How to Read ASVAB Scores

The ASVAB is made up of 10 tests. The results of four of those sub-tests — Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, and Mathematics Knowledge — are combined to create the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). The AFQT score is used to determine whether a candidate is eligible to enlist in the military.

AFQT scores range from 1-99 and represent the examinee's percentile. A good ASVAB score is important in securing a position in any military branch.

The following AFQT score chart shows the requirements needed to join a specific military branch:

Military Branch High School Diploma GED
Air Force 36 65
Army 31 50
Coast Guard 40 50
Marine Corps 32 50
Navy 35 50

The AFQT score is computed as follows:

  • First, Work Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension are combined to create Verbal Expression (VE).
  • Next, a "weighted score" of Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) and Mechanical Comprehension (MC) is calculated. (This means that the level of difficulty of the questions is taken into consideration.)
  • Then, the AFQT score is calculated according to the formula: VE x 2 + AR+ MC. Finally, the AFQT score is converted into a "percentile score," which ranges between 1-99 points (1=lowest, 99=highest).

A candidate who scores a 50 on the AFQT scores in the 50th percentile, which is the average ASVAB score.


ASVAB Norms

The AFQT percentiles are based on a sample of 18-23 year olds who took the ASVAB test as part of a national norming study conducted in 1997. This sample has served as a reference group for all ASVAB scores since 2004.

An ASVAB percentile score indicates the percentage of examinees in a reference group that scored at or below that specific score. For example, an AFQT score of 82 indicates that the examinee's "raw score" is identical or better than 82% of the scores achieved by those who participated in the national representative sample.


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We offer ASVAB practice packs that include ASVAB practice tests, answers with detailed explanations, and ASVAB study guides and reports to help you understand your AFQT and ASVAB test scores. Start practicing for the ASVAB test today.


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