The ASVAB Test- What is it

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) consists of multiple-choice questions.

It is an entry-level test that is developed to identify what jobs in the armed forces (Military Occupational Specialties) will suit you best. The ASVAB  tests several skills and abilities and is used to predict how well you will do in specific functions in the armed forces. If you have a part-time job now and want to compare your hourly pay with regular monthly earnings in the armed forces, use this paycheck calculator.

Every year, the ASVAB is taken by over a million high school, and post-secondary students who want to get a job in the military services. The ASVAB tests you in ten different areas, and the test is absolutely not an IQ test, but is helping the Army assess which tasks you probably will perform best.

The United States Armed Forces apply high standards, also for applicants who want to enlist. Recruiters screen applicants to make sure they meet specific standards. Before recruiters will let you take the ASVAB, they want to know about your health, education, arrest record, marital status, or drug use.
You should answer all questions honestly and openly. Only when recruiters decide that you may qualify will you be able to take the battery of tests, and a physical examination is usually part of the procedure.

The History

The ASVAB quiz was first introduced in 1968, and since then, more than forty million applicants have taken the ASVAB test. Over the years, male applicants outnumbered females by far, and they accounted for around 80 percent of all applications, while more than half of all applicants for military service were 25 years of age or older.

Testing is usually conducted at MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Stations) that include both military and civilian staff. All across the U.S you can find 65 MEPS, and in case you don’t live close to one of these locations, the ASVAB test may also be taken a satellite location, a so-called MET site (Military Entrance Test). These MET sites are usually located in a National Guard Armory at Federal government buildings, or at a National Reserve Center.


To be allowed into an ASVAB testing site, you are required to bring proper identification, and please show up on time. Late arrivals will not be accepted, and you’ll need to reschedule your test. Recruiters may take care of transportation to and from the testing site, but they are allowed inside the testing facility. The test questions of the ASVAB are controlled test materials, and you are expected to give nor accept any information regarding testing questions to anyone. Test-takers who do not abide by these rules will face severe consequences and penalties.


At MEPS, you are required to take the ASVAB on a computer (the CAT-ASVAB), while at most MET facilities you must take the test in a paper-and-pencil format. The computer-based ASVAB, the CAT-ASVAB, is an adaptive examination, meaning the test will adapt to the test taker’s ability and knowledge level. Therefore, this way of testing may be shorter than the paper and pencil way of testing.

Test-takers can complete the CAT-ASVAB at their own pace, meaning that when a sub-test is completed, they can go to the next sub-test question without having to wait till all other applicants have finished. The tests come with time limits on each sub-test question, but practically all test-takers complete the questions before the allotted time is over. The computer indicates the remaining time and number of items. The average time that applicants require to complete the computer-based ASVAB is around 1.5 hours.


If you failed on your ASVAB, you need to wait for at least 1 full month before you are allowed to take the test again and to re-test for the second time, you are required to wait again for a full calendar month. If you still didn’t pass, you will need to wait for at least half a year to be allowed to retake the ASVAB. Your test scores can be used for Enlistment for the duration of two years.


As the SSVAB tests aptitude rather than knowledge, there is hardly a good way to prepare, and there is also no program to go through before you take the ASVAB. Show up in good spirits, sleep well the night before test day, and make sure you arrive on time. Those are the most important elements in getting ready for the ASVAB, Usually, the ASVAB is given at schools by federal government test administrators, and the schools decide when and where the tests will be available.

Testing Subjects and Score

The ASVAB covers the following subject areas: word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, arithmetic reasoning, numerical operations, mathematics knowledge, general science, assembling objects, mechanical comprehension, auto and shop information, and electronics information. If you want to be considered to qualify for the Army, you will have to score no less than 31 points on the ASVAB. Your test scores will show on your ASVAB Student Results Sheet, and you will receive some extra information to be able to understand your scoring.