ASVAB Test Tips to Help You Ace the Test

Tips on Taking the ASVAB

To join the U.S. Military, you must take the ASVAB. Before taking any test, you need to become familiar with the types of questions that you may encounter on it. Below are some tips to help you prepare for the ASVAB.


Study more with sample questions on our Free ASVAB Practice


Plan a Realistic Timetable with Daily and Weekly Goals

Your daily goals should include topics you wish to cover, e.g. multiplying fractions.

It is important that you dedicate ample time to study. However, you also want to be sure not to overdo it.

Rest is crucial to studying as it allows new materials to sink in. Finding a balance between intensive preparation and resting time is important.

Your weekly goals should include both general and specific accomplishments, determining the amount of time you wish to spend on each sub-test, and deciding which topics (of those sub-tests) you wish to practice. Reviewing your accomplishments at the end of each week will help you adjust your plans for the following week. You can use this review to determine how much you were able to adhere to your original schedule and then decide how to proceed. This step is extremely important as it allows you to focus your studies more efficiently.

If you were unable to meet your initial goals, perhaps you need a longer preparation period to cover all of the required materials. If you do not have more time to study, then you can still improve your studying process by focusing the majority of your time and energy on your weaknesses.

Which Materials Should You Review First?

Begin studying by focusing on topics that you struggle with so that you have more time to practice and absorb this material. When you design your studying plan, allocate more time to topics that are harder for you. You may feel frustrated at first since you will be focusing on your weaknesses, but it is this hard work and aggravation that will truly help you improve your score.

"Inspection Day"

At the end of each week, devote one day to review all the questions you solved during the week. Most people tend to go over their answers and mark which ones they got right or wrong without truly taking the time to inspect their work. However, in order to make sure you boost your score, you must thoroughly understand two things:

  1. Why was my answer right/wrong?
  2. How did I reach this answer?

Answering the first question will help you ensure you truly understand the material you've been practicing. Your goal is to absorb the materials so that you can easily solve new questions on the real test.

Answering the second question will help you assess whether or not the method you used was a good one and if you should use it the next time you encounter such a question. Perhaps there was a better or quicker way to reach the answer? Make sure you are aware of your solving methods so that you can choose how to solve problems wisely during the actual test.

While this part may feel rather tedious, it is still important, so don’t skip it. If you really want to boost your score, this is the way to do it. Plan something fun at the end of each "inspection day" to keep yourself motivated.

Improving Your Vocabulary

The words that appear on the ASVAB vary from test to test. Therefore, there isn't one specific list that you can simply memorize in order to succeed.

Try reading a book, newspapers, or even online articles on various subjects. Reading books from different genres and/or from different fields will help broaden your word knowledge.

Set a daily reading goal, for example, of half an hour or six pages of reading per a day. When setting your daily goal, make sure to consider your daily schedule so that your goal is reasonable. Even if you can only commit to 15 minutes a day – do it. Persistence is a key element in improving your language skills.

Better or Worse to Guess/Skip Questions

Unanswered questions or incomplete tests DO influence your score. The influence of the unanswered questions differs between the P&P and CAT ASVAB:

P&P ASVAB – Unanswered questions are considered incorrect, thus causing you to lose points.

CAT-ASVAB – Unanswered questions result in a penalty. The extent of the penalty is determined according to the number of unanswered questions. Therefore, all examinees who answer the same amount of questions and reach the same difficulty level would receive the exact same penalty. Additionally, the penalty function takes into account the possibility of examinees using test-taking strategies ("tricks") or simply guessing to artificially increase their test scores.

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