Where to Take the ASVAB: Locations and Tips for Success

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

Looking to join the military? The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) is your first step. This test determines your qualifications for enlistment and helps identify the military jobs best suited for you. But where exactly can you take the ASVAB?

You have several options for taking the ASVAB, including high schools, Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS), and Mobile Examining Teams (MET) sites. Knowing the best location for you can make the process smoother and less stressful. Let’s explore your options so you’re well-prepared for this crucial step in your military career.

Understanding the ASVAB

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) plays a crucial role in military enlistment. Let’s investigate into what the ASVAB entails and why it’s essential.

What Is the ASVAB?

The ASVAB is a multi-aptitude test administered in different formats, such as paper and computer. It evaluates your skills in various domains:

  • Arithmetic Reasoning: Measures your ability to solve basic arithmetic problems.
  • Word Knowledge: Tests your understanding of word meanings.
  • Paragraph Comprehension: Assesses your ability to obtain information from written material.
  • Mathematics Knowledge: Evaluates your grasp of mathematical concepts and applications.

The ASVAB consists of ten subtests covering subjects like General Science and Mechanical Comprehension. Each subtest contributes to the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score, which determines eligibility for enlistment.

Why Take the ASVAB?

Taking the ASVAB is imperative for anyone wanting to join the military. Your ASVAB score impacts:

  • Military Eligibility: A higher AFQT score expands your enlistment possibilities.
  • Job Assignment: Scores in specific subtests affect qualification for various military jobs. For instance, a high score in Electronics Information opens up technical roles.

Consider you’re eyeing a technical specialty; excelling in subtests related to science and electronics will align you with those opportunities. Lower scores might limit job choices within the military, so preparation is key.

Eligibility and Requirements for Taking the ASVAB

To achieve success in the military, understanding the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is essential. Knowing who needs to take the ASVAB and what’s required before applying ensures you’re well-prepared.

Who Needs to Take the ASVAB?

Anyone interested in enlisting in the U.S. military must take the ASVAB. It’s mandatory for all branches, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Space Force. High school students can also take the ASVAB for career exploration, even if they’re undecided about military service. The scores help determine eligibility for enlistment and match candidates with suitable military jobs.

  1. Age: You must be at least 17 years old. If under 18, parental consent is necessary.
  2. Education: A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required. GED holders may face additional requirements.
  3. Citizenship: U.S. citizens and permanent residents can apply. Non-citizens must meet certain resident criteria.
  4. Medical and Legal Standards: Meeting specific health standards and having a clean legal record is crucial.

Ensuring you meet these basics allows for a smoother application process. Prepare well and understand the importance of the ASVAB in shaping your military career.

ASVAB Testing Locations

Finding the right place to take your ASVAB test is crucial for military enlistment. Different locations offer varied experiences and resources.

Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS)

Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) are the primary locations for ASVAB testing. MEPS facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art testing environments and experienced personnel to assist you. These stations ensure candidates undergo complete medical examinations and background reviews. MEPS exist in 65 locations across the U.S., including major cities like New York and Los Angeles. You can schedule your ASVAB test online or through a recruiter and expect both computerized and written test formats.

Satellite Locations (MET Sites)

Mobile Examination Test (MET) sites serve as satellite locations for ASVAB testing. Typically found in federal buildings, National Guard armories, and reserve centers, MET sites provide better accessibility to test-takers who live far from MEPS. While these locations offer the paper-and-pencil version of the ASVAB, their resources might be limited compared to MEPS. If you prefer a less formal environment or need a closer location, MET sites are a viable option to consider.

Testing Location Availability Test Format Resources
MEPS 65 locations nationwide Computerized and written Comprehensive
MET Sites Variable based on regional needs Paper-and-pencil Limited

Choose the location that best suits your needs and proximity.

Preparing for the ASVAB

Preparation is crucial for excelling on the ASVAB. By understanding the test structure and using effective study resources, you’ll boost your chances of achieving a high score, which will expand your enlistment options and job opportunities.

Study Tips and Resources

Use reputable ASVAB prep books from publishers like Kaplan and Barron’s. These resources offer practice questions and detailed answer explanations. Online platforms such as Khan Academy and ASVAB Boot Camp provide interactive lessons, video tutorials, and full-length practice tests. Leveraging multiple study mediums enhances comprehension and retention.

Create a study schedule to cover all ASVAB subtests: General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronics Information, Auto and Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension, and Assembling Objects. Set aside specific time blocks for each subject, focusing on weaker areas.

Join study groups for collaborative learning. Discussing problems with peers fosters diverse perspectives and deeper understanding. Also, enlist the help of tutors if necessary to address challenging topics.

Understanding the Test Structure

The ASVAB consists of nine subtests covering various domains. Understanding the format aids in effective preparation and time management during the exam. Each subtest has different question types and time limits, which range from simple multiple-choice questions to complex problem-solving tasks.

The Computerized ASVAB (CAT-ASVAB) tailors question difficulty to your ability, adjusting as you answer. This format requires strategic answering, as skipping questions isn’t an option. The Paper-and-Pencil ASVAB allows skipping and returning to questions but has a fixed difficulty level.

Allocate time to practice under test-like conditions. For CAT-ASVAB, practice with adaptive testing software. For the Paper-and-Pencil version, simulate real test environments by timing each section and working in a quiet area.

Understanding how each subtest contributes to the AFQT score is vital. The AFQT score, derived from Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, and Word Knowledge, determines enlistment eligibility. Prioritize these subtests to maximize your overall score.

By following these guidelines, enhance your ASVAB preparation, boost your scores, and open up numerous military career opportunities.


Taking the ASVAB is a pivotal step in your journey toward a military career. Knowing where to take the test and how to prepare can make a significant difference in your results. Whether you choose a MEPS or a MET site, each location offers unique benefits that can cater to your needs.

Use available resources, understand the test structure, and focus on key subtests to boost your AFQT score. With the right preparation and a clear understanding of the process, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your military career goals.


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