Understanding the Military

Armed Services Vocational

Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Test


The ASVAB Test

The ASVAB test is used by all branches of the military as an entrance examination. The test consists of ten subtests or areas of concentration as follows:

  • GS - General Science
  • AR - Arithmetic Reasoning
  • WK - Work Knowledge
  • PC - Paragraph Comprehension
  • NO - Numerical Operations
  • CS - Coding Speed
  • AS - Auto & Shop Information
  • MK - Math Knowledge
  • MC - Mechanical Comprehension
  • EI - Electronics Information

Note: The WK and PC scores are added together to make the VE - Verbal Composite

Once completed, the test is computer graded and broken down into line scores. The Army National Guard, army and Army Reserve all use the same system. The ASVAB scores are derived using parts of each subtest as shown:

GT - General Technician Verbal Composite & AR
GM - General Maintenance MK & EL & AS & GS
EL - Electronic Repair

AR & MK & EI & GS

CL - Clerical NO & CS & Verbal Composite
MM - Mechanical Maintenance NO & AS & MC & EI

SC - Surveillance/Communications

NO & CS & AS & VC
CO - Combat CS & AR & MC & AS
FA - Field Artillery AR & CS & MC & MK
OF - Operators & Food Handlers NO & AS & MC & VC
ST - Skilled Technical VC & MK & MC & GS


The line scores are then used to qualify an applicant for the specific Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of his or her choice. Along with the line scores a test percentage is given (shown as Armed Forces Qualifying Test). Currently the National Guard requires an Armed Forces Qualifying Test score of 31 or higher to enlist (it is possible to sometimes get a waiver).


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