Applicants are assigned to jobs through a procedure called classification. Because there are hundreds of thousands of applicants and hundreds of jobs to be filled each year, classification is used to assist in matching applicants to suitable jobs.

Composite scores computed from ASVAB subtest scores are used to help classify new recruits into military occupations. Each Service develops and validates its own set of composites based on the combination of subtests that are most highly correlated with on-the-job performance for clusters of occupations. Applicants’ scores on these composites are used to help determine the military occupations for which an applicant is best suited.

The table below indicates the composite scores that are computed for each Service and how they are computed.

Service Composite Computational Formula1
Air Force Mechanical
Administrative
General
Electronic
AR + 2VE + MC + AS
VE + MK
VE + AR
AR + MK + EI + GS
Army General Technical
Clerical
Combat
Electronics Repair
Field Artillery
General Maintenance
Mechanical Maintenance
Operators/Food
Surveillance/Communication
Skilled Technician
AR + VE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Marine Corps Mechanical
Clerical
General Technician
Electrical
AR + MC + AS + EI
VE + MK
VE + AR + MC
VE + AR + MCAR + MK + EI + GS
Navy General Technician
Electronics
Basic Electricity and Electronics
Engineering
Mechanical (1)
Mechanical (2)
Nuclear
Operations
Hospitalman
Administrative
VE + AR
GS + AR + MK + EI
GS + AR + 2MK
AS + MK
AR + AS + MC
AR + MC + AO
VE + AR + MK + MC
VE + AR + MK + AO
VE + GS + MK
VE + MK

1VE is a verbal composite formed from an optimally weighted composite of unrounded WK and PC standard scores.
 Computed as a non-integer weighted linear combination of all ASVAB subtests (GS, AR, WK, PC, MK, EI, AS, MC, and AO).

ASVAB Subtests

The ASVAB subtests are designed to measure aptitudes in four domains: Verbal, Math, Science and Technical, and Spatial. The table below describes the content of the ASVAB subtests. The subtests are presented in the order in which they are administered.

Subtest Description Domain
General Science (GS) Knowledge of physical and biological sciences Science/Technical
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) Ability to solve Arithmetic word problems Math
Word Knowledge (WK) Ability to select the correct meaning of words presented in context and to identify the best synonym for a given word Verbal
Paragraph Comprehension (PC) Ability to obtain information from written passages Verbal
Math Knowledge (MK) Knowledge of high school mathematics principles Math
Electronics Information (EI) Knowledge of electricity and electronics Science/Technical
* Auto Information (AI) Knowledge of automobile technology Science/Technical
* Shop Information (SI) Knowledge of tools and shop terminology and practices Science/Technical
Mechanical Comprehension (MC) Knowledge of mechanical and physical principles Science/Technical
Assembling Objects (AO) Ability to determine how an object will look when its parts are put together Science/Technical

*Only the paper-and-pencil version of the ASVAB is administered in the Career Exploration Program. In this version, AI and SI are combined into one single subtest (labeled AS), and Assembling Objects (AO) is not administered.

Military Careers

Information about specific careers in the military is available at www.careersinthemilitary.com and www.todaysmilitary.com, or at the Service-specific websites:

ASVAB - Military Careers