- Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multiple choice test, administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command, used to determine qualification for enlistment in the United States armed forces. It is often offered to American high school students when they are in the 10th, 11th and 12th grade, though anyone eligible for enlistment may take it. There has never been a requirement that a test-taker with a qualifying score enlist in the military, and the test may simply determine personal aptitude at a particular career.
The ASVAB was first introduced in 1968 and was adopted by all branches of the military in 1976. In 2002 it underwent a major revision. In 2004, the test's percentile ranking scoring system was re-normalized, to ensure that a score of 50% really did represent doing better than exactly 50% of test-takers.
The ASVAB currently contains nine sections:
- Word Knowledge (WK)
- Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
- Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
- Automotive and Shop Information (AS)
- Electronics Information (EI)
- Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
- General Science (GS)
- Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
- Assembling Objects (AO)
"Assembling Objects" is new as of 2002. Navy applicants also complete a Coding Speed (CS) test.
- "Numerical Operations" (NO)
- "Space Perception" (SP)
- "Tool Knowledge" (TK)
- "General Information" (GI)
- "Attention to Detail" (AD)
Standards for enlistment
AFQT required minimum scores for people with a high school diploma as of August 2011 (unless otherwise noted) are as follows:
Minimum AFQT Tier I Tier II Branch ≥ HS Diploma = GED Army 31 50 Navy 35 65 Air Force 50 65 Marines 31 50 Coast Guard 45 50 *Army National Guard 31 31 *Air National Guard 31 50
GED holders who earn 15 college credits 100 level or greater are considered equivalent with those holding high school diplomas. This would result in only needing the minimum score to enlist. 
The information collected through the ASVAB is used by the United States Department of Defense for research purposes. Scores and personal information obtained during the test are released to the student's local school, and to United States armed forces recruiters, at the option of the school.
Armed Forces Qualification Test
An Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score is used to determine basic qualification for enlistment.
AFQT Scores are divided into the following categories:
- 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
The formula for computing an AFQT score is: AR + MK + (2 x VE) where VE = PC + WK.
The VE (verbal) score is determined by adding the raw scores from the PC and WK tests (i.e., how many questions the aspiring recruit got right on each) and using a table to get the VE score from that combined PC and WK raw score.
AFQT scores are not raw scores, but rather percentile scores indicating how each examinee performed compared with all other examinees. Thus, someone who receives an AFQT of 55 scored better than 55 percent of all other examinees. Maximum possible score is 99 as a person can do better than 99 percent of those who took the test, but he cannot do better than himself, so the high percentile is 99.
Law prohibits applicants in Category V from enlisting. In addition, there are constraints placed on Category IV recruits. Presently, all Category IV recruits must be high school diploma graduates. Further, the law constrains the percentage of accessions who can fall in Category IV (currently, the limit is 20%).
In addition to the ASVAB's AFQT, each branch has military occupational specialty, or MOS, scores. Combinations of scores from the nine tests are used to determine qualification for a MOS. These combinations are called "aptitude area scores", "composite scores", or "line scores". Each of the five armed services has its own aptitude area scores and sets its own minimum composite scores for each MOS.
Army/ National Guard Composite Scores: CL Clerical VE+AR+MK CO Combat Operations AR+CS+AS+MC EL Electronics GS+AR+MK+EI? FA Field Artillery AR+CS+MK+MC GM General Maintenance GS+AS+MK+EI GT General Technical VE+AR MM Mechanical Maintenance NO+AS+MC+EI OF Operators and Food VE+NO+AS+MC SC Surveillance and Communications VE+AR+AS+MC ST Skilled Technical GS+VE+MK+MC * SF Special Forces GT≥107 CO≥98 Navy/ Coast Guard Line Scores: GT General Technical AR+VE EL Electronics AR+EI+GS+MK BEE Basic Electricity and Electronics AR+GS+2*MK ENG Engineering AI+SI+MK MEC Mechanical Maintenance AR+AI+SI+MC MEC2 Mechanical Maintenance 2 AO+AR+MC NUC Nuclear Field AR+MC+MK+VE OPS Operations Specialist WK, PC, AR, MK, AO HM Hospitalcorpsman GS+MK+VE ADM Administrative MK+VE * SEALs Special Forces GS+MC+EI≥165 or VE+MK+MC+CS≥220 (minimum for BUD/S)
Air Force/ National Guard Composite Scores Goes by Standard AFQT score AR + MK + (2 x VE)
G Genera VE + AR M Mechanical MC + GS (2 × AS) A Administrative NO + CS + VE E Electrical AR + MK + EI + GS Marine Corps Line Score: CL Clerical VE+AR+MK EL Electronics GS+AR+MK+EI GT General Technical VE+AR MM Mechanical Maintenance NO+AS+MC+EI ST Skilled Technical GS+VE+MK+MC * MARSOC Special Forces GT=105
- Gregory, Robert J. (2011). Psychological Testing: History, Principles, and Applications (Sixth ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 978-0-205-78214-7. Lay summary (7 November 2010).
- Hogan, Thomas P.; Brooke Cannon (2007). Psychological Testing: A Practical Introduction (Second ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-73807-7. Lay summary (21 November 2010).
- Official ASVAB Information: The official ASVAB web site for the U. S. Department of Defense.
- About Guide to ASVAB
- ASVAB test description: Includes structure of the test, time allotted per section of the test and which sections are counted towards the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score.
- SEAL ASVAB requirement: Minimum requirements for BUD/S School of the USN SEAL.
- Educational assessment and evaluation
- Military education and training in the United States
- Standardized tests in the United States
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