Why is it important to be informed about ASVAB?

So you have always had the rebel in you waiting and wanting to do something different, wanting to be a man among cowards. Or perhaps you just wanted to serve the country that gave you so much. And so you decide on getting into the military. Your recruiter gives you the go to take the ASVAB, and you stare into his eyes looking lame. Can't let that happen, can you? So it makes sense to have at least some basic ASVAB info.

So what is the ASVAB?

The ASVAB is THE TEST to bother about when you want to enlist into the US military. The most important thing you should know about ASVAB is what it stands for. And here's the answer: It stands for "Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery". Perplexed? Don't be. It's not as complex as it sounds. It is just a test you take for recruiters to know that you have the basic aptitude to enlist in the military. It is, unlike most other tests, only an indicator to determine your eligibility for the military services.

Fact be told, you cannot trick yourself into getting into the military. But it does not hurt in having some basic level ASVAB info for understanding what you might have to go through.
Here are some quick pointers to avoid surprises

Common mistakes

1) Mistaking ASVAB with physical tests:

You would be easily forgiven if you think the ASVAB was a physical test. After all, isn't being in the military all about physical fitness? Well it's not. The military is not only about strength but also about tactics and strategies.

2) Getting into focused preparation for an extended period

No, the ASVAB is not a test for getting into an Ivy League college. It is just a test to determine your eligibility for the military. It is not a test where you can fail or pass. The results are based on percentiles and there is no determined passing percentage. Out of ten sections, the scores calculated for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps include only four sections. So it is imperative to target these four sections if you were to enlist in these four areas.

3) Mistaking the test to be only computer based :

In these times of technological advances, almost everyone can be considered to be computer literate. Considering that the target takers of the ASVAB are of ages between 18 and 23, it wouldn't be naive to expect that the ASVAB is only offered as a computer based test. You might be surprised to know that the paper and pencil option is still available and has some cool advantages like revisiting questions in each section and that it has more questions than the CAT-ASVAB. You also don't have to worry much on how your progress is, unlike the computer adaptive test, which adapts to your skill level. If you are one of those who are always a bit unsure of your answers, you might want to consider the paper and pencil exam, called the P&P.


1) Sections important for the AFQT ( Armed Forces Qualification Test)

The ASVAB comprises of 10 tests, and, as said before, 4 sections are what you need to focus more on if you want to enlist in the Army, Navy, Air force and the Marine corps. These sections are part of what can be called the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test). The sections are:

  1. Word Knowledge (WK)
  2. Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  3. Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  4. Mathematics Knowledge (MK).

2) Other sections :

The other six sections are General Science(GS) , Electronics Information (EI) , Auto Information (AI) , Shop Information (SI) , Mechanical Comprehension (MC) and Assembling Objects (AO) . More detailed ASVAB info can be found on the official site.

Scoring And Timing:

The most valuable ASVAB info is the timing and scoring system of the tests. The most valuable resource for this is found in the form of the ASVAB fact sheet available on the applicants section of the ASVAB official site. The CAT-ASVAB is 145 questions long and is expected to be completed in 154 minutes. For the P&P exam, there are 225 questions to be completed in 149 minutes. Each test of the ten tests comprising the ASVAB is also timed individually, and the fact sheet lists the timing available for each section. The link for the ASVAB info containing fact sheet is:

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