How to Get a High Score on the ASVAB

The ASVAB, or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, is a test administered by military recruiters. The ASVAB measures your acquired knowledge and critical thinking skills in math, science, verbal reasoning, technology, and spatial reasoning.

The subtest consisting of the math and verbal sections is called the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT). Your AFQT score determines which branches of the military you are eligible to join. If you want to join an elite branch of the military, such as the Coast Guard or Air Force, you must earn a high score on the AFQT. Below are some tips to help you get high AFQT score, and a higher ASVAB score overall.

The first step is to obtain full-length practice tests and a timer so that you can test yourself at home under test-like conditions. The ASVAB comes in three formats: the computer adaptive version, the paper-based version given at a mobile exam test site, and the paper-based student test given in high schools. Try each version to see which format you perform better on.

Review arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. In particular, you should practice doing mental math. Since calculators are not allowed on the arithmetic or mathematics knowledge sections, you must be comfortable doing calculations in your head or on paper.

Study vocab lists and make flash cards for the verbal sections. An SAT vocab study guide will be helpful for building your vocabulary since SAT vocabulary is harder than what you'll encounter on the ASVAB.

Once you build up your confidence with the math and verbal sections, take ASVAB practice exams under timed conditions. The paper-based ASVAB gives you less than a minute per question on average, and the computer adaptive version gives you only a bit more. The science, mechanical, and technology portions are nothing to stress about unless you are seeking a military job in these fields. There is no pressure to "ace" these sections if you are not mechanically or scientifically inclined. Just do your best and focus on the AFQT portion of the ASVAB.

If you do want to be considered for a mechanical or scientific military job, then you should review material from your high school science and shop classes. An ASVAB study guide will have the most commonly tested topics, and you can review your high school notes if you have them.

You can get a higher score on the ASVAB by answering every question, even if you have to guess. Never leave a question blank. With 4 choices, you have a 25% chance of getting it right if you guess; your chances are higher if you can eliminate one or two choices.

Since the test contains over a 100 questions, and takes a couple hours to complete (depending on the version), make sure you get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast before the exam. This will help you to focus and have more energy.

© Had2Know 2010