One of the key aspects of the ASVAB exam you need to understand is how the test is put together. It consists of approximately 9 subtests in a range of areas. Four of these make up what’s often called the AFQT, which is the Armed Forces Qualification Test.
What The AFQT Test Is About
The four subtests making up the AFQT basically include the verbal and the math portion of the ASVAB exam. Why those?
Well, those are some of the basic academic skills on which the rest of them are built. And why do you have to master those pesky academic skills when you want to join the military?
Well, it may (or may not) come as a surprise to you, but the military values study skills. A LOT. And why?
Because a military career involves learning new stuff all the time. And so the members of the military need to be able to handle that – and preferably even enjoy learning new things. And that’s where the AFQT score comes in. A high score tells the recruiters that you are good at learning stuff.
So do you HAVE to get a high score on the AFQT portion of the ASVAB exam?
Yes. If you want to join the military, you do, especially if you want to get into the more competitive branches of the military, including the Air Force.
What About The Other ASVAB Subtests?
What about the other 5 or so subtests? Do you have to ace those as well?
As I said, if you have ambitions to join the more competitive branches, you definitely do have to do well in those as well, or at least in most of them.
And with more and more applicants clamoring to join the military, they actually have their pick of applicants, and so their goals are to limite the number of low-scoring applicants that they accept and aim for getting the highest possible proportion of high scoring ones.
If YOU were a recruiter, wouldn’t you do the same thing? So if you want to join, make sure you spend time and even a little cash on getting prepared REALLY well.
How To Prepare And Study For the ASVAB Test
Make sure you have great practice tests and other study materials, preferably several different books and guides, and maybe even join an online practice center or two.
The key is that the more you practice, the better you get. And the more varied tests you take, the less you’re thrown off by what you’ll encounter during the “REAL” test.
As you can see, there are a range of other study tips on this site, including a free guide with some more tips:
And if you’d like to read a review of the ASVAB Online Testing Center, you can do that here:
Meanwhile, what about the AFQT and the other subtests? How are you supposed to pace yourself?
Start with An ASVAB Practice Test
Start with taking a practice test or two, just so you’ll see where you stand. If you have major gaps, plan on doing a lot of studying and reviewing – over time. Cramming won’t get you too far, especially not when it comes to the verbal portion of the test.
That’s because the verbal portion measures skills you need to practice over time.
Imagine participating in a tennis or golf tournament. Cramming for a weekend is NOT going to help you win if you weren’t a terrific golfer or tennis player in the first place.
The same thing is true for reading comprehension. If you have trouble with that part of the test, you’ll need to practice, practice, and practice some more, until your brain gets the hang of it and you feel confident that you can extract exactly the right info from a text when reading it fairly quickly, and answer a series of questions about it.
For extra practice and confidence, you may find that the ASVAB Practice Center will prove to be a terrific resource. Take a look and see what you think.
And don’t rush it either. If you have a lot to study and the choice between two testing dates, take the one that gives you more time. Unlike the SAT or the GRE, you can’t just take the same test over and over until you score to your liking.
Once you pass, you’re pretty much stuck with the results – and if they limit your options in the military, you’re stuck with a career you may not enjoy. That’s why it’s so important to do well on the ASVAB test.