ASVAB Scoring for ASVAB Power Practice Study Guide (page 3)
You need to know the score you need to get into the service branch of your choice, and the score you need to get the specialties that interest you. This chapter walks you step-by-step through the process of converting your scores on the practice tests in this book into the scores the military uses. Reading this chapter, you will also learn what scores you need for selected Military Occupational Specialties.
When you take the six practice tests in this book, you will want to know whether your scores measure up. You will also probably want to know what kinds of jobs or Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs), your score will enable you to select. You will need some patience here. There are several different kinds of composite scores you will need to compute from your raw scores on the individual parts of the ASVAB.
About Your Scores
Your first step is to convert the raw scores you got on your practice exam to the scores the military uses to compute the various composites—the composite score that says whether you can enlist, and the composite scores that show which MOSs you qualify for.
The Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) Score
All five branches of the military compute your AFQT score—the one that determines whether you can enlist—in the same way. Only the Verbal Equivalent (which you determined by adding Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension scores and then converting to a scaled score), Arithmetic Reasoning, and Mathematics Knowledge scaled scores count toward your AFQT. The military just wants to know whether you have basic reading and arithmetic skills. The score conversion goes like this:
2(VE) + AR + MK = AFQT
In other words, your AFQT (scaled score) is your Verbal Equivalent scaled score, doubled, added to your Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge scaled scores. Fill in the blanks below to find your AFQT on the ASVAB Diagnostic Test.
Now use the table "AFQT Scaled Score to Percentile Conversion" on page 15. Look up the score you wrote in the blank for AFQT scaled score above, and next to it, you'll find your approximate percentile score.
If your AFQT on the Diagnostic Test isn't up to par, don't despair. You're using this book to help you improve your score, after all, and you've just gotten started. Remember, too, that your score on these practice exams may not be exactly the same as your score on the actual test.
On the other hand, a higher score makes you more attractive to recruiters, and depending on your score on individual subtests, it may qualify you for more of the occupational specialities you want.
Military Occupational Specialty Qualifying Scores
If your AFQT is high enough to get you in, the next thing your scores will be used for is to help determine which Military Occupational Specialities (MOSs) you qualify for. For this purpose, the branches of the military use composite scores—different from the AFQT—made up of scores on various subtests.
Each branch of the military has its own way of computing composites and its own classification system for the MOSs. The tables here use the Army's MOSs and composites. All the branches offer similar MOSs, and the composite scores required are also similar. So if you're considering another branch of the service, you can still use these tables to get a good idea of where you stand.
Computing Your Composites
Maybe you looked at the table of MOSs and said, "Wow, I didn't know the Army had Animal Care Specialists!"—or Broadcast Journalists or Legal Specialists or whatever MOSs caught your eye. The Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard have all these specialities, too. You might think, "I could go for Animal Care Specialist training, and then when I get out I could use my G. I. Bill money to go to veterinary school and become a vet. I could work as an assistant in a vet's office while I go to school. This is great! But what does this ST 95 score mean? Can I make it?"
This is absolutely the last score computation you'll have to do, but it's a complicated one. Stick with it, and be patient. Your future may depend on your performance on the ASVAB.
ST 95, like the other letter-number combinations in the "Minimum ASVAB Composite Score" column, is the composite score the Army uses to determine your eligibility for the given MOS. The composite scores used by the other branches of the service are similar, though not identical. Here's a key to the meaning of the composite scores listed in the MOS table:
- FA: Field Artillery
- OF: Operations and Food Handling
- ST: Skilled Technical
- GT: General Technical
- CL: Clerical
- GM: General Maintenance
- EL: Electronics Repair
- MM: Mechanical Maintenance
- SC: Surveillance/ Communications
- CO: Combat
So, if you want to be an Animal Care Specialist, you need to know your ST, or Skilled Technical, composite score. (You'll also, of course, have to meet the other requirements listed in the MOS table. Check with your recruiter.)
Here's how to compute the composites. Look for the composite(s) for the MOS(s) you want in the list below. After the name of the composite is a list of the subtest scores you have to add together. Go back to the table on page 11, where you filled in your subtest scores, and get your scores on those subtests. (Remember to use your scaled scores, not your raw scores!) Adding them up gives you a sum called a Subtest Standard Score (SSS). When you have the SSS for the composite you want, turn to the table on pages 22–23. That table lists SSSs in the left column. Find the SSS you computed for the composite you want, and then follow the line to the right until you get to the composite you're looking for. That's your composite for this subtest, and you should write it in the blank next to the appropriate abbreviation. Now you can compare your composite score to the minimum requirement listed in the MOS table. You don't have to compute all the composite scores, just the ones that are required for the jobs you're interested in.
Suppose you want to be an Animal Care Specialist. The composite score you need for this MOS is ST 95. So you look at the ST line and find you need to add your scores for VE, MK, MC, and GS. You go back to the table on page 11 and find your scaled scores (not raw scores) for these subtests. Let's say you did pretty well in Mechanical Comprehension and General Science, and not as well in Paragraph Comprehension and Word Knowledge (your Verbal Equivalent score) or Mathematics Knowledge. So you fill in line ST like this:
ST: GS 54 + VE 41 + MC 61 + MK 38 = SSS___ ST composite:___
Add up your four subtest scores to get the SSS:
ST: GS 54 + VE 41 + MC 61 + MK 38 = SSS 194 ST composite:___
Now go to the table on the next page. Find ST at the top of the table, and follow that column down until you get to the row for 190–194. You find that your ST composite score is in the range of 95 –97; in fact, it's probably about 97, since your SSS is near the top of its range.
ST: GS 54 + VE 41 + MC 61 + MK 38 = SSS 194 ST composite: 97
Is your score good enough to get you Animal Care Specialist training? Well, maybe just. Since you're so close to the minimum of 95, you would want some insurance. Remember, your scores on the exams in this book are only an approximation of your scores on the real ASVAB. So you would want to study hard on the subtests that make up your chosen composite, in this case, Paragraph Comprehension, Word Knowledge, Mathematics Knowledge, Mechanical Comprehension, and General Science.
You can use this procedure to find the composite score for whatever job you want. If your score is well above the minimum required for the MOS you want, you don't have much to worry about, though you'll probably want to work through this book just to make sure. If your score is below the minimum required, you know where to concentrate your efforts as you prepare for your ASVAB.
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