We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Difference Between the ASVAB and AFQT?

By Jeremy Laukkonen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) is composed of four components from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). An individual's knowledge, aptitude, and reactions under stress can be determined by the ASVAB itself, while the AFQT is a metric used to determine suitability for a military career. The difference between the ASVAB and AFQT is that the former can provide an individual with information about what types of careers he might be well suited to, while the latter is specifically used to determine whether someone can be considered for service in the United States military.

In the United States, the military administers the ASVAB through a division known as the Military Entrance Processing Command. This battery of tests is often taken by high school students, though it is also open to older people that are otherwise eligible for enlistment. The primary purpose of the ASVAB is to determine suitability for military service, though it can also reveal aptitude for other endeavors. Some branches of the military began using the ASVAB and AFQT in 1968, and all branches had embraced it by 1976. It has undergone revisions since then.

There are about nine different sections in the ASVAB, and AFQT results depend on only four of them. Sections are added or removed from time to time, though the AFQT tends to depend on the core subjects of math, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. The math sections of the ASVAB are broken into mathematical knowledge and reasoning components, both of which are used to calculate the AFQT.

A percentile system is used to score the ASVAB and AFQT, and a 50 represents a score that is better than precisely half of test takers and worse than the other half. The formula for calculating the AFQT score is a little more complex, though it involves the ASVAB scores obtained for mathematic knowledge and reasoning, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Each armed service requires a different score to be considered for enlistment, though they tend to range between 31 and 55. Some of the branches require a higher score for applicants that have general education development (GED) degrees instead of high school diplomas.

The ASVAB and AFQT can both be used to judge general aptitude, though only the latter is actually required to enlist in the United States military. Many high school students take the ASVAB simply to determine their aptitude for a variety of civilian occupations and will never use the AFQT score for anything. In other cases the AFQT score is very important, since it is one of the main points considered when determining whether someone can enlist.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.