Category Archives: Deciphering Your ASVAB Score

Marine ASVAB Line Score Details

In comparison to the Navy and Coast Guard  ASVAB line scores which sport ten different values, the Marine Corps has only three:

Line Score Standard Scores Used Formula Used
Electronics (EL) General Science (GS), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR),
Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and Electronic
Information (EI)
GS + AR + MK + EI
General Technical (GT) Verbal Expression (VE) and Arithmetic
Reasoning (AR)
VE + AR
Mechanical Maintenance (MM) General Science (GS), Auto & Shop Information
(AS), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and
Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
GS + AS + MK + MC

Coast Guard and Navy ASVAB Line Score Details

The Navy and Coast Guard use the standard subtest scores directly from the ASVAB test:

  • General Science (GS)
  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  • Word Knowledge (WK)
  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  • Auto & Shop Information (AS)
  • Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
  • Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
  • Electronics Information (EI)
  • Assembling Objects (AO)
  • Verbal Expression (VE) : (WK + PC)

Although the Navy and Coast Guard do not use line scores for job determination, the scores they do calculate provide a general idea of which job areas for which a recruit may qualify.

Here are the Navy and Coast Guard line score details:

Line Score Standard Scores Used Formula Used
Engineman (ENG) Auto & Shop Information (AS) and Mathematics Knowledge (MK) AS + MK
Administrative (ADM) Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and Verbal Expression (VE) MK + VE
General Technical (GT) Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), and Verbal Expression (VE) AR + VE
Mechanical Maintenance (MEC) Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Auto & Shop Information (AS), and Mechanical Comprehension (MC) AR + AS + MC
Health (HM) General Science (GS), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and Verbal Expression (VE) GS + MK + VE
Mechanical Maintenance 2 (MEC2) Assembling Objects (AO), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), and Mechanical Comprehension (MC) AO + AR + MC
Electronics (EL) Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Electronic Information (EI), General Science (GS), and Mathematics Knowledge (MK) AR + EI + GS + MK
Nuclear Field (NUC) Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mechanical Comprehension (MC), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and Verbal Expression (VE) AR + MC + MK + VE
Engineering and Electronics (BEE) Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), General Science (GS), and Mathematics Knowledge (MK) AR + GS + MK
Operations (OPS) Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) and Mathematics Knowledge (MK) 2MK + AR

Army ASVAB Line Score Details

The Army adds various standard scores from the individual subtests of the ASVAB study guide to compute line scores for job qualification:

Line Score Standard Scores Used
Clerical Score (CL) Verbal Expression (VE), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), and Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
Combat Score (CO) Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Coding Speed (CS), Auto & Shop Information (AS), and Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
Electronics Score (EL) General Science (GS), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and Electronic Information (EI)
Field Artillery Score (FA) Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Coding Speed (CS), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
General Maintenance Score (GM) General Science (GS), Auto & Shop Information (AS), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and Electronic Information (EI)
General Technical Score (GT) Verbal Expression (VE) and Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
Mechanical Maintenance Score (MM) Numerical Operations (NO), Auto & Shop Information (AS), Mechanical Comprehension (MC), and Electronic Information (EI)
Operators and Food Score (OF) Verbal Expression (VE), Numerical Operations (NO), Auto & Shop Information (AS), and Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
Surveillance and Communications Score (SC) Verbal Expression (VE), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Auto & Shop Information (AS), and Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
Skilled Technical Score (ST) General Science (GS), Verbal Expression (VE), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and Mechanical Comprehension (MC)

ASVAB Scoring – Understanding Line Scores

While your AFQT score qualifies you for enlistment, the other five ASVAB subtests determine for which jobs you’ll qualify.  These subtest scores are combined into various combinations to make up your composite scores or line scores.

The individual military branches have determined what minimum line scores are required to successfully complete their various job training programs.  Note that these scores are only used to determine if you qualify for entry into the training program and not if you qualify to do a certain job on day one.

Nearly all of the enlisted jobs in the military are entry-level positions.  In the civilian world hiring for these positions would be based on an applicant’s past education or job history but the military is only looking to determine if a candidate for a certain job has a good potential to be able to be trained for that job.

So, if you want to be a computer programmer in the military you don’t have to have any previous programming experience or even computer experience!  All they’re interested in is if you have qualifying line scores on your ASVAB test that indicate you could successfully complete the training program for computer programming.

Each branch has its own individual system of line scores and recruiters and job placement specialists use these scores along with eligibility for security clearance, medical considerations, and physical fitness to match an applicant to available military jobs.  Depending on the branch you’re entering you also may have your job guaranteed to be waiting for you when you enlist.

To summarize ASVAB scoring, here are the three main types of ASVAB scores and their purpose:

  • Standard Score
    Your score on individual ASVAB subtest sections.  You’ll have one score for each section (Arithmetic Reasoning, Verbal Expression, etc.)
  • Line Score
    Combines various standard scores into more specific aptitude scores that military branches use for job qualification.
  • AFQT Score
    Calculated from the four English and Math subtests and used to determine overall enlistment qualification.  If you don’t meet a minimum AFQT score you’ll be ineligible for enlistment.  (The following links show AFQT score requirements for the various service branches: Air Force ASVAB, Army ASVAB, Coast Guard ASVAB, Marines ASVAB, and Navy ASVAB).

Army ASVAB AFQT Score Requirements

The Army is the least restrictive branch of the military when it comes to AFQT scores.  In fact, if your score puts you in Category IV your slim chances of enlistment are limited to the Army.

The minumum AFQT score necessary for enlistment in the Army is 31 whether you have a high school diploma or a GED.  Waivers are available for scores down to 26 depending on the current recruiting requiments.

A minimum score of 50 is required for you to qualify for most incentive programs like the Army College Fund, college loan repayment, and monetary enlistment bonuses.

Retest Policy

If you don’t meet the minimum AFQT score requirements for the Army the option for a retest is available under the circumstances:

  1. The applicant’s previous ASVAB test has expired (text scores expire after two years).
  2. The applicant did not achieve a score that was high enough to qualify for enlistment.
  3. Under unusual circumstances such as those that prevent an applicant from completing the test (but not for illness – applicants are told not to take the test if they’re ill).

Note that retests are not authorized for the sole purpose of qualifying a recruit for an incentive program.