Coast Guard ASVAB

How to Decide your Target Scores for Coast Guard?

As in all the other branches of US military services, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is one of the first steps towards building a career in the Coast Guard. Though there are no different ASVAB tests for the various wings of the armed forces, the minimum score requirements differ for each of these. Here go all that you need to know about coast guard ASVAB and the required target scores!

Coast Guard ASVAB Test - History and Importance

The beginning of military enlisting tests can be traced back to the World War I times; while the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) came into effect in 1950 only. The ASVAB was introduced further late in 1968; and in 1976, all the US armed forces including the US Coast Guard started using the same ASVAB test for both enlisting and classifying purposes.

The ASVAB test is as important to coast guard recruitment as in all the other wings of military service. It is a battery of multiple aptitude tests that helps evaluate vocational aptitude, determine the eligibility to military enlisting, and classify selected recruits into appropriate job roles within the forces. As the coast guard ASVAB has its own minimum score and line score criteria for enlisting and classifying, it is also essential that candidates understand the target scores and prepare accordingly for the test.

For more information on coast guard ASVAB, refer to:

The Coast Guard ASVAB Test - Content, Duration, and the Scores

In general, the ASVAB test battery includes ten subtests (nine in case of the traditional P&P-ASVAB):

  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  • Assembling Objects (AO)
  • Auto Information (AI)
  • Electronic Information (EI)
  • General Science (GS)
  • Math Knowledge (MK)
  • Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  • Shop Information (SI)
  • Word Knowledge (WK)
  • However, the coast guard ASVAB does not use the score of the Assembling Object (AO) subtest
  • Questions are of multiple-choice type and each subtest is of varying duration. The total time for the paper and pencil version of ASVAB is approximately three hours, while the CAT-ASVAB could be finished off well within the allocated timeframe (one and a half hour on an average) as per each candidate's pace. For more details on the test content, duration, and question types, refer to the official ASVAB site: You can also find ASVAB sample questions at:
  • As in the other wings of military services, the US Coast Guard also uses the AFQT score (the combined score of only four subtests) to determine the eligibility for enlisting. The subtests used are:
    • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
    • Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
    • Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
    • Word Knowledge (WK)
  • To decide what specific education and advanced training programs a candidate should undergo (for example, the A schools), the US Coast Guard uses scores of various ASVAB subtest groupings, called the composite scores. Different A schools have different minimum composite score requirements and may have additional individual subtest score requirements. More information on the composite score requirements for the 16 Coast Guard A schools is available at:
  • Targeting for Coast Guard ASVAB Scores
  • As per the current standards, the minimum AFQT score required for Coast Guard enlisting is 45, one of the highest in all the armed force branches. The total ASVAB scores (as different composites and/or individually) are used to decide the eligibility for admission into various A schools/speciality training areas, so as to ensure that the selected candidates do well and complete the programs successfully. And because of this only, these criteria are generally strict and you do not get any waivers often (
  • Hence, based on your aptitude and the area of career interest, you need to target your coast guard ASVAB scores. The final decision is taken by recruiters, but based on your preferences, your scores in relevant areas, and also based on any previous experience. It should be noted that if you qualify for an A school and want to change your speciality training area, the change is possible, provided you qualify for the new A school (and the other requirements are also met).
  • The pre-requisite to targeting your coast guard ASVAB scores, therefore, is that you must be aware of the score requirements for AFQT and the various A schools. Also remember that the minimum score criteria are prone to change without prior notice; therefore, be sure before you set off!

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