The ASVAB - A Brief Overview

The ASVAB is a multiple-choice test that is taken by those candidates who are keen to join the Armed Forces of the United States. By taking this test, the applicants are able to demonstrate their skills and abilities that are required for academic and professional success in the military forces. The ASVAB is conducted once in a year and offered to high school and post secondary students in two different modes:

  • Paper and Pencil: This is a conventional test in which every candidate has to take different sections of the test at the same pace. It takes about three hours for each candidate to complete this test.
  • Computer administered ASVAB: This test is based on the ability of the students for completing different sections of the test and is usually finished within one and half hours because each applicant is allowed to move on to the consecutive sections after the completion of the previous one.

The ASVAB: the purpose and basic features of this test

The ASVAB intends to assess whether an applicant is qualified enough for enlistment in the military forces or to get a suitable job in the Armed Forces. The test is administered at Military Entrance Processing Stations or MEPS and those candidates who are not living near these stations can take the test in another satellite location, which is also referred to as Military Entrance Test Site or MET. The paper and pencil test is conducted at a majority of MET sites and the computer administered tests are conducted in all the MEPS sites.

Before taking the ASVAB, the applicants have to undergo a screening process in which they are asked different questions about their status, health, education and criminal record. Thereafter, the applicants are allowed to take the ASVAB although a physical examination is also scheduled for the candidates during this time.

The sub-tests for ASVAB

The ASVAB intends to assess the skills of the students on the following topics and the following sections are included in the test:

  • General Science

  • Paragraph Comprehension

  • Word Knowledge

  • Mathematics Knowledge

  • Arithmetic Reasoning

  • Auto Information

  • Shop Information

  • Electronics Information

  • Assembling Objects

  • Mechanical Comprehension

The students are tested on the sections that are mentioned above. The scores from four of these sub tests are calculated as Armed Forces Qualifying Test and include:

  • Word Knowledge,

  • Paragraph Comprehension,

  • Arithmetic Reasoning

  • Mathematics Knowledge.

The AFQT scores intend to evaluate the skills of the students for enlistment in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. The ASVAB scores are also used to provide jobs to successful candidates in the military.

Taking ASVAB: What an applicant should know

As far as the ASVAB is concerned, there is no specific and structured pattern of preparation that is required for the test. Therefore, the students are required to strengthen their skills on all the subjects on which they are tested so that they are able to perform well in this examination and enhance their chances of success for enlistment or employment in the military by obtaining good scores. Taking pretests for ASVAB is one of the best ways for the applicants to prepare for the final examination. However, they may also choose to take preparatory courses in all the subjects followed by the practice tests that will allow them to focus on their strengths and weaknesses for taking ASVAB.

ASVAB offers multiple-choice questions to the applicants on all the sections of the test that should be completed from ten to thirty six minutes according to the instructions provided in the test. The major purpose of the test is not only to evaluate the skills of the applicants for enlistment in the military forces, but also to assist them with career opportunities that are available in the military or to discover their aptitude for choosing the most suitable career.

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