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What Is a Good ASVAB Score?

What Is a Good ASVAB Score?

As with other careers, joining the US military comes with its own set of recruitment processes, one of which is taking the ASVAB test.

If you’ve been looking to pursue a career in the US military, then it might be a test you’ve become familiar with or heard of before.

It is an exam a recruiter will advise you to take prior to joining the armed forces.

The ASVAB, otherwise known as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, is a test the armed services use to determine which part of the US military you will be most suited to join.

Within this article we will discuss what your ASVAB score means and what score counts as a good ASVAB score.

Good ASVAB Score Defined

Whether you’re looking to join the Coast Guard, Army, Marine Corps or another sector within the US military, each branch will require its candidates to score a minimum amount to qualify for that specific area.

It is important to note that there is no single ASVAB score, and you will normally receive a variety of different scores on your final report.

You will receive the following types of scores.

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Standard Scores

There will be various subtest sections within the ASVAB exam. You could expect to see the following nine subtests:

  • Word Knowledge – This section showcases a person’s ability to understand figurative and literal definitions within their sector.

  • Mathematics Knowledge – Determining a person’s mathematical ability enables recruiters to gain insight into their capacity for learning, using different math concepts and their general understanding of numbers.

  • Paragraph Comprehension – This measures your ability to analyze and extract data from an array of written materials.

  • General Science – This section calculates any existing knowledge of life, earth, practical applications of science as well as aerospace sciences.

  • Electronics – This examines any prior awareness regarding electronics. This could be electric devices, electromotive force, apps and electronic circuits.

  • Assembling Objects – This subtest provides insight into a person’s spatial and geometrical correlations.

  • Auto and Shop Information – Within this subtest you’ll have to showcase your locomotive repair abilities, as well as maintaining wood and metal.

  • Arithmetic Reasoning – You will have to be able to solve both simple and advanced math problems as well as analyze mathematical words.

  • Mechanical Comprehension – This section analyzes any prior knowledge when it comes to structural backing systems, mechanical principles and properties of differing materials.

Standard scores will range from 0 to 100.

Composite Scores

The next set of scores you can expect to see once you have taken the ASVAB test will be composite scores.

This is the score that will determine which branch of the US military you are most suited to.

Composite scores are established by merging all the standard scores from the nine subtests.

Otherwise known as ASVAB line scores, composite scores vary considerably from standard scores.

Composite scores are designed to advise you on what branch might be best based on your skill set.

It is a good way for a recruiter to gain insight into your strengths and weaknesses.

The AFQT Score

In a nutshell the Armed Forces Qualification Test, otherwise known as the AFQT score, assesses a recruit’s eligibility to enlist.

The AFQT comprises all the scores you will receive in four of the subtests: Mathematics Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Word Knowledge and Arithmetic Reasoning.

It is important to note that each sector of the military will have varying scores in mind when it comes to joining that branch.

For example, to join the Army you will need to score 31 or above; for the Marine Corps the score is 32.

What Is the Highest ASVAB Score?

The ASVAB test scores are based on a ranking of 1 to 100, and a standard deviation of 10.

The standard score you receive will showcase how far you have differed from the average score.

Therefore, if you achieve a score of 80, you’ll have accomplished three standard deviations above average.

When it comes to a perfect ASVAB score or what is the highest ASVAB score a recruit can receive, this would be 99.

However, as scores are based on percentiles, in theory, it is impossible to score the highest score.

Please note that if any questions are left blank, then these will be classed as incorrect answers and will reduce your overall percentile.

But how is the ASVAB test scored? The scoring system is based on a model called IRT or Item Response Theory.

To put this into context, IRT is a theory that allows both your abilities and test questions to be scored together, meaning that each test score will be specifically tailored to the ability level of the individual person taking the test.

The underlying model of the IRT is known as the 3PL model.

The three-parameter logistic model examines the probability that an individual taking the test would react accordingly in specific situations, showcasing certain characteristics.

The characteristics the 3PL model represents are discrimination, difficulty and guessing.

This is why scoring the highest ASVAB score is impossible; each score is specific to the examinee.

What Is a Good ASVAB Score?

As mentioned earlier, each branch within the US military has a specific set of requirements to pass the ASVAB and qualify for a place within that sector, so there will be a good ASVAB score for each section.

For example, if you are looking to join the Army, then you’d be required to score a minimum of 31 on the ASVAB.

However, if you score higher than 31 you might be entitled to enlistment bonuses and could even enlist within a higher rank.

In a nutshell, a 2024 good ASVAB score is a score that ensures you qualify for enlistment in the branch of your choice; anything higher than the minimum amount is a bonus and may determine the rank you enlist at.

However, it is important to note that enlistment scores might be different based on whether you have a high school diploma or GED.

If you have a GED rather than a high school diploma, an examinee must score higher than the minimum amount.

For example, the Navy’s minimum score for a high school diploma would be 35, but GED holders would need to score at least 50 to qualify.

Please see the below chart for the passing score, average and good standard scores for each discipline:




Passing Score HSD

Passing Score GED






Marine Corps










Coast Guard


75 to 80



National Guard





Air Force





AFQT Scores

For the AFQT section of the test, you will be scored anything from 0 to 100.

The process for scoring the AFQT calculates the total number scored from these two subtest sections: Paragraph Comprehension and Word Knowledge.

The calculation is then known as your VE score – otherwise known as Verbal Expression.

The next step is to double your VE score and combine it with your Mathematics Knowledge result and Arithmetic Reasoning score. This will then give you your final AFQT score.

As AFQT scores can be converted into percentiles, a good score would be based on the number of questions you’ve answered correctly compared to other examinees.

For example, if you score 80%, this means you have scored the same or better than 80% of other individuals.

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What Is a Good ASVAB Score?
What Is a Good ASVAB Score?

How to Get a Good ASVAB Score?

To get a good ASVAB score there are various things you must consider. For example, it is important you think about what section of the military you are looking to join. As mentioned, each branch has different requirements.

Here are some points to consider prior to taking the ASVAB test.

Step 1. Think About What Part of the Military You Want to Join

If you are targeting a specific part of the military then it is a good idea to do your homework to find out what part of the ASVAB test is important to that specific branch. This will then help you to determine your strengths and weaknesses to prep for the test.

For example, if you are looking to take an administrative role within the Air Force, then the subtest capabilities they’d be looking for would be Verbal Expression and Mathematics Knowledge, whereas if you wanted to become a general technician in the Navy, then it would be Verbal Expression and Arithmetic Reasoning.

The subtest scores considered for an electrical role within the Marine Corps would be Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, General Science and Electronics Information.

Once you have determined which branch and specialty suits you, it’s a good idea to take some practice questions so you know the type of questions you could be asked during the exam itself.

Step 2. Take Online Tests

Taking online tests prior to the examination will ensure you are up to speed with the format, question styles and timings for each subtest. It will also help to improve your score.

Practice tests will also help you figure out what areas you might need to work on. For instance, the discipline you want to focus on might need you to have a strong association with numbers and math, so you might want to practice this section more than others so you’re well versed prior to the exam.

Below you will see some practice questions you might encounter:

Word Knowledge

The agency decided it was no longer viable to proceed with the task at hand.

What does the word viable mean? Choose from the list of words below.

a) Applicable
b) Impossible
c) Impractical
d) Relevant

The correct answer is: a) Applicable

‘Applicable’ and ‘viable’ have the same meaning in this context.

Arithmetic Reasoning

Ten years ago, Fred was twice as old as John. If John is 12 years old now, how old is Fred?

a) 23
b) 14
c) 13
d) 44

The correct answer is: b) 14

Mathematics Knowledge

What is 50% of 36?

a) 20
b) 19
c) 18
d) 17

The correct answer is: c) 18

Mechanical Comprehension

Out of the options below, which term would be classed as the OPPOSITE of a decrease in speed?

a) Altitude
b) Deceleration
c) Acceleration
d) Friction

The correct answer is: c) Acceleration

Paragraph Comprehension

Teachers and educational professionals recommend that children spend at least 12 hours per week reading. According to researchers and collaborators, this will help improve a child’s brain development. Unlike spoken language and listening which are consistently developing, reading is a skill you must learn.

A child should spend how many hours reading per week?

a) 24 hours
b) 10 hours
c) 12 hours
d) 19 hours

The correct answer is: c) 12 hours

General Science

What does a thermometer measure?

a) Time
b) Speed
c) Weight
d) Temperature

The correct answer is: d) Temperature

Electronics Information

Name two commonly used solder metals.

a) Lead and gold
b) Tin and lead
c) Gold and tin
d) Copper and lead

The correct answer is: b) Tin and lead

Auto and Shop Information

What would you use a wrench for?

a) To loosen bolts
b) To drill screws
c) To cut metal
d) To grind wood

The correct answer is: a) To loosen bolts

The questions you will receive in practice tests could look like the ones mentioned above. Please note, these are not the specific questions you will receive.

Step 3. Stick to a Study Schedule

With every exam you take, it is important you create a study schedule based on your goals and requirements.

You can spend time creating a study schedule to practice specific topics you might feel you need to brush up on. For example, if you are weak at words, you might want to spend more time practicing Paragraph Comprehension or Word Knowledge.

However, if math is a strong subject for you then you can put studying this later in your schedule.

We would recommend prepping at least two to three months in advance of taking the ASVAB test so you will have plenty of time to focus on your weaknesses.

Planning, prepping and getting plenty of rest is also a good way to prepare for the exam. You will need to make sure you are alert and focused on all the different sections of the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

A good score on the ASVAB will be based on the score required for your chosen branch. This will be the minimum score or higher than the minimum score.

For example, if your desired military branch requires a score of 32 to pass, then a result equal to 32 or higher would be classed as a good ASVAB score.

If you are looking to join the Air Force, you will be required to score a minimum of 36 to qualify for that branch.

So, a good ASVAB test score for the Air Force would be anything equal to 36 or higher.

To join the Army, you will need a passing score of 31. So, a score of 31 and over would be classed as a good score.

A good ASVAB test score would be based on how many questions you have answered correctly. However, it is important to note that any unanswered questions will be classed as incorrect, which might impact your overall score.

An average score for the ASVAB test would normally range between 30 and 70. So the average standard score would be around 50.

This means that if you score higher than 50 then your result will be classed as above average. The average will depend on the military branch you are aiming to join.

To gain a high score for the ASVAB you would need to achieve an above average result. This is normally between 70 to 90.

Scores are usually based on percentiles and will differ depending on which military branch you are looking to join.

Each military branch will require a different score to pass the ASVAB, so it will all depend on which sector you wish to join.

For example, the passing score for the Marine Corps is 32, while the passing mark for the Navy is 35. The minimum score required for the National Guard and Army is 31, while the Air Force and Coast Guard require a minimum of 36.

The ASVAB scoring system is based on three different scores: standard, composite and the AFQT. The AFQT combines standard and composite scores to determine your percentile.

IRT is used to score the ASVAB test. IRT is a theory that allows both your abilities and test questions to be scored together, meaning that each test score will be specifically tailored to the ability level of the individual person taking the test.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a career in the US military then you will need to get yourself prepared for the ASVAB test and the scoring system. Here are some points to summarize:

    1. There are three types of ASVAB scores you'll get: standard scores, composite and AFQT scores.
    1. The score that determines whether you’ll qualify for the military is the AFQT; this is the score that needs to be prioritized.
    1. Every part of the military has its own minimum score. This score differs if you have a high school diploma or GED. The minimum score for GED holders is slightly higher.
    1. Recruits with higher ASVAB scores will be allowed to enlist in higher ranking roles.
    1. A 2024 good ASVAB score is one that is higher than or equal to the minimum AFQT score required.
    1. Creating a study schedule can help you to prepare for the ASVAB test.