Know What Subtests to Concentrate On

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.