The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery of tests, commonly called the ASVAB, is administered to all military applicants, either at a MEPS, in high school or in official testing centers. It is similar to standardized tests like the SAT, but it measures an individual’s potential rather than accumulated knowledge.
The ASVAB tests eight subject areas:
- General Science
- Arithmetic Reasoning
- Word Knowledge
- Paragraph Comprehension
- Mathematics Knowledge
- Electronics Information
- Auto and Shop Information
- Mechanical Comprehension
In the Military, an applicant’s Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score is used to determine which careers might be the best fit for that individual. With an AFQT score at hand, each applicant meets with a career counselor to discuss jobs. The counselor will work with the applicant to find an available position that matches the needs of the Service as well as the applicant’s score and preferences.
The ASVAB test is also administered in high schools as part of a career exploration program. Results, along with a companion interest inventory, enable students to evaluate their skills, estimate performance in academic and vocational endeavors and identify potentially satisfying careers. Military service is not required for students to take advantage of this free exam.