6 Tips For Preparing for the ASVAB

test prep

Are you thinking of taking the ASVAB sometime soon? If you are, you'll want to invest some time in preparation so that you can get a good score. This blog post offers six tips for how to do just that.


If you're planning to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), you're probably hoping to be as prepared as possible in order to achieve the best possible result. Here are our best tips and tricks for what you can to do in order to succeed on the ASVAB and qualify for the military specialty or job that you most want.

In order to enlist in the military you must pass the ASVAB

1. Learn About the ASVAB

The ASVAB is quite different from many other vocational or aptitude tests that you might take, meaning that before you take it, it's worthwhile to do some research so you understand what to expect on test day.

Some key information you should know includes:

  • The ASVAB measures your aptitude in ten different areas, though it is not an IQ test.
  • The ASVAB is usually administered at schools. For those who are not in school, you may have the option of taking the Pending Internet Computerized Adaptive Test (PiCAT) online at home on your own time.
  • The ASVAB consists of ten tests taken over three hours.
  • While you can't fail the ASVAB, the following minimum scores will be used to determine your eligibility for the different branches of the military (subject to change):
    • Air Force - 36
    • Army - 31
    • Coast Guard - 45
    • Marines - 31
    • Navy - 35

2. Review General Academic Subjects

The academic areas that the ASVAB covers include:

  • General science, like biology and physics
  • Arithmetic reasoning (word problems)
  • General knowledge of mathematical concepts and applications
  • Word knowledge (or the ability to understand the meaning of words through synonyms) and paragraph comprehension

While your knowledge of these topics from your high school or GED education should be sufficient, it's a good idea to review them before taking the ASVAB. You can study math and science by reviewing your previous notes and textbooks if you still have them, or by consulting online education resources. The best way to study vocabulary and reading is simple: read! Whether your choose online articles, newspapers, novels, or something else, the more you read, the more ready you'll be for the word knowledge and paragraph comprehension sections on the ASVAB.

3. Study on the Go

When you're studying more conceptual, academic topics, like math and science, it's to your benefit to expose yourself to this material as often as possible. One convenient way to do that is to use a mobile app. You can make the most of your available time by reviewing the relevant concepts while on the go, whether that means standing in line at the market, sitting on the bus or on the train, or waiting for your morning coffee. The more time you put into interacting with the topics, the more prepared you'll be to recall the information when you take the ASVAB.

Somebody studies for the ASVAB on a mobile app

4. Study Electronics, Auto, and Mechanics

Another testing category you'll encounter on the ASVAB concerns practical skills. This part includes:

  • Knowledge of electronics, like currents and circuits
  • Auto and shop, including automotive maintenance and repair as well as wood and metal shop practices
  • Mechanical comprehension

The best way to learn about and practice your knowledge in these areas is to take a dual conceptual and hands-on approach. You can work on a project like building a chair, fixing a motorcycle, or rewiring a light switch while concurrently studying the theory behind what you're doing. These practical skills will ultimately be of much use to the military, and you should be able to achieve a higher score on the ASVAB the more familiar you are with these areas.

The ASVAB has an automative maintenance section

5. Build Things

One final area that you'll encounter on the ASVAB is ''assembling objects,'' which is intended to measure your ability with spatial relationships. The good news is that preparing for this section should be the most fun part of the preparation process.

Our recommendation? Build things! Play with Legos, put together Ikea furniture, and make a sand castle or a house of cards. These fun projects will help you develop spatial skills, preparing you to succeed on the ASVAB.

Working with Legos is a good way to prepare for the ASVAB

6. Get a Good Night's Rest

Our final tip is to take care of yourself before taking the ASVAB. In fact, the U.S. Army website states that ''getting a good night's rest and arriving on time are the two most important steps you can take to prepare.''

For example, eat a healthy dinner, drink plenty of water, get some rest, and give yourself plenty of time to get to your testing location and park, if applicable. You can trust your preparation, skills, and knowledge to take it from there. Good luck!

For more important information about the ASVAB, check out this index of practice tests and video lessons on

By Daisy Rogozinsky
April 2019

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