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What is the ASVAB Test?

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
The ASVAB test measures the qualifications of individuals attempting to enlist in the U.S. military. Learn about the content of the test, the impact of results on a recruit's military career and resources you can use to prepare for this exam.

Importance and Purpose of the ASVAB Test

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) includes ten subtests designed to measure a military enlistee's academic and technical knowledge. Performance on the first four sections determines whether a test taker is eligible to enlist:

  • Word Knowledge
  • Paragraph Comprehension
  • Mathematics Knowledge
  • Arithmetic Reasoning

Scores on these and the remaining subtests are used to qualify examinees for clerical, mechanical maintenance, combat, surveillance or other occupational specialties within the military. High scores on the ASVAB can help enlisted personnel achieve specialized positions they desire. Additional subtests include:

  • General Science
  • Shop Information
  • Mechanical Comprehension
  • Electronics Information
  • Assembling Objects
  • Auto Information

Taking the Test

Individuals wishing to sit for the ASVAB should keep in mind that testing arrangements must be made by a military recruiter on an examinee's behalf. Tests are administered at 65 Military Entrance Processing Stations in the United States and Puerto Rico as well as at Military Entrance Test locations, such as reserve centers and Federal office buildings.

There is a one-month waiting period for individuals who wish to take the ASVAB a second time. A second retake is allowed a month after the second test. Anyone who doesn't pass a second retake has to wait six months before they can take the ASVAB again.

Prep Tools for the ASVAB

The ASVAB website provides detailed descriptions of how computer- and paper-based tests are delivered (official-asvab.com). Examinees may also review sample questions for each section of the ASVAB.

Test takers who want to refresh their knowledge of key concepts on the ASVAB can complete the ASVAB prep course offered by Study.com. This online study guide includes 47 chapters covering a range of topics found on the exam, including:

The course uses brief and engaging video lessons and self-paced practice tests. Students can watch lessons on the go with their mobile device or print out worksheets for additional review.

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

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