What Is an Average Score on the ASVAB Tests?
Test takers' performances on each of the ASVAB subtests are converted into standard scores. The fixed average of a standard score is 50, and examinees' subtest results are calculated based on how well they did in comparison to this average.
Standard scores from the Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC) and Word Knowledge (WK) subtests are combined to determine examinees' Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) scores, which are used for military entrance requirements.
Results from the AFQT are reported as percentile scores. These are a little bit different. The lowest score an individual can receive is 1, and the highest is 99. Since the score range is from 1 to 99, the median score is 50.
How the AFQT Score Is Calculated
In 1997, a reference group of ASVAB test takers was created. Individuals from 18 to 23 years of age from across the United States were part of this group. Their results were used to determine AFQT test scores.
Individuals' results are compared to those of the sample group. They then receive a score that represents the percent of the sample group they outperformed. A score of 67 represents the fact that an applicant did as well or better than 67% of the sample group.
The AFQT scores are broken down into categories based on an individual's results. Only individuals who score 50 or more are eligible for incentives when they enlist.
The lowest score that is accepted by any branch of the military is 31. Individuals with a high school diploma who have an AFQT score of 31 can join the Army. Other branches of the military have higher AFQT score requirements. For example, the Air Force requires a minimum score of 36 for applicants with a high school diploma.
Within each branch of the military there are many different career options. Some of these options have specific score requirements that involve more than the AFQT. They take into account performance on several of the following ASVAB subtests:
|Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)||Assembling Objects (AO)|
|Auto Information (AI)||General Science (GS)|
|Electronics Information (EI)||Mathematics Knowledge (MK)|
|Mechanical Comprehension (MC)||Paragraph Comprehension (PC)|
|Shop Information (SI)||Word Knowledge (WK)|
Scores from these subtests are used to determine if an individual has the knowledge and aptitude to succeed in a specific career. These scores are called line scores, or composite scores. For example, the Army uses formulas such as these:
- Clerical (CL):- PC + WK + MK + AR
- Electronics (EL): AR + EI + GS + MK
- Skilled Technician (ST): GS + MK + MC + PC + WK
Navy SEALs are also required to earn specific line scores. Their test results must meet or exceed totals outlined by one of the following formulas:
- VE+AR=110 and MC=50
It should be noted that many branches of the military combine different subtest scores to create additional categories. All branches, for example, combine PC and WK scores to create the VE score.
Each branch of the military can also have variations in their score codes and use different formulas to qualify individuals for different roles, so it is very important to carefully review the specific ASVAB score requirements needed for the military careers that you are interested in pursuing.
Preparing for the ASVAB
Preparing sufficiently for the ASVAB test will help your AFQT score. There are study guides, test preparation materials and practice tests that can be used to prepare. Study resources for the ASVAB are linked to here.
- ASVAB Study Guide
- ASVAB General Science: Practice & Study Guide
- ASVAB Mathematics Knowledge: Practice & Study Guide