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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ASVAB
PREPARING FOR THE ASVAB
By reviewing and studying this book, you can achieve a top score on the ASVAB. The ASVAB
assesses knowledge that you’ve gained throughout your high school career. Most of the knowledge
tested on the ASVAB is covered in your high school classes, although you may find some unfamiliar
or less studied subjects. Don’t panic! We provide carefully constructed reviews and practice
drills so you can learn the information you’ll need to do well on the ASVAB.
The purpose of our book is to properly prepare you for the ASVAB by providing a diagnostic
test plus three full-length exams that accurately reflect the test in both types of questions and degree
of difficulty. The practice exams include every type of question that can be expected, and detailed
explanations are provided for every answer. Designed specifically to clarify the exam material, the
explanations not only provide the correct answers, but also tell you why a particular answer is more
acceptable than any other response. By completing all the exams and studying the explanations,
you can discover your strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge will allow you to concentrate on
the sections of the exam you find most difficult.
You can take the ASVAB as early as your sophomore year in high school. If you take the ASVAB as a sophomore your score will not be used for joining the military. If you have to take the test again, you can retake the ASVAB after 30 days, and again 30 days later.
ABOUT THE ASVAB
Once you take the test, you and your guidance counselor or your recruiter will receive a written
report that analyzes your test scores and explains in what fields you might excel based not only on
the test scores, but also on the type of interests and lifestyle you wish to pursue.
If you have a question about your scores, you can contact your local military recruiting office,
or speak to your guidance counselor.
There are three versions of the ASVAB:
MET-Site ASVAB: Paper-and-pencil test administered by military recruiters at a satellite test site.
CAT-ASVAB: Computer-adaptive test administered by military recruiters at a Military Entrance
Processing Station (MEPS).
Student ASVAB: Paper-and-pencil test administered in high school.
ASVAB Test Content
The ASVAB contains eight, nine, or ten subtests (or sections), depending upon which version
of the ASVAB you take, each of which is individually scored.
The ASVAB was originally designed to predict future academic and occupational success in military occupations. Since it was introduced in 1968, studies indicate that the ASVAB assesses academic ability and predicts success in a wide variety of occupations.
There’s no pass or fail on the ASVAB. You can’t “beat” it or “flunk” it and ASVAB scores are good for two years.
Your scores in four critical areasArithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, and Mathematics Knowledgecount toward your Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score. The AFQT score determines whether you’re qualified to enlist in the military. Your scores on the other subtests will determine how qualified you are for certain military occupational specialties.
The ASVAB, given at more than 14,000 schools and Military Entrance Processing Stations
(MEPS) nationwide and developed and maintained by the Department of Defense, is the most widely
used multiple-aptitude test battery in the world. The ASVAB is required by the Armed Forces for
new recruits joining one of the branches of the military following high school. The scores aid in the
placement of recruits into military occupations. The scores are also helpful, but not a requirement, in
choosing an academic or vocational plan to be followed after high school graduation.
The Computerized ASVAB: The Computer Administration
The computer version of the ASVAB, called the CAT-ASVAB, is an adaptive test. That means
that the test adapts to the ability level of each individual. Each individual completes the CAT-ASVAB
at his or her own pace. That means when you finish a subtest, you can immediately move to the next subtest without waiting for everyone else in the testing room to finish. There are, however, time limits on each subtest in the CAT-ASVAB. On average, it takes about 1½ hours to complete the CAT-ASVAB. Unlike the paper-and-pencil ASVAB, you will not be able to review or change an
answer once you submit it. Your test scores will be available immediately after the testing session.
On the CAT-ASVAB, each test taker starts with a medium difficulty question. For example, if the test taker answers the question correctly, the test taker is give a question that is more difficult. If the test taker answers the question incorrectly, then he or she is given a question that is easier. You can’t waste time answering questions that are too difficult or too easy.
The CAT-ASVAB includes a ninth subtest, Assembling Objects, which is designed to measure
your strengths and weaknesses in spatial ability. This subtest gauges your ability to visualize three dimensional puzzle pieces and put them back together after being taken apart. As of this printing,
this score is used only by the Navy. Please check with your recruiter or guidance counselor for the
most up-to-date information about this subtest.
ABOUT THE DIAGNOSTIC TEST
Our Diagnostic Test is a full-length test designed to help you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
To get the most out of the diagnostic test, you should try to take it under real testing conditions
by timing yourself and taking the test in a quiet place free from interruption.
Take and score each section separately. Then review the detailed explanations of answers to figure
out where you should brush up on your studies. You’ll know which reviews to study most carefully,
which you can simply skim, and, crucially, the subject areas that will require extra help from a teacher or tutor. Once you’ve completed the Diagnostic Test and discovered the areas where you need to focus your study efforts, our study schedule in Chapter 3 will help block out your time.
PUTTING IN THE TIME TO REVIEW
This book offers subject reviews that correspond to each of the subtests, including: Word
Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, General
Science, Auto and Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension, Electronics Knowledge, and
Assembling Objects. Each review targets the information you’ll find most handy to do well on the
subtests. All of the reviews offer practice questions and charts or drawings to help you study.
ASVAB TEST-TAKING STRATEGIES
How to Beat the Clock
Every second counts and you’ll want to use the available test time for each subtest in the most
efficient way. Here’s how:
1. Memorize the test directions for each section of the test. You don’t want to waste valuable time reading directions on the day of the test. Your time should by spent on answering questions.
2. Bring a watch and pace yourself. Work steadily and quickly. Don’t get stuck on or spend too much time on any one question. If, after reading the question, you cannot answer it, make a note of it and continue. You can go back to it after you have completed the easier questions first.
3. As you work on the test, be sure that your answers correspond to the proper numbers and letters on the answer sheet.
4. On the paper and pencil version, answer every question. If you run out of time, it’s to your advantage to fill in random guesses for the remaining questions, since there is no penalty for guessing.
5. On the CAT-ASVAB, if time is running short, try to read and correctly answer the questions, instead of filling in random guesses for the remaining questions. The CAT-ASVAB penalizes you when several incorrect answers are given toward the end of a subtest.
You don’t need to have extensive computer experience to take the CAT-ASVAB. The instructions are very clear and concise. The computer keyboard has been modified so only the keys you need to answer the test questions are labeled. The test administrator will give you keyboard-use instructions on test day.
CHOOSE YOUR CAREER
This book also contains information on careers. A complete career section, located at the back
of the book, will allow you to learn about career options inside and outside the military. Take the
career quiz after you complete and score your practice tests. By rating your interests for a variety
of military and civilian occupations and comparing your scores, you’ll be able to focus on career
options where you’ll excel.
GETTING COLLEGE CREDIT WHILE SERVING
The DSST Program
The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) sponsors a wide range
of examination programs to assist service members in meeting their educational goals. One of these
is the DSST program, formerly DANTES Subject Standardized Tests, a series of 37 examinations in
college subject areas that are comparable to the final or end-of-course examinations in undergraduate
courses. DANTES funds paper-based DSST testing for eligible service members and civilian
examinees at DANTES Test Centers and at national test centers (colleges and universities) offering
the Internet-based (iBT) DSSTs.
For more than thirty years, the DSST exams have provided military personnel a leg up on a
post-military career path. The DSST exams provide an educational alternative to the classroom.
By taking a DSST exam, you can get college credit for learning that you acquired outside the
traditional college classroom. Every year, more than 90,000 DSSTs are administered around the
world. You can choose from 37 test titles in the areas of Social Science, Business, Mathematics,
Applied Technology, Humanities, and Physical Science. At more than 560 military installations,
you have increased access to the DSST exams and that makes it easy for service members to get
valuable educational credentials while on active duty, regardless of what your post-military plans
DSSTs were designed to provide a benefit to military personnel by allowing them to further their educational goals while in the service, no matter if deployed or located on a military base.
For a list of DSST test titles, visit http://www.getcollegecredit.com/07military.html. For descriptions of each DSST test, visit
College-Level Examination Program for Military Personnel
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams are available to eligible military personnel
as another way to save time and money while earning college credit. The Defense Activity for
Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) funds CLEP exams for eligible military service
members. CLEP exams are free to the following eligible military personnel and eligible civilian employees:
*Military personnel (Active Duty and Reserve) - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Navy Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army and Air National Guard
*Eligible civilian employees and spouses of participating Reserve Component and Coast Guard personnel
*Department of Defense Acquisition Personnel (only eligible for the following computer based
exams: Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Marketing)
To register, contact your Educational Services Officer or Navy College Education Specialist or visit
the DANTES Web site at: