AFQT Breakdown and Scoring
The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score is determined by combining scores from four of the ten subtests that make up the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. These tests include the Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC) and Word Knowledge (WK) subtests.
Each branch of the military sets an AFQT score requirement for applicants. The lowest qualifying score is 31, which is needed to join the Army. Higher scores are required for other branches of the military. For example, the Coast Guard only considers applicants with a score of 40 or more. Prospective recruits who have a GED rather than a high school diploma will, in most cases, need to score at least 50 on the AFQT.
In addition to the AFQT, the military also includes additional composite scores, often called 'line scores.' These scores are based on variations of the ASVAB's ten subtests and are required for certain military careers. For example, an Army Clerical (CL) score is determined by looking at an individual's Word Knowledge (WK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) and Mathematics Knowledge (MK) scores. Note that the subtests considered for different careers can vary depending on the military branch.
Since different line scores may affect whether or not you can be considered qualified for various military jobs, it is important to review the specific qualifications for any career options you are interested in.
If you didn't earn a score that was high enough to be accepted to your chosen branch of the military, or if you didn't earn a line score high enough to qualify for a desired career option, then you may retake the ASVAB. You must wait a full month before you can take the ASVAB a second time. If you wish to take the test a third time, you must wait another month from the date of your second attempt. After the third attempt, there is a waiting period of 6 months before you can take the test again.
Applicants can take the ASVAB on computer or on paper. The computerized format allows test-takers to work at their own pace. Candidates are given up to 154 minutes but typically complete the 145-question computer-based test in less than 2 hours.
When taking the test on paper, test-takers must move at the pace of the entire group. Each section is timed, and it is not possible to advance to the next subtest until the time for the current subtest has elapsed. Time allotted for the entire test is 149 minutes, and the test is comprised of 225 questions.
Preparing For The ASVAB
Study.com offers a number of practice materials that can help you get ready for the AFQT specifically, or the entire ASVAB. Check out these courses to find fun lessons, practice tests and quizzes, among other study materials.