ASVAB Scoring Scale

ASVAB Scoring Scale and its Utility

The Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is an aptitude test designed to assess your ability to join the United States Armed Forces. In order to enlist in military services, you need to fulfill certain basic requirements, one of which is the ASVAB test. After you talk to a recruiter, the first step is to take the ASVAB test. This is why the ASVAB is considered as an important test; because whether you succeed in enlisting or finding yourself a job of your choice and aptitude depends entirely on the outcome of this test. Hence, scoring high in the ASVAB test is of utmost importance.

Determining ASVAB Scores

The ASVAB test is evaluated and scores are computed using an ASVAB scoring scale. The ASVAB scoring scale is based on the scores computed from sub-tests that add up to your Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score. The AFQT score is calculated from the following four ASVAB sub-tests:

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

The AFQT scores are reported as percentiles between 1 and 99. The percentile score shows your score in comparison to scores secured by other candidates in that user group. For example, if there's a group of candidates between the age of 18 and 21 who are appearing for the test, your percentile will be calculated in comparison to their AFQT scores. Thus, an AFQT percentile of 70 would mean that you have scored the same as or better than 70% of the candidates in this age group.

The following table lists the score range and the respective AFQT category.

AFQT Category Score Range
I 93-99
II 65-92
IIIA 50-64
IIIB 31-49
IVA 21-30
IVB 16-20
IVC 10-15
V 1-9

To understand the ASVAB scoring scale, you first need to compute your ASVAB scores. In order to calculate your ASVAB score, you need to check your score in each sub-test. Add the scores from the four sub-tests that are used to calculate the AFQT score. The average score is approximately 50; thus, if you have a score that is higher, it means that your AFQT scores are better than those of the rest of the candidates who have appeared for ASVAB. Thereafter, to check whether you are eligible for the job of your choice, you need to add the respective sub-tests that make up your composite score. For example, for an administrative job in the Air Force, the scores from the Verbal Expression (Paragraph Comprehension and Word Knowledge) and Mathematical Knowledge are calculated. Therefore, if you do not have a good score in either section, it will be difficult for you to get a job in Administration. To find out about the sub-tests and the computational formula, see

Importance of the ASVAB Score

There are approximately 142 careers in the Armed Forces. Likewise, there are also many applicants who wish to carve a career for themselves in military services. Due to the sheer number of jobs and aspirants, it is important that there be a filtering system to sift the competent candidates; those who have the required skills to join the Armed Forces. Thus, the ASVAB test serves as a stringent assessment system to select the right people for the right job.
The ASVAB scoring scale functions as a grading benchmark for the ASVAB test. The range of scores makes it possible for candidates to score in a particular category, thereby allowing them to qualify for jobs of their choice. The ASVAB scoring scale denotes which branch of the Armed Forces you are eligible for. The Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) score tells the recruiter the kind of job you are capable of performing.

Retaking the ASVAB

If your scores aren't good enough or if you do not qualify for a job of your choice, it is better to appear for a retest. If you are appearing for the second time, you can retake the ASVAB test after a month or 30 days. However, if you have already appeared for the ASVAB test twice, you will be able to retake the test only after a span of six months.

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