ASVAB Test – How To Register, What To Expect In The Test Center And Understanding Your Score

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB test) is an aptitude exam given by the military for applicants seeking admission into the armed forces such as Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy. The ASVAB test is administered nationwide at schools as part of the Career Exploration Program, Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) and Military Entrance Test sites (MET), and has been given to over 40 million applicants.

The United States military has high standards and applicants must do well to gain admission. ASVAB testing is comprised of 10 exams. Four subsets of the ASVAB exams are used for Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) which will determine if a candidate can enter the military. The goal of the ASVAB test is to determine if candidates have the mental aptitude to enlist and to place them in an occupational specialty, in which they can excel.

ASVAB Test Registration

In order to apply to take the ASVAB, applicants must contact a military recruiter who will pre-screen candidates. The recruiter will register those candidates who meet the requirements. The average military recruiter is between 25 and 30 years old and has served in the military from 5 to 10 years.

ASVAB Test Center Expectations

All of the testing locations will require the applicant to provide valid identification on arrival. It is best to plan to arrive early because candidates who are late you may not be allowed to take the exam.

Understanding The Structure And Format Of The ASVAB Exam

• The ASVAB test is offered in a computer based format at MEPS locations while the paper based version is provided at Military Entrance Test sites (MET) located throughout the United States. Applicants can choose either format.

• The paper based ASVAB test allows applicants to review previous answers whereas the computer version does not.

• The computer based exam is adaptive, meaning that the computer adapts to the test takers skill level by adjusting the difficulty of the questions based on the candidates performance. If the previous question was answered correctly, the next question will be harder whereas if the previous question was answered incorrectly the next question will be easier.

• The all of the ASVAB tests are comprised of multiple choice questions, with four possible options.

• The AFQT test evaluates four areas: Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge. It measures an applicant’s strengths and weaknesses and opportunities for success in the future.

• The number of ASVAB test questions asked in each component of the test is listed below and vary depending on whether you are taking the paper of computer based format.

ASVAB Subtests Number of Questions

Paper based tests Time Limit in minutes Number of Question Computer based tests Time Limit in minutes
General Science 25 11 16 8
Arithmetic Reasoning 30 36 16 39
Word Knowledge 35 11 16 8
Paragraph Comprehension 15 13 11 22
Mathematics Knowledge 25 24 16 20
Electronic Information 20 9 16 8
Auto and Shop Information 25 11 22 13
Mechanical Comprehension 25 11 16 20
Assembling Objects 25 15 16 16
Total 225 149 145 154

Most applicants complete the questions before the time allotted has run out. On average, the paper based ASVAB test takes about 3 hours to complete whereas the computerized test takes about 1 ½ hours to complete.

It is best not to guess on the ASVAB as there are penalties for wrong answers.

How To Interpret Your ASVAB Score

• In most cases the ASVAB test score is given to the recruiter several days after the test. The minimum required scores for the ASVAB differ depending on the area of Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

• The passing grade needed on the AFQT also differs across branches of service and is reported as a percentile that ranges between 1 and 99. However a score of 50 or more may entitle the applicant to incentives.

• If you fail and need to retake the ASVAB exam, you must wait for one calendar month. If you need to retest a second time, you must wait for two months.

Candidates should use an effective ASVAB study guide. The higher the score, the more career opportunities will be available.

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