Details About the Question Types of ASVAB

What Question Types to Expect in Test ASVAB

The Purpose of the Test:

The ASVAB refers to Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. If you wish to enlist in the military services in USA, you should take this test. This examination serves multiple purposes. Your performance will indicate whether you qualify for a military job or not, and if you do, then which type of military job will suit you best.

The Sections of the ASVAB:

The ASVAB is conducted as a paper and pencil administration, as well as a computer version, which requires the use of a keyboard and mouse. The entire test is divided into a number of sections that are known as subtests.

In the paper and pencil version of the test, there are nine subtests. These are:

  • General Science (GS)

  • Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)

  • Word Knowledge (WK)

  • Paragraph Comprehension (PC)

  • Mathematics Knowledge (MK)

  • Electronics Information (EI)

  • Auto and Shop Information (AS)

  • Mechanical Comprehension (MC)

  • Assembling Objects (AO)

There are 225 questions in total and the time allotted to answer them is 149 minutes. For each section the duration varies from 9 minutes for Electronics Information (EI), to 36 minutes for Arithmetic Reasoning (AR). If a test-taker finishes the questions of a particular section ahead of the allotted time, he may use the remaining time to review the questions. However, you cannot return to a previous subtest once the allotted time is over.

In the computer version of the test, also known as the CAT-ASVAB, there are ten subtests. The Auto and Shop Information subtest of the paper and pencil version is split into two separate sections:

  • Auto Information (AI)

  • Shop Information (SI)

The other sections are similar in both the versions of this test. The total number of questions in  CAT-ASVAB is 145, which are to be completed in 154 minutes. An answer cannot be changed once it has been entered into the computer, unlike the other version of the test.
The CAT-ASVAB is of a shorter duration because it is an adaptive test. A candidate proceeds from one difficulty level to another, based on his performance on the previous question.

The Question Types:

The questions in ASVAB are of multiple choice types, that is, a question will be followed by a number of possible answers. The candidate has to select one answer from the given options. The questions test a candidate's level of ability in four domains:

  • Verbal

  • Math

  • Science

  • Technical

Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension subtests are the Verbal domains. In the Word Knowledge section, the usual question type is regarding synonyms, that is, words that have similar meaning. In the Paragraph Comprehension section, a small paragraph comprising a few sentences will be provided, and a question will be asked based on the given paragraph. The questions will test how well the candidate has understood the paragraph.

The Math domain consists of the Arithmetic Reasoning and Math Knowledge subtests. The Arithmetic Reasoning questions include math problems that involve the use of arithmetic operations such as multiplication, division, percentage calculation, etc. The Math Knowledge section will include questions on geometry and algebra as well.

The Science and Technical domains consist of the remaining subtests, except Assembling Objects, which tests spatial ability. The General Science questions are based on various branches of science such as physics and chemistry. Electronics Information, Auto Information and Shop Information questions are directed at testing the candidate's knowledge of electrical circuits, automobile parts and functions, and tools and their uses, respectively. The Mechanical Comprehension questions are based on mechanics such as weight, height, friction, etc.

The Assembling Objects questions consist of series of geometric shapes which are to be aligned or arranged as per specific instructions. A candidate is not required to assemble them in actual, but he has to select the correct answer from the choices of assembled objects that are given.

The following link will provide sample questions from the official website of the ASVAB test: