How to Study for the ASVAB
The United States Military requires any individual who wants to join a branch of the military to take the ASVAB test and to have a qualifying score. This makes the test very significant, particularly for people who plan to join the military. Preparing well for the ASVAB is important and by preparing individuals can greatly improve their chances on the test and reduce nervousness on test day. There are many ways to prepare for the ASVAB.
One of the best things a student can do in order to prepare for the ASVAB is to talk with a high school guidance counselor or principal to get more information about the test. Becoming familiar with the format of the test may help a student feel better prepared and more be confident when taking the test. The test is comprised of eight sections: General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, World Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronics Information, Auto and Shop Information, and Mechanical Comprehension. All of the test questions are in the format of multiple choice, and all answers are recorded on a separate answer sheet. If students have never taken a standardized multiple choice test, it is important that they understand the process of bubbling in answers and using a separate answer sheet and test booklet.
Sample ASVAB Tests
Sample ASVAB test booklets are available in most schools and online. Students can practice by answering sample multiple choice questions in each area that the ASVAB covers in order to get a feel for the test and practice with real test questions. Practicing online sample tests can be very useful. It is helpful to review general science, mathematics, and English knowledge. Simply reviewing the basics in each subject area can help to refresh a student’s memory about what they have learned in the past. If a full ASVAB sample test is not available, it may be beneficial to use a sample ACT or PSAT test. The ACT and PSAT are standardized timed tests like the ASVAB, so by using them students will be able to practice answering multiple choice questions and working under a deadline. The ACT and PSAT will also likely have some similar questions to the ASVAB. The English, Reading and Mathematics sections of the ACT will be somewhat comparable to the respective sections of Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics on the ASVAB test. When taking practice tests it is a good idea to simulate actual testing conditions. For example, instead of lounging on a couch while practicing, sit at a table or desk in a chair. Complete practice tests in silence since on test day the room will be silent. Simulating actual test conditions during practice tests will help students feel more comfortable and more confident on test day.
Compare your ASVAB scores
Students are not expected to know everything on the test and it is likely that students will score more strongly in some areas than in other areas. There are no passing or failing grades for the overall test and all students receive their ASVAB results as standard scores as well as percentile scores. The ASVAB scores allow students to see how their personal scores compare with a nationally representative sample of other students in their grade level. ASVAB test scores are usually returned in about two weeks and students are able to see their results. Typically students take the ASVAB test at the high school they attend but individuals are allowed to take the test at any high school that gives the test as long as they receive permission from the school. People may also take the ASVAB at any Military Entrance Processing Station, and these stations administer the test for free as well. There is no limit to the number of times students are allowed to take the ASVAB, so a student hoping for a higher score in any section can easily retake the test. Retakes must be taken one calendar month after a student’s most recent attempt. Students should keep in mind the option of retaking the test so they do not let the pressure of getting a good score make them overly nervous.
Test Taking 101
Students hoping to score well on the ASVAB should remember good multiple choice test taking practices, such as using the process of elimination to determine an answer choice, and double checking answer sheets and test booklets carefully before handing them in. Marking an answer on every question, whether the test taker knows the answer or not, is a good strategy since on the ASVAB students are not penalized for wrong answers. Students should also make sure to get a good night of sleep before the test, eat a balanced breakfast the morning of the test, and stay well hydrated during the test. The test usually takes about three to four hours to complete so it is important that students have enough energy to stay focused and alert during the duration of the test.
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