THE ASVAB

Before you join the National Guard, you’ll need to take a standardized test called the ASVAB—Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.

Every applicant has to take the ASVAB, so don't let it intimidate you (it’s not supposed to). It’s designed to help us determine your strengths, so we can find where you’ll fit best and be most likely to succeed.


The test measures your knowledge in eight areas:

  • General Science - Life, earth, space and physical sciences
  • Arithmetic Reasoning - Ability to solve basic math and word problems
  • Word Knowledge - Ability to grasp the meaning of words through synonyms
  • Paragraph Comprehension - Ability to understand written material
  • Mathematics - Math concepts and applications
  • Electronics - Electrical current, circuits, devices and electronic systems
  • Auto and Shop - Car maintenance and repair, and wood and metal shop
  • Mechanical - Principles of mechanical devices, structural support, properties of materials


The ASVAB is timed and takes about 3½ hours to complete. It’s a good idea to practice in advance, to get familiar with the process and to find any areas you might need to improve before you take the real exam.

Mostly likely, you’ll take the exam at your school, at one of over 14,000 Military Entrance Testing Stations (METS), or at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in your area. Check with your local recruiter to find METS and MEPS locations near you.

You’ll find a great practice test and lots of other information about the ASVAB at the Department of Defense's ASVAB Career Exploration Program site (ASVABprogram.com). Since your test scores can have an impact on your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)—and whether or not you can attend certain special schools (like Airborne school, Sniper school and many others)—we recommend you make the most of these additional resources.

For more information, contact your recruiter.