ASVAB Arithmetic Reasoning Practice

By Rod Powers

You should practice all parts of the test if you plan on taking the ASVAB. Practice exams are a good place to start. The following questions give you a good idea of what to expect.

Sample questions

Arithmetic Reasoning

Time: 36 minutes for 30 questions

Directions: Arithmetic Reasoning is the second subtest of the ASVAB. These questions are designed to test your ability to use mathematics to solve various problems that may be found in real life — in other words, math word problems.

Each question is followed by four possible answers. Decide which answer is correct, and then mark the corresponding space on your answer sheet. Use your scratch paper for any figuring you want to do. You may not use a calculator.

  1. Mike has $5.25 in quarters and dimes. He has exactly 15 dimes. How many quarters does he have?

    • (A)6

    • (B)12

    • (C)15

    • (D)21

  2. Kelly used to pay $500 a month for rent. Now she pays $525 a month for rent. By what percent did her rent increase?

    • (A)0.5 percent

    • (B)5 percent

    • (C)10 percent

    • (D)12.5 percent

  3. A bag has 8 pennies, 5 dimes, and 7 nickels. A coin is randomly chosen from the bag. What is the probability that the coin chosen is a dime?

    • (A)1/20

    • (B)1/4

    • (C)1/3

    • (D)3/10

  4. There are 2 pints in 1 quart and 4 quarts in a gallon. How many pints are in 2 gallons?

    • (A)32 pints

    • (B)16 pints

    • (C)8 pints

    • (D)4 pints

  5. Paul invests $2,000 in an account that pays 4 percent annual interest. How much will he earn in interest in one year?

    • (A)$160

    • (B)$80

    • (C)$120

    • (D)$800

  6. One mile is equal to 5,280 feet. Sergeant Jeffries walked 1.2 miles. How many feet did he walk?

    • (A)7,392 ft

    • (B)1,056 ft

    • (C)5,780 ft

    • (D)6,336 ft

  7. A total of 200 people attended a conference. Use the chart to determine how many attendees were women.

    [Credit: Illustration by Thomson Digital]

    Credit: Illustration by Thomson Digital
    • (A)94

    • (B)212

    • (C)53

    • (D)106

  8. Suppose you have $88 in your checking account. You pay $22 for a sweater and $8 for lunch, and then you deposit a $38 check. What is the balance in your account?

    • (A)$58

    • (B)$96

    • (C)$20

    • (D)$156

  9. There are 24 right-handed students in a class of 30. A student is chosen from the class at random. What is the probability that the student is left-handed?

    • (A)1/2

    • (B)1/5

    • (C)4/5

    • (D)1/4

  10. At a laundromat, it costs $1.75 to wash each load of laundry and $1.50 to dry each load of laundry. How much will you pay to wash and dry four loads of laundry?

    • (A)$2.25

    • (B)$20.00

    • (C)$20.25

    • (D)$13.00

Answers and explanations

  1. C. 15

    If Mike has 15 dimes, he has (15)($0.10) = $1.50 in dimes. Subtract that from the total to find out how much he has in quarters: $5.25 – $1.50 = $3.75. Then, divide that result by $0.25 to determine how many quarters he has: $3.75/$0.25 = 15.

  2. B. 5 percent

    The percent increase is the amount of increase, $25, divided by the original amount, $500: 25/500 = 0.05. Convert 0.05 to a percent by multiplying 0.05 by 100 to get 5 percent.

  3. B. 1/4

    The probability of randomly selecting a dime is equal to the number of dimes in the bag, 5, divided by the total number of coins in the bag, 20: 5 ÷ 20 = 1/4.

  4. B. 16 pints

    If 1 gallon contains 4 quarts, 2 gallons contain 8 quarts. Multiply that number by the number of pints per quart, 2, to get 16 pints in 8 quarts.

  5. B. $80

    Use the interest formula I = Prt, where I is the interest, P is the principal, r is the interest rate (as a decimal), and t is the time in years.

    I = $2,000(0.04)(1) = $80.

  6. D. 6,336 ft

    Convert miles to feet by multiplying 1.2 miles by the conversion factor, 5,280 feet: 1.2(5,280) = 6,336 ft.

  7. D. 106

    According to the chart, 53 percent of the attendees were women. Multiply the percent of women (0.53) by the number of attendees (200): 0.53(200) = 106.

  8. B. $96

    Subtract the purchase amounts ($22 and $8) from the amount in your checking account: $88 – $22 – $8 = $58. Then add the amount of deposit: $58 + $38 = $96.

  9. B. 1/5

    The probability of choosing one of the six left-handed students in the class (remember, it’s a class of 30, and 24 students are right-handed) is easy to find. Because 6/30 students are left-handed, reduce the fraction to come up with the probability. 6/30=1/5. You have a one-in-five chance of randomly choosing a leftie.

  10. D. $13.00

    Each total load costs $3.25 ($1.75 + $1.50). Multiply that by 4 to get the total cost of all your laundry: 3.25 × 4 = $13. You might be better off taking it to your parents’ house, where it’s free (and your mom feeds you)!