Last-Minute ASVAB Preparations: 24 Hours and Counting

By Rod Powers

You want some good advice for preparing for the ASVAB? On the night before the test, get some sleep — at least eight hours. Don’t drink alcohol the night before — headaches and the ASVAB don’t work well together. And don’t pull an all-night cram session. If you don’t know the material the night before the test, it’s too late. Staying up all night only guarantees that you’ll do poorly on the test, because you’ll be too tired in the morning. Here are some other suggestions:

  • On the morning of the test, eat a light meal. Anything too heavy will make you drowsy, but not eating enough will make it hard for you to concentrate.

Try to avoid a breakfast high in carbohydrates. Although the carbs will initially make you feel energetic, a couple of hours into the test, you may come crashing down. Select foods high in protein instead.

  • Get exercise the day before and even the morning of the test. Doing so gets your blood pumping and helps you remain mentally sharp.
  • If you’re sick, upset, or injured, consider rescheduling the test. Right before the test starts, the proctor will ask if there’s anything, such as sickness or injury, that may affect your test performance. After the test actually starts, it’s considered an “official test,” and you’ll have to wait a certain time period before any possibility of a retest.
  • Don’t bring personal supplies to the test. Your test administrator will provide you with pencils and scratch paper. Don’t bring calculators, personal electronic devices (smartphones, tablets), backpacks, or a cooler of munchies to the testing site. You won’t be allowed to have them with you. (But if you wear eyeglasses, bring them. If you wear contacts, bring your glasses as a backup.)
  • Bring a watch to help you keep track of time if you’re taking the paper version. The computerized version has a clock on the screen.
  • Don’t drink a lot of liquids just before the test. You don’t want to waste valuable test time in the bathroom!
  • Make sure you arrive at the test site with plenty of time to spare. In the military, arriving on time means you’re five minutes late. You should plan to be in your seat at least 15 minutes before the scheduled testing time. Unless your recruiter is driving you (which is often the case), you may want to do a test run a day or two before your testing date to make sure you know where the test is, the availability of parking, and how to find the testing room.