What is the AFQT?

When you have taken the ASVAB for military enlistment qualification, the item in your scorecard called the AFQT is what you need to focus on. The Armed Forces Qualification Test or AFQT is the combination of four ASVAB subtests—Word Knowledge (WK), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Paragraph Comprehension (PC) and Mathematics Knowledge (MK). The term AFQT may also refer to the score computed from these four components. It is sometimes referred to as the ASVAB score, but this can be misleading because an overall score is not issued for the ASVAB.

How is it calculated?

The scores from the four ASVAB subtests mentioned are used to compute the AFQT raw score, which is then converted into a percentile score.

To calculate your AFQT raw score, these steps apply:

  • Add the scores from Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension subtests. (WK + PC)
  • Take the sum and convert it to a scaled score, known as the Verbal Expression (VE) score, which ranges from 20 to 62.
  • The VE score is doubled, and then added to the Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) score and the Mathematics Knowledge (MK) score to get the AFQT raw score. (2[VE] + AR RS + MK RS = AFQT RS)
  • The AFQT raw score is converted to a percentile score, which describes how well you did in comparison to many other ASVAB test participants.

AFQT Requirements for Enlistment
AFQT scores are categorized into five major groups determined by percentile scores, which help the military in determining your aptitude or ability to be trained for certain types of work in the armed forces.

IVB16-20Markedly Below AverageIVC10-15PoorV0-9Not Trainable

CategoryAFQT Percentile ScoreAptitude Level
I 93-100 Outstanding
II 65-92 Excellent
IIIA 50-64 Above Average
IIIB 31-49 Average
IVA 21-30 Below Average

A directive from the US Congress states that the armed services can hire only 4 percent of Category IV recruits, and none from those in Category V. For Category IV applicants to have a good chance of being accepted, they must have a high school diploma. GED holders may also qualify, but AFQT score requirements are higher for all military branches, except for the Army.

Military BranchMinimum AFQT Score for High School Diploma HolderMinimum AFQT Score for GED HolderService-Specific Rules and Special Considerationsr
Air Force 36 65 The Air Force allows below than 1 % of its enlistees every year who are GED holders. On rare occasions, the Air Force will waive the minimum score of 36 to 31 to authorize enlistment of an applicant with special skills, such as ability to speak a foreign language
Army 31 31 To meet their requirements for recruitment, the Army began authorizing more waivers, even enlisting applicants with AFQT results of 26.
Coast Guard 40 50 Enlistees with GED are maintained at around 5 percent yearly. If an enlistee’s line scores qualify him or her for a particular job and he or she is a willing candidate, the Coast Guard may authorize a waiver.
Marine Corp 32 50 Enlistees with GED are maintained between 5 and 10 percent of recruits.
Navy 31 50 Enlistees with GED are maintained between 5 and 10 percent of recruits. They must also be 19 years old or older and have a verifiable work history.
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