ASVAB Categories

Sub-scores of ASVAB scores

The ASVAB Test

The ASVAB or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test is an examination that will measure whether a candidate is eligible for enlistment in the U.S Armed Forces or not. The United States Military Entrance Processing Command is the body that administers the exam and it has to be taken by all those who wish to join the U.S Military. You need to be aware that there are various ASVAB categories or subtests that you will need to take, once you decide to opt for this examination. It is necessary that you score high in all these subtests so that your ASVAB or the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test) score will be high. This is a score that is used for the purpose of finding out which job specialization an individual is most suited for in the U.S Armed Forces.

ASVAB Sub-scores

When you see the score report of the ASVAB test, you will find that there are different sub-scores included in it. In order to get a clear idea about what these scores mean, you need to know what the three most important scores of this exam are. If you do not know their importance and uses, you may not be able to understand the significance of each of these scores. The sub-scores are:

  • Standard Scores: There are two versions of the ASVAB test (the computer-based version and the pen and paper version) and each of the ASVAB categories will be scored individually. These individual scores are commonly referred to as the Standard Scores. To obtain a high score in this test, you will need to work hard and make sure that your scores in each of these subtests are high.
  • AFQT Score: The AFQT score is a very important score because whether you are qualified for enlistment or not will depend on this score. It is a percentile score and the result you obtain can be a number from 1 to 99. Needless to say, the higher you score the better are your chances of getting enlisted in the Service of your preference. Your score on the AFQT will determine how you have performed in the test as compared to the other test takers of the same group.
  • Composite Score: Last but not the least, there is the Composite Score that is determined by using the Standard Scores of the ASVAB categories. There are certain predetermined formulas that are used to calculate this score. This score is used for the purpose of determining which job positions should be allocated to different candidates, as per their skills, qualifications and their performance in the ASVAB.


When most people talk about the ASVAB score, they are generally referring to the AFQT score. It is important that you score high in the AFQT, so ensure you work especially hard in the subtests that make up this score. This score is calculated by taking into account the scores of four ASVAB categories or subtests and these are

1) Arithmetic Reasoning- If you take the pen and paper version of the test, you will find that there are 30 questions in this section that you will need to complete in 36 minutes. On the other hand, the computer based version of the ASVAB Arithmetic Reasoning test will consist of 16 questions that you need to finish in 39 minutes.
2) Word Knowledge- In the pen and paper version, this subtest will consist of 35 questions that you need to finish in 11 minutes. The computer-based version will have 16 questions that have to be completed in 8 minutes.
3) Mathematics Knowledge- This subtest will have 25 questions in the pen and paper version of the ASVAB that you need to complete in 24 minutes. In the computer-based version, 16 questions have to be answered in 20 minutes.
4) Paragraph Comprehension- This subtest will have 15 questions in the pen and paper version and the time limit given to complete this is 13 minutes. The computer based version has 11 questions that have to be completed in 22 minutes.

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