Details About the ASVAB Algebra Section

Why is it Important to Study Algebra for ASVAB?

ASVAB or the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is a multi-aptitude test that is used for selecting candidates for the U.S. Armed Services. This test aims at evaluating the skills, aptitude and knowledge of the candidates in four different domains. Mathematics is one of the most important domains of this test. The four domains and the subtests under each of the four domains are listed below:

  • The Science and Technology Domain
    1. General Science (GS)
    2. Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
    3. Electronics Information (EI)
    4. Auto Information (AI)
    5. Shop Information (SI)
  • The Math Domain
    1. Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
    2. Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
  • The Verbal Domain
    1. Word Knowledge (WK)
    2. Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
  • The Spatial Domain
    1. Assembling Objects (AO)

The Math Domain

The math domain, as listed above, consists of two subtests; Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge. The ability to solve Arithmetic word problems is tested in the Arithmetic Reasoning subtest and the knowledge of high school math principles is tested in the Mathematics Knowledge subtest. There are two versions of the ASVAB: the computer adaptive CAT-ASVAB and the traditional paper P&P-ASVAB. Given below is the number of questions and time duration of the math domain subtests in the two versions of the test:

Subtest No. of Questions Time Duration (minutes)

Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) 16 30 39 36
Math Knowledge (MK) 16 25 20 24

The Importance of the Math Domain

Math domain of the ASVAB consists primarily of algebra; which is defined as the "use of symbols and variables to solve problems." The scores in the two subtests are used for the calculation of the AFQT score and the math domain score comprises of 50% of the AFQT scores. The AFQT or the Armed Forces Qualification Test score is the score that is used for the selection of the potential candidates for the U.S. Armed Forces. Further, these scores are utilized for the allotment of various military jobs.

How to study for ASVAB Algebra Portion?

  • High School Math- The algebra portion of the ASVAB includes questions on solving equations, positive and negative numbers and algebraic expressions. All the questions that you will find here pertain to the high school level mathematics. Therefore, it is very important that high school math is revisited thoroughly.

  • Math Formulae- All the math formulae have to be thoroughly studied. Furthermore, the candidates need to understand how to apply these formulae in solving the math problems asked in the test.

  • Practice- The ASVAB is a time bound test. Therefore, good practice is essential, which will help the candidates to solve the problems in a fast manner. Practice as many algebra tests as possible. There are many such tests available online which the candidates can use for their test preparation.

  • Books- Using good books for the preparation is an important aspect of studying for the ASVAB. There are some books which focus fully on the math domain.

  • Moreover, these books contain lists of formulae that the candidates need to know. Practice tests are also provided at the end of these books, which can be used for preparation.


Math is a very important  part of the ASVAB. Candidates need to get a good score in it to get enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces and the only solution to getting a good score in the two math subtests is to work out as many algebra-based problems as possible. At the same time, it is essential that the candidates do not fear mathematics and practice well to get enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces.