ASVAB: How Many Times Can I Take It? Retake Limits & Strategies

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

Wondering how many times you can take the ASVAB? You’re not alone. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a critical test for anyone looking to join the U.S. military, and knowing the retake policy can ease some of your stress.

The good news is you have multiple opportunities to improve your score. Whether you’re aiming for a higher score to qualify for a specific job or just want to boost your overall performance, understanding the retake limits and waiting periods can help you plan your study schedule effectively. So, let’s jump into what you need to know about retaking the ASVAB.

Understanding the ASVAB Test

What Is the ASVAB?

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multi-aptitude test used by the U.S. military to assess your skills and potential. It measures abilities in areas like arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, and mechanical comprehension. This test helps determine your qualifications for various military occupational specialties.

Importance of the ASVAB for Military Applicants

The ASVAB score is crucial for entry into the military. Higher scores improve your chances of qualifying for more specialized and advanced positions. Recruiters use your ASVAB results to match you with roles that suit your strengths. A solid score opens doors to better opportunities and benefits within the military.

Frequency of Taking the ASVAB

Understanding how often you can take the ASVAB is crucial for planning your entry into the U.S. military. Knowing the frequency and guidelines helps optimize your study and preparation strategies.

Official Guidelines on Test Retakes

The U.S. military sets clear guidelines on ASVAB retakes. After your first attempt, there’s a mandatory waiting period of 30 days before you can retake the test. If a second retake is needed, you must wait an additional 30 days. Any subsequent attempts require a six-month waiting period.

These rules ensure that candidates have ample time to improve their scores between retakes. Testing more frequently isn’t allowed to guarantee that each attempt reflects genuine progress.

Factors Influencing the Number of Retakes

Several factors influence your ASVAB retake opportunities. Different military branches might have additional policies or advice about retakes. High school students, for example, often first take the ASVAB as part of school-administered testing programs. Retaking the test during these programs might follow slightly different protocols.

Your score goals also affect your retake plans. If aiming for a highly specialized role, higher scores are generally required. Hence, meticulous preparation and understanding of the retake policy become essential. Use practice tests, study guides, and possibly tutoring to enhance your scores efficiently.

Preparing for the ASVAB

Successfully preparing for the ASVAB ensures you achieve the scores needed for your desired military role. Focused preparation can turn potential into performance.

Study Tips and Resources

Effective study techniques and utilizing reliable resources maximize your ASVAB prep.

  1. Use Official Practice Tests: The official practice tests from the U.S. Military, simulating real test conditions, help familiarize formats and question types.
  2. Review Study Guides: Comprehensive study guides from publishers like Kaplan and Mometrix cover all test sections. These guides include review materials and practice questions.
  3. Enroll in Prep Courses: Consider online courses or local classes focusing on ASVAB content, training from experienced instructors provides valuable insights.
  4. Use Online Resources: Websites like offer free practice questions, flashcards, and tips.
  5. Create a Study Schedule: Develop a consistent study plan. Dedicate time daily to each section of the test for balanced preparation.

Handling Test Anxiety and Pressure

Managing stress on test day is crucial. Staying calm improves focus, comprehension, and reasoning skills.

  1. Practice Relaxation Techniques: Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation help reduce anxiety.
  2. Get Plenty of Rest: Sleep impacts cognitive function. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep before test day.
  3. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well: Proper nutrition and hydration maintain energy levels and concentration.
  4. Arrive Early: Arriving at the test center ahead of time helps you settle in and reduces last-minute stress.
  5. Positive Mindset: Encourage a positive mindset by setting realistic goals. Visualize success to build confidence.

Effective preparation significantly impacts your ASVAB scores, enabling you to meet the criteria for your desired military career path.

Impact of Multiple ASVAB Attempts

Understanding how multiple ASVAB attempts impact your career is key. Each attempt has both benefits and drawbacks that affect your military future.

How Does Retaking Affect Your Career Path?

Retaking the ASVAB can significantly affect your career path. Higher scores can open doors to more specialized roles. For instance, if you initially qualify for a general position, a higher score might make you eligible for technical or advanced positions. Conversely, frequent retakes may raise questions about consistency and readiness. Recruiters often look for dedication and improvement but may view repeated low scores as a lack of preparedness.

Pros And Cons Of Multiple Attempts

There are pros and cons to taking the ASVAB multiple times.


  • Improved Scores: Each attempt offers a chance to improve. More practice typically leads to better results and broader career options.
  • Experience: Familiarity with the test format can reduce anxiety and improve performance.
  • Opportunities: Higher scores mean more opportunities for specialized and advanced roles.
  • Waiting Periods: Each retake requires a waiting period, which can delay enlistment.
  • Stress: Repeated attempts can increase stress, both mentally and emotionally.
  • Recruiter Perception: Multiple low scores might be viewed negatively by recruiters, affecting their assessment of your readiness and commitment.

Make informed decisions about retaking the ASVAB based on your career goals, readiness, and recruiter recommendations. Optimize preparation to maximize your score with minimal attempts.


Understanding the ASVAB retake policy is crucial for anyone considering a military career. While retaking the test can improve your scores and open up more opportunities, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. Thorough preparation using practice tests and study guides can help you achieve higher scores with fewer attempts. Make informed decisions based on your career goals, readiness, and recruiter recommendations. This approach will not only optimize your preparation but also enhance your chances of securing a specialized role in the military.


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