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Alissa Muller

To meet the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) graduation pathway option, students must meet the minimum score on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) to be eligible to serve in a branch of the armed services at the time the student takes the test. The AFQT is a component of the ASVAB (not a separate test). Satisfying this graduation pathway option meets requirements in both English and math.

The current score students must meet is: 31 (this score will be confirmed and updated here annually by September 1st). Students may choose to meet either the minimum score the year a student take the ASVAB or the score established by any branch of the military on a later date prior to the student turning 21 years of age.

To meet the graduation pathway option, the student must take the ASVAB while in high school. (The military has age and other restrictions concerning the acceptance of the ASVAB, so students considering a military career should look into military entrance requirements. See the resource links below.)  

To provide this option to students, districts must:

  • Inform students about the scores required for each branch of the military, as well as eligibility requirements for specific military occupations. 
  • Inform students regarding the ways their scores and personal information might be shared with the Department of Defense.
  • Provide students with a written opportunity to indicate whether the student authorizes his or her information to be shared with the military.

In meeting this pathway option students are not required to:

  • Meet physical or other military enlistment requirements.
  • Enlist. Note: unless a student is certain they want to enlist in the military, students are encouraged to meet this pathway option through taking the ASVAB test at a high school. A student probably would not be able to access the ASVAB immediately by visiting a recruitment office. 
  • Release score to the military for recruitment purposes.


Current minimum scores for each branch of the military are: Air Force—31; Army—31; Coast Guard—36; Marine Corps—31; National Guard—31; Navy—31. (Scores posted on August 28, 2023).

The following information is provided from Washington’s local MEPS stations (military entrance processing stations) in Spokane, Seattle, and Portland.

Information on the ASVAB Test and Career Exploration Program (CEP)

The Department of Defense introduced the ASVAB (which stands for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) in 1968. It was originally designed to predict future academic and occupational success in military occupations. However, extensive research indicates the ASVAB assesses academic ability and predicts success in a wide variety of occupations.  

Schools are asked to plan for 3.5 hours of uninterrupted test taking time to complete the test.  This time includes test subtest administration as well as passing out, collecting back and counting all test materials to ensure test security. Following completion of the ASVAB test the school will receive the test results back within 2 weeks and then the school and ASVAB personnel will agree to a date and time to schedule the ASVAB Career Exploration Program class.

The ASVAB CEP is a free career planning program designed for students in grades 10-12, and first- and second-year post-secondary. 

How do I schedule an ASVAB test and Career Exploration Program for students?

To find out more about scheduling the ASVAB test and Career Exploration Program in your school, please review this resource document that lists logistics and contact information for the Washington local MEPS locations. All three of the MEPS locations (Spokane, Seattle, and Portland) that service Washington schools are available to support testing at schools within the protocols established to address the coronavirus pandemic.

Can a student take the ASVAB test at a local Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)?

An ASVAB test administered by the military at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) location can be used to meet a graduation pathway requirement. However, best practice would be to have the ASVAB administered at the school—because then students would have the opportunity to participate in the Career Exploration Program. State Board of Education rule regarding ASVAB says the following: “Schools are encouraged to schedule an armed services vocational aptitude battery career exploration program interpretation seminar after the test so students can participate in high school and beyond planning and learn about available military and nonmilitary occupations for which they have an aptitude” (WAC 180-51-230).

How may a student take the ASVAB test during the COVID pandemic?

Acknowledging the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, some schools may have concerns about holding an ASVAB test in their building right now. So, if a student is considering joining the military after high school, it would be appropriate for them to take the test at a MEPS location. The MEPS personnel would provide documentation of the student’s test results and the student would share the ASVAB AFQT score with their school to meet their graduation pathway requirement. Schools should also inform students that if they take the test at a recruitment office rather than at a school location, the military will have access to their information.

Another option for students wishing to join the military is through use of the Prescreen Internet Computerized Adaptive Test or PiCAT to gain an ASVAB score. The PiCAT is a tool for military service recruiters with two parts.  Part 1, the student/possible recruit is logged into the testing site by a military recruiter, with the student/prospective recruit taking the test whenever is convenient for them, which could be at the recruiter office, at a library, or at home, but generally in a non-controlled test environment.  The student’s/prospective recruit’s score on the PiCAT is a “pending or predicted” ASVAB score that is INVALID until verified at one of the controlled MEPS testing locations.  For Part 2, the student travels to one of the MEPS test locations to conduct a “verification” exam in a controlled test environment where they are asked a smaller battery of questions to “validate” the predicted score does in fact reflect the applicant’s skills and knowledge and that they received that score with no outside assistance.  If the student scores enough questions of the smaller battery correctly resulting in a comparable score (within 5 points) of their “Pending” results, then that score is confirmed and becomes a fully valid ASVAB score for military entrance purposes.  However, if the student/prospective recruit does not answer enough of the smaller battery questions correctly the system will “flag” them on the verification test, kick them into a “full” ASVAB test, and whatever score they receive on the full ASVAB test becomes their valid ASVAB score.

As stated previously, in using the PiCAT process, the MEPS personnel would provide documentation of the student’s valid results and the student would share the ASVAB AFQT score with their school for the purpose of meeting their graduation pathway requirement. 

SBE has created a sample form for schools/students to use in validating the student’s ASVAB score, though schools are not required to use this sample form if they have their own local form. 

Further Information on the ASVAB Career Exploration Program (CEP) 

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Career Exploration Program (CEP) is a comprehensive occupation exploration and planning program that includes a multiple aptitude test battery, an interest inventory, and additional planning tools designed to help students explore the world of work. This program is provided at no-cost to schools and students.

The ASVAB CEP is the only career planning resource that allows students to explore multiple paths to success college, certificates, apprenticeships program, licensure programs, or the military. The ASVAB program is designed to assist students across the nation in their career exploration/planning process, not only those interested in military careers.  

The composite scores from ASVAB tests show students where their skills and aptitudes are currently in verbal, math, and science and technical subjects, compared to other students across America in their grade, what occupations match their current interests and skills, and what subjects they need to focus on to attain a desired occupation. These results are also integrated with the students’ work values and interests to help them identify and prioritize possible career choices.  

The ASVAB CEP can also be used as a foundation for High School and Beyond Planning because it engages the students, clearly displays the paths to attain an occupation, and provides information and career planning assistance. With this program, students are given questionnaires to complete regarding their future plans, which is then given to the school counselor who use them to guide the student through the High School and Beyond Plan. Many counselors have stated that after the seminar, the majority of their students no longer say “I don’t know what to do in the future,” and begin to focus on their future occupational ideas and education necessities.

We have adapted the ASVAB CEP to align it with the Washington State High School and Beyond Plan requirements. Our program covers all of these requirements:

  • Learning about yourself;
  • Learning about the work force; and
  • Learning about the labor force.

And our career seminars, following the test, help students to:

  • Understand Academic and vocational strengths;
  • Identify career goals; and    
  • Identify future Education goals.
  • Identify colleges and other postsecondary training programs necessary for a specific occupation.

On our website ( each student will have access to their:

  • Individual high school coursework career portfolio; and    
  • Educational and career planner. 

Page last updated: August 2022