Armed Forces Qualifying Test

The Armed Forces Qualifying Test, or AFQT, is actually a subsection of the larger Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Four sections of the ASVAB combine to make up the score that you will receive on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test, sometimes called the Military Entrance Score. The score you receive on the AFQT will determine if you are eligible to enlist for the military, what branches you are eligible for, and what training you might receive once you have enlisted. All entrants to the military take this exam, and it is most often given to high school juniors and seniors who are considering the armed forces as a career after graduation.

The four sections from the ASVAB that are used to make up the Armed Forces Qualifying Test are as follows: Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, and Mathematics Knowledge. While there are five more sections to make up the whole of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, these are the four sections you will need to focus on if you are wanting to simply gain entry into the armed forces. The focus of the four sections chosen for the AFQT is literacy, as they all measure basic math and language skills.


Just because this test is organized in a multiple choice format like so many you have taken before doesn’t mean you should take your preparation for granted. By working hard to study and take some practice tests, you will make yourself more familiar with the style of the questions and the specific areas of knowledge covered. This will give you time to polish up on any areas where you are weaker, and you will be able to perform your best when test day comes.

The Word Knowledge section of the tests your vocabulary over 35 questions. These questions will find if you know the meaning of specific words, and if you are able to identify synonyms when they are presented to you. The Paragraph Comprehension section asks you to read sections of material and obtain information from those sections. Attention to detail is important in this section, but there is only 15 minutes to answer the 13 questions so you must work quickly as well.

Moving on the math portion of the Armed Forces Qualifying Test, the Arithmetic Reasoning portion presents arithmetic word problems for you to think through. These problems only require basic math skills to solve, so work carefully and take your time on this 36 minute section. The final section is Mathematic Knowledge, and it deals with high school mathematics principles. This section is more advanced, and will probably require some study time to refresh your knowledge of these topics.

To get started preparing for the test, simply spend some time reading. You can read a variety nonfiction writing, including things like the newspaper and online articles. Just using your brain for the purpose of reading on a regular basis will help to sharpen your comprehension skills and make sure you don’t slip up during the vocabulary sections. Also, you should take some time boning up on your math skills and doing so without a calculator. These are often concepts that you have learned way back in grade school, so take some time for review and you will be well prepared.

Of course, solving some sample questions will also be of great benefit to you while preparing for the test. Sample questions are great because they emulate the situation you will be faced with and help you determine if your preparation has been good enough to score highly when test day comes. The Armed Forces Qualifying Test rewards those who work hard and are prepared with their basic reading and math skills, so put in the time and you will be happy with the results.


Pass Mechanical Reasoning