How to Prepare for the ASVAB
Preparation is important in order to obtain a good score on the ASVAB test. In reading our guide to the ASVAB, you have already covered the first point on our list of tips for preparation in advance of the test day.
Well in advance of the test day
- Know what to expect on test day.
- Familiarize yourself with the type of test questions in the ASVAB.
- Practice sample ASVAB questions. Use the sample questions to find your weak areas and make sure you brush up your skills within these areas.
- Find out whether you will be taking the paper or computer version, as test-taking strategies differ across the two versions.
- A healthy body is important for a healthy mind. Eat well, get enough sleep and make sure you get regular exercise; this will make a positive difference not only in your everyday life, but also in your test results.
The day before the test
- The day before your test, make especially sure that you eat well and avoid alcohol.
- Arriving late for the test or even just in time can cause nervousness and bad results. Make sure you have everything ready the day before and that you know exactly where to go and how to get there.
- Get plenty of rest the night before the test.
General tips for taking the ASVAB test
- On the day of your test, eat a good breakfast, even if you normally skip it. You need to keep your mental focus on your test and not on your hunger. If you really cannot stomach food, then try having a protein shake or smoothie. Eat brain-boosting food, this includes protein-rich foods which can lead to greater mental alertness. Good food choices include eggs, nuts, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
- Read the directions for each test carefully before you begin the test.
- Read each question carefully before selecting your answer.
- Pay attention to the time. Avoid spending too much time on one question, if that means you won’t have time to answer later questions.
- When you don’t know the answer to a question, try using the method of elimination: rule out as many incorrect choices as you can, and then make an educated guess from the remaining answers.
Tips for the pen-and-paper version
- Don’t get hung up trying to answer questions you don’t know – answer the questions you do know and return later to the ones you’ve skipped.
- Make sure you answer every question. An answer not given counts the same as an incorrect answer. If you run out of time, it is to your advantage to fill in random guesses for the remaining items – there is no penalty for guessing, and you may just get one or two correct.
- If you have time to spare, make sure you review your answers carefully.
- Make sure that you select no more than one response per question on your answer sheet, and erase completely if you change your answer. Two answers given will count as an incorrect answer.
Tips for the computerized version (CAT-ASVAB)
- Be familiar with how the CAT-ASVAB works. We have covered this in our guide. If you have not read the complete guide, please use the menu to the top right to do so.
- During your test session, review the instructions as many times as you need to feel comfortable taking the test.
- Make sure the answer you have selected is the one you want to select; you are not allowed to return to a question once you have answered it.
- If time is running out, try to read and legitimately answer the questions, rather than making random guesses for the remaining questions. The CAT-ASVAB has a relatively large penalty when several incorrect answers are provided toward the end of a subtest.
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