Preparing For The ASVAB

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.

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.
    [To learn more about what to expect when you take the ASVAB, click here.]
  • Familiarize yourself with the contents of the ASVAB subtests.
    [To learn more about the content of the ASVAB subtests, click here.]
  • Take sample questions and review content areas in which you need to freshen up your skills.
    [To see sample questions, click here.]
  • 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.

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 ó donít spend too much time on one individual question, if that means you wonít have time to answer later questions.
  • When you donít 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.

Strategies For Taking the P&P ASVAB

  • Donít get hung up trying to answer questions you donít know ó 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.

Strategies For Taking the CAT-ASVAB

  • Be familiar with how the CAT-ASVAB works.
    [To learn more about the CAT-ASVAB, click here.]
  • 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 arenít 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.


Applicants Home

What To Expect When You Take The ASVAB

Understanding ASVAB Scores

Where To Take The ASVAB

Preparing For The ASVAB


Sample Questions


ASVAB Fact Sheet


ASVAB Subtests