Importance of ASVAB for Navy

Started in 1968, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a set of tests that assess the abilities and aptitudes of applicants for enlisting to and predicting success in the US military services. Enhanced with a career exploration program, the ASVAB Program is also taken by secondary and high school students today to identify their career interests, understand about their skills, abilities, and their probability of success in a variety of civilian/military occupations. The ASVAB battery of tests is the same, however, for all those who take it - that is, there are no separate civilian, army, air force or navy ASVAB tests.

Relevance of ASVAB for Naval Forces

Considering the high standard of armed-forces recruitment process in the US, the ASVAB is a crucial step for military aspirants. The battery is a combination of tests that is used for both selecting the candidates and categorizing them into appropriate occupations within the forces. Though the first set of ASVAB was developed in 1968, the US Navy used a different screening test through 1975. The navy ASVAB or use of ASVAB for enlisting to US naval forces started only after 1975.

The ASVAB battery consists of 10 different tests , out of which, the combined scores of only four tests is used to determine the eligibility to enlist in the armed forces, while the score of the entire ASVAB battery is used to determine the appropriate job roles within the forces. The four subtests that are used to calculate the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score are:

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

In the context of navy ASVAB, the AFQT score determines the eligibility to be enlisted in the US Navy, while the overall score helps identify the appropriateness of various occupations within the navy. However, the minimum Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score needed to be enlisted in the various forces are different. For more information on navy ASVAB specific requirements, you may also visit the official US Navy website: .
It should also be noted that the individual ASVAB or AFQT scores are not the criteria, but the relative scores or Standard Scores against the scores of a representative set of applicants are used for enlisting and classifying in the forces.

What to Prepare For?

The test battery includes ten subtests covering four core areas namely, Verbal, Science and Technical, Mathematical, and Spatial. The subtests included in the navy ASVAB/ASVAB are as given below:

  • General Science (GS)
  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  • Word Knowledge (WK)
  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  • Math Knowledge (MK)
  • Electronic Information (EI)
  • Auto Information (AI)
  • Shop Information (SI)
  • Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
  • Assembling Objects (AO)

Depending on the version of the test taken (paper and pencil-ASVAB or the computerized ASVAB [CAT-ASVAB]), there are some differences in the test paper administration, duration of the tests, and scoring. While Auto Information (AI) and Shop Information (SI) tests are combined into a single test in the paper and pencil-version, they are tested separately, but scored together in the CAT-ASVAB.

The questions in each of these sub tests are of multiple choice type, giving four options to choose the correct answer from. For a sample set of questions from all the ten tests, visit the ASVAB site:
The duration of the tests is fixed for the paper and pencil-version of ASVAB and you cannot move back to previous sections or start the next section of the test unless asked to do so. The CAT-ASVAB is an adaptive test, the questions differ based on the candidate's abilities and one can finish the test at one's own pace within the time limit given for each section (

For details on the various ASVAB tests and their respective content, refer to the official ASVAB website:

Tips for Taking up the Navy ASVAB Battery

The ASVAB tests consist of questions of high-school/college level and you might not require any extra coaching or practice programs for preparation. Good understanding of the core courses at school/college level would be sufficient. Practical knowledge in technical/mechanical areas would be of help to crack the relevant subtests. General tips that would help taking up the ASVAB or navy ASVAB include:

  • Understand the ASVAB test clearly - its purpose, sections, question types, timings, and the version that is being offered.
  • Answer a few of the sample questions so that you have a clear idea of what to expect on the test day. You can take a sample test online at:
  • Review any materials and core courses and refresh your knowledge, if required.
  • Choose your answers wisely. You may review or revise your answers, if time permits, in the paper and pencil version of the test; however, you cannot change an entered answer in the CAT-ASVAB.
  • Remember that the ASVAB test contents are considered as controlled materials and sharing of any related information with other individuals is a punishable offence.

ASVAB scores not only determine the eligibility of the candidates, but also try to realistically plot candidate success in various occupations based on their interests, abilities, and skills. If looking for a career in the armed forces, ASVAB is a step you cannot ignore!

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