Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is the entrance examination for those considering entering military service in the United States. It is administered by the Department of Defense, and tests knowledge in nine areas: General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Electronics Information, Auto and Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension, Assembling Objects, Mathematical Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Word Knowledge.

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Here's an in-depth look at each subsection of the ASVAB:

Subtest and Description Number of Allotted Minutes Total Number of Questions Approximate time / each question
General Science
Measures your understanding and knowledge of the physical and biological sciences
11 25 25 seconds
Arithmetic Reasoning
Measures your ability to solve mathematical word problems
36 30 80 seconds
Word Knowledge
Measures your ability to understand the correct meaning of words in context, and also to identify synonyms
11 35 20 seconds
Paragraph Comprehension
Measures your ability to understand information in written material and draw conclusions from that material
13 15 50 seconds
Auto and Shop Information
Measures your knowledge of automobiles, mechanics, tools and shop terminology
11 25 25 seconds
Mathematics Knowledge
Measures your knowledge of the basic mathematical principles learned in high school
24 25 55 seconds
Mechanical Comprehension
Measures your knowledge of the principles of mechanics and your ability to visualize how illustrated objects might work
19 25 45 seconds
Tests your knowledge the basic principles of electricity and electronics
9 20 25 seconds
Total 134 200

ASVAB Scoring

The ASVAB was introduced in 1968, and it's the product of extensive research. The test provides three composite scores, called Career Exploration Scores, which are applicable beyond preparation for military service. The scores provide test-writers with a clear picture of their math, science, verbal and technical skill-level, as compared to others in the same grade level.

The ASVAB differs from the entrance examinations of most institutions. It doesn't score you in terms of pass or fail, though you must be in a specific percentile to qualify for military service. Instead, the ASVAB test scores are used mainly to determine an applicant's prospective perform in the military (and even in certain civilian careers). The minimum percentile required is different for each branch of the military, so you'll need to obtain specific standards from your local recruiter..

For tips on how to prepare for the ASVAB, refer to the ASVAB preparation guide.

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