What is Checked During MEPS? Comprehensive Guide to MEPS Evaluations and Preparation

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

Thinking about joining the military? You’ll need to pass through the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), a crucial step in ensuring you’re fit for service. This comprehensive evaluation covers everything from your medical history to your physical fitness, making sure you’re ready for the challenges ahead.

At MEPS, you’ll undergo a series of tests and screenings designed to assess your overall health and capabilities. These include medical examinations, vision and hearing tests, and even psychological evaluations. Understanding what to expect can help you prepare and ease any anxiety you might have about the process.

Understanding MEPS and Its Importance

The Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) plays a crucial role in military enlistment. It ensures that recruits meet the necessary standards for service, including physical, mental, and moral qualifications.

The Role of MEPS in Military Enlistment

MEPS acts as a gatekeeper for military service. It evaluates candidates through a series of tests and examinations. These assessments help determine if you’re fit for duty in various aspects:

  1. Medical Screening: A thorough medical examination assesses physical health. This includes checking vital signs, conducting laboratory tests, and reviewing medical history.
  2. Aptitude Testing: The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests your skills in various areas, like math and verbal knowledge, to match you with suitable military occupations.
  3. Moral and Legal Standards: MEPS evaluates your background to ensure you meet the military’s moral and legal standards, including checks for criminal records and drug use.

By passing MEPS, you demonstrate that you have the physical, mental, and ethical standards required for military service.

How MEPS Differs From Regular Medical Examinations

MEPS examinations are more comprehensive than regular medical check-ups. While routine exams focus on general health, MEPS evaluations are specific to military needs:

  1. Purpose-Driven: Medical evaluations at MEPS are designed not only to assess health but also to determine suitability for military tasks.
  2. Detailed Testing: MEPS includes specific tests that may not be part of standard medical exams, such as vision and hearing tests, urinalysis, and psychological screenings.
  3. Fitness Requirements: Unlike routine physicals, MEPS assesses your physical fitness, ensuring you meet the standards for rigorous military activities.

Understanding these differences helps you prepare better and know what to expect during MEPS, reducing anxiety about the process.

Key Areas Assessed During MEPS

Understanding the areas assessed during the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) can help you navigate the process smoothly. Here’s what you need to know.

Medical Evaluation

Medical evaluations at MEPS are thorough. Expect a detailed physical examination, including height, weight, hearing, and vision tests. Doctors will examine major organs, joints, and reflexes to identify any conditions that might impair military readiness. You’ll also undergo a blood test, urinalysis, and screening for medical history issues like asthma or allergies.

Physical Fitness Assessment

Physical fitness assessments measure your ability to perform military tasks. You’ll take part in exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, and running. Standards differ based on age and gender, but the goal remains the same: to ensure you can handle the physical demands of service. If you’re in shape, you’ll find these tasks manageable, but it’s wise to train beforehand.

Psychological Screening

Psychological screening evaluates your mental and emotional health. You’ll answer questions about your mental history and current state. The goal here is to assess your ability to cope with the stresses of military life. Expect to discuss any past psychological treatments, medications, or conditions.

Staying prepared for these assessments ensures a smoother experience at MEPS.

Preparing for the MEPS Experience

Preparing for MEPS ensures a smooth process. Following expert tips and being thorough helps you navigate the requirements without hiccups.

Documents and Identification Required

Bring necessary documents for verification at MEPS. Required items include:

  • Birth Certificate: Original or certified copy.
  • Social Security Card: For identity confirmation.
  • Photo ID: Driver’s license or state-issued ID.
  • High School Diploma/GED: Proof of education.
  • Medical Records: Especially recent surgeries or ongoing treatments.
  • Marriage Certificate or Divorce Decree: If applicable.
  • Dependents’ Information: Birth certificates, custody papers.
  • Rest Well: Sleep at least eight hours before MEPS.
  • Eat Breakfast: Have a light, nutritious meal to maintain energy levels.
  • Wear Comfortable Clothing: Wear neat but comfortable clothes.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink water but avoid excessive caffeine.
  • Bring Snacks: Healthy snacks can keep energy levels stable.
  • Stay Calm: Practice relaxation techniques to manage anxiety.
  • Follow Instructions: Listen to MEPS personnel for a smooth process.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Exploring the MEPS process can be intimidating, but understanding common challenges eases your journey. Being prepared helps you overcome these obstacles efficiently.

Dealing with Nervousness

Nervousness affects many candidates at MEPS. Deep breathing techniques help manage anxiety. Practice by taking slow, deep breaths for five seconds, holding for three seconds, and exhaling for seven seconds. Another useful method is visualization; imagine a peaceful place or a successful MEPS experience.

Arrive early to familiarize yourself with the environment and reduce stress. Connect with fellow candidates; shared experiences provide comfort and decrease tension. Staying positive and confident in your preparation builds resilience against nervousness.

Handling Potential Medical Disqualifications

Medical disqualifications occur due to various reasons, including past injuries, chronic conditions, or medications. Bring all relevant medical documents for transparency and review. If your records are thorough and accurate, it minimizes misunderstandings.

Consult a healthcare professional before MEPS. Discuss potential issues and obtain necessary medical clearances or updates. Honest communication about your medical history prevents disqualification due to unreported conditions. Proactively managing health concerns improves your chances of moving forward in the enlistment process.

By maintaining composure and being prepared, you can tackle these challenges at MEPS effectively.


Approaching MEPS with the right mindset and preparation can make all the difference. By understanding the evaluations you’ll face and bringing the necessary documents, you’re setting yourself up for success. Remember to manage your nerves with techniques like deep breathing and visualization. Consult with healthcare professionals to ensure your medical documentation is thorough. Staying composed and prepared will help you navigate MEPS smoothly and confidently.


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