offer an ASVAB study guide, which is a good place to start. Some students may prefer to use a prep course or another form of study.
  3. Take a final practice exam – once you feel comfortable with the material, you should take a final practice exam. This will help ensure you are ready for the actual exam. If you do not do as well as you would have liked, go back to step 2 and continue your studies.

How many times can you fail the ASVAB?

You can fail the ASVAB 2 times. If you fail the ASVAB a 3rd time, you will be ineligible to take the exam again.

Is ASVAB a hard test?

As with most exams, if you are not prepared, you will not do well. With that being said, the ASVAB is not the most difficult exam you will take. It will require proper preparation, but most students find it easier than the ACT or SAT.

Which branch of the Military is easiest to get into?

If we are basing this strictly off of the ASVAB, the Army and Air Force are the easiest branches to get into. They both require a minimum score of 31 for students who have a high school diploma.