How do I Score Well on ASVAB Math?

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  • Written By: Marty Paule
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2019
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The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is given to enlistees to assess their mental capabilities and to determine what kind of military jobs and training they will receive by the U.S. Armed Services. There are two ASVAB math subtests: Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge. The Arithmetic Reasoning test presents real-life problems to solve and also tests reading comprehension. The Mathematics Knowledge test measures the ability to solve general math questions.

To score well on the ASVAB math test, it's important to find a quiet place to study and establish a regular study schedule that gives you sufficient time to prepare. Next, find the study guides and online practice tests that focus on the math portions of the ASVAB. Remember to reward yourself for completing study guide sections and meeting your study schedule. Be sure to let friends and family know when you'll be studying to minimize interruptions and distractions.

Rather than focusing on getting the right answer every time when taking practice tests, notice what types of questions come up most often, which skills are being tested, and how the questions are phrased. Allow plenty of time to focus on those areas where you are weak, which can be determined by taking the practice tests and assessing your scores. Games that require fast, logical thinking can also be a good technique. Learn to skip over the questions on which you are most puzzled, coming back to them as time permits.


When taking the ASVAB math test, read each question and possible answer carefully, eliminating the obviously wrong answers first. Keep in mind that your score is based on correct answers. Wrong answers do not lower your score, so try to answer as many questions as possible. On math word problems, learn how to disregard the irrelevant details and words, focusing on the essential information needed to solve the question. On challenging equations, try plugging the possible answers in to find the right one.

There are a number of specific math skills that will help you score well on the ASVAB math tests. Focus on memorizing the sequence of operations needed to solve specific problems. When solving multi-step problems, solve the expressions in parentheses first, then deal with the exponents. Steps that involve multiplication or division are done next, followed by addition and subtraction. An easy mnemonic device to remember this is, "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally," where the first letter of each word stands for the operations in order: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction.

There are several other hints that will help you to prepare for the ASVAB math test. Memorizing the most common math formulas is an essential tool. You should know how to calculate the area, perimeter, and diagonal of squares and rectangles. Other formulas to memorize include those that establish the diameter, circumference, area, and volume of various objects and geometric shapes.


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Post 1

I was in JROTC in high school and took the ASVAB, but for the life of me, I don't remember the math part that clearly. I remember one portion of the test was all addition and subtraction facts, but that, apparently, was to test one's filing skills.

Mostly, I recall the ASVAB was an interesting way to fill a day and to get out of class, but the results that said I would be excellent in filing and clerical work weren't sufficient to induce me to join the military.

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