ASVAB ArithmeticReasoning

ASVAB Arithmetic Reasoning is one of the four subtests used to calculate the AFQT score; the score used to establish whether you are eligible to enlist in the US military.

Learn more about what candidates must study, and what exam tips and tricks to apply, to master this part of the ASVAB exam.

ASVAB Arithmetic Reasoning Exam Format

Depending on whether you are taking the CAT-ASVAB or the P&P ASVAB, there are different numbers of questions asked and time allotted.


15 Questions

39 Minutes


30 Questions

36 Minutes


Arithmetic reasoning is about word-based math problems. You should have the
analytical skills needed to work through each problem in a step-by-step, logical format.

Unlike the math knowledge exam, candidates are not asked questions on abstract topics
such as algebra or other formulaic methods.

Questions on the ASVAB Arithmetic Reasoning exam are word problems that involve the
manipulation of numbers using:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Remember!

    Questions on arithmetic reasoning are not the same as questions on the math knowledge exam. Whereas math knowledge asks questions about abstract concepts such as algebra, arithmetic reasoning asks word problems that test your ability to work through long-form step-by-step solutions.

  • Analytical Problem-Solving

    Though arithmetic may seem easy, the problems are often not so simple as they involve some degree of analytical problem-solving skills. You will be presented with a word problem and asked to come up with a plan of action to determine the correct answer. The correct answer matters, but what the test is examining is your ability to come up with that step-by-step plan of action. And because you will not have a calculator, you need to think ahead before rushing into a problem.



As it is one of the four subtests used to calculate
your AFQT score!

Test Taking Tips!

To succeed at the ASVAB arithmetic reasoning exam, candidates must study in the weeks and months leading up to the exam - practicing as many ASVAB test practice questions as possible.

  • 1Never rush. Instead, structure your exam performance by assigning the correct number of minutes to each question. This means you don’t be left rushing toward the end of the exam, potentially getting questions wrong that you otherwise would have scored correctly.
  • 2Double-check solutions. Never assume that you chose the correct answer. Remember, some of the answers may reflect some of the most common mistakes made. Just because you arrived at a solution that happens to be one of the answers, does not mean that answer is correct. It could very well be a trick answer.
  • 3 Take ASVAB test practice questions. The more practice problems you try, the more you acquire the mental skills necessary to identify your strengths and to discover where your weaknesses lie – and to plug those gaps in your knowledge base. Practicing ASVAB questions also lets you know whether you are prepared to take the real thing.
  • 4Avoid unnecessary detail. On ASVAB arithmetic reasoning questions, you may be provided with more detail than is needed to answer the question. It is vital that you can identify this as irrelevant detail and not get side-tracked. Only use the information and data needed to answer the question.
  • 5Does the answer make sense? One of the advantages with ASVAB arithmetic reasoning questions is that many of them can be worked out logically in your mind. If an answer does not make sense, it is probably wrong. Try to work through in your mind a “likely” type of answer. It may even be an approximate range, but it can provide some degree of reasonableness to whatever solution you come up with.


At ASVAB Test Practice, we have put together a
comprehensive range of thousands of exam-like
test questions and practice exams to help you
master the ASVAB arithmetic reasoning exam.