Cheat Sheet

1,001 ASVAB AFQT Practice Questions For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From 1,001 ASVAB AFQT Practice Questions For Dummies

If you’re planning to join the military, you’ll have to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB. Your score on four of the ASVAB’s subtests — Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics Knowledge, and Arithmetic Reasoning — determine whether you qualify for enlistment. Together, they’re called the Armed Forces Qualification Test, or AFQT. Those four subtests, along with the other five subtests, will also determine which jobs will suit you best once you’re in.

ASVAB Test-Taking Tips

Just like in the military, preparation is half the battle on the ASVAB. Knowing what to expect, whether you’re taking the computer-based CAT-ASVAB or the paper version, goes a long way (and it will help you shed a little stress about taking the test).

Use these tips to improve your ASVAB AFQT score:

  • Read the directions on each subtest carefully. If you don’t understand the instructions, ask. There are test proctors in every MEPS and MET site to explain.
  • Read every question thoroughly before you answer.
  • Even if you’re sure you’re right, read all the answer choices before selecting one.
  • Know that you can’t change your answer after you’ve submitted it on the CAT-ASVAB. You can change answers if you’re taking the paper version.
  • If you’re taking the paper version of the ASVAB, you can skip difficult questions and come back to them when you have time. (That is not an option on the CAT-ASVAB, which requires you to answer one question before you move on to the next.)
  • If you’re taking the paper version of the ASVAB, don’t leave any questions blank. (Skipping questions is not an option on the CAT-ASVAB.)
  • Guessing is better than leaving an answer blank. However, don’t make random choices when you’re running out of time on the CAT-ASVAB. The scoring algorithm will penalize you for not budgeting your time and for guessing on a series of questions toward the end of the test.

ASVAB Word Knowledge Tips

The Word Knowledge subtest, combined with the Paragraph Comprehension subtest, lets the military gauge how well you can communicate and understand directions. When you’re taking the Word Knowledge subtest, remember these tips:

  • Look at the sentence context for clues to a word’s meaning.
  • Narrow down your choices:
    • If two answer choices are very close in meaning, neither one is probably correct.
    • If two answer choices are opposite in meaning, one of them is probably correct.

ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension Tips

Pulling key information from reading passages and excerpts is essential to a successful career in the military, so the Paragraph Comprehension subtest of the ASVAB gauges how well you can do that. When you’re taking this subtest, remember the following:

  • Skim the paragraph and read the question. Then go back to the paragraph to find the answer.
  • When a question asks you for a main idea (or says, “A good title for this passage might be . . .”), focus on the whole passage, not just one or two points.
  • Don’t let your personal knowledge or opinion affect your answer. Choose answers based only on what you’ve read in the passage.

ASVAB Mathematics Knowledge Tips

The Mathematics Knowledge subtest is designed to determine your abilities in high school-level math, and it makes up a large part of your AFQT score. Remember:

  • Use the acronym PEMDAS to remember the order of operations (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, and Addition and Subtraction).
  • Double-check each step of your work to make sure a small error isn’t costing you the correct answer.
  • Don’t be afraid to scribble out your work and start over if you become confused. You have access to unlimited scratch paper and pencils, whether you’re at a MEPS or a MET site.

ASVAB Arithmetic Reasoning Tips

The Arithmetic Reasoning subtest of the ASVAB makes up a significant part of your score, so don’t let these word problems trip you up. Remember:

  • Read the problem thoroughly so you understand what it’s asking you.
  • Make sure you’re using the correct units of measurement for the problem (and if you have to, convert them).
  • Don’t let simple math errors lead you to the wrong answer. Double-check your work if you have time.
  • Draw diagrams to help you visualize the problems.

Tips for Guessing on the ASVAB

Even if you’re exceptionally well prepared for the ASVAB, you’re bound to come across questions that stump you. If you guess carefully, you can improve your score. (If you leave a question blank, it’s automatically scored as a zero — but if you guess one of the four possible answers, you have at least a 25 percent chance of getting it right.)

If you have to guess, remember these tips:

  • Eliminate obviously incorrect answers to improve your chances of getting the question right.
  • Remember that answers that include always, never, and other “absolutes” are usually (but not always) wrong.
  • Note that if two answer choices have opposite meanings, one of them is most likely correct.
  • Don’t make your choices based on answers to the surrounding questions. The order of the questions on the CAT-ASVAB (and on a number of paper versions) varies, so even if the last three answers have been Choice (C), that doesn’t mean the next won’t be, too.