What are the Subtests on the ASVAB? - dummies

What are the Subtests on the ASVAB?

By Rod Powers

The computerized format of the ASVAB contains ten separately timed subtests, with the Auto & Shop Information subtest split in two (also, one small subtest is geared to Coding Speed for a few Navy jobs; Very few people test for these jobs).

The paper format of the test has nine subtests. The two formats differ in the number of questions in each subtest and the amount of time you have for each one. This list outlines the ASVAB subtests in the order that you take them in the enlistment (computerized or paper) and student (paper only) versions of the test.

Subtest Questions/Time (CAT-ASVAB) Questions/Time (Paper Version) Content
General
Science (GS)
16 questions,
8 minutes
25 questions, 11 minutes General principles of biological and physical sciences
Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) 16 questions,
39 minutes
30 questions, 36 minutes Simple word problems that require simple calculations
Word
Knowledge (WK)
16 questions,
8 minutes
35 questions, 11 minutes Correct meaning of a word; occasionally antonyms (words with
opposite meanings)
Paragraph Comprehension (PC) 11 questions,
22 minutes
15 questions, 13 minutes Questions based on several paragraphs (usually a few hundred
words) that you read
Mathematics Knowledge (MK) 16 questions,
20 minutes
25 questions, 24 minutes High school math, including algebra and geometry
Electronics Information (EI) 16 questions,
8 minutes
20 questions, 9 minutes Electrical principles, basic electronic circuitry, and
electronic terminology
Auto & Shop Information (AS) 11 Auto Information questions, 7 minutes; 11 Shop Information
questions, 6 minutes
25 questions, 11 minutes Knowledge of automobiles, shop terminology, and tool use
Mechanical Comprehension (MC) 16 questions,
20 minutes
25 questions, 19 minutes Basic mechanical and physical principles
Assembling
Objects (AO)
16 questions,
15 minutes
25 questions, 15 minutes* Spatial orientation

The Assembling Objects subtest isn’t part of the student version of the test.