How to Answer Treasure Hunt Questions on the ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension Subtest - dummies

How to Answer Treasure Hunt Questions on the ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension Subtest

By Rod Powers

Treasure hunt questions on the ASVAB require you to find specific information within the paragraph. The good thing about this type of question is that by employing scanning techniques, you can often find the answer without having to read the entire paragraph. Try the following example:

A new study has found that 21 percent of people arrested in the United States for driving under the influence were arrested again for the same crime within five years. The study, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, analyzed recidivism rates for DUI between 2002 and 2007.

During this period, there were more than 930,000 arrests for DUI. Of these, 195,300 — or 21 percent — were arrested again for violating DUI laws a second time within the established time frame. The study found that 34 percent of the repeat offenses occurred within six months of the original arrest.

How many people were arrested for DUI more than once between 2002 and 2007?

  • (A)930,000

  • (B)195,300

  • (C)210,000

  • (D)None of the above

By using the scanning technique and letting your eyes quickly scan through the paragraph, you notice that all the large numbers are contained in the middle. If you stop and read the two sentences that include large numbers, you quickly find the answer to the question: Choice (B).

Sometimes the answer isn’t so obvious, and you have to dig a little deeper to find the treasure. Take the following question, for example:

George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839–June 25, 1876) was a U.S. Army officer and cavalry commander in the Civil War and the American Indian Wars. At the start of the Civil War, Custer was a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and his class’s graduation was accelerated so that they could enter the war.

Early in the Gettysburg Campaign, Custer’s association with cavalry commander Major General Alfred Pleasonton earned him a promotion at the age of 23 from first lieutenant to brigadier general of volunteers. By the end of the Civil War (April 9, 1865), Custer had achieved the rank of major general of volunteers but was reduced to his permanent grade of captain in the regular army when the troops were sent home.

How old was George Custer at the end of the Civil War?

  • (A)24

  • (B)25

  • (C)26

  • (D)34

The answer is still right there in the paragraph, but you have to use a little judgment (and math) to find it. General Custer was born on December 5, 1839 (which you can find in the first sentence) and the Civil War ended on April 9, 1865 (which the last sentence tells you). Therefore, Custer was 25 years old, Choice (B), at the end of the war.