If you want to join the Coast Guard you will be asked to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). All recruits that join the Coast Guard must take the ASVAB. Your score on the ASVAB determines your eligibility for joining the Coast Guard. The ASVAB consists of different subtests, and every job in the Coast Guard has different requirements from these subtests. The higher you score on every test, the higher the chances will be you get the job you want. To kick-start your career in the Coast Guard you can practice with our ASVAB Preparation Package to assure yourself of a high score.
The ASVAB is a multiple-choice test, administered by the US Military Entrance Processing Stations (also called MEPS), used to determine qualification for enlistment in the armed forces. The test measures developed abilities and helps to predict future academic and occupational success in the military. The ASVAB is either administered by computer (called CAT-ASVAB) or in paper-and-pencil form (called P&P-ASVAB). Roughly 70% of military applicants take the test via computer. The testing procedures will vary depending on the mode of administration.
What does the ASVAB measure
The ASVAB tests are designed to measure aptitudes in four domains, being verbal, math, science and technical, and spatial. The content of the ASVAB test is as follows:
- General Science (GS) - Regards knowledge of physical and biological sciences (domain: science/technical)
- Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) - Regards the ability to solve arithmetic word problems (domain: math)
- Word Knowledge (WK) - Ability to select the correct meaning of a word presented in context and to identify the best synonym for a given word (domain: verbal)
- Paragraph Comprehension (PC) - Ability to obtain information from written passages (domain: verbal)
- Mathematics Knowledge (MK) - Knowledge of high school mathematics (domain: math)
- Electronics Information (EI) - Knowledge of electricity and electronics (domain: science/technical)
- *Automotive Information (AI) - Knowledge of automobile technology (domain: science/technical)
- *Shop Information (SI) - Knowledge of tools and shop terminology and practices (domain: science/technical)
- Mechanical Comprehension (MC) - Knowledge of mechanical and physical principles (domain: science/technical)
- Assembling Object (AO) - Ability to determine how an object will look when its parts are put together (domain: spatial)
* The Automotive Information (AI) and Shop information (SI) tests are administered as separate tests in the computerized version of the test (CAT-ASVAB), but combined into one single score (labeled AS). The Automotive Information (AI) and Shop Information (SI) tests are combined into one test in the paper-and-pencil version of the test (P&P-ASVAB).
The minimum requirement for joining the Coast Guard is different depending on whether you have a high school diploma or a GED. The military calculates a so-called AFQT score with some of the scores of the subtests to determine your eligibility. When you have a high school diploma your AFQT score should be 40 or higher. When you have a GED your AFQT score should be 50 or higher.
The AFQT score is calculated with the following formula: AFQT = MK + AR + 2 x VE. MK is your Mathematics Knowledge score, AR is your Arithmetic Knowledge score, and VE is your Paragraph Comprehension score and Word Knowledge score combined.
For different jobs in the Coast Guard, the military combines different subtests for each job to determine if you are qualified. See the table below to see the minimum scores of each job in the Coast Guard.