How to Answer Number Problems on the ASVAB

By Rod Powers

Number problems that you will find on the ASVAB are pretty straightforward. The questions ask you to manipulate numbers with basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Most people find these types of word problems to be pretty easy.

Do you want to try a few, just to get your feet wet? Sure you do.

Jesse is a bartender at a local pub. On Friday, he made $27.40 in tips; on Saturday, he made $34.70 in tips; and on Sunday, he made $7 less than he made on Friday. How much did Jesse earn in tips during the three days?

Pretty straightforward. Jesse made $27.40 + $34.70 + ($27.40 – $7) = $82.50 in tips.

Rob “Speedy Gonzalez” Barton ran 1.5 miles in 9:57. The next day, he ran it in 10:02. On the third day, he ran it in 10:07. What is his average time for the 1.5-mile run?

First, convert all the times into seconds, just to make the math a little easier:

9:57 = (9 × 60) + 57 = 597 seconds

10:02 = (10 × 60) + 2 = 602 seconds

10:07 = (10 × 60) + 7 = 607 seconds

Add the seconds together: 597 + 602 + 607 = 1,806 seconds. Now, divide by the number of times Rob ran the 1.5-mile run (three times) to discover that his average speed is 1,806 ÷ 3 = 602 seconds. Finally, convert the seconds to minutes by dividing by 60: 602 ÷ 60 = 10 minutes, with 2 seconds left over. Rob’s average time for the 1.5-mile run is 10:02.

The sum of two consecutive odd positive numbers is 112. What are the numbers?

Sum means addition. Let n = the first number. That means that n + 2 = the second number (because they’re consecutive odd numbers). Here’s your equation:

n + (n + 2) = 112

Solve for n:

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The first number is 55. The second number is 55 + 2 = 57.