ASVAB Scoring – What to Make of Your AFQT and Line Scores

ASVAB scoring is not as simple and straight forward as you might think.  In fact, nothing about it is simple or straight forward.  It is a good idea to understand the difference between the ASVAB AFQT and the ASVAB GT before you sit down for the exam.  

The ASVAB is truly nine individual subtests covering a range of subjects.  That’s why they call it a battery (Armed sets Vocational Aptitude Battery).   Each subtest is scored individually and plays a different role in the ASVAB course of action. The ASVAB AFQT ( Armed Forces Qualification Test) is not another test, it’s the score of four subtest including Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematical Knowledge(MK), information Knowledge (WK) and use Comprehension (PC).   The ASVAB AFQT is your most important score because it is score they use to determine your enlistment qualification.  

So the take away here is that those four subjects are the most important.   In fact, your ASVAB AFQT score determines whether or not you qualify for any kind of enlistment bonus, college plan or college repayment plan.   

You will also come across the terms “raw score” , “standard score”, “percentile score” and “line score”.  Again, these are all just scoring interpretations of the nine different subtests.  Traditional tests scores are reported as a percentile which is the number of right answers divided by the total number of questions times 100.  The ASVAB calculates it differently.  The ASVAB percentile score is a comparison of your score in relation to everyone else score.  The highest ASVAB score in terms of percentile is 99. This method you did better than 99% of the other people who took the test.  

What most people refer to as their ASVAB Test Scores is truly the ASVAB AFQT score which is typically represented in percentile form with the following minimum requirements for enlistment.  Based on your score, you are put in a category.  The military limits the number of people they take from the lower categories based on their enlistment needs.  

Category I           93-100%              noticeable  

Category II          65-92%                Excellent  

Category IIIA      50-64%                Above Average  

Category IIIB      31-49%                Average  

Category IVA     21-30%                Below Average  

Category IVB      16-20%                Markedly Below Average  

Category IVC      10-15%                Poor  

Category V          0-9%                     Not Trainable  

Raw scores are the number of points you get on each subtest. Each question is worth a different number of points based on its difficulty level.  Hard questions are worth more points than easy questions. The standard score is truly a conversion of the raw score based on standard dispensing of scores with a average of 50.   

Line scores determine which military jobs you qualify for. Various combinations of all nine subtests are considered in the Line Score requirements for each job assignment.  Every branch of the military looks at line scores a little bit differently.  

For example, the ASVAG GT or General Technical is an Army line score which is calculated as the Verbal Expression (VE)  score plus the Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) score.  The VE is calculated from the information Knowledge (WK) and use Comprehension (PC) score. Yes, it is confusing but that’s how it is done. 

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