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The United States Coast Guard provides law and maritime safety enforcement, marine and environmental protection and military naval support. The Coast Guard is a part of the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, but operates under the Navy during times of war. 

In order to join the USCG, passing the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) and meeting minimum Coast Guard ASVAB score requirements is a crucial step. To score high, you’ll need strategic preparation and effective study habits. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to meet the minimum score requirements for the US Coast Guard: 

Understanding the ASVAB and Your ASVAB Score

The ASVAB is divided into nine subtests that assess different areas of knowledge and skills:

  • General Science (GS) Measures knowledge of life science, earth and space science, and physical science.
  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) Tests ability to solve basic arithmetic word problems.
  • Word Knowledge (WK) Assesses understanding of the meaning of words through synonyms.
  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC) Measures ability to obtain information from written material.
  • Mathematics Knowledge (MK) Tests knowledge of mathematical concepts and applications.
  • Electronics Information (EI) Tests knowledge of electrical current, circuits, devices, and electronic systems.
  • Auto and Shop Information (AS) Measures knowledge of automotive maintenance and repair, and wood and metal shop practices.
  • Mechanical Comprehension (MC) Tests understanding of the principles of mechanical devices, structural support, and properties of materials.
  • Assembling Objects (AO) Measures spatial relationship skills.

The way the ASVAB is scored may seem complicated so it’s important to understand that there are a few ways to interpret your ASVAB score results:
Your Standard ASVAB scores are calculated for each single subset of the ASVAB test. The standard ASVAB score is used to identify your strengths and weaknesses in certain skills. The standardization of these ASVAB score results makes it easier for the military to assess and compare candidates.
Your ASVAB Line Score (aka your ASVAB Composite Score) is used to determine which military occupations are best aligned with your knowledge and skills. ASVAB Composite scores help determine your eligibility for specific roles within the military and each branch of the military has its own set of line scores of subset combinations.
Your AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test) Score is based on your performance from four ASVAB subtests: AR, MK, WK, and PC. These four subtests are combined to calculate one general score. This score (your AFQT score) is divided into 8 categories and is converted into a percentile score between 1 and 99. This score is considered to be the most important ASVAB score on your ASVAB test as it determines your eligibility for enlistment into each military branch. A high AFQT score leads to more opportunities within the military. 

To enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard, you must have a minimum ASVAB AFQT Score of 40.

Setting a Target ASVAB Coast Guard Score

When you begin your ASVAB Coast Guard test prep, take a diagnostic test to determine your current score level. Then, set a target score to work towards. In order to join the Coast Guard, you generally need a minimum AFQT score of 40 if you have a high school diploma. If you have a GED, the minimum score is usually 50. To increase your opportunities and qualify for more specialized roles, aim for a minimum AFQT score of 60. Follow our ASVAB test prep steps to increase your ASVAB score over time:

ASVAB Test Prep Steps

Take ASVAB Practice Tests

Find out your current ASVAB score by taking a full-length ASVAB practice test. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses so you can focus on areas that need improvement. Peterson’s ASVAB Coast Guard Practice tests have explanations to every answer so you can analyze your mistakes and understand where you went wrong and correct it. Regularly take a practice test under timed conditions to monitor your progress and test-taking skills and watch your score increase each time. 

Build Out An ASVAB Study Plan

Create a study schedule that allows you to cover all subtests. After you’ve taken an ASVAB practice test, dedicate more time to areas where you are weakest. To earn a high ASVAB and AFQT score, taking ASVAB practice tests and studying daily will be the key to success. Aim for at least 1-2 hours of studying per day and begin your test prep at least 8 weeks in advance.

ASVAB Study Materials + ASVAB Support

Using reputable ASVAB study materials and online test prep courses can help you grasp content and key concepts for each subtest of the ASVAB. Connect with a tutor or join a study group to support you in areas that you need help with. Peterson’s 3 and 6 month test prep subscriptions give you on-demand access to tutoring experts.

Use ASVAB Study Strategies

Each ASVAB subtest will require different strategies and topics to review. Download Peterson’s Free ASVAB Study Guide for more in-depth, subtest-specific ASVAB study strategies. You can find our free download at https://www.petersons.com/testprep/asvab/

ASVAB Test Day Tips

  • Get Rest: Ensure you get a good night’s sleep before the test day.
  • Eat Well: Have a healthy meal before the test to maintain your energy levels.
  • Stay Calm: Manage test anxiety by practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing.

Additional Resources for the ASVAB Test

To learn more about what it takes to join the Coast Guard, visit the United States Coast Guard website for more detailed information.

Preparation is key to passing the ASVAB for the Coast Guard. By understanding the test structure, setting a target score, using the right study materials, and practicing consistently, you can improve your chances of achieving a high score. Remember, the ASVAB is not just about passing but also about qualifying for the job roles you desire within the Coast Guard. Good luck!