Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is one of the cornerstone assessment tests of the United States Military. Often given to high school students to help them choose a path in the military, all individuals that wish to enlist in the military must take and pass this exam. While a qualifying score is needed to enlist, one does not have to enlist simply because they have taken the test and passed. Use of the ASVAB has been ongoing for more than 45 years, with the current version in place for the last decade. If you are hoping to enroll in any branch of the military and are preparing to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, good preparation and study will be the key to your success.


Your score on the ASVAB will not be a raw score of how many questions you get correct – rather, it will be a percentile score representing where your score ranked when compared to the rest of the test takers. Each branch of the military has a different threshold for acceptance, so the highest possible score is desirable because it will open up all options to you for enlisting in the branch of your choice. The Army has the lowest required percentile, while the Coast Guard has the highest required score. There is a somewhat complex mathematical formula that will generate your final score that is used to determine your eligibility for the armed services.

When you decide to take the test, you will likely work with a military recruiter to schedule a time and location for the test to be administered. On the test itself, you will find a total of nine sections and 225 total questions. The time limit to complete all nine sections is 2.5 hours, although each section is timed separately. The first section on the test is General Science, and it will quiz you on the understanding of basic scientific principles. 

For the second section of the test, you will move on to Arithmetic Reasoning, which tests your ability to think through simple mathematic problems. Word Knowledge is the third section, and it is a vocabulary test. This is a quick thinking section, with a total of 35 questions limited to just 11 minutes. Fourth on the test is Paragraph Comprehension, during which you will need to read some sentences and understand what they are about. After that the ASVAB switches back to math with Mathematics Knowledge being tested.

Electronics Information is the sixth section included in the test and covers things like voltage, amps, circuits, and more. The seventh section is Auto and Shop Information, which analyzes your ability to work on engines, use tools, and more. Following is Mechanical Comprehension which deals with solving mechanical problems in the correct manner. Finally you will come to Assembling Objects, which is exactly as it sounds.

All of the questions on this test are multiple choice and you will want to keep an eye on the clock during the testing process to ensure that you are not falling behind schedule. While you don’t want to rush through the questions, it is best to keep up a good pace and stay focused at all times. If you waste a couple extra minutes on one question, you might not be able to make that time up on the rest of the questions and might end up failing to complete the test.

For those who are serious about their prospective career in the military, taking and doing well on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is a great first step. A high score will allow you to have your pick of the branches of the service and have a better chance of getting in exactly the program you are hoping for. Take the time to study and complete some practice tests prior to the real thing so you will be comfortable, relaxed, and prepared to do well.

Pass Mechanical Reasoning