How do low ASVAB scores affect Army jobs?

Exam: Test Prep ASVAB Test - Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test: General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronics Information, Automotive & Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension, Assembling Objects


ASVAB scores have great impact on Army jobs; in fact it has main affect on your military career. It is important to mention here that ASVAB score is not the only factor that affects your job but there are other factors too which play their role in this task. The other factors include the current needs of the services, vacancies etc. A good thing to keep in mind is that there are hundreds of enlisted job opportunities in military services ranging from sewing clothes to administrators. Military is like a huge house that requires staff of every sort. In order to understand the impact it is necessary to understand the difference between ASVAB composite scores and AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test). The effect of low ASVAB score is shown with respect to these two types of scores.  The ASVAB test majorly consists of nine parts which are General Science (GS), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Auto & Shop Information (AS), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Mechanical Comprehension (MC), Electronics Information (EI), Assembling Objects (AO), Verbal Expression (VE)  = the sum of Word Knowledge (WK) and Paragraph Comprehension (PC). These nine parts are used in different combinations for two purposes i.e.

  1. To determine the aptitude whether you are eligible to join any of the armed services branch i.e. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.  The combination used for this purpose is known as AFQT. This score is reported as percentile between 1 and 99. It shows how you have performed as compared to other candidates. If you get 60 in AFQT, it means that you have performed better than 60 percent of candidates. The AFQT is combination of word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, arithmetic reasoning and mathematics knowledge. Each of the armed services branch has set a minimum limit of AFQT score for enlistment. The minimum limits for each branch are as follows:
    • Air Force   36
    • Navy  35
    • Navy Reserves   31
    • Marine Corps  32
    • Coast Guard   40

    AFQT score which is low than the above mentioned limit will entirely disqualify you from the enlistment. You have to get at least this score to get yourself eligible for enlistment. Another effect of low AFQT score on the military job is that it will disqualify you from enlistment bonuses or other job incentives. So AFQT has lasting effect on your military job as well as on your bonuses and incentives.

  2. To determine that for which military job you are suitable. This task is done by composite score. Each branch of services has made different fields by making different set of these nine categories into different combinations. For example Army combines the standard scores of Verbal Expression (VE) and Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) and terms this combination as General Technical (GT). On the basis of these fields each branch has set a standard of marks in these fields for a specific job. Let us discuss these fields so that the effect of the composite score can easily be understood. The purpose to mention each detail is to clarify the role of scores on your military job.

Army:

Army has made ten fields by combination of various subsets of ASVAB test. The fields are named as: Clerical (CL), Combat (CO), Electronics (EL), Field Artillery (FA), General Maintenance (GM), General Technical (GT), Mechanical Maintenance (MM), Operators and Food (OF), Surveillance and Communications (SC), and Skilled Technical (ST). Army enlists jobs on the basis of scores in these fields. Army has Army has named its jobs as MOS (Military Occupation Services). There are more than 150 such specialties.  Now for example if you scored 90 in OF then you are eligible for AVENGER Crewmember while if you have scores 100 in OF then you are eligible for PATRIOT Launching Station Enhanced Operator/ Maintainer. Notice that how composite score play their role in variation of military job as well as rank.

Air Force:

Air Force has made four fields by combination of various subsets of ASVAB test which are usually known as MAGE (mechanical, administrative, general, electronics). Air Force has about 120 enlisted jobs on the basis of composite scores. Air Force has names its enlisted jobs as AFSC (Air Force Specialty Codes).

Navy:

Navy has also made ten fields by combination of various subsets of ASVAB test. The fields are named as Engineman (ENG), Administrative (ADM), General Technical (GT), Mechanical Maintenance (MEC), Health (HM), Mechanical Maintenance 2 (MEC2), Electronics (EL), Nuclear Field (NUC), Engineering and Electronics (BEE), Operations (OPS). Navy has named its enlisted jobs as Ratings and has about 75 types of jobs on the basis of these fields.

Marine Corps:

Marine Corps has made three fields by combination of various subsets of ASVAB test. The fields are named as Mechanical Maintenance (MM), General Technical (GT), and Electronics (EL). On the basis of scores in these fields Marine Corps offers about 120 job enlistments and name them as MOS (Military Occupation Specialties).

Coast Guard:

Coast Guard has made ten fields by combination of various subsets of ASVAB test. The fields are named as Engineman (ENG), Administrative (ADM), General Technical (GT), Mechanical Maintenance (MEC), Health (HM), Mechanical Maintenance 2 (MEC2), Electronics (EL), Nuclear Field (NUC), Engineering and Electronics (BEE), Operations (OPS). Like Navy, Coast Guard has named its enlisted jobs as Ratings and has about 19 types of jobs on the basis of these fields, being the smallest unit of US Military with respect to jobs.

The rule in all of the composite scores which affects the military job level is that the low you score, the low you will have the rank and it will take more time for promotion. On the other hand there would be negative effect on your bonuses and incentives if you have low AFQT score. Thus ASVAB score as a whole controls your future military job position including bonuses as well as incentives.


Related IT Guides

  1. ASVAB Test exam questions
  2. Change in ASVAB question format in recent times
  3. How Marines pass the ASVAB?