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.
AR + 2VE + MC + AS
VE + MK
VE + AR
AR + MK + EI + GS
AR + VE
AR + MC + AS + EI
VE + MK
VE + AR + MC
VE + AR + MCAR + MK + EI + GS
Basic Electricity and Electronics
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).
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.
General Science (GS)
Knowledge of physical and biological sciences
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
Ability to solve Arithmetic word problems
Word Knowledge (WK)
Ability to select the correct meaning of words presented in context and to identify the best synonym for a given word
Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
Ability to obtain information from written passages
Math Knowledge (MK)
Knowledge of high school mathematics principles
Electronics Information (EI)
Knowledge of electricity and electronics
* Auto Information (AI)
Knowledge of automobile technology
* Shop Information (SI)
Knowledge of tools and shop terminology and practices
Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
Knowledge of mechanical and physical principles
Assembling Objects (AO)
Ability to determine how an object will look when its parts are put together
* The ASVAB is administered via both paper-and-pencil and computer formats in the Enlistment Testing Program. AI and SI are administered as separate subtests in the computer administration but combined into one single score (labeled AS). AI and SI are combined into one single subtest (AS) in the paper-and-pencil administration. Scores on the combined subtest (AS) are reported for both the computer and paper-and-pencil administration.