The Coast Guard is the branch of the United States military responsible for Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, and Maritime Stewardship. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Test is a multiple-choice, standardized test required for enlistment in the Coast Guard. When you complete the test, you’ll receive an Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score. There are nine sections on the ASVAB, but your AFQT score is only based on your performance in the Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, and Mathematics Knowledge sections. AFQT scores are expressed as a percentile ranking of your performance compared to other recruits.
If you have a high school diploma, the Coast Guard requires a minimum AFQT score of 40 points to be eligible for enlistment. Waivers for applicants with lower scores may be possible if they have Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) scores that qualify them for a specific job that is in high demand, and they are willing to be trained in that particular area.
Stipulations for GED Recruits
Less than 5 percent of applicants are allowed to enlist in the Coast Guard with a GED. If you have a GED instead of a traditional high school diploma, you must have a minimum AFQT score of 50. However, if you first earn 15 college credits, you will be in the same bracket as someone with a high school diploma and not subjected to the higher minimum AFQT requirement.
The Coast Guard has slightly stricter policies for retesting than other branches of the military. You can have a retest authorized after one month if your recruiter believes your scores don’t accurately reflect your level of education and experience. If you simply want to raise your scores to qualify for special enlistment options, however, you will be required to wait at least six months before you are allowed to take the test again.
If you retake the exam, remember that you will be required to complete all of the sections. Even if you’re only interested in raising your AFQT score, the Coast Guard will require you to retake all nine sections of the ASVAB.