ASVAB Math Test

ASVAB Math Test - A Brief Overview

The ASVAB Math Section

The ASVAB Math section is segregated into the following sections:

  • Arithmetic Reasoning
  • Mathematical Knowledge

Both the ASVAB Math test sections are closely interspersed. This means that you will need to prepare holistically for the Math section based on the two sections. The common concepts of high-school Math are tested, such as:

  • Geometry
  • Algebra
  • Operations
  • Fractions

The Arithmetic Reasoning section tests your ability to solve problems that are provided in a description format. Because the problem is descriptive, it is essential that you read the question carefully and understand what is being asked. The description might appear simple while it could require some complex solving. On the other hand, it may actually be that simple.

The Mathematical Knowledge section tests your knowledge on the concepts taught in high-school Math. Thus, you will need to familiarize yourself with aspects such as Math vocabulary/terminology and concepts.

Question Types

All the questions in the ASVAB Math test are of multiple-choice type. This means that the problem is given at the beginning along with about four answer choices to choose from. The answer choices are, usually, quite close to each other and you need to be careful in selecting your answer. Therefore, it is important that you have understood the question well, your concepts are clear, and your calculations are up to the mark so that you are not misled by the other answer choices.

The question types range from easy or low difficulty to tough or high difficulty level. The type of question depends on the test you are taking: Paper and Pencil based test (P&P-ASVAB) or computerized test (CAT-ASVAB). This is because if you are appearing for the P&P-ASVAB, your ASVAB Math test will be the same as that of the other students appearing for the test. This is not the case in CAT-ASVAB. The CAT-ASVAB is an adaptive test; it is tailored according to your response in the exam. For example, if you provide an incorrect response to a question, the next question given to you will be easier rather than of the same or difficult level. Likewise, if you respond correctly to a question, the next question given to you is likely to be slightly tougher. Therefore, the question types in the CAT-ASVAB can range from:

  • Easy to Medium difficulty
  • Medium to Hard difficulty
  • Harder level


Type of Test Sub-Test No. of Questions Time (in minutes)
CAT-ASVAB Arithmetic Reasoning 16 39
Mathematical Knowledge 16 20
P&P-ASVAB Arithmetic Reasoning 30 36
Mathematical Knowledge 25 24

Prep Guides

Although the best way to prepare for the ASVAB Math test section is to work at your high-school Math, you might need extra help to revive the principles and concepts you might have forgotten. In such a case, prep guides are saviors that help you brush up on the fundamentals and at the same time provide practice tests to help you assess your progress. A few of the popular prep guides are listed below. Make sure that when you choose a study guide, you spend time to check whether the guide has all that you require and at the same time is easy to understand.

  • ASVAB by Kaplan: This is a popular study guide in terms of the quality of study material. The prep guide is also popular because it provides strategies to solving questions and problems. The book is divided into chapters explaining the basics of Math. It has a unique '3-step methodology' that you might find useful in solving problems.
  • ASVAB for Dummies: This is another well-known prep guide that includes an effective Math section. The other section provides strategies to solve word problems in the Arithmetic Reasoning section. The five-prong strategy will surely help you to solve word problems easily and quickly. The book also has a section on how to make intelligent guesses, especially when you are running short on time. Strategies, such as using the elimination process, solve what you can and move to the next question, can help you to speed up during the test.

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