ASVAB Study Guide

asvab-study-guideThere are several ways to study for the ASVAB test you will be testing to help you earn the ASVAB scores required for you to serve in your chosen branch. The best way to make sure your ASVAB scores are the highest possible is to get a downloadable ASVAB study guide package that allows you to download your study material in PDF format for printing or use on your computer or table. The study guide package should include preparatory materials to study as well as multiple sample exams and many questions and answers. While the ASVAB study guide should be affordable, it is also critical that the material be as up to date as possible. This is the reason that it is best not to rely on one of the many free packages because those may not be updated with the very latest questions and answers that you will face when you sit for this important test.

Using the right ASVAB study guide is an important factor in determining how well you will do on the exam. Each branch of the U.S. Military requires you take an ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) exam.  Your scores on the ASVAB determine not only your entrance into the military, but also your job, advancement opportunities, and potential salary.  The ASVAB exam consists of questions in ten different areas, but in general, the exam is measuring your aptitude in four key areas: Math, Verbal, Science and Technical, and Spatial.  To efficiently prepare for your ASVAB exam, check out our recommended study guides, our free practice exams, our ASVAB flash cards, and our ASVAB study tips.

Recommended Study Guides



As with any test, how well you do depends in large part upon how well you prepare. To study effectively for the ASVAB, you really need to begin studying at least two months before you plan to take the test, if not more! Here are some basic steps to take:

  • Find a comfortable, quiet area to study
  • Gather paper, pens & pencils, a calculator, and other tools
  • Make a basic study schedule

Preparing for the ASVAB can seem overwhelming! The exam covers a wide set of topic areas, including:

  • General Science – including life science, physical science, and earth and space science.
  • Arithmetic Reasoning – including operations with whole numbers, operations with fractions and decimals, ratios and proportions, interest and percentage and measurement of perimeters, areas and volumes.
  • Word Knowledge – definitions of words both with and without context.
  • Paragraph comprehension – tests literal comprehension and implicity, inferential or critical comprehension.
  • Mathematics Knowledge – including number theory, algebraic operations and equations, geometry and measurement, probability and numeration
  • Electronics Information – including electrical tools, symbols, devices, and materials.
  • Auto Information and Shop Information – including automotive components, systems and tools, shop tools, building materials, and building and construction procedures.
  • Mechanical Comprehension – including basic compound and simple machines
  • Assembling Objects – determining how objects will appear when parts are put together.
  • In general, when preparing for the ASVAB, you should stick to the following strategies:

Know what is on the test – understand the specific areas that you will be tested on for your specific branch of the military and concentrate on only that material. Don’t waste your time on specific topics if you will not be tested on them.

Focus on your weakest topics – most people already have a good feel for the areas that they are weak on (e.g., math or vocab). When you first begin studying, you should make a list of the areas you are good at and those which you could use improvement on. If you are not sure where to focus your time, take some practice exams to help you determine your strengths and weaknesses. Concentrate a majority of your study time on your weak areas.

Smarter study = higher scores – study when you are the most alert and develop a flexible study schedule. You won’t be able to learn and retain information if you study when you are tired or distracted.

In addition to these general study strategies, consider the following tips to help you ace your ASVAB:


Many students rush to an answer without fully understanding all of the question and each of the potential answers. A good approach is to read the entire question twice before you look at the answers. Also be sure to read each of the answer choices – test writers will often put misleading answers first to lure you in. Be careful, however, not to “over-think” the question! Most of the questions on the ASVAB are straight forward and don’t require a “leap of faith” to answer.


The ASVAB is a timed test. Each of the sections has a specific time limit. You need to understand the time limit, and develop a time “budget” to help you keep pace. For example, if the time limit for a section is 24 minutes, and there are 12 questions, then your time budget is 2 minutes. In this case, you should not spend more than 2 minutes per question.


The pencil and paper ASVAB test does not penalize you for guessing. You need to answer every question in order to maximize your score. If you do not know an answer to a question, attempt to eliminate 1 or 2 unlikely answer choices. Then choose the one answer from the remaining choices that you feel best about – and move on.

The computerized CAT-ASVAB will penalize you for guessing. If you do not know the answer, try to rule out some of the answers using deductive reasoning before guessing.


Do not underestimate the power of a positive attitude when taking the ASVAB. When preparing for the ASVAB and when actually taking the test, you need to be positive and have confidence. You need to believe that you will score high on the test. If you come across an answer that frustrates you – just relax, take a deep breath and attempt to answer it the best that you can. DO NOT PANIC! If you have prepared for the ASVAB with the resources at, then YOU WILL ACE YOUR ASVAB!

An important thing to remember is that this is an aptitude test and not an IQ test. Since it is an aptitude test it measures how well you do something. The last thing to remember is that the better you do on this test, the more options you will have in the U.S. military.

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