The ASVAB, or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is a test you will be expected to take before entering any branch of military service in the United States, regardless of your prior education. The ASVAB is made up of the following test subjects, in the order of administration:

  • General Science
  • Arithmetic Reasoning
  • Word Knowledge
  • Paragraph Comprehension
  • Numerical Operations
  • Coding Speed
  • Auto & Shop Information
  • Mathematics Knowledge
  • Mechanical Comprehension
  • Electronics Information
  • General Science - 11 Minutes - 25 Items
    Measures knowledge of the physical and biological sciences.

    Arithmetic Reasoning - 36 Minutes - 30 Items
    Measures ability to solve arithmetic word problems.

    Word Knowledge - 11 Minutes - 35 Items
    Measure ability to select the correct meaning of words presented in context and identify the best synonym for a given word.

    Paragraph Comprehension - 13 Minutes - 15 Items
    Measures ability to obtain information from written passages.

    Numerical Operations - 3 Minutes - 50 Items
    Measures ability to perform arithmetic computations in a speeded context.

    Coding Speed - 7 Minutes - 84 Items
    Measures ability to use a key in assigning code numbers to words in a speeded context.

    Auto & Shop Information - 11 Minutes - 25 Items
    Measures knowledge of automobiles, tools, and shop terminology and practices.

    Mathematics Knowledge - 24 Minutes - 25 Items
    Measures knowledge of general mathematics principles, including algebra and geometry.

    Mechanical Comprehension - 19 Minutes - 25 Items
    Measures knowledge of mechanical and physical principles and ability to visualize how illustrated objects work.

    Electronics Information - 9 Minutes - 20 Items
    Measures knowledge of electricity, radio principles, and electronics.

    Half of these tests are grouped around 3 academic composites:

    Academic Ability

    Measures potential for further formal education

    Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension + Arithmetic and Mathematics Knowledge

    Verbal Ability

    Measures capacity for verbal activities

    Word Knowledge + Paragraph Comprehension

    Math Ability

    Measures capacity for mathematical activities

    Arithmetic Reasoning + Mathematics Knowledge

    The other half of the tests are simply for measuring how fast you can complete certain tasks, or additional knowledge one may have acquired.
    All of the tests are multiple-choice, with either 4 or 5 optional answers.

    Scoring on the ASVAB is as follows:

    (2 x the number of correct answers on Word Knowledge) + (2 x the number correct on Paragraph Comprehension) + the number correct on Arithmetic Reasoning + the number correct on Mathematic Knowledge = the raw score, which is then converted into a percentile score.

    On the rare occasion that you would have to study for the ASVAB, you only need to concentrate on Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge. These are the only tests that influence the end score. All others are just for better categorization of your skills.

    See also: the ASVAB