The average ASVAB score is 50, which is the mean score of all the tests taken by other candidates. The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) has been administered since 1968 and is most frequently taken by high school students who are interested in joining the U.S. military.
The ASVAB is scored differently than other standardized tests because each number, or score, is calculated based on the percentile placement of the examinee. A candidate who achieves the average score of 50 falls into the 50th percentile based on everyone else's scores. A candidate who earns a score of 70 falls into the 70th percentile, meaning that he or she scored higher than 70 percent of test-takers and lower than 30 percent.
The military uses ASVAB scores to determine qualifications for candidates based on their aptitudes. The AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test) score, for example, is a composite of several parts of the ASVAB, and examinees must achieve a certain score to qualify for enlistment. The required score varies depending on the branch of the military; for example, the Army requires an AFQT score of 31, while the Coast Guard requires a score of 45.
In addition to general enlistment, the ASVAB scores are used as guidelines for enlistment bonuses as well as types of military occupations, such as combat, skilled technician and electronics.