Who Takes the Exam?

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is a multiple-choice test that measures various academic skills, and aptitude in specific career areas. It is used to determine eligibility for military service, but has many civilian applications as well.

Military Use

The ASVAB is administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command. If you intend to serve in the military in the enlisted ranks, you must complete the test. High school juniors and seniors are allowed to use their scores for military enlistment for up to two years after the testing date. However, only 2.5 percent of all high school students who complete the battery take advantage of this option.

Those who do not use high school scores for enlistment may complete the test at a MEPS (Military Enlistment Processing Station) location in their area. METS (Mobile Examining Team Site) locations are another option for testing, especially if you live in a remote area with no nearby military recruitment office.


Civilian Use

Although the general public often considers the exam a tool for military service evaluations, the test is useful for high school students who are trying to determine their post-graduation plans. In the United States, students can take the test anytime during their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school. Taking the test does not represent an obligation to enlist in military service; it is perfectly acceptable to take the exam as a career-exploration tool.

Math, verbal, science, and technical scores can help identify academic strengths and weaknesses, thus providing clues as to whether or not a student is ready for the challenges of college-level coursework. Interest-finder results can assist in determining possible career choices. Students who complete the test receive a copy of Exploring Careers: The ASVAB Career Exploration Guide, a book that has information about more than 400 different occupations in both the military and civilian areas.