Everyone who joins the military takes the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) to determine eligibility for the Armed Forces.
The AFQT, then, is a critically important test from which to jumpstart your career.
Also, the AFQT is a part of the ASVAB test, which reveals your aptitude and potential for certain military jobs.
It is critical to do well on the AFQT, so study tips are vital for success.
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What is the AFQT?
The AFQT, while being a part of the ASVAB test, serves a different function.
After taking the ASVAB test, the scores for the AFQT portion determine if you can join the military.
Related Article – 12 ASVAB Tips & Tricks To Help You Get The Best Score
AFQT vs. ASVAB
When you take the ASVAB test, you reveal two essential things to the armed forces.
First, the AFQT scores help decide if you can join the military.
Next, the ASVAB scores reveal your ability and aptitude for some career fields, which is helpful to know when it is time to choose your MOS, or job.
So even thorough you only take one test, you have two different scores.
The AFQT measures verbal and mathematics, which the ASVAB covers verbal, mathematics, and science/technical.
AFQT Scores Explained
There are ten subtests in total for the ASVAB, and the AFQT builds its score based on four of the subtests.
The combination includes the scores on Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematical Knowledge, Word Knowledge, and Paragraph Comprehension.
Once putting together these scores, they create a percentage that tells you how well you did in comparison to everyone else who took the test that day.
For instance, if you score 72 percent, that means you did better than 72 percent of other test takers for that day.
Next, the AFQT has different categories of scores, as seen in the table below.
Furthermore, each military branch has its own minimum score for the AFQT.
While the following are the minimum scores, please know the average acceptance score may be higher depending on the current needs of the military.
Therefore plan to aim higher.
Also, some branches will only accept a lower score from those who have a high school diploma compared to a GED.
You must have a score of at least 31 to join the Air Force.
If you wish to join the Coast Guard, your score must be at least 36.
The Army looks for a score of 31 for its new recruits.
You will need a 32 on the AFQT to join the Marines.
The minimum acceptable AFQT score for the Navy is 35.
Related Article – ASVAB Scores and the Military Jobs that Qualify
AFQT Test Prep
We have several tips to help with your AFQT prep.
AFQT Prep Tip #1: Decide Where to Focus
You can easily find ASVAB practice tests and get a baseline score.
Also, you want to focus on your entire score because passing the ASVAB test is essential.
However, since passing the AFQT is a critical part of joining the military, it is a great place to start.
When you take the practice test, look at how you scored in the mathematics, arithmetic, word knowledge, and comprehension sections.
Notice your lowest scores, and prioritize your learning to build up your knowledge in those areas.
AFQT Prep Tip #2: Leverage Your Strengths
As you evaluate your weakest areas and begin to brush up on those skills, it helps to look at your highest scoring areas and strategize how to make those work in your favor.
For instance, if math is not a strong suit for you and barely passed that subtest on your practice test, but you did very well with comprehension, you can leverage your strengths.
By investing a little bit of time in boosting an area where you already feel confident, you can increase the overall score.
You can barely make it in one area but do exceptional in another, and they will counteract each other.
While this strategy plays to your strengths, do not get overconfident and neglect to study your lower subjects.
Related Article – ASVAB Scores for Navy Jobs
AFQT Prep Tip #3 Manage Your Time
Ideally, you know well enough in advance that you wish to join the military.
As soon as you are close to your decision, it would help if you planned to take the ASVAB test to see your AFQT score.
However, if you wait until the last minute, you may find yourself not passing and having to cram for a retake, which is not ideal.
Plan on taking your initial practice test right away and evaluate.
Next, set up a study schedule that leaves plenty of time for rest in between sessions.
Once you have your study schedule, commit to it without fail.
AFQT Prep Tip #4 Vary Your Study Techniques
Fortunately, there are several creative options for studying that are sure to make the experience interesting.
Also, you do not want to always study the same way, as variety is helpful when trying to learn new material.
Look for flashcards to help you with the AFQT.
We specifically recommend you check out the Mometrix study prep AFQT flashcards here.
They’ve taken all of the potential topics you’ll be presented with, and narrowed it down to a few 100 concepts you absolutely must know.
They work really well, and will help to guarantee your success on the AFQT.
Taking online quizzes is another good study technique. Like we mentioned earlier in this article, we’d recommend you check out the AFQT Secrets Study Guide here.
It’s jam packed full of practice quizzes and tests, as well as helpful test taking strategies.
However, try to look for quizzes that target your area of learning.
Remember, cramming does not help you retain information.
Therefore, by having a variety of study aids you can use even when you have a few minutes of downtime, you can make the most of your spare moments.
Plus, your studying will stay interesting and novel.
AFQT Prep Tip #5 Aim for Free Recall
You need to sleep so your brain can process new information, which is one reason why late-night cramming is not ideal.
Another tip for success with your AFQT is free recall.
Essentially, free recall is taking opportunities to talk about what you learn as it relates to everyday life.
By engaging in conversations and discussions revolving around your new knowledge, your brain is setting a stage for success.
When information goes into your brain, it needs to work its way into long-term memory.
By having conversations about your learning, you help your brain process and store your learning so it is readily available when you need it.
The AFQT is a part of the total ASVAB test.
While the scores from the AFQT are worked into the final grade, the score ultimately decides if you can join the armed forces.
Therefore, it is vital to do well.
You can ensure success with key strategies that include taking a practice test and committing to work on problem areas.
Also, you can play to your strengths to increase your overall score to counter those areas of struggle.
Next, vary your study techniques and openly discuss new learning so it becomes a concrete long-term memory for your exam.
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