Category Archives: Deciphering Your ASVAB Score

Air Force ASVAB AFQT Score Requirements

The Air Force is the most restrictive branch of the military when it comes to AFQT scores.

The minumum AFQT score necessary for enlistment in the Air Force is 36 if you have a high school diploma and 65 if you have a GED.  The average yearly Air Force recruitment class contains less than one percent enlistees who have a GED instead of a high school diploma.

The minimum score of 36 can be lowered to 31 if the applicant has a special skill that the Air Force considers critical (like speaking a particular foreign language) but this only happens in rare cases.

Retest Policy

If you don’t meet the minimum AFQT score requirements for the Air Force the option for a retest is available under the following conditions:

  1. The recruiting flight chief must interview the applicant and give approval for the retest.
  2. No retests are allowed for applicants after they’ve enlisted in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) or for those who are holding a job area reservation.
  3. Retesting can happen thirty days after the initial test and six months after each retest.
  4. Retesting is authorized to allow an applicant to qualify for additional jobs that require a higher score.

Coast Guard ASVAB AFQT Score Requirements

Next to the Air Force, the Coast Guard is the second most restrictive branch of the military when it comes to an applicant’s AFQT score.

If you have a high school diploma the minimum AFQT score necessary for enlistment in the Coast Guard is 40 and it’s 50 if you have a GED.  GED recruits make up 5 percent of each year’s Coast Guard class.

A waiver is alsopossible if an applicant’s ASVAB subtest scores qualify him or her for a specific in-demand job and the applicant is willing to enlist for that job.

Retest Policy

Retests for the purpose of raising the AFQT score are available six months after the applicant’s last ASVAB test.  Retesting may be authorized thirty days after the last ASVAB test if there’s reason to believe that the initial test scores do not accurately reflect the applicant’s education, training, or experience.

Marine Corps ASVAB AFQT Score Requirements

The Marines is a little more restrictive than the Navy when it comes to AFQT score but only by requiring one extra percentile for applicants with a high school diploma.

If you have a high school diploma the minimum AFQT score necessary for enlistment in the Marines is 32 and it’s 50 if you have a GED.  GED recruits make up 5 to 10 percent of each year’s Marine Corps class.

A minimum score of 50 is required to qualify for incentive programs like enlistment bonuses, the Marine Corps College Fund, and the Geographic Area of Choice Program.

Retest Policy

Retests are authorized if the applicant’s previous test is expired or if, considering an applicant’s education, training, and experience, the applicant’s score doesn’t appear to reflect his or her true capability.  A retest cannot be requested solely to attempt to qualify an applicant for an incentive program.

Navy ASVAB AFQT Score Requirements

The Navy is a little more restrictive than the Army when it comes to AFQT scores but only when it comes to enlistment with a GED instead of a high school diploma.

If you have a high school diploma the minimum AFQT score necessary for enlistment in the Navy is 31 and it’s 50 if you have a GED.  Applicants with a GED must be at least 19 years old and show a proven work history.  GED recruits make up 5 to 10 percent of each year’s Navy class.

A minimum score of 50 is required for you to qualify for the Navy College Fund or college loan repayment program.

The Navy also raises its minimum AFQT requirement for females to 50 when it receives too many female applicants as on-ship housing for females is limited.

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. Applicants in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) can’t retest.

(The Navy does offer a DEP Enrichment Program which provides provisional DEP enlistment of applicants with a high school diploma who have AFQT scores between 28 and 30.  DEP applicants in this program are allowed to retest.)

Understanding the AFQT Score

What most people call an ASVAB score is actually called the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score.  This score is what determines if you meet the minimum qualifications for enlistment in the military and is a basic measure of how “trainable” you may be to perform jobs in the service.

The AFQT score is computed from your scores on four of the nine subtests of the ASVAB test:

  • Word Knowledge
  • Paragraph Comprehension
  • Arithmetic Reasoning
  • Mathematics Knowledge

Although doing well on the other five subtests can help you qualify for certain jobs in the military, it’s only your performance on these four subtests that makes up your AFQT score.

Specifically, your AFQT score is computed using the specific formula:

2VE + AR + MK

VE is your Verbal Expression score which is a combination of your Word Knowledge (WK) and your Paragraph Comprehension (PC) score.  To determine VE your WK and PC scores are added together and the result is converted to a scaled score between 20 and 62.  Your raw AFQT score is then computed by doubling your VE score and adding your Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) and your Mathematics Knowledge (MK) scores to it.

This raw AFQT score is then compared with everyone else who took the ASVAB test and you’re ranked by a percentile score indicating how well you did in comparison.  So, for example, if your raw score is better then 65% of the other test takers your AFQT score will be 65 and if your raw score is better than 25% of the other test takers your AFQT score will be a 25.

The minimum AFQT score required for enistment differs by the branch of the military you’re trying for (Air Force ASVAB, Army ASVAB, Coast Guard ASVAB, Marines ASVAB, or Navy ASVAB) and whether you’re a high school graduate or have a GED.  (Follow the above links for details about the requirements and retest procedures.)

AFQT scores are grouped into five categories (I, II, III, IV, V) with categories III and IV fruther broken down further into sub-categories that the military sometimes uses to enforce enlistment limits and qualify soldiers for enlistment incentives.

Category Percentile Score Trainability
I 93 – 100 Outstanding
II 62 – 92 Excellent
III A 50 – 64 Above Average
III B 31 – 49 Average
IV A 21 – 30 Below Average
IV B 16 – 20 Markedly Below Average
IV C 10 – 15 Poor
V 0 – 9 Not Trainable