Before you join the Army National Guard, you’ll need to take a standardized test called the ASVAB – Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Every applicant has to take the ASVAB, so don’t let it intimidate you (it’s not supposed to). It’s designed to help us determine your strengths, so we can find where you’ll fit best and be most likely to succeed.
How important is the ASVAB?
Your scores in four critical areas – Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge (see below) — count towards your Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score. The AFQT score determines whether you’re qualified to enlist in the U.S. military.
Your scores in the other areas of the ASVAB will determine how qualified you are for certain Military Occupational Specialties and Enlistment Bonuses. A high score will improve your chances of getting the specialty/job and signing bonus you want. Scoring high on the ASVAB will require study and concentration. Don’t skimp on preparing for this test. It’s your future. Get the most out of it.
The test measures knowledge in eight areas:
- General Science: 25-item test measuring knowledge of life science, earth and space science, and physical science
- Arithmetic Reasoning: 30-item test measuring ability to solve basic arithmetic word problems
- Word Knowledge: 35-item test measuring ability to understand the meaning of words through synonyms
- Paragraph Comprehension: 15-item test measuring ability to obtain information from written material
- Mathematics Knowledge: 25-item test measuring knowledge of mathematical concepts and applications
- Electronics Information: 20-item test measuring knowledge of electrical current, circuits, devices, and electronic systems
- Auto and Shop Information: 25-item test measuring knowledge of automotive maintenance and repair, and wood and metal shop practices
- Mechanical Comprehension: 25-item test measuring knowledge of the principles of mechanical devices, structural support, and properties of materials
Taking the test
The ASVAB is timed and takes about 90 minutes to complete plus administrative time. It’s a good idea to practice in advance, to get familiar with the process and to find any areas you might need to improve before you take the real exam. Your recruiter can also give you a short practice test.
You will take the exam either at your school, at a Military Entrance Testing (MET) Site in your area or at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). Your recruiter will arrange all the details.
You’ll find practice tests and lots of other information about the ASVAB online or at your local bookstore. We encourage you take full advantage of these resources.