ASVAB and the US Marines

7 Things that You Need to Know about ASVAB for Marines


All the branches of the US armed forces, including the US Marines, use the ASVAB test for selecting the candidates and classifying them into appropriate job roles. The purpose of this timed test battery is to assess candidates' abilities and skills for a variety of occupations within and outside the forces.

As among all the US armed forces, the Marine Corps also have some of the highest criteria for enlisting. If a career in the Marine Corps is what you are dreaming of, it is wise that you prepare ahead well enough. Read on to find about the important aspects of the test - test content, question types, test duration, and specific AFQT and ASVAB score requirements.

ASVAB for Marines - Test Content, Duration, and Scores

The test content, question types, and the duration of the ASVAB test are in no way different for the various branches of the armed services. And, as the other armed forces, the Marine Corps also have minimum AFQT and line score requirements for enlisting. Also, it is not the individual ASVAB scores or AFQT scores that count, rather the relative scores or Standard Scores against the scores of a sample set of applicants.

Here is a list of seven important points that you need to know about the test for the Marines :

  1. The test contains 10 or 9 subtests (ten if you are taking the CAT-ASVAB and nine in the P&P-ASVAB) that include multiple-choice questions from four core areas namely:
    1. Verbal
    2. Science and Technical
    3. Mathematical
    4. Spatial
  2. The subtests and the number of questions in each subtest are as follows. Note that CAT-ASVAB tests the Auto and Shop Information as two different tests, but scores them together:
    • General Science (GS)-25 questions
    • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) - 30 questions
    • Word Knowledge (WK) - 35 questions
    • Paragraph Comprehension (PC) - 15 questions
    • Mathematics Knowledge (MK) - 25 questions
    • Electronic Information (EI) - 20 questions
    • Auto and Shop Information (AS) - 25 questions
    • Mechanical Comprehension (MC) - 25 questions
    • Assembling Objects (AO) - 25 questions
    For more information, refer to the official ASVAB and Marines websites:;

  3. The time duration of the test differs based on the version of the test you take. While the CAT-ASVAB generally takes less time to finish, as it is an adaptive test that allows finishing the test at your own pace within the time bounds; the P&P-version takes almost three hours to conclude (

  4. The scores of only four subtests are considered to arrive at the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score that determines the eligibility to enlisting. The minimum AFQT score required for Marines enlisting is 31, as of now. A list of minimum AFQT scores for various branches is available at

  5. The score of the entire ASVAB battery is used to identify and select appropriate job roles (MOS) within the Marines. For this, the Marines Corps divides your total ASVAB scores into various group scores or line scores. The Marine Lines are as listed below:
    1. CL - Clerical: VE, AR, and MK
    2. EL - Electronics: GS, AR, MK, and EI
    3. GT - General Technical: VE and AR
    4. MM - Mechanical Maintenance: NO, AS, MC, and EI
    5. ST - Skilled Technical: GS, VE, MK, and MC
    Where VE is the composite score formed of weighted standard scores of PC and WK tests.
  6. You need to get the appropriate minimum line score requirements to be selected for particular MOS positions. For example, to be qualified for the 0121 Personnel Clerk position, you need to get a minimum of 100 in line CL Clerical, which includes Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, and Word Knowledge; or score GT 100 for 0861 Fire Support Man position. A list of MOS and the corresponding minimum ASVAB Line scores is available online at,,ASVAB_MOS_USMC.html.

  7. The minimum AFQT and ASVAB score requirements might change without prior notice. Hence, it is important that you check thoroughly and understand the requirements before taking this test.

In effect, the test for the Marines is not different from other ASVAB tests; the difference lies in the minimum score requirements for enlisting and classifying of job roles. With good understanding of these score requirements, the right aptitude, and thorough knowledge of the core course areas, a career in Marine Corps is not a difficult thing to achieve.