What is the ASVAB Test?

ASVAB stands for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. It is a test that was originally established in 1968 to measure the and predict the success of an applicant in various academic and occupational pursuits in the military. It has been administered more than 40 million times since. High school and post-secondary students and adults take the test more than one million times each year.

The ASVAB Score

When the ASVAB test is completed, the applicant is given a score rated on a curve compared to national youth aged 18 to 23. A companion score from a parallel test called the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AQFT) is also derived from the standard scores on the four subtests in the ASVAB covering subjects like arithmetic, mathematics, reading comprehension and vocabulary.

Test Preparation

The key to success in any aptitude test is preparation. The good news is the ASVAB is designed to measure academic performance in coursework practically guaranteed to have been completed before the test is administered. Most military applicants have completed high school and possibly some college coursework before they are required to take the test, and therefore are likely to have the academic skills necessary to understand and successfully complete the ASVAB


One of the most important goals of tests like the ASVAB is to determine the most likely path to success for an applicant in a wide-ranging occupation like the military. With so many options available, it can be somewhat confusing for new applicants to know which direction is best for them. A test like the ASVAB can help focus their choices in areas where they have demonstrated both interest and capability. Like many college entrance examinations, it is a test that is designed to measure general academic skill and produce a result that highlights an applicant’s strengths

When evaluating a military career, a first step like the ASVAB is a crucial tool in making sure there are places where an applicant can excel. Institutions like the military want the best, and applicants who know their strengths are likeliest to become exactly that.