ASVAB Word Knowledge Question Format - dummies

ASVAB Word Knowledge Question Format

By Rod Powers

The Word Knowledge portion of the ASVAB measures your vocabulary. You don’t need to be a professor to do well on this section. The questions usually come in one of two flavors:

  • The first type asks for a straight definition.

  • The second type gives you an underlined word used in the context of a sentence.

When you’re asked for a straight definition, your task is quite simple: Choose the answer closest in meaning to the underlined word. Look at the following example:

Abate most nearly means

  • (A) encourage.

  • (B) relax.

  • (C) obstruct.

  • (D) terminate.

Abate means to suppress or terminate. In this case, the correct answer is Choice (D).

When you see an underlined word in a sentence, your goal is to choose the answer closest in meaning to the underlined word. Remember: Closest in meaning doesn’t mean the exact same thing. You’re looking for similar or related words. For example:

His house was derelict.

  • (A) solid.

  • (B) run-down.

  • (C) clean.

  • (D) inexpensive.

Here, the answer is Choice (B).

When you take the Word Knowledge subtest on the paper version of the ASVAB, you have 11 minutes to answer the 35 questions, which means you have slightly less than 20 seconds to answer each question. On the computerized version, you luck out. You have 8 minutes to answer only 16 questions (or 30 seconds for each question).

These days most candidates take the computerized version of the ASVAB. Either way, it’s plenty of time, as long as you stay focused and don’t waste time thinking about last night’s date.

Keep in mind that although you may know the word in the question, you may not know one or more of the words in the multiple-choice answers. If this is the case, use the process of elimination to help you narrow down your choices. Eliminate the words that you know aren’t correct and guess which of the remaining words is most likely correct.