What are the Different Types of ASVAB Prep?

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  • Written By: Ray Hawk
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2019
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The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a general knowledge aptitude test designed to specifically target various “rates,” or military occupations, open to enlisted personnel in the US military. Since the ASVAB involves a range of knowledge acquired by students in the US public school system by the tenth to 12th grade, there are a variety of ways to prepare for it. Useful ways for ASVAB prep would include reviewing relevant subjects already studied in school, taking an ASVAB practice test, and studying in specific areas outlined in the test itself. The test is designed to rank recruits based on the normal level of education in the US civilian population, and it is not meant to be unduly difficult.

Military enlistment in the US Armed Forces involves a process of increasing specialization, with military entrance exams designed to target those areas in recruits where they have the most aptitude and are therefore best suited to serve. When engaging in ASVAB prep it is important to consider what type of occupation one wants gain in the military. The ASVAB has nine sections for determining aptitude: Word Knowledge; Arithmetic Reasoning; Mechanical Comprehension; Automotive and Shop Information; Electronics Information; Mathematics Knowledge; General Science; Paragraph Comprehension; and Assembling Objects.


Generally, a high score on the ASVAB opens up a recruit to more complex military occupations, such as working in advanced electronics, intelligence, and so on. Study for the ASVAB, therefore, should target a high score overall, and ASVAB prep should focus on the areas a recruit has the most trouble understanding. Low scores, if above the 50th percentile of those who take the test, will still garner admission into the armed forces, but may restrict the choice of available occupations.

ASVAB prep for military entrance is just the first stage the military uses to distinguish recruits from one another. Following the ASVAB, four areas from it are used for a subtest score to further separate recruits. These areas are: Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, and Word Knowledge. Together these categories make up the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), from which a recruit’s ASVAB scores are taken. It is therefore important to focus on these four areas in ASVAB prep to ensure once again that a recruit gets optimal choice in terms of his or her future occupation in the military.

Aptitude tests for the military are a key entrance process for determining where someone can best serve his or her country. Both the ASVAB and AFQT results are only entrance qualifications, however, and many classes and tests will later be administered to determine where a recruit best fits into the current military structure. Practice exams and reviewing what one already knows are probably the best form of ASVAB prep available.


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