Paragraph Comprehension ASVAB

Importance of Paragraph Comprehension ASVAB

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test measures your aptitude to join the Armed Forces. It is one of the primary requirements for enlisting in military services. Though there are other basic measures, the ASVAB test is an important aspect in selecting candidates suitable for the jobs available. It is in this sense that you must prepare thoroughly for the ASVAB test.

The ASVAB test measures your ability in the following fields:

  • Communication
  • General Science
  • Math
  • Technical

Paragraph Comprehension: What it Tests

The ASVAB test assesses your Communication skills in the following two sections:

  • Paragraph Comprehension
  • Word Knowledge

All the questions in the Paragraph Comprehension in ASVAB are of multiple-choice type. A paragraph or a sentence is followed by four or five answers, of which you need to select one.

The Paragraph Comprehension in ASVAB tests whether you can extract information from the given passage or sentence and select the correct answer thereafter. It tests your analytical skills as well as your speed; that is, whether you can arrive at the answer in the given span of time. It also measures your ability for jobs that require more than average communication skills. For example, jobs in the Navy that require good communication skills range from an Aviation Boatswain's Mate to the Yeoman in a submarine.

Paragraph Comprehension: Duration and Number of Questions

The Paragraph Comprehension in ASVAB differs in both test formats: the Paper and Pencil based test (otherwise known as P&P-ASVAB) and the Computerized test (known as CAT-ASVAB):

  • P&P-ASVAB: In the P&P-ASVAB, the Paragraph Comprehension section includes 15 questions that need to be completed in 13 minutes.
  • CAT-ASVAB: In the CAT-ASVAB, the Paragraph Comprehension section includes 11 questions that need to be completed in 22 minutes.

Importance of Paragraph Comprehension Section

Your score from the Paragraph Comprehension section is important because it is used to compute a variety of composite scores. These scores determine your eligibility to enlist in the Armed Forces as well as determine whether you are suitable for the job you are interested in. Your score from the Paragraph Comprehension section is used to calculate the following scores:

  • General Technical or GT score: The GT score comprises scores from the:
    • Arithmetic Reasoning section
    • Paragraph Comprehension
    • Word Knowledge section (combined known as the Verbal Expression or VE section)
    The GT score is used in a combination of scores required for measuring the technical aptitude for jobs; for example, Administration jobs in military services.
  • Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT): The AFQT is the most important of all scores because it decides whether you can enlist or not. The AFQT score includes scores from:
    • Arithmetic Reasoning section
    • Mathematical Knowledge
    • Paragraph Comprehension
    • Word Knowledge section
  • Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) score or line score: These scores are also computed by adding scores from technical subjects as well as the VE section, especially for jobs requiring good communication skills.

Studying for the Paragraph Comprehension Section

The Paragraph Comprehension in ASVAB requires a gradual build-up over time. Hence, it is advisable that you begin early. When you prepare for the Paragraph Comprehension section, you simultaneously prepare for the Word Knowledge section as well. Vocabulary is an important aspect of both sections.

Begin by testing yourself. Take a timed practice test to check how well you can solve the questions. Analyze or get help from a tutor to analyze your score. If you have not scored well, it could be because you fell short of time. Another reason could be that you did not understand the meaning of words, which means that you need to prep your vocabulary. Likewise, you need to understand how to derive information from the given passage. Use the strike-out method to strike out the possible incorrect answers to arrive at the correct answer. Alternatively, you can find answers that are true in the given context/passage.

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