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86 ASVAB Score – Is 86 A Good ASVAB Score?

86 ASVAB Score is a topic of much interest for aspiring military candidates. In this guide, we’ll delve into:

  • What an 86 ASVAB Score means
  • Eligibility for various military branches
  • Tips for achieving this score

Read on to make the most of your ASVAB preparation and career planning.

Is 86 a Good ASVAB Score?

When it comes to understanding your ASVAB results, the burning question most candidates have is: Is my ASVAB score good enough? Particularly, if you’ve scored an 86 on the ASVAB, you might be wondering where you stand.

The Significance of an 86 ASVAB Score

Firstly, an 86 ASVAB score is much more than just a number; it’s an indicator of your aptitude compared to a broad range of individuals. This score signifies that you’ve performed better than 86% of the test-takers in the 1997 benchmark study. This percentile-based result positions you:

  • Above average: Clearly, you’ve performed better than the majority of test-takers.
  • High eligibility: With this score, you’re eligible for almost every branch of the U.S. military.
  • Closer to the top 10%: You’re just a few steps away from joining the elite top 10% of scores.

Advantages of Scoring an 86

An 86 on the ASVAB offers several advantages that should not be overlooked:

  • Increased MOS options: A higher score generally means a wider array of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) to choose from.
  • Qualification for Bonuses: Many branches offer enlistment bonuses for those with higher ASVAB scores.
  • Greater Flexibility: You will have more options in terms of job roles, locations, and even advancement opportunities within the military.

Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) Available with an 86 ASVAB Score

An 86 ASVAB Score doesn’t just provide bragging rights; it paves the way for a wide range of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). This is a critical factor for many, as the type of work you’ll be doing in the military is heavily dependent on your MOS eligibility.

86 ASVAB Score: The Broad Range of Options

Scoring an 86 on the ASVAB opens numerous doors when it comes to choosing an MOS. The higher-than-average score usually means you’ll be eligible for:

  • Technical Roles: Such as communications or medical technicians.
  • Specialized Combat Roles: Like sniper or special operations support.
  • Leadership Opportunities: Such as junior officer training programs.

These roles not only provide a fulfilling career but also offer valuable skills that are transferable to civilian jobs.

86 ASVAB Score: Why MOS Matters

Choosing an MOS isn’t just about what’s available; it’s about aligning your military career with your personal interests and long-term goals.

  • Skill Development: Some MOS options will allow you to gain specialized skills, including technical training.
  • Career Progression: The right MOS can set you on a path for quick advancement within the military ranks.
  • Post-Military Opportunities: Many MOSs provide you with skills that are highly marketable in the civilian job market.

Taking the Next Steps

Once you’ve digested the full scope of opportunities your 86 ASVAB score offers, the next steps should be:

  • Consult a Military Recruiter: They can provide personalized advice based on your score and career interests.
  • Research Specific MOS Requirements: Understand the qualifications and commitments each MOS entails.
  • Plan for the Future: Use this score as a stepping stone for future military or civilian career planning.

Understanding the ASVAB Scoring System

If you’ve secured an 86 ASVAB Score, understanding the ASVAB Scoring System is vital to knowing exactly where you stand. The ASVAB isn’t just a single score; it’s a complex system of subtests that analyze your abilities across various domains.

The Components of ASVAB and AFQT

The ASVAB is comprised of multiple subtests, each measuring different skills. These subtests are:

  • Verbal Skills: Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension
  • Math Skills: Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge
  • Technical Skills: General Science, Electronics Information, and Mechanical Comprehension among others

The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score is derived from some of these subtests and is expressed as a percentile. This is the score commonly referred to when discussing an “86 ASVAB score.”

The 1997 Benchmark Study

It’s essential to note that your ASVAB and AFQT scores are calculated based on a percentile system. The percentages were established through a benchmark study conducted in 1997, involving 12,000 participants. Scoring an 86 means:

  • Better than 86%: You’ve outperformed 86% of the individuals in this study.
  • Room to Improve: While an 86 is excellent, you are still below the top 13%.

Making Sense of Your Score

Understanding your ASVAB score isn’t just about knowing how many questions you answered correctly. It’s about understanding:

  • Percentile Ranking: An 86 means you performed exceptionally well, placing in the top tier of test-takers.
  • Branch Eligibility: Higher scores like 86 allow for greater flexibility in branch selection and MOS options.
  • Future Planning: Knowing how your score was calculated can inform future study or retesting strategies if you aim to score even higher

86 ASVAB Score: Advantages & Disadvantages

Holding an 86 ASVAB Score is a significant achievement, but it’s important to weigh both the advantages and disadvantages this score presents. Knowing the full scope can help you make informed decisions about your military career path.

The Advantages of an 86 ASVAB Score

An 86 score on the ASVAB provides numerous benefits:

  • Broad Eligibility: You are eligible for all branches of the military with an 86.
  • Expanded MOS Choices: A higher score often translates to more Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) options.
  • Enlistment Bonuses: Higher ASVAB scores often come with financial bonuses upon enlistment.
  • Strong Start: Starting your military career with a strong ASVAB score puts you in a favorable position for promotions and specialized training.

The Downsides to Consider

Despite the numerous advantages, there are some factors to consider:

  • High Expectations: With a score this high, there may be expectations for you to take on more complex roles, which can be challenging.
  • Limited Specialization: While an 86 is a strong score, some highly specialized roles may require even higher scores.
  • Room for Improvement: Scoring an 86 means there’s still room to aim higher if you’re looking for the most specialized roles or additional bonuses.

Navigating the Pros and Cons

After considering the advantages and disadvantages, the following steps can help you navigate your path:

  • Consult with Military Advisors: A personalized conversation can give you deeper insights into how to make the most of your score.
  • Further Research: Dive into specific MOS requirements to better align your score with your interests.
  • Possible Retesting: If you’re set on a role that requires a higher score, consider preparing for a retest.

Tips for Achieving an 86 ASVAB Score

Aiming for an 86 ASVAB Score is a commendable goal that offers an array of opportunities in your military career. But how do you reach such a competitive score? In this section, we provide some actionable tips to help you achieve this milestone.

Focus on Core Areas

Achieving a high ASVAB score means excelling in core subtests that factor into the AFQT score. Concentrate on:

  • Math Skills: Brush up on arithmetic reasoning and mathematical knowledge.
  • Verbal Skills: Improve your word knowledge and paragraph comprehension.

Study Resources and Materials

Utilize study materials designed specifically for ASVAB preparation. Resources to consider include:

  • ASVAB Study Guides: Comprehensive guides can offer practice tests and detailed explanations.
  • Online Courses: These offer a structured approach to tackling different ASVAB sections.
  • Practice Tests: Regularly taking full-length practice tests can simulate the exam experience and help identify areas needing improvement.

Time Management

One of the biggest challenges test-takers face is managing time during the exam. Tips for effective time management include:

  • Prioritize Questions: Answer easier questions first to ensure you don’t run out of time.
  • Review: Allocate some time at the end to revisit challenging questions.

Stay Physically and Mentally Prepared

Your physical and mental state can significantly impact your performance. Thus:

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink enough water; dehydration can impair cognitive functions.
  • Get Adequate Sleep: Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep the night before the exam.

Seek Expert Guidance

For a personalized touch:

  • Consult a Tutor: A specialized ASVAB tutor can help you pinpoint your weaknesses and strengths.
  • Speak to Veterans: Those who’ve already taken the ASVAB can offer invaluable advice.

Common Questions or Misconceptions about the ASVAB

When it comes to the ASVAB, and especially targeting a high 86 ASVAB Score, there are a plethora of questions and misconceptions that often circulate among prospective test-takers. Understanding these can help clear up confusion and set you on the right path.

Can I Fail the ASVAB?

One of the most common misconceptions is that you can ‘fail’ the ASVAB. The truth is:

  • No Failing Grade: The ASVAB is a qualifying test, not a pass/fail exam. Your score determines your eligibility for certain military roles, not whether you’ve failed.

How Often Can I Retake the ASVAB?

Another frequent question concerns retesting:

  • Retesting Policy: While you can retake the ASVAB, there are waiting periods between attempts. Consult military guidelines for specific timelines.

Is an 86 ASVAB Score Good Enough for Special Forces?

This is a nuanced question:

  • Depends on the Branch: Some special forces may require higher scores, while an 86 might be sufficient for others.

Are My ASVAB and AFQT Scores the Same?

Many confuse the ASVAB score with the AFQT score:

  • ASVAB vs. AFQT: The ASVAB is a broader exam, while the AFQT is a percentile derived from certain subtests of the ASVAB.

Do Higher Scores Mean Better Jobs?

This is a complex issue:

  • Not Necessarily: While a higher ASVAB score can open more doors, the ‘best job’ depends on your skills, interests, and career goals.

What Happens if I Score Lower Than Expected?

If you fall short of your target score:

  • Consider Retesting: With sufficient preparation, you can attempt the test again.
  • Explore Other Options: Lower scores still offer numerous MOS opportunities.

ASVAB Scores 1 to 99

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Conclusion and Next Steps For 86 on ASVAB

You’ve made it through the extensive details about achieving and understanding an 86 ASVAB Score. With this score, you are poised to take on various challenges and opportunities within the military. However, what should your next steps be?

Confirm Your Eligibility and Options

First and foremost:

  • Consult Military Recruiters: Reach out to recruiters from different branches to confirm your eligibility and potential career paths.
  • Research MOS Requirements: Given your score, some specialized roles might just be within your reach.

Plan for Your Military Career

Planning doesn’t stop after receiving your score:

  • Career Pathing: Discuss long-term career goals and promotional paths with your advisors.
  • Specialized Training: An 86 ASVAB Score might make you eligible for specialized training programs. Consider enrolling if it aligns with your career goals.

Consider Civilian Applications

Your ASVAB score isn’t just for the military:

  • Civilian Jobs: Believe it or not, some civilian employers look favorably on high ASVAB scores.
  • Educational Opportunities: Your ASVAB scores can also be an asset for certain educational scholarships or programs.

Preparing for Boot Camp and Beyond


  • Physical Preparation: Start a physical training regimen if you haven’t already.
  • Mental Preparedness: Read up on life in the military to mentally prepare yourself for the next stage of your career.

Your 86 ASVAB Score is a stellar achievement that opens many doors, both within the military and in civilian life. Your next steps should involve a balance of consultation, planning, and preparation to make the most out of the opportunities that come with such a high score. Armed with this comprehensive guide, you’re well-equipped to take your next steps with confidence.

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