Differences in Armed Forces Qualifications Test by Branch

When taking the Armed Forces Qualifications Test or AFQT, it will be used to determine your eligibility to enter any branch of the armed services. Each of the branches has some specific regulations that apply to their procedures about the tests, the ability to re-test and under what conditions.

Specific Air Force jobs require four composite scored sub-tests of ASVAB that are known as MAGE – an acronym for the tests that need to be taken as follows:

  • (M) Mechanical Aptitude Score
  • (A) Administrative Aptitude Score
  • (G) General  Aptitude Score
  • (E) Electronics Aptitude Score

These tests are comprised of various topics that include Auto/Shop, General Science and Mechanical Comprehension in the Mechanical Aptitude Score; Verbal Expression is determined for the Administrative Aptitude Score; Arithmetic Reasoning and Verbal Expression make up the General Aptitude Score; and General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge and Electronics Information comprise the Electronic Aptitude Score.

The Army uses ten composite scores that are determined from some of the ASVAB tests as well. They include the following:

  • Clerical – Derived from Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge and Verbal Expression.
  • Combat – Determined from a combination of Auto/Shop, Mechanical Comprehension and Verbal Expression.
  • Electronics – This is derived from Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronic Information and General Science.
  • Field Artillery – This is determined from Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • General Maintenance – This is derived from Auto/Shop, General Science, Electronics Information and Mathematics Knowledge.
  • General Technical - This is comprised of Arithmetic Reasoning and Verbal Expression.
  • Mechanical Maintenance – This is determined from Auto/Shop, Electronic Information and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • Operators and Food – This is derived from Auto/Shop, Verbal Expression and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • Surveillance and Communications – This is a combination of Arithmetic Reasoning, Auto/Shop, Mechanical Comprehension and Verbal Expression.
  • Skilled Technical – This is comprised of General Science, Mathematics Knowledge, Mechanical Comprehension and Verbal Expression.

The Marine Corps also requires four tests that are subsets of the ASVAB. However any Marine Corps enlisted job after 2002 who wanted a Clerical or CL composite score converted it to a General Technical, Special and Officer Programs test. The other three are comprised of the following:

  • Electronics Repair, Missile Repair, Electronics & Communications – This is derived from Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, General Science and Electronic Information.
  • General Maintenance, Construction, Utility and Chemical Maintenance – This is determined from Auto/Shop, Electronics Information, General Science and Mathematics Knowledge.
  • General Technical, Special and Officer Programs – This is comprised of Arithmetic Reasoning and Verbal Expression. It now includes any clerical position that was originally separate.

The Navy uses the ASVAB scores for all their job qualifications. The different job categories for the Navy include Administration Community, Aviation Community, Cryptologic Community and Intelligence. The Coast Guard also uses the ASVAB scores without any separate composite scoring as some of the other services have. Their jobs are comprised of: Aviation Maintenance Technician, Aviation Survival Technician, Avionics Technician, Boatswain’s Mate, Damage Controlman, Electrician’s Mate, Electronics Technician, Food Service Specialist, Gunner’s Mate and Health Services Technician to name a few.




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