What ASVAB Score Do You Need for the National Guard?

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

Thinking about joining the National Guard? One of the first steps you’ll need to take is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. This test isn’t just a formality; it plays a crucial role in determining your eligibility and potential career paths within the National Guard.

The ASVAB measures your strengths in areas like math, science, and verbal skills. Your score will not only affect your acceptance but also dictate the opportunities available to you. Understanding what ASVAB score you need for the National Guard can help you prepare effectively and set realistic goals for your military career.

Understanding the ASVAB Score Requirements for the National Guard

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test is crucial if you’re considering a career in the National Guard. Your ASVAB score determines eligibility and affects your potential career paths within the Guard. Let’s break down what you need to know.

What Is the ASVAB?

The ASVAB tests skills in various areas like math, science, and verbal skills. Its primary purpose is to assess your strengths and weaknesses to help place you in a suitable role within the military. There are nine subtests, including Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Word Knowledge, and Paragraph Comprehension. Your performance in these areas is crucial because it directly influences the available job opportunities.

How Scores Are Calculated

Scores on the ASVAB aren’t based solely on the number of correct answers. Instead, they’re calculated using a formula that considers the difficulty level of the questions. Each subtest produces a Standard Score, which is then used to derive the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score.

The AFQT score is a percentile measure, comparing your performance to a reference group of test-takers from 1997. If you score a 50, you performed as well or better than 50% of that reference group. The National Guard generally requires a minimum AFQT score of 31, but some roles may require higher scores. Hence, aiming for a higher percentile can open more opportunities within the Guard.

Minimum ASVAB Scores for National Guard Eligibility

To join the National Guard, you need to meet specific ASVAB score requirements. This test measures your aptitude in various areas and helps determine your best career path within the Guard.

Breakdown by Military Occupational Specialties (MOS)

Each Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in the National Guard has specific ASVAB score requirements. These requirements ensure you have the skills needed for particular roles.

  • Combat: Roles like Infantryman (11B) often need a minimum combat (CO) score of 87.
  • Mechanics: Job roles such as Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic (91B) typically require a mechanical maintenance (MM) score of at least 92.
  • Administrative: Positions like Human Resources Specialist (42A) might need an administrative (CL) score of 90.
  • Electronics: Roles such as Patriot Fire Control Enhanced Operator (14E) generally necessitate an electronics (EL) score of 98.

Comparing Scores Across Different Branches

While the National Guard requires a minimum AFQT score of 31, other military branches have varied requirements.

Branch Minimum AFQT Score
Army 31
Navy 35
Marine Corps 32
Air Force 36
Coast Guard 40

These scores underscore different training and skill requirements across branches. While the National Guard offers flexibility with a lower minimum score, achieving a higher score can broaden your career opportunities within any branch.

Preparing for the ASVAB

Preparation for the ASVAB ensures you achieve the best possible score, opening more opportunities in the National Guard. Follow these guidelines to increase your chances of success.

Study Tips and Resources

Using the right study tips and resources can significantly impact your ASVAB performance. Begin by identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Use practice tests to determine which areas need more focus. Sites like ASVAB Practice Tests and ASVAB Boot Camp offer valuable materials.

Review Study Guides: Books like “ASVAB for Dummies” provide comprehensive reviews and practice questions, simulating the real test environment.

Create a Study Schedule: Allocate a few hours each day to study. Consistent practice leads to better retention and understanding.

Join Study Groups: Collaborating with peers can provide diverse insights and additional support. Local community centers and online forums often organize study groups.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoiding common mistakes helps prevent unnecessary score deductions and ensures you make the most of your study efforts.

Neglecting Weak Areas: Focusing only on strengths limits your improvement. Dedicate extra time to difficult subjects to achieve a balanced score.

Procrastination: Delaying study sessions affects retention and increases stress. Stick to a schedule to maintain consistent progress.

Ignoring Practice Tests: Skipping them leaves you unprepared for the test format and timing. Frequent practice builds familiarity and confidence.

Effective preparation for the ASVAB involves utilizing the right resources and avoiding common pitfalls, eventually enhancing your performance and expanding your career opportunities in the National Guard.

Benefits of Joining the National Guard with a High ASVAB Score

Achieving a high ASVAB score unlocks numerous advantages in the National Guard. These benefits extend beyond qualifying for enlistment, impacting career opportunities and educational benefits.

Career Opportunities

High ASVAB scores broaden your available Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). With a higher score, you’ll access specialized roles requiring technical expertise. For instance, you might qualify for positions in intelligence, aviation, or engineering where technical skills are paramount. High-scoring candidates often receive preferences for advanced training programs and leadership roles, fast-tracking your career progression. An expanded MOS selection means you can align your military duties closely with your interests and strengths, enhancing job satisfaction and career longevity.

Educational Benefits

Securing a high ASVAB score often correlates with eligibility for more substantial educational incentives. You could qualify for additional bonuses, scholarships, and tuition assistance programs designed to support your academic goals. For example, the National Guard offers the State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP), which helps cover tuition costs at state colleges and universities. High scores may increase your chances of receiving these funds. Also, various MOS-specific bonuses might include education-related perks, providing a financial cushion for continuing your education during or after your service.


Understanding the ASVAB score requirements is crucial for your success in the National Guard. Achieving a high score not only broadens your career options but also opens doors to advanced training and educational benefits. Effective preparation can significantly impact your performance and future opportunities. So, invest the time and effort in studying for the ASVAB to maximize your potential in the National Guard.


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