How Long is the ASVAB Test?
The computer-based ASVAB takes an average of 1.5 hours to complete, though students taking this exam have a total of 154 minutes to complete all sections of the test. The paper-based exam takes about three hours to complete with administrative tasks, though the total time for questions is 149 minutes. Computer tests are administered at Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) locations. Paper tests are utilized by most Military Entrance Test sites, which are satellite locations used only for test-takers who cannot travel to a MEPS facility.
How Many Questions on the ASVAB?
In total, the computer-based ASVAB has 145 questions, while the paper-based ASVAB has 225 questions. Both versions of the ASVAB are organized into a number of different subtests, all of which have a different number of questions that must be completed in a specific time limit. These subtests are self-paced when taken on a computer, and most test-takers complete the entire ASVAB faster than the total time allotted. For paper-based exams, however, an instructor paces all test-takers by the time allowed for each subtest, which is why the paper-based test generally takes longer to complete. Below is a table that provides information about how many questions are on both versions of the ASVAB by subtest.
|ASVAB Subtest||Test Length: Computer-Based Delivery||Test Length: Paper-Based Delivery|
|General Science||8 minutes for 16 questions||11 minutes for 25 questions|
|Arithmetic Reasoning||39 minutes for 16 questions||36 minutes for 30 questions|
|Word Knowledge||8 minutes for 16 questions||11 minutes for 35 questions|
|Paragraph Comprehension||22 minutes for 11 questions||13 minutes for 15 questions|
|Mathematics Knowledge||20 minutes for 16 questions||24 minutes for 25 questions|
|Electronics Information||8 minutes for 16 questions||9 minutes for 20 questions|
|Auto Information||7 minutes for 11 questions||n/a|
|Shop Information||6 minutes for 11 questions||n/a|
|Auto & Shop Information||n/a||11 minutes for 25 questions|
|Mechanical Comprehension||20 minutes for 16 questions||19 minutes for 25 questions|
|Assembling Objects||16 minutes for 16 questions||15 minutes for 25 questions|
|Total||154 minutes for 145 questions||149 minutes for 225 questions|
Despite the difference in delivery, paper- and computer-based ASVAB versions are designed to measure the same knowledge, meaning an individual's score typically should not vary regardless of whether they take the computer-based or paper-based exam. One difference in the two versions, however, is the adaptability of the computer-based exam. This version of the exam adapts to the test-taker's level of ability as they answer questions by either providing them with easier or more challenging questions based on their previous correct or incorrect responses.
How to Prepare for the ASVAB Test
Test-takers are advised to prepare ahead of time by reviewing sample questions and reading content descriptions for each subtest. To familiarize themselves with ASVAB concepts and subjects, test-takers may also want to take a prep course, like this course offered by Study.com:
This course helps students brush up on the content of all subtests through short, easy-to-follow videos, then tests their knowledge of the material with quick quizzes and practice exams. In total, the study guide includes 48 chapters that cover the content that could appear on the exam, with an additional 49th chapter of flashcards that students can use to review. Each chapter is further broken down into small lessons that cover specific concepts, helping test-takers gain both a broad and in-depth overview of the exam content.