Scoring Details for the ASVAB

What you need to know about ASVAB scoring

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery or the ASVAB is your passport to joining the U.S. Military. The most important thing that you should understand about ASVAB is the scoring pattern and the importance of these scores.

Types of Scores

The score is reported in three formats,

  1. Standard Scores
  2. AFQT Scores
  3. Composite Scores




Standard Scores

ASVAB is a battery of tests with different sub-sections In Paper and Pencil test format (P&P - ASVAB), there are 9 subtests and in Computer Adaptive Test format (CAT - ASVAB), there are 10. Individual scores of the subtests are reported as standard scores. These scores are relative to a national sample youth in the age group of 18 to 23. Generally, about 50% of the population scores above a standard score of 50 and about 16% scores 60 or above as the standard score.

AFQT Scores

One of the most important scores of the test score is the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score. This score is calculated by computing the scores of 4 subtests of the ASVAB. The 4 subtests are

  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR),
  • Mathematics Knowledge (MK),
  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC) and
  • Word Knowledge (WK).

This score is reported in a percentile format between 1 and 99.These percentile scores are categorized as follows,

AFQT Category Percentile Score Range
I 93-99
II 65-92
IIIA 50-64
III B 31-49
IV A 21-30
IV B 16-20
IV C 10-15
V 1-9

This tabular column means that if you have scored in the percentile range of 93-99, you will fall under the I category. Your chances of getting enlisted are highest in category I and reduce as the category increases.

Composite Scores

The composite score is calculated using various rules and formulae. Composite scores are used for the assignment of military jobs.

Importance of ASVAB Scores

The score of this test is very important for joining the U.S military. Any person who wants to attempt this test and join the military must have knowledge about the different score formats. He/she should also know about the minimum requirements for the military enlistment and the score required for the job of his/her interest. With this knowledge the candidate can set goals and prepare well for the test. He/she can concentrate on the subtests that are important to his/her area of interest.

Sometimes, candidates get enlisted but are unable to get the job they prefer because they do not meet the specific job requirement. It is advised that before taking up the test, one gains thorough knowledge of the basic score requirements. One should access the official website of this test and get the necessary information. This will help you study better and get the right job you are interested in.

The different formats of the scores such as , Standard Score, AFQT Score and the Composite Score are used for different purposes.

  • Enlistment Eligibility
    Each wing of the U.S. military has a minimum cut off of the AFQT score for eligibility to get enlisted. Minimum AFQT score for the various wings of the military are,
    • Air Force it is 40,
    • Army it is 31,
    • Navy it is 35,
    • Coast Guard it is 45 and
    • Marines it is 32.
    These minimum scores are for candidates with a high school diploma.

  • Military Jobs
    The composite scores are used to assign jobs to new recruits. Each job on offer will have a different composite score formula and eligibility requirement. If the candidate satisfies these requirements, he/she will be recruited. The website, http://official-asvab.com/military_app.htm gives the composite score calculation for the various jobs available in the military.

  • Career Exploration
    The ASVAB is also taken by students as a part of Career Exploration Program. This program helps the students to understand the characteristics of military and civilian life. The ASVAB score can be used for identifying a suitable career. This program is free for the participating schools. Eight subtests are administered in this test.
    This allow the students to understand the characteristics of military and civilian life and help them to identify the job or career that is best suited for them. The scores are reported as Verbal Skills, Math Skills and Science and Technical Skills

Equating the Scores

A candidate can take this test in the P&P-ASVAB format or the CAT-ASVAB format. To nullify any dispute arising from the difference in the form or administration mode,  the test score is subjected to a process called "equating" This process is statistically linked across the different forms and administration modes. Due to this process of "equating" all ASVAB scores are similar.