Updated December 2015
- to determine if you have the mental capability to be successful through basic training and other Air Force training programs, and
- to determine your aptitude for learning various Air Force jobs.
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multiple choice test, administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPS), used to determine qualification for enlistment in the United States Air Force. In addition to determining eligibility, the test also determines jobs available to you in the Air Force and enlistment bonus incentives, so you will want to do your best when taking the ASVAB.
You may have already taken the ASVAB in high school or for enlistment purposes. If so, tell your recruiter or your test administrator, because you may not be required to take the test.
What is the minimum score?
To enlist in the Air Force you must achieve a certain score on the ASVAB to be eligible for enlistment. The scores are broken down by the individual sub-tests and composites of the sub-tests. The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) is notably the most critical of these scores for it is used to determine if you are qualified to join the military. In addition, your scores on the other ASVAB composite tests will determine your career field or military occupation eligibility. Since enlistment bonuses are usually tied to your choice of occupations, the better the score, the more opportunities you have.
Every career field does in fact require more than just an overall ASVAB qualifying score, which is a 36 if you are a high school senior or have already graduated from High School, and a 65 if you have a GED. The ASVAB is broken down into four main categories (Mechanical, Administrative, General and Electronic), and all enlisted career fields have a minimum score requirement that fall under one or more of these categories. These scores, along with the results of your physical examination, will be reviewed when you undergo job counseling during the enlistment process at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).
Your score weighs heavily on determining what jobs you qualify for in the Air Force. These jobs are known as AFSCs, or Air Force Special Code.
Two Versions of the ASVAB
There are two different versions or formats of the ASVAB; the high school version or student ASVAB, and the production version. Each ASVAB has different benefits and limitations. If you’re taking the test as part of your enlistment process into the Air Force, you’ll most likely take the computerized version during your trip to MEPS. The production version now includes a subtest called “Assembling Objects.” This 20 question, 20 minute subtest tests your ability to choose how an object (shown flat) will look once assembled. For example: Imagine a cardboard box unfolded and then put together.
Ace The ASAVB!
Besides the four main categories, the ASVAB is divided into eight parts (for the high school version) or nine parts (for the production version). The high school version is structured as follows:
|Order||Subtest||Number of Questions||Time Allowed|
|Test 1||General Science (GS)||25||11 mins.|
|Test 2||Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)||30||36 mins.|
|Test 3||Word Knowledge (WK)||35||11 mins.|
|Test 4||Paragraph Comprehension (PC)||15||13 mins.||Test 5||Mathematics Knowledge (MK)||25||24 mins.|
|Test 6||Electronics Information (EI)||20||9 mins.|
|Test 7||Auto & Shop Information (AS)||25||11 mins.|
|Test 8||Mechanical Comprehension (MC)||25||19 mins.|
A 36 AFQT (overall score) is the minimum qualifying score for a high school senior or high school graduate, and a 65 is required for a GED to enlist in the Air Force. The ASVAB is not required for a commission.
To find what jobs you qualify for, the Air Force breaks down your ASVAB subtest scores into groups known as “qualification areas.”
The four qualification areas are:
|Qualification Area||ASVAB Subtests|
|G – General||Verbal Expression (WK plus PC) and Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)|
|M – Mechanical||Mechanical Comprehension (MC), General Science (GS) and 2 times Auto & Shop Information (AS)|
|A – Administrative||Numerical Operations * (NO), Coding Speed * (CS), and Verbal Expression (WK plus PC)|
|E – Electronic||Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Electronics Information (EI), and General Science (GS)|
* Note that as Numerical Operations (NO) and Coding Speed (CS) subtests are phased out, some qualification area scores may be changed.