Can You Take the ASVAB Without a Recruiter? 

   The ASVAB exam is a tool used by the armed services to test the vocational and educational levels of potential recruits.  It stands for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam, and its purpose is to test the knowledge of the exam taker.  The scores from the test are then utilized to match the candidate with a career in the armed services that best fit the current knowledge and skills of the test taker. 

Yes, you can take the ASVAB without a recruiter.  There are several situations where a recruiter will not be needed to take the ASVAB.  However, a recruiter will eventually need an official score of the ASVAB in order to process your enlistment. 

What is the ASVAB 

The ASVAB is the primary assessment tool for anyone wanting to enter the armed services.  It is universal to all branches of the armed services, and each branch has its own criteria and breakdown of the scores based on careers within each branch. 

When you take the test, it will be a proctored, timed test covering 4 domains and 10 subtests within those domains.  The 4 domains are math, science and technical, verbal, and spatial.  The subtests break down those domains into other related areas including arithmetic reasoning, general science, electronics, auto, shop, and paragraph comprehension.   

There is also a Computerized Adaptive Testing version of the ASVAB, called the CAT-ASVAB.  The CAT-ASVAB is offered at any site equipped with computers for the exam.  The CAT-ASVAB differs slightly from the ASVAB in that it is an adaptive test that will change the questions based on a test taker’s previous answers, basically keeping everything at the taker’s proficiency level.   

The CAT-ASVAB also offers instantaneous scores, which is a big advantage of the paper and pencil version, or the P&P-ASVAB as it is sometimes referred to. 

In High School 

You can take the ASVAB as young as your sophomore year in high school.  The test is offered at over 12,000 high schools across the United States.  Every year, well over half a million high school students take the test Some schools require every student to take the test and use it as a resource for students to find vocations that better suit them.  Most schools, however, treat it as optional where students are not required to take it. 

Can You Take the ASVAB Without a Recruiter? 

In high school, recruiters are not present for the test.  The test is timed, and it is administered by school faculty and staff.  In fact, recruiters will not have access to your results unless you want them to.  When you fill out the paperwork, you can choose an option that will not share the results with a recruiter.  This allows students who do not plan on an armed services career to take the test for its cognitive value without a follow-up by a recruiter. 

While in high school, you may take the test your Sophomore, Junior, and Senior year if you choose.  However, be aware that the score used by the armed services is going to be your most recent score.  So, if you score high on the ASVAB the first time and attempt it again and receive a lower score in the second attempt, the lower score is the one that will follow you into the armed services.   

However, if you are using the ASVAB purely as a cognitive tool to access your vocation aptitudes, then taking it multiple times will not have an adverse effect on you, and can actually help track your vocational development through the high school years. 

The ASVAB is offered to high school students through the ASVAB Career Exploration Program.  When the results are paired with other assessment tools, students can look at numerous career options and how they are suited, or not suited, for different careers at that point in their development. 

In the Real World 

Can You Take the ASVAB Without a Recruiter? 

Once out of high school, the only way to take the ASVAB is by contacting a recruiter who will then schedule one for you.  All branches of the armed services use the same ASVAB score, so regardless of which branch of service the recruiter serves in, any other branch will have access to the information.  

Once the test is scheduled, you will need to go to either a MEPS or MET to take the test.  MEPS stands for a Military Entrance Processing Station, while MET is a Military Entrance Test site.  The results are automatically shared with the recruiter who will contact you following the scoring of the test. 

However, if you took a test in high school, and it has been less than 2 years prior, you can still use that score should you choose to enter the armed services.  Regardless of the setting, your ASVAB score is good for 2 years, providing there is documentation that the score is indeed yours and it was taken in a legitimate manner. 

After high school is over and/or your two-year deadline for taking the test has passed, the only way to take the ASVAB is through a recruiter.  However, keep in mind that contacting a recruiter for the test and taking the test afterward does not commit you to join the armed services. 

Curious to know if the ASVAB changes? Read this:

I have Taken the ASVAB, Now What? 

Once you take the ASVAB, you can look at it from 2 perspectives-one from remaining a civilian and using it for an occupational assessment tool, and the other from the perspective of someone who is wanting to join the armed services. 

Continuing in civilian life and utilizing the ASVAB Career Exploration program in high school offers a lot of valuable insight into possible career interests.  You will get a lot of information, including your actual scores in each of the tested areas, how you compared nationwide to other test-takers in your grade, and instructions on following up online. 

Once online, there is a bit more data to enter and a few follow-up questions, and eventually, it will return a list of career paths that, based on your scores, suit you the best.  They are split into three categories showing what suits you the best, moderately, and the least.  From there you can decide to utilize the information and begin to pursue one of those careers. 

If you are taking the test with making a career in the armed services a goal, there are also several pieces of valuable information for you on the results.  You will get the same information as listed above, but also want to pay special attention to the AFQT score.  The Armed Forces Qualification Test score.  It will be a number ranging from 1 to 100, with 50 being average. 

Can You Take the ASVAB Without a Recruiter? 

The AFQT score must meet a minimum in order to join the armed services.  Each branch has its own minimum required score.  They are a score of 36 for the Air Force, 21 for the Army, 40 for the Coast Guard, 32 for the Marine Corp, and 35 for the Navy.   

The armed services also use a combination of the scores and combine them with possible career paths in the military and break them down into line scores, which offer a glimpse into what jobs are available and what scores in specific content areas are required to follow that path. 

Related Questions

 What alternatives are there to the ASVAB? 

There are a few alternatives available if the ASVAB does not seem to be an ideal fit for you.  One is the PiCATor the Pre-screening internet-delivered Computer Adaptive Test.  All this test requires is a good internet connection and on-line access. 

It is the same test as the ASVAB, but it is taken at home and without a time limit.  There are also no proctors when taking the PiCAT, so it relies on the integrity of the test taker to ensure there is no outside help when taking the test.  If you use the PiCat, there will be a short test given by the recruiter designed to verify your score and that it was independently taken. 

What if I choose to go to college but still want to join the armed services? 

In this case, the ROTC program is for you.  The Reserve Officers Training Corp is offered at thousands of colleges and allows you to go to college and receive scholarships and tuition aid from the armed services. This allows you to pursue your degree first, and then use that degree in your armed services career. 

ROTC does have a few commitments during your college years and beyond.  First, you will be required to take classes offered through the ROTC program-usually once a semester.  There will also be a uniform that needs to be worn occasionally, as well as ROTC functions that must be attended.  Once graduated, you will owe the armed services a commitment of service in return for the college funding you received. 

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To learn more on how to pass the ASVAB exam click here!

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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.