The ASVAB, Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery, is a test that all potential soldiers will take before entering the service. The test has nine areas of concentration – word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, arithmetic reasoning, mathematical knowledge, general science, auto and shop information, mechanical comprehension, electronics information and assembling objects.
There are three versions of the test, all of which can be used for recruiting purposes.
High School Version – This is given to high school juniors and seniors to measure aptitude. While it can be used for recruiting purposes, it does not have to be. Many use it as a general aptitude exam.
Paper Version for Recruiting – This is the test that a prospective soldier will be given when he goes to the recruiting station. The questions are different than those on the high school version.
CAT-ASVAB – This is the most commonly given to potential recruits as this is the computerized version of the ASVAB. Many score better on the computerized version than the paper version. With the CAT-ASVAB, the questions are weighted and the computer can deliver harder or easier questions based on whether previous questions were answered correctly or incorrectly.
There is not a score for the ASVAB. Many mistakenly will assign a score to the ASVAB (“I received a 92 on my ASVAB.”) But the score they are referring to is actually the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualifying Test). This score is derived from certain sections of the ASVAB – word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, arithmetic reasoning and mathematical comprehension. The AFQT score is a percentile score (on a scale of 99) that is based on a group of test takers who took the test in 2004.
The minimum score to qualify for the Army is 31, though waivers can be obtained if the score is lower. In order to qualify for incentives, such as enlistment bonuses, the minimum score if 50.