The ASVAB Testing Program does not endorse any particular method of test preparation beyond recommending that examinees take a solid core of courses in mathematics, English, and science in high school and/or college.

Such academic preparation will help with performance on the Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Word Knowledge, and General Science subtests. Taking technical courses will also help with performance on the Auto Information, Shop Information, Electronics Information, and Mechanical Comprehension subtests.

The following are general tips to help you to perform your best on the ASVAB.

Preparing In Advance

Steps to Take In Advance of the Actual Test Day

  • Prepare well in advance of the day of the test.
  • Know what to expect on test day.
    [Visit page: What to Expect]
  • Familiarize yourself with the contents of the ASVAB subtests.
    [Visit page: ASVAB Subtests]
  • Take sample questions and review content areas in which you need to freshen up your skills.
    [Visit page: Sample Questions]
  • Find out whether you will be taking the paper and pencil (P&P) ASVAB, or the CAT-ASVAB, as optimal test-taking strategies differ across the two versions.
    [Note, however, that the test content is the same across both versions.]
  • Get plenty of rest the night before the test.

ASVAB Tests

Strategies For Taking Both Versions of the ASVAB

  • 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 — don’t spend too much time on one individual question, if that means you won’t have time to answer later questions.
  • When you don’t know the answer to a question, try to rule out as many incorrect choices as you can, and then make an educated guess from the remaining answers.

P&P

Strategies For Taking the P&P ASVAB

  • 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 skipped.
  • Answer every question. If you run out of time, it is to your advantage to fill in random guesses for the remaining items, as there is no penalty for guessing.
  • Review your answers if there is time remaining.
  • Make sure that you select only one response per item on your answer sheet, and erase completely if you change your answer.

CAT-ASVAB

Strategies For Taking the CAT-ASVAB

  • Be familiar with how the CAT-ASVAB works.
    [Visit page: CAT-ASVAB]
  • During your test session, review the instructions as many times as you need to feel comfortable taking the test.
  • Be sure the answer you have selected is the one you want to select, as you aren’t allowed to return to a question once you have answered it.
  • If time is running short, try to read and legitimately answer the questions, rather than filling in random guesses for the remaining items, as the CAT-ASVAB applies a relatively large penalty when several incorrect answers are provided toward the end of a subtest.