Preparation Guide for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test


Last updated on by Subbarayan Pochi


ASVAB Test Preparation

ASVAB Test Prep

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test — what is it?

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The armed services vocational aptitude battery (ASVAB) test is a timed, multi-aptitude test. It’s designed to help the Department of Defense determine if you are a good fit for military service. It can also be used to figure out which branch of service or military job you’re best suited for.

Who is Eligible to Take the ASVAB?

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  • To be eligible to take the ASVAB, you must be between the ages of 17-35.
  • Those under the age of 18 will need parental consent to take the ASVAB.

How is the ASVAB Graded?

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Scoring for the ASVAB is based on the item response theory (IRT)—a mathematical model that helps improve the accuracy of a test by taking into account the number of questions answered correctly and the difficulty of the question. This allows for each test to be tailored specifically to you. It also ensures that everyone’s abilities are evaluated using the same scale.

The ASVAB tests,the aspirant’s proficiency in 10 different subject areas:

Subject

Description

1. General Science

Basic knowledge of physical and biological sciences.

2. Arithmetic Reasoning

Ability to solve word-based math problems.

3. Word Knowledge

Ability to select the correct meaning of a word and identify the best synonym.

4. Paragraph Comprehension

Ability to obtain information from written passages.

5. Mathematics Knowledge

Knowledge of high school algebra and geometry.

6. Electronics Information

Knowledge of electricity and electronics.

7. Auto Information

Basic knowledge of automobile technology.

8. Shop Information

Basic knowledge of tools and shop practices.

9. Mechanical Comprehension

Basic knowledge of mechanical and physical principles.

10. Assembling Objects

Ability to determine spatial relationships between various objects and components.

Your Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score is calculated using your responses in arithmetic reasoning, mathematics knowledge, paragraph comprehension, and word knowledge. It’s reported as a percentile score, which indicates the percentage of scores that are equal to or below your score. For example, if you score in the 75th percentile, it means that 75% of the examinees had either the same score as you or lower.

Those who score higher will have more military job or career options available to them.

ASVAB Score Requirements by Military Branch

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The lowest score the military will accept is 31 for high school seniors or graduates but GED holders must have a minimum of 50 overall and may even need at least 15 hours of college credit, depending on which branch of the military they are considering.

For high school seniors and graduates, the minimum AFQT score requirements for each branch are:

Branch

High school seniors & Graduates

GED or HiSET holders

Air Force

36

65

Army

31

50

Coast Guard

36

47

Marines

31

50

Navy

35

50

How Many Times Can You Retake the Test?

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You can take the ASVAB as many times as you need—however, there are some things you should know. For your second attempt, you must wait at least one month before retaking. After your second attempt, you must wait at least six months for each subsequent attempt so be sure that you have had adequate preparation for the ASVAB test.

Preparation Guide for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test

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While the armed services vocational aptitude battery test is common and has thousands of applicants throughout the year, information on ASVAB test preparation can be scarce. You may want to start preparing by finding out which version of the ASVAB you are taking—pencil and paper or computer-based. While both versions test for the same information and are ultimately scored the same, they do function differently.

1) Pencil-and-Paper ASVAB

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The pencil-and-paper (P&P) ASVAB is a standardized traditional test—similar to the ACT and SAT—where everyone has the same questions and time limit. It takes about three hours to complete on average and you may revisit previous questions but not test sections.

It has a total of 225 questions divided into the following sections:

Subject

Questions

1. General Science

25

2. Arithmetic Reasoning

30

3. Word Knowledge

35

4. Paragraph Comprehension

15

5. Mathematics Knowledge

25

6. Electronics Information

20

7. Auto & Shop  Information

25

8. Mechanical Comprehension

25

9. Assembling Objects

25

Total

225

Unlike the computer-based version, the P&P-ASVAB does not penalize for guessing so be sure to answer every question using educated guesses. Make sure you also review your answers if you have time.

2) Computer-Based ASVAB

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The computer-based (CAT) ASVAB is unique because it adapts to your ability level as you answer questions. As you take the test, it will automatically select questions according to your skill level as determined by the responses you have already submitted.

The CAT-ASVAB can be shorter than the P&P-ASVAB, which means that you can complete it at your own pace without having to wait on others. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete.

It has a total of 135 possible questions divided into the following sections:

Subject

Questions

1. General Science

15

2. Arithmetic Reasoning

15

3. Word Knowledge

15

4. Paragraph Comprehension

10

5. Mathematics Knowledge

15

6. Electronics Information

15

7. Auto Information

10

8. Shop Information

10

9. Mechanical Comprehension

15

10. Assembling Objects

15

Total

135

Because the CAT-ASVAB is a responsive software, you will not be able to edit or re-read your answers after they’ve been submitted. Because of this, you should take your time and answer each question carefully as you are penalized for guessing. 

Before Test Day

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Once you know which version of the ASVAB you are taking, you can begin to familiarize yourself with the contents of each section using ASVAB preparation books. Arithmetic reasoning, paragraph comprehension, mathematics knowledge, and word knowledge are the key sections to prepare for. Your scores in these four sections will determine where you will be able to enlist.

Keep in mind that you need a specific score for each branch of the military. U.S. Navy ASVAB test preparation may be more focused on four main sections, while all the sections may need to be studied equally for the Marines. Take several practice exams and review the sections in which you have done poorly.

On Test Day

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Be sure that you get plenty of sleep and read the directions for each section carefully before you begin answering—especially on the CAT-ASVAB, which does not allow you to go back to your answers.

If you’re taking the P&P-ASVAB, you can review your answers before completing the test, but be sure to keep track of how much time you have left. Make sure you select only one response per question and erase completely if you change an answer.

For the CAT-ASVAB, be sure that the answer you have selected is the one you want since you cannot return after submitting it. Pay attention to the time—if you are running out of time, try to read and carefully answer each question rather than guessing.

ASVAB Test Preparation Made Easy

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While preparing for the ASVAB test can be stressful, Full Potential Learning Academy’s (FPLA) ASVAB preparation course makes it easier than ever before!

FPLA has four convenient online ASVAB test prep options to choose from, starting at $37.50 per hour. FPLA’s certified tutors can provide up to 40 hours of personalized, one-on-one online tutoring which may include:

  • Up to 20 hours of tutoring in Math
  • An overview of the ASVAB test
  • Test-taking strategies
  • Up to 20 hours of tutoring in English
  • Practice exams
  • Feedback on practice content
  • Up to 20 hours of tutoring in Math
  • Up to 20 hours of tutoring in English
  • An overview of the ASVAB test
  • Practice Exams
  • Test-Taking Strategies
  • Feedback On Practice Content

Book a Free Consultation Now!

Do you want to know more about ASVAB tutoring at FPLA?

Our online tutoring program also features a highly interactive online platform with a whiteboard that allows both you and the tutor to write on it! Additionally, all of our certified tutors hold their students accountable for their work—meaning you can be sure that you will keep a strict study routine in preparation for the ASVAB.

Start your road to success today with FPLA’s online ASVAB preparation course!

References

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Mrs. Emimmal Sekar

Manager, She proof read this article.

Mr. Arikaran Kumar

Webmaster, He manages the website and the social media outreach.

Subbarayan R Pochi Ph.D.

Subbarayan R Pochi Ph.D.

Dr. Pochi is the director of Full Potential Learning Academy, Miami’s premier one-on-one tutoring center. 

Subbarayan R Pochi Ph.D.

Subbarayan R Pochi Ph.D.

Dr. Pochi is the director of Full Potential Learning Academy, Miami’s premier one-on-one tutoring center.  

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