10 Topics to Explore for a Better ASVAB Score - dummies

10 Topics to Explore for a Better ASVAB Score

By Rod Powers

If you need to brush up on some of your skills before taking the ASVAB and maxing out your AFQT score, you may need or want more work in a particular subject area, or you may want to know more about the military or even the entire ASVAB. Here are some places to get additional information.

For more about the ASVAB

You want to boost your Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score, but this score comprises only four of the nine ASVAB subtests. The AFQT score is important because it determines whether you’re qualified to join the military, but the other ASVAB subtests determine which military jobs you qualify for.

For more about the Military

If you’re thinking about joining the military, presumably you want to learn more about how the military operates. The following websites are great resources:

  • About.com: Here you can find a huge vault of invaluable information about military careers, including basic training insight, military job descriptions, promotion tips, assignments, and military pay and benefits. The site even has a discussion board where you can get your questions answered and talk with current military members and veterans from all the service branches.

  • Department of Defense: To figure out what the military is up to, you can stop by the official website of the Department of Defense. The site is a treasure trove of articles and photos about the military.

  • Army recruiting: Here you can read about Army enlistment qualifications and Army careers, and even chat online with an Army recruiter.

  • Air Force recruiting: If you want to soar with the eagles (F-15 Eagles, of course), you should check out the Air Force recruiting website.

  • Navy recruiting: Check out this site if you aren’t the claustrophobic type and you’re thinking of a career aboard a submarine (or maybe an aircraft carrier).

  • Marine Corps recruiting: The Marines have a few good men (and women) standing by at the Marine Corps recruiting website to help you become one of the proud few.

  • Coast Guard recruiting: The Coast Guard is a military service, but it doesn’t belong to the Department of Defense. Instead, it’s under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security.

For more about math

The Mathematics Knowledge and Arithmetic Reasoning subtests on the ASVAB make up half of your AFQT score. If you want to do well on these tests but haven’t used your math skills since you got that nifty calculator, check out AAA Math. AAA Math can help you review math problems from kindergarten through eighth grade. The website features a comprehensive set of interactive arithmetic lessons, with unlimited free online practice.

For more about math word problems

Solving math word problems requires a special set of skills. You have to know basic math, analyze the problem, determine how to set up an equation, and then solve it. Check out Purplemath.

For more about vocabulary

You can’t get a good score on the AFQT without doing well on the Word Knowledge subtest. These resources can help you boost your vocabulary knowledge:

  • FreeVocabulary.com: This site has more than 5,000 vocabulary words and their definitions — a great resource if you’re looking to improve your vocabulary.

  • ImprovingVocabulary.org: This site offers free tips for improving your vocabulary. If you want, you can purchase its software program, which is designed to make you a word wizard in no time.

For more about reading comprehension

If you need to brush up on your reading skills for the Paragraph Comprehension subtest or you just want to speed-read your way through War and Peace, try these sites:

  • MrNussbaum.com: This site has dozens of reading comprehension exercises at your fingertips.

  • Resource Room: This site offers tips, techniques, and exercises to help improve your reading comprehension skills.

For more about test taking

The best way to prepare for the AFQT is to develop a sound study plan. However, even with the best preparation, a question or two may trip you up. Here are some resources:

Play at public libraries

Remember when you learned math and English in high school? You were taught from standard textbooks. Those same textbooks are a great resource to help you review, but have you ever priced a standard textbook in a bookstore? Holy cow!

If only you knew a place where you could borrow math and English high-school and college textbooks for free. Wait a minute — you do! It’s the public library. Not only can you borrow standard textbooks, but libraries also offer you a calm and quiet place to study, away from the hustle and bustle and demands of daily life.

Consort with colleges

Some people just aren’t good at studying on their own. They prefer organized classrooms, specific assignments, and teachers to explain things. If you’re one of these people, you may want to consider enrolling in a math, vocabulary, or reading course at your local community college.

Supplementing your AFQT knowledge through college courses offers a couple of big advantages:

  • If you have a GED and get at least 15 college credits, you boost your chances of being accepted for enlistment by a factor of at least 10.

  • If you get more than 30 college credits, you may qualify for advanced enlistment rank.

Try out a tutor

Colleges and universities usually have a group of highly intelligent students who are eager to supplement their incomes by tutoring other students in a variety of subjects. Even if you decide not to enroll in college courses, having the extra company may be helpful. Studying in groups has been proven to help with memory retention.

To find a tutor in your area, visit the administration office of your local college or university.