After what’s the average ASVAB score?, the second most asked question about the ASVAB is “what’s the highest possible score on the ASVAB test?”
Because the AFQT score (what’s typically referred to as the ASVAB score) is converted to a percentile score between 1 and 99, the highest score possible is a 99. Getting a 99 means you did better on the test than 99 percent of all the potential recruits who took the test.
But, because of the way the AFQT score is computed, getting the maximum score doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to ace each of the subtests that go into it so although 99 is the highest possible score that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a “perfect” score.
Of course your overall ASVAB score is important but, after getting the minimum score necessary to enlist and/or qualify for any enlistment bonuses, it’s your performance on the subtests that make up the line scores for the military job you want that actually make the most difference.
When most potential recruits get their ASVAB score they wonder how well they did compared to everyone else who took the test. Thankfully, it’s very easy to rank your score against other test takers as your AFQT score is specifically computed to show that ranking.
Your AFQT score is a combination of your scores on the following ASVAB subtests:
- Word Knowledge
- Paragraph Comprehension
- Arithmetic Reasoning
- Mathematics Knowledge
However, it’s not computed by simply adding those scores together but by a formula designed to take the scores and convert them to a percentile value. It’s this percentile that represents your ASVAB score and ranks your results in comparison to others.
For example, if you score a 60 on the ASVAB that means that you scored higher than 60% of those who took the test (you’re in the 60th percentile). If you score a 90 you scored higher than 90% of those who took the test.
So, the average ASVAB score would be the percentile value that puts you right in the middle of everyone who has taken the test or a score of 50. That score of 50 is also important because it’s the minimum score necessary to qualify for most enlistment bonuses like student load repayment and enlistment bonuses.
There’s a common misconception that missing the first few questions on the CAT-ASVAB test will get you an easier test overall. That’s certainly not true and intentionally missing the first few questions could potentially hurt your score even more than you realize.
The computerized version of the ASVAB will contain the same set of questions for every test taker. There is no “easier” or “harder” test – every person will get the same questions just potentially in a different order.
It is true that missing the first few questions will cause the easier questions to get moved up in the rotation but you would have received those easy questions anyway so missing a few questions on purpose to get to them earlier offers you no benefit.
Where it can hurt your score is when you run out of time on a subtest and don’t get to answer every question. Questions are given point values based on difficulty so answering a harder question correctly gives you more points than answering an easier question correctly.
Therefore, if you intentionally miss a few questions at the start to get to the easier questions earlier, not only could one of the questions you intentionally miss be worth several points but you’re also ensuring that the harder questions get moved to the end of the test. Then, if you run out of time, you’ve guaranteed that the questions with the highest point values are the ones you’ll either be forced to skip altogether or have to rush through answering.
There’s no way to “trick” the computer into giving you anything but the standard ASVAB test.
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.
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.