Reading AbilityBecause reading requirements for many military occupations are substantial, reading ability of recruits is important. The reading grade level (RGL) is estimated by converting the ASVAB verbal composite score to its RGL equivalent.[footnote 40] Table 2.9 shows that the mean RGL for FY 2002 recruits was at a level that would be expected of an 11th grade student, compared to 10th grade level for the average FY 1984 accession.
Differences in RGL were relatively small in FY 2002, with mean RGLs ranging from 11.2 for the Navy and Marine Corps to 11.4 for the Army and Air Force. The 1980 nationally representative sample of 18- to 23-year-olds, on whom ASVAB scores are based, read at a mean 10th grade level.
[Footnote 40] See
Waters, B.K., Barnes, J.D., Foley, P., Steinhaus, S.D., and Brown, D.C.,
Estimating the Reading Skills of Military Applicants: The Development
of an ASVAB to RGL Conversion Table (Alexandria, VA: Human Resources
Research Organization, October 1988). [back to paragraph]