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ASVAB Scores & Careers

by Josh Hawthorne

Your scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery -- the ASVAB -- will affect your career options in the different branches of the U.S. military. According to official-asvab.com, the ASVAB assesses abilities in four areas -- verbal, math, science and technical, and spatial -- through a battery of tests that includes: General Science; Arithmetic Reasoning; Word Knowledge; Paragraph Comprehension; Math Knowledge; Auto, Shop and Electronics Information; Mechanical Comprehension; and Assembling Objects.

The Army

The Army breaks your ASVAB test scores into 10 line scores: Clerical, Combat, Electronics, Field Artillery, General Maintenance, General Technical, Mechanical Maintenance, Operators and Food, Surveillance and Communications and Skilled Technical. For example, the Mechanical Maintenance line score is the total of your Numerical Operations, Auto and Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension and Electronics Information ASVAB scores. An example of a possible career in the Army would be an AH-64A attack helicopter Armament and Electrical Systems Repairer. To qualify for this career, you need a minimum score of 100 for Mechanical Maintenance and 105 for Electronics Information.

The Navy

The Navy does not use line scores. The Navy lists specific ASVAB test scores along with the total minimum score necessary to be eligible for each specialization. For example, to have a career as a Gunner's Mate, the ASVAB scores used to determine eligibility are the Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronics Information and General Science. The minimum score total of these tests is 205. Another example is the career of Submarine Culinary Specialist. The requirements are a 200 total on your Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronics Information and General Science ASVAB tests, or a total of 200 on your Verbal, Mechanical Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge ASVAB tests.

The Marines

The Marines use five sets of line scores to determine eligibility for various careers. The Clerical line score is the sum of your Verbal, Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge ASVAB scores. The Electronics line score is the total of your General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge and Electronics Information scores. The General Technical line score is your Verbal score plus your Arithmetic Reasoning score. The Skilled Technical line score is the sum of your General Science, Verbal, Mechanical Comprehension and Mathematical Knowledge scores. Finally, the Mechanical Maintenance line score is the total of your Numerical Operations, Auto and Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension and Electronic Information scores. For example, if you want a career as a Rifleman, you need a minimum score of 80 for your General Technical line score.

The Airforce

The Airforce breaks your ASVAB scores into four qualification areas, also known as QAs: General QA, Mechanical QA, Administrative QA and Electrical QA. If you want a career as an Air Traffic Controller, for example, you'll need a minimum of 55 points in your General QA plus a minimum of 55 points in you Mechanical QA. To become an Unmanned Aerospace Systems Sensor Operator, you need a minimum of 64 in your General QA or 54 in your Electronics QA.

About the Author

Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, Josh Hawthorne has been writing curriculum and digital project guides since 1998. He holds a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Victoria. Hawthorne freely admits he loves reading zombie literature and is currently working on a book about error correction for students learning English (without zombies).

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