The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT)

The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) portion of the ASVAB is your most important score because it determines whether you can even join the service of your choice. However, qualifying to join is only part of the picture. Unless you want to spend your military career painting things that don’t move, you need to understand how the ASVAB Practice Test relates to various military job opportunities.
Civilian employers generally use a person’s education and experience level when selecting candidates for a job position. In the military, 99 percent of all enlisted jobs are entry-level positions. The military doesn’t require you to have a college degree in computer science before you’re hired to become a computer programmer. You don’t even have to have any previous computer experience, nor does the military care if you do. You’re going to go to military school to study how to make computers stand at attention and fly right.
Sounds like a good deal, right? So, what’s the catch? Well, believe us — the military spends big bucks turning high school graduates into highly trained and skilled aircraft mechanics, language specialists, and electronic doodad repair people. In an average year, the services enlist about 274,000 new recruits. Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of combat boots! Each and every recruit has to be sent to a military school to train for a job. Uncle Sam needs a way to determine whether a wet-behind-the-ears high school graduate has the mental aptitude to succeed at that job — preferably before he spends your hard-earned tax dollars.
Enter the ASVAB. The services combine various ASVAB subtests scores into groupings called composite scores or line scores. Through years of trial and error, the individual military services have each determined what minimum composite scores are required to successfully complete its various job training programs. In this chapter, you discover how those test scores translate into finding the military job of your dreams.

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