The AFQT, and Military Entrance for McGraw-Hill's ASVAB
When you take the ASVAB in order to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces, your ASVAB scores will be used in several ways. You will need to achieve a certain AFQT score (Military Entrance Score) in order to be eligible for initial enlistment. Later, your ASVAB scores will be used to qualify you for various occupations in the military. The higher your scores, the more choices you will have for training in various occupations. So you want to do your best on the ASVAB so that you will have the widest choice of training programs and job responsibilities.
AFQT Scores and Eligibility for Enlistment
The Military Entrance Score or AFQT is a composite of your scores on four ASVAB tests that make up what is called the Armed Forces Qualification Test. The AFQT is the primary score that indicates the training potential of persons who wish to enlist in the military. Your AFQT score determines your eligibility for military service. It also is able to predict how well you will perform on the job.
AFQT scores are reported as percentile scores. The percentile shows how your score compares to the scores of other test takers, and it also determines where you fit into what are called AFQT categories. The services use these categories to set recruiting goals. Recruiters prefer recruiting people in the highest categories because they are generally smarter and easier to train in the various occupations needed by the military. It is also more economical for the Department of Defense to recruit smarter individuals because they learn what is needed much more quickly and they perform better on the job.
Persons in categories I and II are above average in trainability. Category III recruits tend to be average in trainability, and category IV recruits are below average in trainability. Applicants scoring in category V are forbidden by law to be accepted into the military. In addition, military applicants in category IV who do not have a high school diploma are generally forbidden to enter the military.
Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) Categories and Corresponding Percentile Score Ranges
|AFQT Category||Score Range|
The services are required to enlist at least 60 percent of recruits from AFQT categories I through IIIA, and no more than 4 percent of the recruits can come from category IV. To give you an idea of the percentages of recruits in each AFQT category, look at the following chart. You can see that very few recruits come from category IV and none come from category V.
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