Puzzle Problem Solving Strategies

Instructor: Nichole Kurmaniak
For individuals looking to take the ASVAB test and possibly enter the military, it is essential to develop strategies for solving jigsaw-puzzle-type problems. Some strategies include eliminating solutions and choosing a unique shape to look for in solutions. Practicing visual-spatial skills and developing strategies for solving jigsaw-puzzle-type problems is one important way to prepare for the ASVAB test.

ASVAB Assembling Objects Test

Childhood games can teach important skills. For example, the game Tangrams helps to build visual-spatial skills. Skills that are developed in playing games like Tangrams have benefits that carry on through life. Who would have thought that playing Tangrams could help get a person into the military?

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multi-area evaluation of a person's strengths. It is given to anyone considering joining the American Armed Forces to help determine eligibility to enlist in the military. The information gained from the ASVAB will help select the branch of the military as well as the vocation in the military best suited for a specific individual.

The ASVAB is a timed evaluation. Scores from many areas combine to create a total score. One of the sub-tests is Assembling Objects. The Assembling Objects sub-test is broken down into two components: Jigsaw-Puzzle-Type Problems and Connector-Type Problems.

Jigsaw-Puzzle-Type Problems

In Jigsaw-Puzzle-Type problems, learners are presented with a selection of shapes or images. The task is to observe the parts, then determine which of the given shapes is a possible assemblage of the parts into a whole solution. The learner will have to notice patterns and manipulate shapes mentally to complete the task.

Strategies to Solve Jigsaw-Puzzle-Type Problems

The skills evaluated in the Jigsaw-Puzzle-Type tests are teachable skills that can be learned, practiced and improved upon. The more learners practice visualizing and manipulating shapes, the more skilled they will become. There are several strategies that learners can use to help build the skills necessary to do well on the Jigsaw-Puzzle-Type sub-test.

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