How to Ace the ASVAB Mechanical Comprehension Test

Mechanical Comprehension is a subtest of the ASVAB that measures your knowledge of mechanical and physical principles. It also tests your ability to solve simple mechanics problems. Your score on the MC portion of the ASVAB will be considered by military officials should you choose to apply for mechanical, scientific, or technical jobs in the armed forces. Here are some tips to getting a higher Mechanical Comprehension score.

Learn mechanical terminology. Make flash cards for terms that are used to describe simple machines, motion and force, load and weight, etc. Many ASVAB test takers have a good intuitive and practical understanding of mechanics -- yet they score low on the MC section because they don't know much of the vocabulary. This is one of the easiest aspects of the MC subtest, so don't let it become an obstacle.

Practice doing arithmetic quickly and accurately in your head, or with pencil and paper if necessary. Frequently, ASVAB Mechanical Comprehension problems require that you multiply 2-digit numbers, divide numbers, and work with decimals.

Study the principles of force and motion. Know the difference between concepts such as velocity, momentum, acceleration, force, etc, and how they are all interrelated. Many problems involve springs or objects moving on surfaces with friction.

Study strength and density of various materials. Understand how weight and load are distributed. For the ASVAB, you should know which materials would sink or float in various liquids such as water, oil, or salt water; you should also know which materials are more buoyant.

Understand how simple machines work. ASVAB questions frequently feature gears, pulleys, levers, and springs. Complicated problems will have several components. Studying a bike manual is good preparation, since a bicycle contains many simple machines. You can also purchase an ASVAB study guide that focuses on Mechanical Comprehension.

Take timed ASVAB practice tests so that you can answer all the questions quickly and accurately. Remember, if you don't know the answer, eliminate the choices that you know are wrong, and guess among or between the remaining choices. The more you study ASVAB mechanics problems, the more proficient you will become.

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