ASVAB: 1001 Practice Questions For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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The key to success for any method of study is having one. So if you’re preparing to take the ASVAB, set up a structured study plan using the following guide, and stick to it. Before you put your study plan into action though, be sure to review the tips included here on how to fine-tune your studying experience for success and kick-start your memory retention powers.

Following an ASVAB study schedule

An ASVAB study schedule is imperative to your success. No matter how many days are left until test day, you can use this guide to help structure your plan. If you’re a few months out, use this study guide and take your time to really pinpoint the areas that need the most attention. If you don’t have much time to spare, jump to the end of this schedule, pump out that extra effort, and eat, sleep, and breathe ASVAB from now until test day!

One month before test day

You have 30 days until test day. Let the studying begin!

  • Take an ASVAB practice exam and score yourself on each subtest.

  • Rank each subtest: 1 through 4 for each AFQT subtest (Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics Knowledge, and Arithmetic Reasoning), and 1 through 5 for the specialty subtests, with 1 being the lowest rank.

  • Spend the most time studying for the areas you ranked the lowest, giving special attention to the AFQT subjects, such as Mathematics Knowledge and Arithmetic Reasoning. For the remainder of your time, concentrate on the specialty subjects, such as Electronics Information, especially if you know your desired military jobs require a specific score, or if you want to ace the ASVAB.

Two weeks before test day

You’re in the home stretch. Try not to get nervous if you don’t know some of the material as well as you’d like. Use these strategies to boost your confidence:

  • Take the same ASVAB practice exam you took at the beginning of your study plan, scoring each subtest the same way as before.

  • Compare your new (and hopefully improved) practice test scores to the original scores.

  • Note any improvements you’ve made within each subtest.

  • Note the struggles you’re having in specific areas and write them down. For example, you may still have a hard time dividing fractions, memorizing planets, identifying vehicle parts, or learning suffixes.

  • Spend the next two weeks fine-tuning the areas that need improvement.

  • If you scored very high on any specific subtest (as in, you missed only one or two questions), set aside your review of that material in favor of spending time on topics that you still feel shaky about.

  • Periodically check your ASVAB growth by trying out another practice test so you can see your progress.

  • Feel confident that your hard work will pay off and don’t give up.

Note: If you’re just now starting to study for the ASVAB, don’t panic. Take a practice exam and score each subtest to see where you need to focus your time in the next two weeks. Then get studying!

One day before test day

If there were ever a time not to stress, this is it. Follow these suggestions to prepare for the big day:

  • Relax and enjoy your day because the last thing you need is built-up anxiety.

  • Pack up everything you need to take the test, such as your ID card, any necessary paperwork, directions to the test site, lip balm, reading glasses, car keys, and so on, and be sure to set your alarm.

  • Break down your final study review into two one-hour sessions:

    • During the first hour, concentrate on your weak subjects. Read over the types of questions and the work you’ve done to prepare for them. Then take a break.

    • During the second hour, look over the highlights and any notes you have for each subtest.

  • Stay hydrated with plenty of water.

  • Get at least eight hours of rest.

4 ways to fine-tune specific ASVAB study areas

After you’ve identified which ASVAB subjects you’re the weakest in, concentrate on boosting your abilities in those areas to improve your overall success on the exam. These tips can point you in the right direction as you study:

  • Check out library books about the specific subject you’re struggling with, such as human anatomy or beginner’s electronics.

  • Review reliable online sources related to ASVAB subjects.

  • Ask someone in your community to tutor you. For example, get your Uncle Joe to show you the parts under the hood of his prized Camaro.

  • Study with a buddy. Saying things out loud can help with memorization. Not to mention, studying with someone else makes you more accountable and can even make learning fun.

10 ways to memorize information for the ASVAB

Many subtests in the ASVAB, such as General Science, Mechanical Comprehension, Electronics Information, and Auto and Shop Information are hard to ace because you probably didn’t learn much about them in high school. So you may need to memorize facts and illustrations to do well in the areas of the ASVAB that you aren’t familiar with. Use these ten study methods to trick your brain into remembering all the things you need to know to get an excellent score on the ASVAB:

  • Acronyms: An acronym uses the initial or important letters of a phrase to create an easily memorable abbreviation, such as PEMDAS to help remember the order of operations in mathematics (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction).

  • Acrostics: This mnemonic device uses a group of words that start with particular letters to convey a meaning, such as the newly revised acrostic “My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nothing,” to help you remember the eight planets (sans Pluto): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

  • Categorizing: Mentally dividing information into categories can help you remember similarities and differences. For example, studying plants and animals separately may help you remember photosynthesis, which occurs in plants, not animals.

  • Chunking: Especially helpful with numbers, chunking is the process of breaking big chunks of information into smaller segments. For example, you can break larger numbers into shorter segments to help you remember them. That’s why you memorize phone numbers by saying “five, five, five, (pause) one, two, three, four.”

  • Loci method: This mnemonic device helps you remember something if you can associate that thing with a familiar place (loci means “location”). For example, if you visualize E = MC2 spray-painted on your bedroom wall, you’re sure to see that picture when you close your eyes, which helps you memorize that formula.

  • Q and A: Question-and-answer practice is a good study tool for memory if you have more than one person available to quiz you. Get the most out of this study technique by using it together with the re-review method later in this list.

  • Recording: Recording yourself reviewing information (such as vocabulary definitions) and then playing it back aids in memory retention.

  • Re-review: Reviewing new information more than once in the same day helps set that information in your brain more effectively than waiting a few days to look over it.

  • Rhymes: Rhyming with catchy phrases and sentences is an easy way to retain information. For example, “i before e except after c” is a popular rhyme used to help spell some words in the English language.

  • Visualizing: Creating mental pictures of different concepts you want to memorize makes remembering them easier. For instance, picturing yourself running a marathon, exhausted and out of breath, may help you remember that the exhaust of a car is the tailpipe that blows out the smoke.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Angie Papple Johnston joined the U.S. Army in 2006 as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Specialist. During her second deployment as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Angie became her battalion’s public affairs representative. She also served as the Lead Cadre for the Texas Army National Guard’s Recruit Sustainment program.

Rod Powers, a recognized expert in all U.S. military matters, is the author of ASVAB For Dummies and serves as a military guide for

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