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The U.S. military uses the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to assign new service members to jobs that suit their skills and to determine which branch is the best fit for them. The ASVAB is made up of 10 tests that measure various knowledge categories and abilities. Depending on the score you earn the first time you take the test, you may be considering whether retaking the ASVAB is a smart idea. If you want to try to earn a higher score, you have the option of taking the ASVAB a second time or even retaking the ASVAB several times, but there are some details you should know first.
You can retake the ASVAB as many times as you like. However, you need to wait either one month or six months to retake the test depending on how many times you've already taken it.
Preparing for the ASVAB
The ASVAB takes three hours to take and is typically administrated by federal employees at local schools. You can take a computerized version of the test or a paper version. A school guidance counselor or military recruiter can help you find out about upcoming ASVAB testing sessions. The test questions cover a wide array of topics, including math, electronics and science.
The military uses your scores on the 10 tests to determine which job you will hold in the armed forces. Four of these tests – word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, arithmetic reasoning and mathematics knowledge – are also computed to determine your eligibility for the four branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine Corps. This eligibility score is called the Armed Forces Qualification Test. The Army, for example, requires a minimum Armed Forces Qualification Test score of 31.
Taking an ASVAB Practice Test
While the military does not have an official ASVAB practice test, several companies and organizations offer an ASVAB practice test. You can find these practice exams with a quick internet search. If you are looking for an ASVAB practice test from the people who created the exam, several sample questions are available on the official ASVAB website. The military recommends reviewing the format of the exam and the topics of the 10 subtests, as well as getting a good night's sleep the night before the exam.
Retaking the ASVAB
If you're considering taking the ASVAB a second time or retaking the ASVAB for a third or fourth time, you should know some details. After the first time you take the test, you must wait one month before taking the ASVAB a second time. After your second attempt, you must wait another month before retaking the ASVAB. Beyond that, you must wait six months before retaking the ASVAB. Once you have achieved a score that you are satisfied with, it remains valid for up to two years from your test date.
Sarah Kuta is an award-winning Colorado writer and editor with a journalism degree from Northwestern University. She regularly writes about jobs, careers, side gigs, work-from-home jobs, workplace culture, saving for retirement, startups and saving money. Her work has appeared in Don't Waste Your Money, The Penny Hoarder, the Associated Press, the Denver Post and other publications.
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