Although ASVAB.com exists it’s not owned or run by the people who administer the ASVAB test. The official ASVAB website is at http://www.officialasvab.com and not at ASVAB.com.
The ASVAB test consists of nine subtests each of which measure a different area of knowledge or aptitude. Four of the subtests:
- Word Knowledge
- Paragraph Comprehension
- Arithmetic Reasoning
- Mathematics Knowledge
make up your AFQT score (what most people call their ASVAB score) and it’s this score that determines if you can enlist. Other than these four subtests, how important the other subtests are will be determined by the kind of job you want in the military.
If you want to be an interpreter or translator you’re not going to need to do well on the Electronics or Mechanical subtests so you can save a lot of study time by simply ignoring them. You’ll still need to do well on the math subtests to make sure you qualify for enlistment but as long as the line score for your particular job choice isn’t calculated from a certain subtest you don’t need to worry about doing well on that subtest.
So, what’s a line score?
Simply put, it’s a score that’s derived from your scores on various ASVAB subtests.
For example, in the Army the Electronics Score (EL) line score is calculated by adding your scores on the General Science (GS), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and Electronic Information (EI) subtests. If you want to get a technical job in the Army you should concentrate on these subtests but if you’re going for a more clerical position (the Clerical Score (CL) is made up of Verbal Expression (VE), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), and Mathematics Knowledge (MK)) doing well on Electronic Information (EI) won’t help you.
Learn what subtests make up the line score(s) for the military job you’re interested in and concentrate your study in those areas.
One of the best ways to study for the ASVAB is to take practice tests. Not only will you increase your knowledge about the subject material on the test, you’ll also get a feel for how the questions are asked and what information the military considers important for each section/subtest.
Although most of the practice tests are only available in printed form, there are a websites that offer online tests that closely mimic the actual computerized CAT-ASVAB subtests that potential recruits take.
Although the ASVAB test is, at its core, an aptitude test it’s also a problem-solving test. You’re not necessarily expected to know every answer so the test questions and the format of the answers themselves are designed to give you clues as to the correct choice. Take enough practice tests in this online ASVAB study guide and these patterns start to emerge and give you a real advantage when taking the actual test.
There are many sources of practice tests including several study guides you can buy at your local bookstore and ASVAB Online Tests but, no matter where you get your practice tests, make sure to complete as many as possible. More practice = more confidence that you’ll do well = better ASVAB scores!
For some reason nobody wants to retake the ASVAB test! I had a question today from a 28 year old thinking about starting a career in the Army and wanting to know if his ASVAB score from almost ten years ago had expired.
I understand that being out of school for a few years can erode confidence in the skills and knowledge that make up the AFQT score but just taking a few ASVAB practice tests can get you back up to speed fairly quickly. With so much in the way of study materials available at the bookstore and online – if you’re willing to put in a few evenings of study you should have nothing to worry about when retaking the ASVAB test.
But, to answer the question, your ASVAB score expiration is two years after you take the test if you don’t enlist and, if you do enlist, your ASVAB score doesn’t expire. However, you’re not necessarily stuck with that initial score if you’re active military. If you end up wanting new training in a job that requires a higher score you can retake the ASVAB to try to qualify and your new ASVAB score will replace the old one.
ASVAB word knowledge practice tests have moved to ASVAB Test Bank.