ASVAB Marines

How does your ASVAB score matter towards Marine jobs?

One has to take up the ASVAB to get enlisted in the U.S. Military Services, of which the Marine Corps is one of the crucial wings.
Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery or the ASVAB is administered by the Department of Defenses. It tests the aptitude of the candidates in four domains - The Science and Technology domain, the Math domain, the Verbal domain and the Spatial domain. The subtests in all of these domains count to a total of 10.

  • The Science and Technology Domain
    1. General Science (GS)
    2. Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
    3. Electronics Information (EI)
    4. Auto Information (AI)
    5. Shop Information (SI)
  • The Math Domain
    1. Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
    2. Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  • The Verbal Domain
    1. Word Knowledge (WK)
    2. Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  • The Spatial Domain
    1. Assembling Objects (AO)

Candidates appearing for the ASVAB Marines have the option of taking the test in either of the two versions available. The two versions are computer aided testing or the CAT-ASVAB version and the paper and pencil or the P&P-ASVAB version. Both the versions test the same aptitude but the major difference is that, in the CAT-ASVAB, there are 10 subtests as listed above, whereas in the P&P-ASVAB, there are only 9 subtests, as the Auto Information and Shop Information subtests are combined to form one subtest - the Auto & Shop Information (AS).


All the questions in the ASVAB Marines are multiple-choice questions. In the CAT-ASVAB, the computer adapts to the candidate's capability and generates questions. Each candidate in this version of the test receives a different set of questions. The candidates can move to the next subtest only once they have completed one subtest. On the other hand, in the P&P version, all the candidates get the same set of questions. Only after the allotted time is over, the candidates can move to the next subtest.
The number of questions and the time duration for each of the subtests differ for the two versions of the ASVAB Marines.
This table below gives the details of the time allotted and the number of questions for each subtest.

Subtest Description No. of Questions Time Duration (minutes)
General Science (GS) Knowledge of physical and biological science 16 25 8 11
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) Ability to solve Arithmetic word problems 16 30 39 36
Word Knowledge (WK) Ability to identify the right meaning of the given word 16 35 8 11
Paragraph Comprehension (PC) Ability to collect information from the given passage 11 15 22 13
Math Knowledge (MK) Knowledge of high school math principles 16 25 20 24
Electronics Information (EI) Electricity and electronics knowledge 16 20 8 9
Auto Information (AI) Automobile knowledge 11 25 (AS) 7 11(AS)
Shop Information (SI) Tools and shop technology terminology and practices 11 6
Mechanical Comprehension (MC) Mechanical and physical principles knowledge 16 25 20 19
Assembling Objects (AO) Ability to understand how an object will look when its different parts are put together 16 25 16 15

The U.S. Marines Jobs

The jobs in the U.S. Marine Corps are called the "Military Occupational Specialty" or the "MOS". To get enlisted in the Marine Corps, one has to get a minimum of 32 in the AFQT scores. AFQT, Armed Forces Qualification Test, is the score attained by a candidate in 4 of the 10 subtests. The four subtests used for this calculation are Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Word Knowledge (WK) and Paragraph Comprehension (PC).
Rarely if the candidate has other exceptional qualities, those with a score of 26 are also selected.

Another format of the ASVAB Marines score is the Composite Score or the Line Score. This score is calculated by using different formulae on the individual subtest scores. These Line Scores determine what kind of job you will get in the Marine Corps.
There are four broad classifications of the Marine Corps jobs. These are Mechanical, Clerical, General Technician and Electrical jobs.
The table below shows how the line scores for these jobs are calculated:

MOS Composite Scores
Mechanical AR+MC+EI+AS
Clerical MK+WK+PC
General Technician AR+MC+WK+PC
Electrical AR+MK+GS+EI

Importance of the ASVAB

ASVAB Marines is the first step to get enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. If one wants to join the Marines, he/she has to get a good score in the ASVAB. To get into the job category in which he/she is interested, the Composite Scores mentioned above should also be high. Therefore, ASVAB Marines is the exam that matters most for Marine Corps aspirants.


If your dream is to join the U.S. Military Services in the Marine Corps wing, take the ASVAB Marines seriously and prepare well. A high score in this test is the only way you can get enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.

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