U.S Coast Guard ASVAB Tests

Prepare for the U.S Coast Guard recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

The United States Coast Guard was established in 1790 to protect the US from all maritime threats. The Coast Guard is responsible for around 95,000 miles of coastline as well as US waters and there are more than 50,000 members covering many different career areas.

You can enlist through the US Coast Guard Academy, which is a top military college based in New London, Connecticut. Through your studies, you will have the opportunity to gain a Bachelor of Science degree and become an Ensign in the Coast Guard when you graduate.

Direct entry is also available, and you can choose from some different career paths, including:

  • Aviation Maintenance Technician
  • Aviation Survival Technician
  • Boatswain's Mate
  • Culinary Specialist
  • Damage Controlman
  • Diver
  • Storekeeper
  • Yeoman
  • Maritime Enforcement Specialist

What Is The Coast Guard ASVAB Test?

As with other branches of the US military, your eligibility for a role in the Coast Guard depends on your performance in a test called the ASVAB.

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is an aptitude test that is taken at a MEPS center, and it includes nine different sections looking at different cognitive abilities and competencies.

The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) is made up of four sections from the ASVAB, and it is this score that will decide if you have what it takes to join the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard Recruitment Process

To enlist as a coast guard, you need to complete a basic application form called a Prospect Questionnaire, and you will need to meet the eligibility requirements, which include:

  • Age 17-41
  • US Citizen if a lawful permanent resident
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Meet the physical fitness standards
  • Achieve a minimum score of 36 on the ASVAB AFQT.

What To Expect In The Coast Guard ASVAB Test

There are ten sections in the ASVAB. Four of these sections (Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, and Mathematics Knowledge) are the scores that are used to create the overall AFQT. For many branches of the military you need to score at least 31 in the AFQT for consideration, but if you want to enlist with the Coast Guard in any of the available roles, you need to score at least 36.

Here is what each section of the ASVAB covers:

General Science

8 Minutes - 15 questions.

The questions in general science are based on your scientific knowledge, based on the principles you will have learned in school. This will include things like physical science, life science and space.

Arithmetic Reasoning

39 Minutes - 15 Questions.

These are math-based questions, but they will be written as word problems, and you will need to use basic mathematical operations to answer them.

This section is part of the AFQT.

Word Knowledge

15 Minutes - 8 Questions.

This is about your knowledge of words and their meanings, and to assess this you might need to find the missing word in a sentence or find the appropriate synonym or antonym from the multiple-choice options listed.

This section is part of the AFQT.

Paragraph Comprehension

22 Minutes - 10 Questions.

In this section, you will be given a passage of text that you need to read and answer questions about. The answer will be in the text, so you will need to be able to analyze the information to choose the right option from the multiple-choice list given.

This section is part of the AFQT.

Mathematics Knowledge

20 Minutes - 15 Questions.

This section is based on the high school math syllabus and will evaluate your ability to solve math problems in the same way you would have done at school. Essentially, this is a math test based on elements of the Common Core curriculum.

This section is part of the AFQT.

Electronics Information

8 Minutes - 15 Questions.

As the name suggests, this is a test that evaluates your understanding of electronics, circuits, and current, as well as other electric-related principles. You'll need to have some understanding of the way that electronic systems work.

Auto & Shop Information

7 Minutes - 10 Questions.

This section of the test is evaluating your knowledge of automobile repair as well as the different tools and techniques used in a shop. You might be asked questions about common practices, or to recognize certain tools and terminology.

Mechanical Comprehension

20 Minutes - 15 Questions.

In this section of the ASVAB, you are being assessed on your understanding of the way mechanical items work, using common appliances and applications. You will need to know about things like structural support and the properties of materials, as well as basic physics principles like force and acceleration.

Assembling Objects

40 Minutes - 15 Questions

This part of the test is about your ability to visualize and manipulate 2D and 3D images in space and evaluates your spatial reasoning. You will need to be able to translate a description to picture what something would look like when assembled.

Verbal Expression (subtests)

The verbal expression section of the ASVAB is designed to evaluate a candidate's ability to comprehend and convey complex information, which is essential for the diverse and challenging roles within the Coast Guard. The Verbal Expression test consists of two subtests: Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension, both of which are timed and multiple-choice.

Top Tips To Pass Coast Guard Tests

Know what role you want

There are many roles in the Coast Guard and many different ways to get started on your career - and the best thing that you can do if this is your aim is to speak to a recruiter.

The recruiter will become your main point of contact through the recruitment process, including for the ASVAB, and they will be able to help you decide on the best career path for you with the Coast Guard.

Practice tests

Aptitude tests are challenging, especially if you have not taken the time to practice beforehand. Using relevant practice tests will help you get used to the test structure and the content of the questions, and you can use your practice test results to create a study guide so that you can revise well.

Make sure that you treat practice tests like the real thing - including time limits and no distractions - because this is the most effective way to build familiarity.


From your practice test results, you will be able to see if there are any areas where your knowledge is lacking or where you might consider a weakness to be. These should be the areas that you focus your revision on when you are creating your study plan - remember, you will only need high school level skills to answer the questions on the ASVAB, but the recruiters want to see the potential and aptitude that you have in the different cognitive areas.

Self-care and fitness

Testing is nerve-wracking, and you need to prepare yourself mentally and physically for what is to come. You'll need to complete the MEPS on the same day, so make sure that you are well rested, that you have fueled yourself with a healthy meal, and that you stay hydrated.

Sample U.S Coast Guard ASVAB Tests question Test your knowledge!

Score: /5

A team must decide on the best route to reach a stranded vessel. The options are: Route A, which is the shortest but has high seas; Route B, which is longer but in calmer waters; or Route C, which is of medium length with occasional swells. What is the most logical route if safety and speed are equally important?

  • Route A, because it is the shortest and will allow for the swiftest arrival.
  • Route B, because calm waters ensure safety and reduce the risk of further delays.
  • Route C, because it offers a balance between speed and manageable sea conditions.
  • None of the routes are viable; they should wait for better conditions.

A buoy is anchored to the seabed. As a wave passes, the buoy floats upward 4 meters and then sinks 5 meters as the wave trough hits. If this motion repeats with each wave, what is the net vertical distance the buoy moves after two complete waves?

  • 0 meters
  • 1 meter upward
  • 1 meter downward
  • 9 meters upward

During a rescue operation, a pulley system is being used to lift equipment onto a ship. If the gear system has two gears, with the driving gear being twice as large as the driven gear, how does this setup affect the speed of lifting?

  • The speed is halved
  • The speed remains the same
  • The speed is doubled
  • The speed is quadrupled

A navigation system receives signaling data at 8-second intervals. If three consecutive signals show increases of 2 nautical miles per hour, what is the average speed increase per minute?

  • 10 nautical miles per hour
  • 15 nautical miles per hour
  • 20 nautical miles per hour
  • 30 nautical miles per hour

After reviewing mission reports, it is noted that response times are critical in minimizing disaster impact. According to the reports, which phrase best emphasizes the need for efficient response?

  • Resource allocation should prioritize speed and accuracy.
  • Time is a scarce resource that must be effectively managed.
  • Personnel should be thoroughly trained and prepared.
  • Equipment must be kept at optimal operating conditions.

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U.S Coast Guard ASVAB Tests Tips

Get Familiar with the Format

Understanding the structure of the US Coast Guard exams is crucial. From multiple choice to short answer questions, knowing what to expect can ease test-day anxiety.

Brush Up Your Skills

Whether it’s math, comprehension, or mechanical reasoning, reviewing topics covered in the tests is wise. Dedicate time to strengthen your weaker areas.

Practice Time Management

Time can be a huge factor during these exams. Practicing under timed conditions helps manage the precious minutes during the actual test.

Healthy Body, Sharp Mind

A good night’s sleep and proper nutrition can do wonders. Go into your test well-rested and fueled for optimum performance.

Free Practice on Military Aptitude Tests

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U.S Coast Guard ASVAB Tests FAQs

What are the US Coast Guard tests?

The US Coast Guard uses a variety of tests to evaluate potential recruits, ensuring they're ready for the array of challenges they might face. Tests often assess physical fitness, cognitive abilities, and specific skills relevant to military tasks.

Are the US Coast Guard tests hard?

The difficulty of US Coast Guard tests can vary, with some applicants finding them challenging. However, the tests are designed to measure suitability for service rather than to trip you up. With proper preparation, you can approach them confidently.

How do I prepare for US Coast Guard tests?

Preparing for US Coast Guard tests means getting practice, familiarizing yourself with the test formats and question styles. On Military Aptitude Tests, we offer many practice tests tailored to mirror what you can expect on the actual exams.

How long does the recruitment process take at US Coast Guard?

The recruitment process duration for the US Coast Guard varies based on the position and individual circumstances but expect it to be thorough and multi-staged. It's designed to select candidates who are the best fit for the service.

What are US Coast Guard's core values?

US Coast Guard upholds core values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. These principles guide their members in service and are foundational to their mission of safeguarding our nation's maritime interests.