How to Ace the ASVAB

Preparation Tactics for ASVAB Success

Proper preparation prevents poor performance is a military colloquialism that is as applicable to the ASVAB as it is to the battlefield. To ace the ASVAB, you will need to use several common service preparation tactics:

  • Study relevant information
  • Practice
  • Anticipate conditions

As you prepare, keep in mind that the ASVAB is typically taken as a computer-based test at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). Those who do not live close enough to a MEPS will be directed by their recruiters to a satellite testing location where they will take the test on paper.

Strategy for Study

Depending on whether your take a computer- or paper-based ASVAB, your exam will comprise either 9 or 10 subtests, all designed to measure your math, science and technical, verbal, and spatial skills. Your first step toward mastering these skills should be visiting the official ASVAB website (official-asvab.com), where you'll find descriptions of the content you'll encounter on each subtest.

Having reviewed the specs of each subtest, you can begin studying relevant information by revisiting notes and textbooks from classes you've taken. To streamline the process, however, you may want to check out a comprehensive prep course that delivers all the information you'll need to prepare for the ASVAB. Study.com's online ASVAB Practice and Study Guide course includes 47 chapters focused exclusively on the content you'll encounter on the ASVAB exam. Because it is self-paced, you can review any of the more than 380 short lessons online at your convenience.

If tests aren't exactly your strong suit, make sure you also study and brush up on test-taking best practices. Because the ASVAB is a multiple-choice exam, you may want to review a short lesson on strategies for answering multiple-choice questions. To avoid test-day stress, meanwhile, check out this lesson on how to overcome test anxiety.

Practice Tools

As you study for the ASVAB, you'll want to gauge your progress and know the areas in which you need to improve. The ASVAB website provides official sample questions for each subtest. The Study.com prep course, meanwhile, offers quizzes and practice exams for each chapter you study and a practice final exam. Additionally, a quick online search will reveal many online practice questions and quizzes, and ASVAB practice mobile apps that might be helpful to you.

You should also review the timing of the ASVAB test so you may practice pacing yourself. If you take a computer-based ASVAB test, you will have to answer 145 questions in 154 minutes. The paper-based test, meanwhile, has 225 questions that must be completed within 149 minutes.

Test Day Tactics

Whether you take a computer- or paper-based test, keep in mind that, on your test day, you'll need to:

  • Present a valid form of identification when you arrive.
  • Arrive ahead of the scheduled testing time. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to take the test.
  • Not share information with anyone about specific ASVAB test questions. If you do, you will risk penalties.
  • Pay attention to time and not dwell too long on one difficult question. Test timing is limited, so you will want to keep moving through the test.
  • Make educated guesses to try to answer questions even if you aren't entirely sure of yourself.

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