The Army, like all other branches of the United States Military, requires you to complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) before enlisting. After this test, you’ll be given an Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score that provides a percentile ranking of your performance in the areas of Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, and Mathematics Knowledge .
Army AFQT standards vary widely. You typically need a score of at least 31 to qualify for enlistment. With a waiver, however, recruits can be accepted with scores as low as 26. If you are hoping to qualify for enlistment bonuses, college loan repayment programs, or the Army College Fund, you must have an AFQT score of at least 50. For access to the most job training options, you need to have AFQT scores that rank you as a Category I (93-99) or Category II (65-92) recruit.
If you aspire to begin a military career and have no high school diploma, the Army is the best place for you to be. Only 83 percent of all Army recruits have a high school diploma, compared to the Department of Defense average of 92 percent for other branches of the military.
If you haven’t graduated from high school or earned your GED, you may be able to qualify for enlistment through the Army Prep School program if you have an AFQT score of at least 50. This program will help you earn your GED before you begin basic training.
Rules for Retesting
The Army considers your ASVAB scores valid for two years after testing. You can use scores from a high school administration of the test for military enlistment if you took the test as a junior or senior.
If you want to retake the exam, you must wait at least one month between testing dates. You can retake the test if you don’t have an AFQT score that is high enough for Army enlistment, but you can’t retake the test simply to raise your aptitude scores in order to qualify for special training programs.