How To Study aSVAB

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

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How To Study aSVAB

There are a number of strategies you can use to get ready for the ASVAB, ranging from picking the right high school classes to finding the right study environment. These tips can help you plan ways to study for the ASVAB test:

  • Take a solid core of science, English, and mathematics classes
  • Check out sample questions
  • Look for other online resources
  • Utilize your local library
  • Ask your recruiter for help studying
  • Seek advice from your guidance counselor
  • Take a practice test
  • Focus on areas of the test that apply to the career you want to pursue
  • If you want to pursue a mechanical career, consider taking auto shop class in high school or enrolling in a local mechanical workshop
  • Find a quiet study environment where you can focus

What to Study for the ASVAB

Studying for the ASVAB can seem daunting, but an online ASVAB prep course is a great way to prepare. The official ASVAB site does not endorse any one particular method of study beyond taking a solid curriculum of study in secondary school. The site does offer some practice questions, but for a more comprehensive review, consider’s ASVAB Practice & Study Guide. It covers the kind of material you’ll encounter when taking the ASVAB through brief video lessons and printable text transcripts. You can also take practice quizzes and exams to get acquainted with the types of questions you’ll encounter on the actual ASVAB test.

Study Tip: Concentrate on the subjects that correspond to the career fields you want to pursue, such as general science or shop. The branches of service publish the minimum ASVAB scores they wish to see for each career field, and it changes from year to year.

Taking the ASVAB

Knowing what to expect on the test is crucial to success. You will take either a computer-based or paper-based version of the ASVAB. If you’re taking the ASVAB on a computer, you’ll see 10 different subtests, but on the paper-based version there are only nine. The computer-based ASVAB has an auto subtest and a shop subtest, while the paper ASVAB has a subtest that covers both shop and auto information.

Science/TechnicalGeneral Science, Electronics Information, Auto and Shop Information (paper), Auto Information (computer), Shop Information (computer), and Mechanical Comprehension
MathMathematics Knowledge and Arithmetic Reasoning
VerbalWord Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension
SpatialAssembling Objects

If you’re testing at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), you’ll take the computer-based ASVAB. Military Entrance Test (MET) sites offer the paper-based version. Subtests on the computer-based version have either 11 or 16 questions, while subtests on the paper ASVAB have anywhere from 15 to 35 questions. The official ASVAB site includes sample questions for each section of the ASVAB so that you can acquaint yourself with the material you will see on the test.

Additional Study Tips and Techniques

Research shows the two most effective study techniques across the board for all types of learners are taking practice tests and distributed practice. Distributed practice is when you set aside specific time periods for study activity, which is the exact opposite of cramming. When taking ASVAB practice tests, a few rules of thumb are:

  • Don’t take the practice test immediately after learning the material.
  • Test the knowledge you learned in different places at different times. The change in environment will help the material stick in your brain.
  • Don’t cram.
  • If you have to cram, it’s better than not studying at all.
  • Use different testing techniques – i.e. flashcards, chapter reviews, or other quizzes.
  • Free recall of material (i.e. recognizing the content rather than the exact wording) is better than rote memorization of phrases.
  • Sleep between study sessions.
  • Engage in discussions about the nature of the material (e.g. why does it work the way it works? What would happen if you changed x, y, or z variables?).
  • Highlighting can be effective, but make sure not to highlight large swaths of text. Read the material first, then pick out only the pertinent, summarizing words to highlight. Reread in a different study session, preferably after a gap such as sleeping.

How many questions are on the ASVAB?

Just how many questions are on the ASVAB depends on which version of the test you take. There are three versions of the test, with two given at military facilities and one by high schools and colleges.

Different Versions of the ASVAB

  • The CAT-ASVAB. The CAT-ASVAB is a computer-based test given at MEPS.
  • The MET-site ASVAB. The MET-site ASVAB is a paper-based test given at satellite locations for those who cannot travel to MEPS.
  • The Student ASVAB. The student ASVAB is given by schools for career exploration.

The CAT-ASVAB has a time cap of 154 minutes with nine test subsets and 145 questions. The MET-site ASVAB has 225 questions and a cap of 149 minutes.

Best ASVAB Study Guides

As part of your ASVAB prep you should get a good ASVAB study guide. Having the right study material can make a huge difference in your final score. There are a lot of ASVAB books to choose from, and some of them aren’t very good. We have reviewed all of the best study guides and our list includes only the best of the best. These are the highest-rated review books that have stood the test of time. You won’t go wrong with any of these options. These are the ASVAB study guides that we recommend:

ASVAB Practice Pack. For the very best ASVAB prep, check out this practice pack from JobTestPrep. It includes a diagnostic test, 3 full-length AFQT tests, drills for all topics, a math study guide, and step-by-step explanations. This is the easiest and most effective way to prepare for your test.

ASVAB Boot Camp. If you’re looking for an online ASVAB course, ASVAB Boot Camp is another great option. It includes online lessons, practice tests, and study sheets for math knowledge, word knowledge, arithmetic reasoning, and paragraph comprehension. Everything you need in order to pass the ASVAB.

Kaplan ASVAB Prep 2022–2023: Book + 6 Practice Tests + Online + Video. The Kaplan ASVAB study guide is the biggest and most complete option that you can buy. This 2022 version includes 6 practice tests with over 1,800 questions. Three of the practice tests are in the book and the other 3 are available online. Access to an online quiz bank is also included. It also comes with access to online videos that offer test-taking advice with a focus on the AFQT portion of the exam.

2021/2022 ASVAB For Dummies. ASVAB for Dummies is another great ASVAB book. This is the very latest edition that is updated for 2021 and 2022, and it is packed full of resources. There are in-depth content reviews for each of the nine test sections along with practice questions and detailed explanations. Also includes access to an online companion site that has 7 full-length practice exams and hundreds of flashcards.

McGraw-Hill’s ASVAB, 4th Edition: Strategies + 4 Practice Tests. A final option is this ASVAB study guide from McGraw-Hill. The author of this book previously worked for the Department of Defense in their ASVAB career program, so she definitely has the inside track on test prep. Includes comprehensive topic reviews, four complete practice tests, and test-taking strategies. And remember, you will take the same test whether you are planning to join the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard.

how long to study for ASVAB?

If you are one of those people who have dreamed of joining the military for your entire life, planned and plotted to build a career in the armed forces and truly have your sights set on your future with the military, then you probably already know about the ASVAB. For those who are new to the military and just exploring whether this type of career is for them, then the ASVAB may be a foreign concept or just a new term you’re unaware of. So, what exactly is the ASVAB?

The ASVAB, or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, is a test that is given to everyone prior to entering the military. Regardless of the branch that you wish to join, the test will be given. The test looks at a number of key areas of study, including math, and scores you based on your knowledge and abilities. There are ten areas of testing altogether, and your overall scores are added up to show what job, or Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), is best suited for you.

There is a passing score necessary to even enter each branch of the military, so you need to be sure that you hit that lowest passing score if you want to make it in. But if you truly want to get your career started off on the right foot, and you want to be eligible for various grants and other funds available for you to go to school, then doing well on the ASVAB is an absolute must.

So, how can you ensure that you pass the ASVAB exam? You can just rely on the knowledge you already possess alone, especially if you want to hit the ground running in your military career.

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