The Armed Forces Qualification Test, or AFQT, score that various military branches calculate from your ASVAB testing is used to determine whether or not you can enlist. The Air Force is one of the five branches that uses this scoring to make this determination. AFQT scores don't tell you which specialization you'll take on, but you're always shooting for the highest score to increase your chances of getting into the branch you want.
Air Force Requirements
The military in general uses your AFQT scores as a whole to determine whether you can join the military at all. Each applicant is plugged into a category. If you're in Categories I through III, you're good. A score of 93 places you firmly in Category I. The Air Force requires an AFQT composite score of 50 to consider you for joining -- which falls in Category IIIA. If all you have is a GED, you'll need a 65. Remember that the Air Force -- given its highly technical bent -- has higher expectations and wants people with better AFQT scores in general. And if you score in IIIA or above, the Air Force and other branches will probably offer incentives to follow through with enlistment.
How AFQT Scores are Determined
Each branch of the military uses key segments of the ASVAB to figure your AFQT score. The equation is made by taking two times your Verbal Expression score, then adding Mathematical Knowledge and Arithmetic Reasoning. Each ASVAB subtest -- including Mechanical Comprehension, General Science and a bunch of others -- is used to determine your qualification area. This might be in Electrical, General, Administrative or Mechanical. Depending on how your scores break out, you will be encouraged to take a job in one of these qualification areas.
Before thinking about which Air Force jobs you might like, it's important to understand what Qualification Areas, or QAs, are. The Air Force uses these to help figure out where to plug you in based on your AFQT scoring. For example, a Public Affairs General QA minimum score is G72 -- putting these applicants in the 72nd percentile. Given that the Air Force's minimum entry requirement is a score of 50, this means you'll be fine with a 93 -- but you'll be in a competitive environment with other smart folks. This example follows across Mechanical, Electrical and Administrative areas.
If you walk out of your ASVAB testing with a composite score of 93, job openings are probably not too limited for you. For example, high math, electrical and mechanical scores might place you in a position to be in Communication Signals Intelligence. You'll need to be smart enough to understand how to work the systems used in intercepting communications, using the right antenna based on your calculations, and repairing and maintaining the gear. Good mechanical and verbal expression scores place you in a good position to take on maintenance roles, which involve keeping planes and other aircraft in safe and correct working order.
David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.