If you have been thinking about taking the ASVAB, you might be wondering whether you need to study and how important studying is. There is a myriad of study options including practice tests, study guides, and prep courses. Do you need all of these to get a great score on the ASVAB?
Does Studying For The ASVAB Help?
Yes, studying for the ASVAB helps by ensuring that you identify areas of weakness, improve your scores, and are familiar with taking the test. There are 9 subtests as part of the ASVAB. These areas will help you determine what career is right for you within the military.
If you’re unfamiliar with the ASVAB, you might be unsure if you need to take the test. We’re going to break down what the ASVAB is, why you should study, and how to study for the test.
What Is The ASVAB?
What is the ASVAB? ASVAB stands for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. It’s a test designed to determine whether or not someone who wants to join the US military meets the qualifications for enlistment and which jobs they are qualified for. The ASVAB is an aptitude test, which means that it’s designed to show what jobs a candidate is best suited for.
There are 9 different areas of the test measuring 10 different skills.
- General Science (GS) measures a general understanding of biological and physical sciences.
- Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) measures the ability to understand and solve arithmetic word problems.
- Word Knowledge (WK) measures the ability to identify the correct meaning of a word given in context, as well as the word’s synonyms.
- Paragraph Comprehension (PC) measures the ability to identify information through reading longer passages.
- Mathematics Knowledge (MK) measures general mathematics knowledge at a high school level.
- Electronics Information (EI) measures knowledge of electrical systems including circuits and devices.
- Automotive and Shop Information (AS) measures knowledge of automobile repair and shop practices.
- Mechanical Comprehension (MC) measures knowledge of mechanics and physical principles, including structural support and properties of a material.
- Assembling Objects (AO) measures spatial reasoning skills including how an object will look when put together.
- Verbal Expression (VE) is a combination score based on the word knowledge and paragraph comprehension scores from the test.
There are three different types of ASVAB tests. The first is called the CAT-ASVAB, which is the computer-administered version of the test. The second is called the P&P- ASVAB, which is the pencil and paper version of the test. The last is the student ASVAB, which is administered in high school and college classrooms as part of career exploration.
The CAT-ASVAB is adaptable to the test taker. The test determines the test taker’s skill level and modifies the questions it asks based on that skill level. It makes the test shorter to administer and the test taker can take it at their own pace. The test’s adaptability can make the test seem more difficult. Additionally, test scores are available immediately after the test.
The P&P version of the ASVAB is proctored and given to multiple people at once. The test is given via traditional test booklets. Each session is a specified period, which can make the test take a little longer to complete. The tests are then sent to be scored. It takes a few days to receive the test scores back and the scores are received through a recruiter.
The Student ASVAB is administered in high school and college as a career exploration assessment to determine what college majors or careers a student is suited for. The student ASVAB is a pen and paper version of the test. The scores are sent to the student’s counselor so that the student and counselor can go over the results together.
How Studying For The ASVAB Helps
The ASVAB is designed to test basic skills in a variety of areas including math and language skills. These skills are necessary to enlist in the military. If you’ve taken high school-level math and English classes, you likely already have the skills to take the ASVAB. However, if you have dropped out of high school or gotten your GED, the requirements for enlistment are more stringent. In that case, taking college classes will help you with the ASVAB.
Taking college classes can help with the ASVAB in two ways. First, it will help you understand the areas covered in the test that is required for enlistment. Secondly, having college credits can lower the score that is required to enlist if you don’t have your diploma.
Taking the time to study even if you are still in high school or college will help you to identify areas of weakness that need a little more preparation. For example, if you struggle with math, you might need to spend time studying your math skills. Working on those areas of weakness and learning the skills will help you to obtain a higher score on the ASVAB.
Taking the time to study regularly with breaks in between will ensure that the knowledge you learn from studying will become a part of your memory. It will be easier to recall information on test day. While there is no specific prep required for taking the ASVAB, there are a variety of ways to study.
More about ASVAB HERE.
How To Study For The ASVAB
There are four primary methods of studying for the ASVAB. The first is taking a practice test with sample questions to identify areas of weakness. The second is by using a study guide. The third is by taking a prep course. The last is utilizing your high school or college textbooks. The ASVAB website doesn’t endorse any particular method of study.
Practice tests are available on many different websites or through practice test vendors. These practice tests are designed to be as similar to the ASVAB as possible while not divulging the true questions on the test. The practice test can help identify areas that you need to study more. This method will help you to target your studying efforts to areas that need additional help.
Study guides are another resource for studying for the ASVAB. Some websites offer studying resources for free. Additionally, study guides can be purchased at a local bookstore. Using a study guide can help fill in the gaps of knowledge that the practice test revealed.
Additionally, there are prep courses available online and in some colleges. These prep courses are meant to be a condensed method of study. There are free and paid courses available. What type of course you take depends on how much help you think you’ll need and what you can afford.
Lastly, you can use your high school or college textbooks to work through the lessons to improve your overall skills. In particular, English and Maths are the most important subjects to study because of their impact on your ability to enlist.
Here are some additional study tips:
- Create a schedule that covers each of the areas covered in the test. Make sure to dedicate one day a week to areas of weakness.
- Create flashcards based on practice test questions and information in the study guide. These are great for studying in your spare time.
- Study for the type of test that will be administered. Make sure to take online practice tests if you’ll be taking the online version of the test. If you’ll be taking the pencil and paper version of the test, be sure to practice with a pencil and paper version.
- Study-specific areas of the test that are important to you. Certain careers emphasize certain portions of the test.
- Spend at least two consecutive months studying regularly.
- Split up study sessions with a break in between, particularly a good night’s rest to retain information.
- Try to minimize distractions. Studying in a quiet place can help with this, as well as studying alone.
What ASVAB Test Scores Mean
The ASVAB scores with a standard score meaning that the score you receive will be based on your percentile. For example, if you receive a score of 50, you will have scored better than approximately 50% of the test-takers. The highest score possible is 99.
Additionally, you’ll receive a score called an AFQT. AFQT stands for Armed Forces Qualification Test. This score determines whether you can enlist in the military. Each branch of the military requires a different AFQT for enlistment. This score is determined by creating a composite score of four different subtests.
The AFQT is composited from:
- Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
- Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
- Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
- Word Knowledge (WK)
Additionally, each branch of the military has what is known as a MOS or Military Occupational Specialty score. These scores determine what careers you qualify for in that branch of the military. Each career has a composite or line score created by the scores from the subtests. As an example, if you wanted to be an engineer in the Navy, you would look at your line score of Automobile Information + Electronics Information + Mathematics Knowledge.
Studying for the ASVAB can make a difference in your score. Your ASVAB score is used to determine eligibility for enlistment along with the types of military careers you are qualified for. To qualify for a broad range of options, it is essential to get as high of a score as possible on the ASVAB.
Can I Take The ASVAB Without Enlisting?
Yes. Taking the ASVAB doesn’t mean you are required to enlist. However, a recruiter may contact you about enlisting after you take the ASVAB because of your score.
Can I Retake The ASVAB?
Maybe. If your AFQT score isn’t high enough to enlist, then you may retake the test after one calendar month has passed. If it still isn’t high enough to enlist, then you may take it again after six calendar months. However, if you pass the test, you can’t retake it until two years have passed.
Which Military Branch Is The Hardest To Get Into?
The Coast Guard has the highest AFQT requirements. To enlist in the Coast Guard you must have an AFQT of 40 or higher. The Coast Guard is followed by the Air Force with an AFQT requirement of 36 or higher.
To learn more on how to pass the ASVAB exam click here!
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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
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