The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), sponsored by the Department of Defense, is a three-hour, multi-aptitude, multiple-choice exam battery which is given at over 14,000 schools nationwide, and is maintained by the DoD. 

The ASVAB consists of 9 subtests. The subtest scores are converted into 10 composite score areas, known as “line scores”. The line scores determine which jobs you qualify for. Your ASVAB results provide scores for each of the individual subjects tested, as well as three academic composite scores; Verbal, Math, and Academic Ability; and two career exploration composite scores. (Note: The “Overall” ASVAB Score is known as the “AFQT Score,” or “Armed Forces Qualification Test Score” and the Army requires a minimum AFQT Score of 31 to qualify for enlistment. Max is a score of 99).


Considering Joining? Know Before You Go!

How important is this test? Your scores in four critical areas — Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge (see below) — count towards your Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score. The AFQT score determines whether you’re qualified to enlist in the U.S. military. Your scores in the other areas of the ASVAB determine how qualified you are for certain military specialties. Score high, and your chances of getting the specialty/job you want increase.


The ASVAB features nine individual subtests. They are:

General Science Life, earth, space, and physical science 25 11 minutes
Arithmetic Reasoning Word problems 30 36 minutes
Word Knowledge Synonyms 35 11 minutes
Paragraph Comprehension General reading comprehension 15 13 minutes
Mathematics Knowledge Math concepts and applications 25 24 minutes
Electronics Information Electrical currents, circuits, devices, and systems 20 9 minutes
Auto & Shop Information* Auto maintenance and repair, wood- and metal-shop practices 25 11 minutes
Mechanical Comprehension Principles of mechanical devices, structures, and the properties of materials 25 19 minutes
Assembling Objects* Spatial aptitude 16 9 minutes


General Science covers the material generally taught in junior and senior high school science courses. Most of the questions deal with life and physical science. There are also a few questions on earth science. The life science items deal with basic biology, human nutrition, and health. The physical science items are concerned with elementary chemistry and physics. Fundamentals of geology, meteorology, and astronomy may be included in the earth science area.

Arithmetic Reasoning covers basic mathematical problems generally encountered in everyday life. These questions are designed to measure general reasoning and the ability to solve mathematical problems.

Word Knowledge tests ability to understand the meaning of words through synonyms—words that have the same or nearly the same meaning as other words. The test questions may appear in either of two forms: (1) the key word appears in the stem and is followed by “most nearly means,” or (2) the key word is used in a sentence.

Paragraph Comprehension consists of reading paragraphs that vary in length from one paragraph to several, and they are followed by one or more questions.

Numerical Operations contains simple, two-number computations in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. All numbers are one- or two-digit whole numbers.

Auto & Shop Information covers the material generally taught in automobile mechanics in vocational-technical schools and in shop instruction. The automotive information may also be acquired as a hobby or by working with automobiles. The questions generally pertain to diagnosing malfunctions of a car, the use of particular parts on a car, or meaning of terminology. The shop information may also be acquired as a hobby or through shop experience using a variety of tools and materials.

Mathematics Knowledge measures general mathematical knowledge. It is a test of your ability to solve problems using high school mathematics, including algebra and some basic geometry.

Mechanical Comprehension measures your understanding of mechanical and physical principles. Many of the questions use drawings to illustrate specific principles. Understanding of these principles comes from observing the physical world, working with or operating mechanical devices, or reading and studying.

Electronics Information deals with electricity, radio principles, and electronics. This information can be learned through working on radios, working on electrical equipment, reading books, or taking courses.

Assembling Objects is only provided on the computer-based test and requires the test taker to determine how parts of an object might logically fit together.

Total number of items: 200 Test Time: 134 minutes Administrative Time: 46 minutes Total Test Time: 180 minutes

ASVAB results are valid for two years. After taking an initial ASVAB Test (any ASVAB test taken in school doesn’t count as an “initial test”), you can retake the ASVAB after 30 days. After the re-test, you must wait at least six months before they can take the test again. Source


ASVAB FAQ from How can I prepare for the ASVAB? You don’t have to go through any special preparation to take the ASVAB. Getting a good night’s rest and arriving on time are the two most important steps you can take to prepare. Who gives the ASVAB, and where can I take it? The ASVAB is usually given in schools by test administrators from the Federal Government. Schools determine where and when the ASVAB will be given. See your academic advisor for more information, or if you’re not currently in school, contact your local recruiter. What can I expect on the day of the test? The ASVAB consists of ten short tests to complete during three hours. An ASVAB test administrator will give you instructions and tell you how long you have to complete each test. However, before you begin, you will have a chance to answer some practice questions and ask any questions about taking the test. What kind of questions will I be asked on the ASVAB? The ASVAB tests cover General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Numerical Operations, Coding Speed, Auto and Shop Information, Mathematics Knowledge, Mechanical Comprehension and Electronics Information. How do I find out what my scores mean and how are they used? No one passes or fails the ASVAB. However, to be considered for enlistment in the Army, you need to score at least a 31. Your scores will be provided to you on a report called the ASVAB Student Results Sheet, with additional information to help you understand your score. SSG Blizzard, an Army recruiter who believes in squaring away new soldiers, sent me this link: – It is designed to help you prepare for the ASVAB. The better your score, the more jobs that are available for you to select from! See sample ASVAB test questions or contact your local recruiter for a copy of The ASVAB Workbook. Scoring high on the ASVAB will require study and concentration. Don’t skimp on preparing for this test — read about what you should prepare for, and take this practice test, which gives you an idea of how well you’ll score. It identifies areas that need improvement and suggests resources you can use. Click here to see a table containing Army careers and the required ASVAB line scores. ASVAB Dos and Don’ts