Help for the ASVAB Math Sections

5 Significant Facts about ASVAB Math

The Math section of the ASVAB is an important component of this test as its scores are used at various places and determine the future that one would build in any field of the US armed forces. It is thus crucial to prepare well for this section of the test. Let us look at the five crucial facts concerning this test that can help one prepare well for it:

1. The Test Sections:

The Math section of the ASVAB is segregated into the following sections:

  • Arithmetic Reasoning
  • Mathematical Knowledge




2. The Arithmetic Reasoning Section:

The questions in the Arithmetic Reasoning or AR section are of multiple-choice type. The questions in this section test your ability to solve problems that are in a descriptive format. The problem is described rather than provided in a straight-forward manner and is followed by the answer options.

The number of questions and the duration of the Arithmetic Reasoning section depend on the format of the test you opt for:

  • Paper and Pencil based test or P&P-ASVAB: In the P&P-ASVAB, the Arithmetic Reasoning section includes 30 questions that need to be answered within a time limit of 36 minutes.

  • Computerized test or CAT-ASVAB: In the CAT-ASVAB, the Arithmetic Reasoning section includes 16 questions that you need to answer in a time span of 39 minutes.

3. The Mathematical Knowledge Section:

The questions in the Mathematical Knowledge or MK section are also of multiple-choice type. The questions in this section test the concepts of Math you have learnt in high school. The questions in this section are more direct and use Mathematical notations.
The number of questions and the duration of the Mathematical Knowledge section depend on the format of the test you opt for:

  • Paper and Pencil based test or P&P-ASVAB: In the P&P-ASVAB, the Mathematical Knowledge section includes 25 questions that need to be answered within a time limit of 24 minutes.

  • Computerized test or CAT-ASVAB: In the CAT-ASVAB, the Mathematical Knowledge section includes 16 questions that you need to answer in a time span of 20 minutes.

4. The Difficulty Level:

Remember that both the sections in the CAT-ASVAB are adaptive; the level of difficulty of the questions changes with your response. You will encounter a variety of questions starting from the easy level to the difficult level. In order to acquaint yourself with this mode of testing, you need to practice as many Math problems as possible. The CAT-ASVAB is also flexible because you need not wait for everyone else to finish a section in order to move on to the next section.

5. The Prep Materials:

There are many guides available to help you prepare for the Math section. However, you need not buy every book that is available in order to secure high scores in the Math section. The following is an indicative list of the books that will prove to be useful:

  • Dummies: This is the most sought after guide to prepare for ASVAB in general. However, the Math section in it is comprehensive because it includes all the concepts covered in high school Math. There are three chapters devoted to the Math section. Part III of the book covers Mathematical Knowledge and Operations, Math Word Problems, and Practice Questions for the Arithmetic section. In addition, the book provides test-taking strategies to find out what the question is about, using the process of elimination, find out what you are solving, and so on. It also tells you how to use the answer choices when there's a dearth of time.

  • Kaplan: Kaplan has an innovative approach to solving problems in Math. It is called the '3-step method' wherein you need to understand the question, guess the answer, and eliminate the incorrect answer thereafter. It also tells you what to expect for the Math sections in ASVAB. Such tips and test-taking techniques are not only helpful for the Math section but also for the other sections in ASVAB.

Though there are few classroom options that provide help with the Math section, you can look up colleges near your area to find whether they offer any preparatory classes. You can even search for tutors in your area who provide tutorials. However, you do not require any complex training to achieve good scores in ASVAB Math. You only need to reinforce the concepts learned at high school in order to do well in the ASVAB Math section.