​Eight Questions You Always Wanted To Ask About The ASVAB... But Was Too Shy.

Questions about the ASVAB test

Questions about the ASVAB test.

​For recent high school graduates, those holding a GED diploma, the ASVAB test is the entry exam for the US military.

Q-1: What is the ASVAB test? What is MEPS?

The ASVAB stands for Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery. As stated by the official website (as endorsed by www.mepcom.army.mil), “The ASVAB measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success.

This test has a digital (iCAT-Computer Adaptive Test) version that is usually assigned to most military recruits. The Paper-and-Pencil version is usually assigned to students and is longer and modified slightly in organization and function.

  1. ​General Science
  2. ​Arithmetic Reasoning
  3. ​Word Knowledge
  4. ​Paragraph Comprehension
  5. ​Mathematics Knowledge
  6. ​Electronics Information
  7. ​Auto Information
  8. ​Shop Information
  9. ​Mechanical Comprehension
  • ​​16 items iCAT, 25 items Paper
  • ​16 items iCAT, 30 items Paper
  • ​16 items iCAT, 35 items Paper
  • ​11 items iCAT, 15 items Paper
  • ​16 items iCAT, 25 items Paper
  • ​16 items iCAT, 20 items Paper
  • ​11 items iCAT (combined w/ Shop: 25 items total)
  • ​11 items iCAT (combined with Auto: 25 items total)
  • ​16 items iCAT, 25 items Paper

This is a general knowledge and aptitude test designed to find out what you know and what you would be best suited to.

It is designed to see what parts of general knowledge you have learned over the years, so you can qualify for the kind of military career that relevant to your skills, education, and proficiency.

There are 3 versions of the ASVAB:

1. The ASVAB CEP (Career Exploration Program) is used for career exploration and is given to high schools and early post-secondary students. This is a 3-hour pen-and-paper test that is given to your counselor to help students find their direction in college majors and careers.

2. An enlistment version of the ASVAB is primarily given at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS), and is used for enlistment purposes only.

This version is iCAT, and there is a physical examination that must be taken after your ASVAB to complete your recruitment into the military branch you have applied to, should you pass. MEPS process requirements must be met before the ASVAB and physical can be assigned.

3. An enlistment version of the ASVAB is also available at Mobile Examination Test sites (MET-sites). This version is pencil and paper.

An important note: 

If you are 17 years of age or older, you may use your Student ASVAB scores from a test you took in high school when you were 16 years old or older, provided you were a junior or senior when you took the test and the test has not expired (2 years from the date of test).

Q-2: What is in the ASVAB test?

The ASVAB covers, throughout each subject:

  1. Your knowledge of life science, earth and space science, and physical science
  2. Your knowledge of basic arithmetic word problems
  3. Your ability to find implied meanings of words through synonyms
  4. Your ability to obtain and understand information from written material
  5. Your understanding of mathematical concepts and applications
  6. Your knowledge of electrical current, circuits, devices, and electronic systems
  7. Your knowledge of automotive maintenance and repair
  8. Your knowledge of wood and metal shop practices
  9. Your knowledge of the principles of mechanical devices, structural support, and properties of materials.

You may find that some “general knowledge” may not be knowledge you were ever taught, as the application is not something you were ever involved with as you grew up. Don’t fret, the knowledge is out there for you to find, and we are here to help you learn it. 

Keep in mind: 

The digital (iCAT) version of the ASVAB alters itself as you complete it. If you select the correct answer, the next question is harder. If you select the wrong answer, the next question is easier.

Because of this, you cannot go back to change your answers. However, the Pencil and Paper version has no such function, so it is longer and you have the ability to jump forward and back to any question and change answers at any time.

There is a per-section time limit depending on whether you are assigned the CAT-ASVAB or P&P ASVAB, estimating 2.5 hours in total for the P&P ASVAB and 3 hours for the CAT-ASVAB.

Please use this link for more information

Q-3: Can you study for ASVAB test?

Yes, you can, and it is highly recommended that you do so here at Full Potential Learning Academy.  You may find free resources to see what kind of questions will be on the ASVAB, but you will be hard pressed to find any training to increase your knowledge so you can qualify for high-level positions. 

Here at FPLA, we give applicants a practice test, a thorough review, and the preparation needed to not just score higher on a test, but also prepare you for the career ahead of you.  Studying for this test may be one of the most important studying you have ever done!

Q-4: Can anyone take the ASVAB test? Even a homeschooler?

The ASVAB CEP is used for career exploration and is given to high schools and early post-secondary students.  Students as young 16 at Sophomore grade level can take it, but it is invalid for military application. You must be 17 or older, and Junior grade level or higher, to apply your ASVAB CEP scores to MEPS. 

An enlistment version of the ASVAB is primarily given at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS), and is used for enlistment purposes only.  This version is part of the enlistment process, and therefore, is not available for civilian use.

Q-5: What is my ASVAB test score?

Your ASVAB scores are combined to compute an Armed Forces Qualification Test score, which is used to determine eligibility for enlistment into all branches of military, and determine the job you are best suited for.

AFQT scores are reported as percentiles between 1-99.  An AFQT percentile score indicates the percentage of examinees in a reference group who scored at or below that particular score.  

For current AFQT scores, the reference group is a sample of 18 to 23 year old youth who took the ASVAB as part of a national norming study conducted in 1997.  

Thus, your AFQT score of 62 indicates that you scored as well as or better than 62% of the sample of 18 to 23 year old youths who took the ASVAB test at that time.

Q-6: Can you retake the ASVAB test?

If need be, you may retake the ASVAB after 30 days, and again 30 days later. This waiting policy is the same between student and enlistment tests. Additional requirements vary depending on whether you are a civilian or enlisted, and, if enlisted, between each branch of military you are in.

If you wish to retest a third time, a six-month wait is required. This applies to all further retests. If your initial, first, or second retest was invalidated for cheating, you must wait six months before retesting.

Further retake information can be found on the official military.com armed forces website.

Q-7: Can I take ASVAB test in another language?

There are many reasons why the ASVAB is given only in English.

1. All military personnel are required to speak English well. A version of the ASVAB in another language may allow applicants that are learning English to show their general aptitude, but would not give any evidence of their ability to perform the same tasks in English.

2. There are many different dialects of many different spoken languages.
For example, if a Spanish ASVAB was based off the Mexican dialect of Spanish, applicants speaking a different dialect of Spanish (Cuban, European, etc.) will be confused and have difficulty understanding the test. English is more standardized internationally.

3. It is unlikely that the applicant’s skill level will be measured to the exact same point between English versions of the ASVAB and another language. Questions would likely not have the same implied meanings across each version, and different evaluation standards would need to be implemented. It would be difficult to make sure that all applicants are held to the same standards.

Q-8: Are there any substitutes for the ASVAB test?

The Pending (formerly Prescreen) Internet Based Computerized Adaptive Test (PiCAT) is a version of the ASVAB that applicants can take anytime, anywhere, on any personal computer before arriving at a MEPS. As an alternative to the current ASVAB testing procedures – the PiCAT can save recruiters’ time and speed up their enlistment process.

Taking the PiCAT exam may, depending on circumstances including scores and other factors, relieve a recruit of having to take the ASVAB in a proctored setting.

In the past, recruits who were preparing to enter military service at Military Entrance Processing Station would take the ASVAB in a group setting; PiCAT can help new recruits avoid having to retake the test. PiCAT test performance and other factors will determine whether the ASVAB must be taken at MEPS.

There is also the AFQT Predictor Test: a short, 20 question exam that can help one qualify for entry into select jobs into the military.

However, this is not a replacement for the ASVAB, but a predictor on what you would score on the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test), which consists of the first four sections that are part of the ASVAB.


  • ​https://www.asvabprogram.com/parents-test 
  • https://www.military.com/join-armed-forces/asvab/asvab-questions.html
  • https://www.military.com/join-armed-forces/asvab/asvab-retest-policy.html
  • https://www.officialasvab.com/applicants/faqs/  
  • https://www.mepcom.army.mil/Portals/112/Documents/PiCAT_brochure_2018.pdf
  • https://www.officialasvab.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/ASVAB-Fact_Sheet.pdf