Test Tips for ASVAB

Tips for excelling in ASVAB

The ASVAB is offered in two modes the Paper and Pencil and the CAT-ASVAB. While the official site does not specify any particular advantage of one test over the other, it is to your advantage to choose the one that is most suitable to your personality. Following are some test tips to score well in the exam.

1) Choose your test mode: One of the most important and overlooked test tips is regarding the choice of the mode of the test. If you are never sure of the choice you make and like to revisit questions in each section, prefer the P&P-ASVAB. In case you need your results right after the exam to help you decide, choose the CAT-ASVAB. If you are uncomfortable with negative markings, or suffering a penalty on every wrongly answered question, decide against the CAT-ASVAB.

2) Decide on the course: For instance, if you are planning to join the Army, Navy, Air force or the Marine corps lay specific emphasis on Word Knowledge (WK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) and Mathematics Knowledge (MK). Likewise, decide based on the stream you intend to take, and then lay specific focus on the individual courses that are considered for scoring in that stream.

3) Focus on your pain points: It is important that you identify the areas that you are weak in and then devise strategies to overcome them. Try to heed the area that causes you most discomfort. If you can get it to turn to your advantage, you will be better composed in the time bound test. If you keep faltering on one section and panic, the subsequent sections will suffer even when they were not meant to. For example, if you encounter tough and unfamiliar questions, it is important to keep your cool so that you don't make mistakes on the easier questions.

4) Practice, practice, practice: Among other important tips is the need for practice. Disciplined and time bound practice can increase your percentile substantially. While there is no lack of materials available for the AFQT sections, practicing for other similar exams also helps. The CAT-ASVAB adapts according to every answer you give just like the GMAT.

5) Making an educated guess: Another important tip is to make intelligent guesses. This can be done by eliminating answer choices that you think are wrong. Look for keywords like 'always' and 'never'. On the CAT-ASVAB there is no way to skip a question, so this, like other tips, is useful. There are no negative marks for wrong answers on the P&P ASVAB, so it is again an advantage to make intelligent guesses. A good strategy for guessing is to choose a letter of the day, say answer choice B, and answer that letter for every question you cannot answer even by making an educated guess.

6) Handling Reading Comprehension: Reading comprehension is one of the most time consuming of all questions. The best way to handle such questions is to first read the questions, and then make a cursory glance at the passage given to find the answers. Increase your reading speed, so that you are able to identify essential details, given in the passages easily. In other words, you should have a 'quick eye' for important information.

7) Use online forums: Use your internet browsing time to understand and learn from experience of others. There are many helpful forums that are frequented by individuals taking the retest. Use the information to your advantage.

8) Work smart: More important than working hard is working smart and squeezing out maximum value for time spent. If you cannot answer a question make an educated guess. If you can figure out an easier way to get to the answer, try that first. The answer is as important as the time taken to arrive at the answer. If you know how to find the answer but think it will take too long, make a guess and shift to the next question. If it is a P&P test, make a note of the question and revisit it later.

The points listed above are a run through of the most relevant test tips, and will help in raising your percentile substantially. Read through these as often as possible. More importantly, try to relax and calm down before the test day to achieve excellence in the test.