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CHAPTER 1 An Introduction to the ASVAB Test
CHAPTER 2 Scoring the ASVAB
• What Is the ASVAB?
• How to use this book
• How to prepare for the ASVAB
• Summing it up
Congratulations on deciding to take the ASVAB! This is an important first step toward a career in the armed services. The job outlook for military personnel is excellent and should remain this well way into the future. Nearly 200,000 military personnel must be recruited each year to take the place of those who have retired or fulfilled their commitment. Military personnel have the most important job in the world—keeping our country safe. Because of this, our military must be comprised of the best young men and women available.
ASVAB stands for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The ASVAB is divided into subtests. How you perform on these subtests will help you and the military determine your skills and talents and the type of job that bests suits you. Your test might indicate that you would be an outstanding aircraft mechanic or air traffic specialist. Because the ASVAB can help you choose a suitable career, some high school students enrolled in a Career Exploration Program take it even though they do not plan to enlist in the military. Taking the ASVAB is not a commitment to enlist.
There are three different versions of the ASVAB: (1) the pencil-and-paper ASVAB, (2) the CAT-ASVAB (computer-based), and (3) the student ASVAB. The student ASVAB is given in high schools and is the same as the pencil-and-paper test, except it does not include the Assembling Objects (AO) subtest. Note: The Armed Forces Classification Test (AFCT), which is used when military personnel want to change jobs, also does not contain the AO subtest.
ASVAB testing for applicants is conducted at Military Entrance Processing Stations, known as MEPS. If a student does not live near a MEP station, the ASVAB can be administered at a satellite location called a Military Entrance Test (MET) site. The ASVAB tests given at METs are pencil-and-paper tests, so the pencil-and-paper test is often referred to as the MET-site ASVAB.
The ASVAB subtests are designed to measure general abilities and information in specific areas covered in the general high school program or acquired through an interest or a hobby. Figure 1 presents an overview of the pencil-and-paper ASVAB, the time allowed for the administration of each subtest, the number of items in each subtest, and a description of the abilities or knowledge it measures. Figure 2 presents the CATASVAB, the time allowed for each subtest, the number of items in each subtest, and descriptions of the abilities or knowledge measured.
The pencil-and-paper ASVAB and the CAT-ASVAB are slightly different. The CATASVAB divides the Auto & Shop Information (AS) subtest into two separate subtests, which appear as Auto Information (AI) and Shop Information (SI). So, the CAT-ASVAB contains ten subtests (where as the pencil-and-paper exam contains only nine). The CAT-ASVAB has fewer questions, and consequently, less testing time available, but the two tests contain essentially the same information. For the purposes of this book, the Practice Tests will include the number of items and time allotment conducive to the pencil-and-paper exam. Since the content of the two ASVAB tests is virtually identical, these Practice Tests will also provide excellent preparation for the CAT-ASVAB. By referring to Figure 2, test takers may modify their time allotment and test items appropriately to simulate conditions for the CAT-ASVAB.
General Science (GS) 11 minutes 25 Measures knowledge of physical and biological sciences.
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) 36 minutes 30 Measures ability to solve arithmetic word problems.
Word Knowledge (WK) 11 minutes 35 Measures ability to select the correct meaning of words presented in context and identify the best synonym for a given word.
Paragraph Comprehension (PC) 13 minutes 15 Measures ability to obtain information from written passages.
Mathematics Knowledge (MK) 24 minutes 25 Measures knowledge of general mathematics principles, including algebra and geometry.
Electronics Information (EI) 9 minutes 20 Measures knowledge of electricity, radio principles, and electronics.
Mechanical Comprehension (MC) 19 minutes 25 Measures knowledge of mechanical and physical principles and ability to visualize how illustrated objects work.
Assembling Objects (AO) 15 minutes 25 Measures spatial reasoning and speed while performing tasks in a timed context.
General Science (GS) 8 minutes 16 Measures knowledge of physical and biological sciences.
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) 39 minutes 16 Measures ability to solve arithmetic word problems.
Word Knowledge (WK) 8 minutes 16 Measures ability to select the correct meaning of words presented in context and identify the best synonym for a given word.
Paragraph Comprehension (PC) 22 minutes 11 Measures ability to obtain information from written passages.
Mathematics Knowledge (MK) 20 minutes 16 Measures knowledge of general mathematics principles, including algebra and geometry.
Electronics Information (EI) 8 minutes 16 Measures knowledge of electricity, radio principles, and electronics.
Auto Information (AI) 7 minutes 11 Measures knowledge of automobiles.
Shop Information (SI) 6 minutes 11 Measures knowledge of tools and shop terminology and practices.
Assembling Objects (AO) 16 minutes 16 Measures spatial reasoning and speed while performing tasks in a timed context.
Your scores on the ASVAB subtests are reported individually. Some subtests are also grouped together and are reported as composite scores. You’ll learn more about scoring in Chapter 2, but for now, be aware of an important composite score—the Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT) score, which is also called the Military Entrance Score. The AFQT is used to determine who is allowed to enlist in the military. The AFQT is calculated using these subtests and this formula:
The AFQT Raw Score is converted into a percentile score, which is used to determine who is eligible to enlist in the military. You’ll learn more about this conversion in Chapter 2.
Word Knowledge + Paragraph Comprehension + Arithmetic Reasoning + Mathematics Knowledge Word Knowledge + Paragraph Comprehension Arithmetic Reasoning + Mathematics Knowledge
Purpose: Measures potential for further formal education. Purpose: Measures capacity for verbal activities. Purpose: Measures capacity for mathematical activities.
Everything you need to know to get a good score on the ASVAB is in this book, which is easy to use and allows you to work at your own pace. This chapter provides an overview of the structure and content of the ASVAB, and Chapter 2 offers explanations of how the ASVAB is scored.
Chapter 3 details enlisted opportunities in the U.S. Military and will help you plan ahead for a military career before and after you take the ASVAB.
Parts III and IV of Peterson’s Master the ASVAB Basics are organized into six accessible chapters to help you increase your score:
Chapter 4 General tips and test-taking tips for mathematical problems
Chapter 5 Comprehensive review and exercises for Arithmetic Reasoning problems
Chapter 6 Comprehensive review and exercises for Mathematics Knowledge problems
Chapter 7 General tips and test-taking tips for verbal problems
Chapter 8 Comprehensive review and exercises for Word Knowledge problems
Chapter 9 Comprehensive review and exercises for Paragraph Comprehension problems
Finally, Part V contains three Practice Tests with answer keys and explanations. Each Practice Test includes the four AFQT subtests for a total of twelve subtests in all.
Practice with exercises. Complete the mathematical exercises in Part III and the verbal exercises in Part IV. Check your answers with the answer explanations at the end of each test. The skill tested by each question is included in the answer explanation.
Practice necessary skills. Review the math topic reviews, verbal word skills, and comprehension skill for the questions in the exercises that you answered incorrectly.
Take the Practice Tests. Practice Tests for each AFQT subtest are included in this book: Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Word Knowledge, and Paragraph Comprehension.
Review. Review any items that you had trouble with. Concentrate on the sections in which you made the most errors.
Begin reading this book about two months before the test. Follow the strategies you just learned.
One month before the test, focus on the sections containing material that was difficult for you.
One week before the test, review the material in this book, and practice doing problems from the math and verbal skills sections.
Go to bed early the night before the test. Try to relax and maintain a positive attitude when you wake in the morning.
Follow these steps to make the best use of the time you spend preparing for the test.
• Find a good place to study. Find a quiet place in your home to study. Create a work area in this place. Keep your pens, pencils, highlighters, and scrap paper in your work area. Study at least a half an hour a day. Don’t forget to schedule time to study.
• Keep your chin up. Be optimistic and maintain a good attitude about taking the ASVAB. Imagine yourself doing well. Make positive statements such as, “I know I can do well on the ASVAB.”
• Take care of yourself. You’ll perform better on the test if you feel good and are healthy. Try to get 7 or 8 hours sleep each night. Exercise as often as you can. Exercise will enable you to better concentrate when you study.
• Review often. Review the material you have studied. If you can, review with someone else who is taking the ASVAB. If you can’t do this, review out loud. This will help you remember what you have learned.
Follow these suggestions on the day of the test:
Wear comfortable clothing. Layer your clothes, so you can remove a layer if you’re too warm.
Wear a watch in case there isn’t a clock in the room. You need to keep track of testing time.
Arrive early. You’ll become stressed if you rush. Find the test center ahead of time, so you know how to get there on the day of the test.
Answer every question. Begin with those that are easiest for you. Then, go back and answer the more difficult questions. If you can’t determine the answer, eliminate answer options that you’re sure are incorrect and make a good guess. Check to make sure you’re recording each answer in the right place on the answer sheet. Good luck!
• The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is the selection and classification test used by all branches of the U.S. Armed Services.
• There are three different versions of the ASVAB test: (1) the pencil-and-paper ASVAB test, (2) the CAT-ASVAB (computer-based) test, and (3) the student ASVAB test. The student ASVAB is the same as the pencil-and-paper test, except it does not include the Assembling Objects (AO) subtest. The CAT-ASVAB divides the Auto & Shop Information (AS) subtest into two separate subtests, which appear as Auto Information (AI) and Shop Information (SI).
• An important score derived from ASVAB is the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) Raw Score, which is used to determine who gets into the armed forces. This score is calculated from the Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Word Knowledge, and Paragraph Comprehension subtests.
• This book provides four strategies for success:
Practice with exercises.
Practice necessary skills.
Take the Practice Tests.
Excerpted from Master the ASVAB Basics by Peterson's Copyright © 2010 by Peterson's. Excerpted by permission.
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