The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multiple choice exam administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command. It is used to determine qualification for enlistment in the United States Armed Forces and signing bonus ($$$$). The ASVAB currently contain 10 sections (written exam has only 9 sections). The entire test is 3 hours long. Typically, it is administered in a computerized format at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) or at a satellite location called Military Entrance Test (MET). Computerized versions are administered at the MEPS, while written versions are offered at most MET sites.

ASVAB Test Areas


  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) – measures ability to solve basic arithmetic word problems
  • Word Knowledge (WK) – measures ability to understand the meaning of words through synonyms
  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC) – measures ability to obtain information from written material
  • Mathematics Knowledge (MK) – measures knowledge of mathematical concepts and applications


  • General Science (GS) – measures knowledge of life sciences, earth and space sciences, and physical science
  • Electronics Information (EI) – measures knowledge of electrical current, circuits, devices and electronic systems
  • Automotive and Shop Information (AS) – measures knowledge of automotive maintenance and repair, and wood and metal shop practices
  • Mechanical Comprehension (MC) – measures knowledge of the principles of mechanical devices, structural support and properties of materials
  • Assembling Objects (AO) – measures ability with spatial relationships


The scores in these sections not only determine if you can enlist in the United States Armed Forces, but it can also determine your Military Occupational Specialties (MOS).

  • Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) – Paragraph Comprehension, Word Knowledge, Mathematics Knowledge, and Arithmetic Reasoning.
  • Clerical (CL) – Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge.
  • Combat (CO) – Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Auto & Shop and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • Electronics (EL) – General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge and Electronic Information.
  • Field Artillery (FA) – Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • General Maintenance (GM) – General Science, Auto & Shop, Mathematics Knowledge and Electronics Information.
  • General Technical (GT) – Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Arithmetic Reasoning (AR).
  • Mechanical Maintenance (MM) – Auto & Shop, Mechanical Comprehension and Electronic Information.
  • Operators and Food (OF) – Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Auto & Shop and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • Surveillance and Communications (SC) – Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, Auto & Shop and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • Skilled Technical (ST) – Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, General Science, Mechanical Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge.


Computerized Test Format

Section Questions Time (Minutes)
General Science (GS) 16 8
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) 16 39
Word Knowledge (WK) 16 8
Paragraph Comprehension (PC) 11 22
Mathematics Knowledge (MK) 16 20
Electronics Information (EI) 16 8
Automotive and Shop Information (AS) 11 7
Mechanical Comprehension (MC) 16 20
Assembling Objects (AO) 30 40


Written Test Format

Section Questions Time (Minutes)
General Science (GS) 45 20
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) 30 36
Word Knowledge (WK) 35 11
Paragraph Comprehension (PC) 15 13
Mathematics Knowledge (MK) 25 24
Electronics Information (EI) 20 19
Automotive and Shop Information (AS) 25 11
Mechanical Comprehension (MC) 25 15
Assembling Objects (AO) 25 15

Navy applicants also complete a Coding Speed (CS) test

An Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score is divided into the following categories and is used to determine basic qualification for enlistment.

Category Percentile Range
Category I 93 – 99
Category II 65 – 92
Category III A 50 – 64
Category III B 31 – 49
Category IV A 21 – 30
Category IV B 16 – 20
Category IV C 10 – 15
Category V 0 – 9

This score is based only on the Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Word Knowledge (WK) and Paragraph Comprehension (PC).

The minimum required score for enlistment are

  Tier 1 Tier 2
Branch HS Diploma or Higher GED
Army 31 50
Marines 32 50
Air Force 36 65
Navy 35 50
Coast Guard 40 50 with 15 college credits
Army National Guard 50 50
Air National Guard 50 50

GED holders with 15 or more college credits of 100 level courses or greater are considered equivalent to High School Diplomas.

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