The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is the entrance exam you must pass to enlist in any branch of the U.S. military, including the reserves. The better your ASVAB scores, the more options you will have when you are deciding on a job. Therefore, for each and every military prospect to pass the ASVAB should be a priority since it will dictate your school and job in the military and perhaps in your civilian life long after your military service.
Knowing what to study and how to study will give you confidence and make you feel like you are in control of your own destiny. Take a few simple steps on the front end of the recruiting process and the conversation with your recruiter will be a lot more fun when you have options to choose from.
Do You Want To Know What’s On the Test?
The ASVAB consists of the following eight individual tests:
1. General Science
2. Arithmetic Reasoning
3. Word Knowledge
4. Paragraph Comprehension
5. Mathematics Knowledge
6. Electronics Information
7. Auto and Shop Information
8. Mechanical Comprehension
Notice the last three tests have no counterpart on the SAT. If you have taken any classes in high school in these areas you will have a leg up on studying, but if not then you may need to put some extra time into these. Like any standardized test, anyone can do well on the ASVAB if you put some time and energy into studying.
Don’t Delay! Get The Study Materials!
The first step to your study regimen needs to be getting good study materials. Get the best study materials you can afford, but try some out before you buy. Here are a few of the best sellers:
1. ASVAB for Dummies
2. Kaplan ASVAB
3. Master The ASVAB by Lt. Col. Scott Ostrow (USMilitary.com Featured Columnist)
Each of these are under $20 and all have their advantages. No single one is the exact right choice for everyone. The “For Dummies” series is known for its straight forward, simple approach. Kaplan has built its reputation on study guides and courses and consistently has good pass rates. The last title, Master the ASVAB was written by retired Lt. Col. Scott Ostrow who was chief of the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) Recruiting Training Branch at Robins Air Force Base, GA, among many other accolades.
Before you buy a study guide find an old copy at your library and review its format and style. Do not use an old version to study, but it’s a good idea to check out the format of some of the different study guides to see what you are more comfortable with. Specific content changes all the time, but the companies that make the study guides don’t make big changes to their format very often.
Study Tips For You To Remember!
A good study plan can be broken into these four simple parts:
Can You Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses? An Absolute Must… Do It Now!
Take a pretest to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Do not rely on your own opinion or gut feeling for this. We are not always the best judge of our own abilities. The study guides have pretests in them, or you can use a practice test as your assessment.
Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, plan your study time accordingly. Figure out when you will take the ASVAB, then determine how much time that gives you to study. Plan your time and stick to your plan.
Consistency is a big factor to your success, so it is better to study in shorter sessions consistently than to have longer study sessions with more time in between each session. Think about it like lifting weights. A few heavy workouts with lots of inactivity in between will be less productive than consistently working out a little bit every day.
Want To Pass? Then Study & Focus!
If you know what types of jobs you want, focus on your strengths. Spend enough time on your weaknesses to get your scores to at least average or a little above average, but don’t spend too much time after that. You will make more improvement in your areas of strength than you will in your weak areas with the same amount of study time. If you want your dream job, the better you do on the skills relevant to that job the better chance you have of getting that job.
Don’t Be Lazy! Practice Taking Timed Tests!
This may be the area where more people spend too little time than any other. Every good study guide has practice tests and there are online practice tests available as well. Knowing the material is different from answering questions in a specific format under time pressure. Practice will take away a lot of the pressure you might otherwise feel. When you know what to expect and you know you are prepared you will have no reason to stress.
A well prepared, stress-free test taker is a prime candidate for kicking butt on the ASVAB. Good luck on the ASVAB and in whatever military career you choose.