ASVAB Scores | What is a Good ASVAB Score? | Test-Guide (2022)

It is critical to know how ASVAB scores are calculated and what they are used for. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test are used to identify whether a candidate is qualified to enlist in a particular branch of the U.S. Military.

The ASVAB test is also used to determine which military jobs (referred to as MOS for Military Occupational Specialties) a candidate is best suited for. ASVAB scores can also be used by test takers to help explore which careers they may be a good fit for them – whether they go into the military or not.

While no one officially passes or fails the ASVAB, each branch of the military has specific minimum ASVAB requirements for enlistment. ASVAB scoring also effects the type of military job, enlistment bonuses, and salary you are eligible for.

Summary: Learn everything there is to know about ASVAB test scores. For help preparing for this exam, use our free ASVAB practice test.

What are ASVAB Scores Used For?

ASVAB scores are used for a variety of purposes. Most high schools administer the ASVAB to students in grades 10-12 and can use the resulting ASVAB scores to guide students in their choice to attend college, technical or vocational school or enlist in the armed forces.

High School career counselors also utilize the test to identify any specific career paths for the student to explore.

ASVAB testing is used extensively in all branches of the military. Armed Forces Recruiters will send applicants to Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) or Military Entrance Test sites (MET) to take the ASVAB to determine whether the applicant is eligible for active military duty in a specific branch of the military.

Each branch of the armed forces uses the ASVAB not only to determine if an individual meets minimum entrance requirements, but also to determine the individual’s aptitude for specific jobs within that military branch.

ASVAB Scores – How Are They Calculated?

The ASVAB is a timed, multiple-choice aptitude test administered in paper or computerized form to armed forces applicants. Each multiple-choice question has four answers of which only one answer could be correct.

You want to answer every question even if you have to guess at some of the answers to the questions. You are not penalized for wrong answers, but you are penalized for questions left blank, as these are counted as incorrect answers.

Each question counts as 1 point, so if you left 15 questions blank, you automatically have reduced your ASVAB score to 85.

Since the test is timed, you do not want to spend too much time on any one question. If you feel like you’re running out of time, don’t just bubble in answers at the end of the test.

The computerized version of the ASVAB does apply a penalty if a large amount of the questions near the end of the test are answered incorrectly.

The ASVAB test consists of multiple-choice questions in ten distinct categories (subtests) listed below:

  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  • Word Knowledge (WK)
  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  • Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
  • General Science (GS)
  • Electronics Information (EI)
  • Auto Information (AI)
  • Shop Information (SI)
  • Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
  • Assembling Objects (AO)

Students are given a standard score for each of the subtests. Standard scores are calculated from your raw scores (total number of points you receive on each subtest).

The standard scores are a statistically derived score that typically ranges from 30 and 70 for each subtest.

The standard scores are created such that a 50 represents a mean (average) score.

An applicant’s standard scores on each of the individual subtests are used to calculate two separate types of scores:

  1. Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) Scores
  2. Composite Scores

These 2 scores are the important ASVAB test scores that are used to determine enlistment eligibility and MOS/Job qualifications.

If you want to ensure that you pass the exam the first time around, use our ASVAB practice test to prepare.

AFQT Scores – Eligibility for Enlistment

AFQT scores are a critical component of the ASVAB scoring process. These are the scores that different branches of the Military use to determine if you meet their minimum requirements.

AFQT scores are based on your scores from the following four subtests:

  1. Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  2. Word Knowledge (WK)
  3. Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  4. Mathematics Knowledge (MK)

AFQT scores are represented as percentiles in the range of 1 to 99. The percentile score indicates how a candidate’s score compares to others who have taken the exam.

If an ASVAB candidate has an AFQT score of 65, this implies that their score is higher than 65% of the test takers in the reference sample group.

Formula for AFQT Scores

The formula for your AFQT score is MK (Mathematics Knowledge) + AR (Arithmetic Reasoning) + 2VE.

In the formula above VE = PC (Paragraph Comprehension) + WK (Word Knowledge).

This score is then converted to a percentile by comparing it to scores from the representative sample group. After the AFQT score is computed as a percentile, it is then assigned to a category. You can view the ASVAB score chart in the next section.

ASVAB Score Chart

The following is the ASVAB score chart. After taking the exam, you will be classified into one of the following categories.

The AFQT range is listed as a percentile (comparison between your ASVAB score and other test-takers).

CategoryAFQT Range (Percentiles)
I93-99
II65-92
III A50-64
III B31-49
IV A21-30
IV B16-20
IV C10-15
V1-9

What is a Good ASVAB Score?

A good ASVAB score would be a passing score, which would be anything above the minimum ASVAB requirement for the branch of the military that you are seeking to enlist in.

Remember, the AFQT score (not composite score) is used for the minimum ASVAB required score. The following table shows the minimum AFQT score you would need for each branch.

Military BranchMin. Score (HS Diploma)Min. Score (GED)
Air Force3150
Army3131
Coast Guard4050
Marine Corps3250
Navy3550

What is the Average ASVAB Score?

The average ASVAB score would be 50. Since ASVAB scoring is presented as a percentile, a 50 would mean that you scored the same as 50% of other test-takers (average).

What is the Highest ASVAB Score?

The highest ASVAB score you can receive is a 99. This means that you scored better than 99% of all other test-takers.

ASVAB Requirements for Different Branches of Military

When it comes to ASVAB requirements, your AFQT score will be used to determine if you are eligible for that specific branch of the military. Each branch has different requirements.

Air Force AFQT Score Requirements

The Air Force uses the ASVAB to determine an applicant’s eligibility for admission to the Air Force and the specific types of jobs in the Air Force that they would be best suited for.

The Air Force uses the AFQT score to qualify applicants. The Air Force requires an AFQT score of at least 31 and a High School diploma to be eligible to enlist for Air Force active duty.

The Air Force ASVAB requirements are a person with an AFQT score of 50 or higher and a GED may be considered for eligibility.

  • Minimum AFQT Score (with High School Diploma): 31
  • Minimum AFQT Score (with GED): 50

Army AFQT Score Requirements

The Army uses the ASVAB to determine an applicant’s eligibility for admission to the Army and the specific types of jobs in the Army that they would be best suited for.

The Army uses the AFQT score to qualify applicants. The Army requires an AFQT score of at least 31 to be eligible to enlist for Army active duty. The Army does not make a distinction between High School graduates and those that hold a GED.

  • Minimum AFQT Score (with High School Diploma): 31
  • Minimum AFQT Score (with GED): 31

Marine Corps AFQT Score Requirements

The Marine Corps uses the ASVAB to determine an applicant’s eligibility for admission to the Marines and the specific types of jobs in the Marines that they would be best suited for.

The Marines use the AFQT score to qualify applicants. The Marine Corps require an AFQT score of at least 32 and a High School Diploma.

The Marine Corps does not accept many non-high school graduates, however, a person with an AFQT of 50 or better and a GED could be considered eligible to enlist for Marine Corps active duty.

  • Minimum AFQT Score (with High School Diploma): 32
  • Minimum AFQT Score (with GED): 50

Navy AFQT Score Requirements

The Navy uses the ASVAB to determine an applicant’s eligibility for admission to the Navy and the specific types of jobs in the Navy that they would be best suited for.

The Navy uses the AFQT score to qualify applicants. The Navy requires an AFQT score of at least 35 and a High School diploma.

While the Navy does accept people who only hold a GED, those individuals must score a 50 or higher on the AFQT to be eligible to enlist for Navy active duty.

  • Minimum AFQT Score (with High School Diploma): 35
  • Minimum AFQT Score (with GED): 50

Composite Scores – MOS/Job Assignments

Composite Scores are sometimes referred to as “line scores”, “aptitude area scores”, or “MOS scores”. These scores are calculated by taking your standard score from various subtests and inputting them into a formula (similar to the AFQT formula).

Composite scores are used by the different branches of the U.S. Armed Services to determine which military jobs (or Military Occupational Specialities/MOS) may be the best fit for you.

These composite scores are only one factor in determining which military job is right for you. The recruiter will also use job availability, physical and medical qualifications, and eligibility for security clearance as additional factors.

Each branch of the service also defines their own composite scores and eligibility requirements.

Air Force Composite Scores

The Air Force utilizes a combination of the ASVAB subtests referred to as MAGE (Mechanical, Administrative, General Aptitude and Electronics) scoring to determine what specific occupational Air Force specialties an individual is qualified for.

MAGE is based on eight ASVAB subtests, which are grouped together into four different “Qualification Areas”.

Composite ScoreStandard ScoresFormula
MechanicalArithmetic Reasoning (AR), Verbal Expression (VE), Mechanical Comprehension (MC), Auto and Shop Information (AS)AR + 2xVE + MC + AS
AdministrativeVerbal Expression (VE), Mathematics Knowledge (MK)VE + MK
GeneralVerbal Expression (VE), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)VE + AR
ElectronicsArithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Electronics Information (EI), General Science (GS)AR + MK + EI + GS

Army Composite Scores

How the Army uses ASVAB scores to find out what specific Army jobs a person qualifies for can be complicated. There is no single test score that determines whether someone is qualified to be a combat instructor or a small arms mechanic or some other job.

Every Army job has certain skills and knowledge required to do that job successfully. The Army took each job within the Army and broke it down into which skills and knowledge were necessary to do each job, which are now referred to as Occupational Specialties (OS).

From those Occupational specialties, they were able to devise a battery of tests that would provide an indication of what jobs an individual was capable of doing within the Army.

Occupational SpecialtyASVAB Scores Looked at
ClericalWord Knowledge, Comprehension, Math Knowledge, Arithmetic Reasoning
CombatWord Knowledge, Comprehension, Math Knowledge, Arithmetic Reasoning
ElectronicsScience, Math Knowledge, Arithmetic Reasoning, Electronic Information
Field ArtilleryMath Knowledge, Arithmetic Reasoning, Mechanical Comprehension
General MaintenanceScience, Auto & Shop information, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronics Information
Basic TechnicalWord Knowledge, Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning
Mechanical MaintenanceAuto & Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension, Electronic Information
Food & OperatorsWord Knowledge, Comprehension, Auto & Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension
Surveillance & CommunicationsWord Knowledge, Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, Auto & Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension
Skilled TechnicalWord Knowledge, Comprehension, Science, Mathematics Knowledge, Mechanical Comprehension

The Army utilizes the subtest test scores from the ASVAB to determine what specific occupational specialty an individual is qualified for.

They convert an individual’s score on ASVAB subtests into composite score areas referred to as line scores. Lines scores are grouped together in various ways to identify an individual’s job selection.

For example, a Tank Turret Mechanic would have had to score at least 100 from the combined line scores from the Mechanical Maintenance subtests.

Composite ScoreStandard ScoresFormula
GeneralVerbal Expression (VE), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)VE + AR
Technical, Clerical, Combat, Electronics Repair, Field Artillery, General Maintenance, Mechanical Maintenance, Operators/Food, Surveillance/Communication Skilled TechnicianArithmetic Reasoning (AR), Word Knowledge (WK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), Mathematics Knowledge (MK). General Science (GS), Electronics Information (EI), Auto Information (AI), Shop Information (SI), Mechanical Comprehension (MC), Assembling Objects (AO)Weighted combinations of all ASVAB Subtests

Marine Corps Composite Scores

How the Marines use ASVAB scores to find out what specific Marine Corps jobs a person qualifies for can be confusing. There is no single test score that determines whether someone is qualified to be a Combat Engineer or a tank mechanic or some other job.

Every Marines Corps job has certain skills and knowledge required to do that job successfully. The Marines took each job within the Marines and broke it down into which skills and knowledge were necessary to do each job, which are now referred to as Military Occupational Specialties (MOS).

From those codes, they were able to devise a battery of tests that would provide an indication of what jobs and individual was capable of doing within the Marine Corps.

The Marines use the MCCS (Marine Corp Composite Scores) to determine the specific MOS an individual is qualified for. The MCCS is based on seven ASVAB subtests, which are grouped together into three different sections:

  1. Section 1: Electronics Repair, Missile Repair, Electronics & Communications (EL) – Based on General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge and Electronic Information ASVAB subtests.
  2. Section 2: General Maintenance, Construction, Utility and Chemical Maintenance (MM) – Based on General Science, Auto & Shop, Mathematics Knowledge and Electronics Information ASVAB subtests.
  3. Section 3: General Technical, Special and Officer Programs (GT) – Based on Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Arithmetic Reasoning ASVAB subtests.
Composite ScoreStandard ScoresFormula
MechanicalArithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mechanical Comprehension (MC), Auto and Shop Information (AS), Electronics Information (EI)AR + MC + AS + EI
ClericalVerbal Expression (VE), Mathematics Knowledge (MK)VE + MK
General TechnicianVerbal Expression (VE), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mechanical Comprehension (MC)VE + AR + MC
ElectronicsArithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Electronics Information (EI), General Science (GS)AR + MK + EI + GS

Navy Composite Scores

The Navy does not use line scores. They utilize the actual scores from the ASVAB subtests grouped into 10 different Ratings categories to determine what specific occupational Navy specialty an individual is qualified for.

For example, a Submarine Electronics Technician would have had to score at least 222 from the combined scores from the Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronics Information and General Science subtests.

Composite ScoreStandard ScoresFormula
General TechnicianVerbal Expression (VE), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)VE + AR
ElectronicsGeneral Science (GS), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Electronics Information (EI)GS + AR + MK + EI
Basic Electricity and ElectronicsGeneral Science (GS), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK)GS + AR + 2xMK
EngineeringAuto and Shop Information (AS), Mathematics Knowledge (MK)AS + MK
Mechanical 1Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Auto and Shop Information (AS), Mechanical Comprehension (MC)AR + AS + MC
Mechanical 2Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mechanical Comprehension (MC), Assembling Objects (AO)AR + MC + AO
NuclearVerbal Expression (VE), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Mechanical Comprehension (MC)VE + AR + MK + MC
OperationsVerbal Expression (VE), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Assembling Objects (AO)VE + AR + MK + AO
HospitalmanVerbal Expression (VE), General Science (GS), Mathematics Knowledge (MK)VE + GS + MK
AdministrativeVerbal Expression (VE), Mathematics Knowledge (MK)VE + MK

ASVAB Score FAQs

How many times can you take the ASVAB?

If you are not happy with the score you received on the initial ASVAB test you took, you can retake the ASVAB up to two more times. There is a required waiting period, however, between each test retake.

In order to take the ASVAB a second time, the required waiting period is one month from the initial test date.

In order to take the ASVAB a third time, the required waiting period is six months from the time you took the ASVAB the second time.

How Long are ASVAB Scores Good For?

If you take the ASVAB but don’t plan to enlist right away, the scores from your ASVAB test are good for up to two years.

What are ASVAB Scores?

ASVAB scores stand for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery scores. They are the result of taking the ASVAB.This exam is not an IQ test score; it is a measure of an individual’s strengths, weaknesses and potential for success in the armed forces.

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