How the ASVAB (AFQT) Score Is Computed

The Real Score of the ASVAB

Army recruiter with potential candidate
Army recruiter chats with potential Army recruit in New York. Chris Hondros/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB test--also known as the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test)--is used by the recruiter to determine a potential recruit’s enlistment eligibility, assign a recruit to a military jobs, and aid students in career exploration.

These are sections, or sub-tests, in the ASVAB:  Word Knowledge (WK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), General Science (GS), Mechanical Comprehension (MC), Electronics Information (EI), and Assembling Objects (AO), Auto & Shop Information (AS):  * AI and SI are administered as separate tests in the CAT-ASVAB, but combined into one single score (labeled AS).

AI and SI are combined into one test (AS) in the P&P-ASVAB. Scores on the combined test (AS) are reported for both the CAT-ASVAB and P&P-ASVAB. 

The full ASVAB test has nine sections in the pen and paper test and ten sections in the computer version (CAT-ASVAB) due to the above Auto Information (AI) and Shop Information (SI) being combined on the computerized version. However, only four areas of the ASVAB used to compute the AFQT score. AFQT scores are computed using the Standard Scores from four ASVAB subtests: Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), and Word Knowledge (WK). 

According to the ASVAB website, scores are now calculated as follows:

AFQT scores are reported as percentiles between 1-99. An AFQT percentile score indicates the percentage of examinees in a reference group that 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 study conducted in 1997.

Thus, an AFQT score of 95 indicates that the examinee scored as well as or better than 95% of the nationally-representative sample of 18 to 23 year old youth. An AFQT score of 60 indicates that the examinee scored as well as or better than 60% of the nationally-representative sample.

AFQT scores are divided into categories, as shown in the table below.

AFQT CategoryScore Range
I93-99
Ii65-92
iiiA50-64
IIIB31-49
IVA21-30
IVB16-20
IVC10-15
V1-9

To determine the AFQT "raw score," first you have to compute your Verbal Expression (VE) score:

VE (Verbal Expression) = Scaled Score of WK+PC. To get the VE scaled score, add your Word Knowledge (WK) & Paragraph Comprehension (PC) score together, then use the below chart:

WK+PCVE ScoreWK+PCVE Score
0-32028-2942
4-52130-3144
6-72232-3345
8-92234-3547
10-112536-3749
12-132738-3950
14-152940-4152
16-173142-4354
18-193244-4556
20-213446-4758
22-233648-4960
24-25385062
26-2740  

The Overall ASVAB Score (AFQT Score) is a "percentile score."

To compute your AFQT score, the military takes your Verbal Expression score (VE) and doubles it. They then add it to your Mathematics Knowledge (MK) and Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) raw scores. The AFQT Raw Score is computed with the formula AFQT = 2VE + AR + MK.

You can't use the AR and MK score shown on your ASVAB Score Sheet. The Score Sheet shows "number correct" for your AR and MK Scores, because "number correct" is what is used for job qualifications.

However, the military does not use this same score when computing the AFQT. They use the "weighted scores" of the ASVAB sub-tests for AR and MK. Harder questions in these areas get more points than easier questions. The "weighted scores" for AR and WK are not listed on the ASVAB score sheet given to you after the test. The "raw score" is then compared to the below chart to determine overall score.

Standard ScorePercentile (AFQT)Standard Score Percentile (AFQT)
80-120 1204 50
121-124 2205 51
125-127 3206 52
128-131 4207-208 53
132-134 5209 54
135-137 6210 55
138-139 7211 56
140-142 8212 57
143-144 9213 58
145-146 10214 59
147-148 11215 61
149-150 12216 62
151-153 13217 63
154 14218 64
155-156 15219 65
157-158 16220 66
159-160 17221 67
161-162 18222 68
163-164 19223 69
165 20224 70
166-167 21225 71
168-169 22226 72
170-171 23227 73
172 24228 74
173-174 25229 75
175 26230 76
176-177 27231 77
178 28232 78
179-180 29233 79
181 30234 80
182 31235 81
183-184 32236 82
185 33237 83
186 34238-239 84
187-188 35240 85
189 36241 86
190 37242 87
191 38243 88
192 39244 89
193 40245 90
194 41246 91
195-196 42247 92
197 43248 93
198 44249 94
199 45250 95
200 46251 96
201 47252 97
202 48253 98
203 49254-320 99

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