Understanding the ASVAB
The ASVAB is a standardized test that reveals areas of strength and ability in science, math, and language. Taking the test is one of the first steps before you enlist.
Once it’s over, you’ll get to find a job that matches up to your strengths.
- You’ll need to take the ASVAB test to enlist
- You'll work with your recruiter to schedule the test when you're ready
- You'll take the test at a registered testing site or nearby MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station)
Subjects Covered on the ASVAB
The ASVAB tests you in these ten different subject areas. Your score will help reveal which career path is right for you.
- General science
- Arithmetic reasoning
- Word knowledge
- Paragraph comprehension
- Mathematics knowledge
- Electronics information
- Auto and shop information
- Mechanical comprehension
- Assembling objects
- Verbal expression
Why Your Scores Matter
There are two types of ASVAB scores. First, your Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score determines whether you’re eligible to join and you'll need to score at least 31 to enlist. Second, your ASVAB category scores, called line scores, determine job opportunities based on your knowledge and skills in these ten different areas.
Careers in electronics are ideal if you earn high scores in General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, and Electronic Information sections of the ASVAB.
Careers in artillery are ideal if you earn high scores in the Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, and Mechanical Comprehension sections of the ASVAB.
Careers in maintenance are ideal if you earn high scores in the General Science, Auto and Shop, Mathematics Knowledge, and Electronics Information sections of the ASVAB.
Maintenance careers are ideal for individuals who earn high scores in the Auto and Shop, Mechanical Comprehension, and Electronic Information sections of the ASVAB.
Operators and food:
Operations careers are ideal for individuals who earn high scores in the Verbal Expression, Auto and Shop, and Mechanical Comprehension sections of the ASVAB.
Surveillance and communications:
Surveillance careers are ideal for individuals who earn high scores in the Verbal Expression, Arithmetic Reasoning, Auto and Shop, and Mechanical Comprehension sections of the ASVAB.
Careers requiring more technical skills are ideal for individuals who earn high scores in the General Science, Verbal Expression, Mechanical Comprehension, and Mathematics Knowledge sections of the ASVAB.
Discover Your Strengths
Your ASVAB line scores help indicate the job areas you’d excel in after you join as an enlisted Soldier.
Choose Between Available Jobs
Work with us to find a job opportunity from the options that are available to you.
Talk to Your Recruiter About What to Expect
Your recruiter can give you a better sense of what’s on the ASVAB and how scoring works. While they can’t help you study, they can direct you to the tools and resources needed to succeed.
Make a Plan for Your Test Day
Be sure you know the testing location, your test time, and how long it takes to get there. Also, plan to get enough rest the night before. This will help ensure a successful test day.
Common Questions About ASVAB Test and Preparation
How many times can I take the ASVAB?
You can take the ASVAB test multiple times, but there are rules regarding how frequently. After your first attempt you must wait one calendar month to retake the test. Your second retest will be administered no earlier than six calendar months after your second test. It is important to remember that your most recent score—not your highest—will be used to assess your performance. Please speak with your recruiter with any additional questions or concerns.
Is the ASVAB available in Spanish?
The ASVAB test is only administered in English. Applicants need to demonstrate English language comprehension and fluency to complete tasks and understand commands.
What is the difference between the paper and online version of the ASVAB?
The computer adaptive test (CAT-ASVAB) adjusts to your knowledge level in real-time. Note that around 70% of military applicants take the test online, and on average, it takes about half the time as the paper version.
Is there an alternative test for the ASVAB?
Yes, the Pending Internet Computerized Adaptive Test (PiCAT) is an alternative to current ASVAB testing procedures. It is an unsupervised, full version of the ASVAB you may take on your own time. Contact your recruiter to learn more about taking it and validating your results on your visit to a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).
Do commissioned Army Officers take the ASVAB?
If you attend Officer Candidate School after you enlist, you will have taken the ASVAB as part of the enlistment process. But, you do not take the ASVAB if you join the Army through a direct commission as an Officer, or through ROTC or U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where you graduate with a college degree and as a commissioned Army Officer.