ASVAB Algebra

Why is it important to study algebra for ASVAB?

ASVAB or the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is a multi-aptitude test that is used for selecting candidates for the U.S. Armed Services. This test aims at evaluating the skills, aptitude and knowledge of the candidates in four different domains. Mathematics is one of the most important domains of the test. The four domains and the subtests under each of the four domains are listed below:

  • The Science and Technology Domain
    1. General Science (GS)
    2. Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
    3. Electronics Information (EI)
    4. Auto Information (AI)
    5. Shop Information (SI)
  • The Math Domain
    1. Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
    2. Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  • The Verbal Domain
    1. Word Knowledge (WK)
    2. Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  • The Spatial Domain
    1. Assembling Objects (AO)

The Math Domain

The math domain, as listed above, consists of two subtests; Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge. The ability to solve Arithmetic word problems is tested in the Arithmetic Reasoning subtest and the knowledge of high school math principles is tested in the Mathematics Knowledge subtest. There are two versions of the ASVAB: the computer adaptive CAT-ASVAB and the traditional paper P&P-ASVAB. Given below is the number of questions and time duration of the math domain subtests in the two versions of the test:

Subtest No. of Questions Time Duration (minutes)
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) 16 30 39 36
Math Knowledge (MK) 16 25 20 24

The Importance of the Math Domain

Math domain of the ASVAB consists primarily of ASVAB algebra. "Use of symbols and variables to solve problems" is the definition of algebra. The scores in the two subtests are used for the calculation of the AFQT score and the math domain scores comprise 50% of the AFQT scores. The AFQT or the Armed Forces Qualification Test score is the score that is used for the selection of the potential candidates for the U.S. Armed Forces. Further, these scores are utilized for the allotment of various military jobs..

How to study for ASVAB Algebra?

  • High School Math- ASVAB algebra includes questions on solving equations, positive and negative numbers and algebraic expressions. All the questions in the ASVAB algebra pertain to the high school level mathematics. Therefore, it is very important that high school math is refreshed thoroughly.
  • Math Formulae- All the math formulae have to be thoroughly studied. Furthermore, the candidates need to understand how to apply these formulae in solving the math problems asked in the test.
  • Practice- The ASVAB is a time bound test. Therefore, good practice is essential, which will help the candidates to solve the problems in a fast manner. Practice as many ASVAB algebra tests as possible. There are many such tests available online which the candidates can use for their test preparation.
  • Books- Using good books for the preparation is an important aspect of ASVAB study. There are some books which focus fully on the math domains.
  • Moreover, these books contain lists of formulae which the candidates need to know. Practice tests are also given at the end of these books which can be used for preparation.
  • Stress Free Mind- It is important that the mind is without any stress while solving math problems. When a candidate is stressed even a simple problem appears to be very difficult. Most of the candidates fear the math domain. First, the candidates must remove the fear from their minds and motivate themselves by repeatedly thinking that math is simple and they can ace it.


Math is a very important ASVAB domain. The candidates need to get a good score in the math subtests to get enlisted in the U.S. Military services and the only solution to getting a good score in the two math subtests is to work out as many ASVAB algebra problems as possible. At the same time, it is essential that the candidates do not fear mathematics and practice well to get enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces.

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