How Many Times Can ASVAB Be Taken? Understanding Retake Limits and Strategies

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

Wondering how many times you can take the ASVAB? Whether you’re aiming to join the military or improve your scores for a better job placement, understanding the retake policy is crucial. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) isn’t just a one-shot deal; you have multiple opportunities to achieve your desired score.

Retaking the ASVAB isn’t as simple as showing up whenever you want. There are specific waiting periods between attempts, and knowing these can help you plan effectively. So, how many times can you take the ASVAB, and what should you keep in mind before scheduling your next test? Let’s jump into the details to help you navigate this essential step in your military career.

Understanding the ASVAB

What Is the ASVAB?

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) assesses if you’re qualified for enlistment in the United States Armed Forces. It’s used to determine your strengths and potential for success in military training and relevant careers. Developed in 1968, the ASVAB evaluates skills in areas like arithmetic, word knowledge, and mechanical comprehension.

ASVAB Test Format

The ASVAB has several subtests that cover various academic and technical skills. Administered either in a computerized format or on paper, it includes nine sections for the computerized version (CAT-ASVAB) and eight for the paper version (P&P-ASVAB). Each section is timed. For instance, the Arithmetic Reasoning section allows 36 minutes for 30 questions, while the General Science section gives 11 minutes for 16 questions.

Test Section Number of Questions Time Allowed (minutes)
General Science (GS) 16 (CAT-ASVAB) 11
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) 30 (CAT-ASVAB) 36
Word Knowledge (WK) 16 (CAT-ASVAB) 8
Paragraph Comprehension (PC) 11 (CAT-ASVAB) 22
Mathematics Knowledge (MK) 16 (CAT-ASVAB) 20
Electronics Information (EI) 16 (CAT-ASVAB) 8
Auto & Shop Information (AS) 11 (CAT-ASVAB) 7
Mechanical Comprehension (MC) 16 (CAT-ASVAB) 20
Assembling Objects (AO) 16 (CAT-ASVAB) 16

Understanding the ASVAB format helps you better prepare and manage your test-taking time, aiming to achieve the best score.

Eligibility for Retaking the ASVAB

Those who are considering a career in the military often wonder about the rules concerning retaking the ASVAB. Understanding eligibility for retakes is crucial for those aiming for improved scores.

Requirements and Limits

The ASVAB exam allows retakes under specific conditions. The initial retake can be scheduled after a one-month wait. A second retake follows another one-month gap if necessary. Subsequent retakes necessitate a six-month waiting period. The key is to manage preparation time effectively, considering these intervals.

Impact of Branch Choice on Retakes

Different military branches have unique retake policies. For example, the Army may allow more lenient retake attempts compared to the Air Force. Researching branch-specific rules ensures alignment with goals and availability for retaking the ASVAB. This strategic approach maximizes opportunities and sets clear expectations.

Preparing for Multiple ASVAB Attempts

Understanding how to prepare for multiple ASVAB attempts is crucial for achieving desired scores. If it’s your goal to improve your military job placement, these strategies can help ensure better results each time you take the test.

Study Tips and Resources

Dedicate a specific number of hours each day to studying. Divide your study time among different sections of the ASVAB, such as mathematics, word knowledge, and mechanical comprehension. Use resources like study guides, ASVAB prep books, and online practice tests to familiarize yourself with the test format and question types.

Enroll in ASVAB prep classes if possible. Structured courses provide professional guidance and can help identify your weaknesses and strengths. Also, watch instructional videos online to gain different perspectives on difficult subjects.

Create a study schedule and stick to it. Consistency is key; study regularly rather than cramming. Track your progress using practice tests to ensure gradual improvement and adjust your study plan accordingly.

Understanding Score Improvements

Focus on understanding why your scores vary between attempts. Use score reports to pinpoint weak areas and focus more on these subjects during your study sessions. If numerical operations are consistently low, dedicate additional time to mathematics.

Take note of mental and physical health. Stress, sleep deprivation, and poor nutrition can negatively affect test performance. Ensure you are well-rested, hydrated, and in a positive mental space before each attempt.

Remember, improvements often occur gradually. If your scores don’t increase immediately, don’t get discouraged. Continue refining your study methods, and seek advice from others who have successfully retaken the ASVAB. Their experiences can offer valuable insights and potentially new strategies to help achieve higher scores.

ASVAB Retake Policy

Understanding the ASVAB retake policy ensures you maximize your test opportunities and achieve the best possible results.

Time Intervals Between Tests

The first retake of the ASVAB occurs 30 days after the initial test date. Individuals must wait another 30 days before the second retake if they’re not satisfied with their score. Subsequent retakes require a six-month waiting period after the second attempt. It’s essential to use these waiting periods to review and strengthen weak areas identified during the previous attempts.

Conditions for More Frequent Retakes

Exceptional circumstances may permit more frequent retakes. For instance, candidates who experience significant disruptions, such as technical issues or administrative errors, during their test may qualify for an immediate retake. But, these conditions are rare and require proper documentation and approval from military authorities. Always consult with a recruiter to understand if your situation qualifies for an accelerated retake process.


Understanding the ASVAB retake policy is essential for maximizing your test opportunities and achieving the best possible results. By adhering to the specific waiting periods and using this time to address weak areas, you can significantly improve your scores. Remember, exceptional circumstances might allow for more frequent retakes with proper documentation and approval. Always consult with a recruiter to explore all your options.

Focus on consistent study habits, seek advice from those who’ve succeeded, and maintain your overall health to enhance your performance. With the right approach, you can navigate the ASVAB retake process effectively and reach your desired scores.


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