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ASVAB Assembling Objects Study Guide!

Apr 16th, 2020
asvab assembling objects study guide

ASVAB Assembling Objects Study Guide

The assembling objects exam was introduced to the ASVAB in 2004 and is primarily used as a score to determine a candidate’s eligibility to the US Navy. Here, we have put together an ASVAB assembling objects study guide to help you prepare and pass this subtest of the military entrance exam.

What is “assembling objects” about?

Assembling objects tests spatial reasoning skills. In other words, it tests your ability to take shapes and mentally put those shapes together. Sometimes, this is difficult because many of the shapes must be mentally rotated and, when you have more than one piece to consider – and when you consider the limited time available on the exam – this can become a highly stressful and combustible situation.

That said, there are ways and means of maximizing your score on the day of the exam. Here in this study guide, we delve deep into the kinds of question asked, the test taking tips you must apply, and what you can do to prepare for the exam in the coming weeks and months.

Types of Assembling Objects Question

Depending on whether you are taking the paper ASVAB or the CAT-ASVAB, you will be asked a different number of questions to be answered in a different allotted timeframe.

  • CAT-ASVAB: 15 questions to be answered in 17-minutes
  • Paper ASVAB: 25 questions to be answered in 15-minutes

Therefore, you have approximately 68 seconds to answer each question on the CAT-ASVAB and approximately 36 seconds to answer each question on the Paper ASVAB.

That isn’t much time, either – especially when you consider how frustrating some of the questions can be.

There are two kinds of question asked on the ASVAB assembling objects exam:

  • Connector problems – in which you will be presented with a series of shapes and asked to connect these shapes together with dotted lines.
  • Assembling shapes – in which you will be presented with a broken-up shape and asked to assemble the pieces to bring that shape back together again.

Here is an example of a connector problem and, beneath it, an example of an assembling shapes question:

How to Answer Assembling Objects Questions

To succeed at the ASVAB assembling objects test, candidates are recommended to take as many ASVAB test practice questions as possible. If there is one more message you must take away from this ASVAB assembling objects study guide, it is that the more questions you practice, the greater skill you acquire to work through problems in a logical and time-efficient manner. But practice questions are not the only thing to consider. There are other important principles, too.

One of the most important principles to grasp is that a mirror image is not the same as a rotated image. In other words, no matter how much you rotate an image, it will never form the mirror image of an object. Questions on assembling objects rotate images – never mirror them. Therefore, the question is asking you to assemble an object, though this object may be rotated in the answers. Some of the answers are trick answers, which use a mirrored version of an object, and not its rotated form.

Try to think it through now, using the illustration below with the capital letter, D. On the left side, we have the mirror image of D. However, on the right-hand side, we see D only rotated. Notice that no matter how much D is rotated, it can never become the mirror image of D. The four possible options of an assembling-objects question may be rotated versions of the question image. However, any mirror images are automatically wrong – as we have illustrated here. You must always keep this principle in mind and avoid the trap of choosing an answer that has a mirrored version of a question image.

For example, if the question asked you about the shape D, you would never choose the answer on the left, because it is a mirror image. Instead, the correct answer would be one of the formats on the right-hand side.

Another key tip to pass the ASVAB assembling objects exam is to focus on one item at a time. For example, it is is a shape assembly question, focus on the largest shape. Always avoid mirroring the image in your mind. Instead, rotate the image (if necessary) and you can, at the very least, eliminate two answers. Then, you can move to the second largest piece, and continue until you arrive at the correct answer. Candidates must avoid juggling all pieces in their mind at the same time. This creates confusion and increases the probability of error. Instead, build structure into your answer process by working on one piece at a time – from the largest piece to the smallest piece. Eliminate wrong answers as you progress.

The same principle applies to connector questions. Focus on one shape at a time and, most importantly, the specific location where the dot has been placed. As always, keep in mind rotation and ensure that you are correctly rotating it (and not mirroring the image!) – eliminating incorrect answers along the way. Then, focus on the second shape and its connector and apply this to the remaining answers. Once you have done this, you should have arrived at the correct answer.

Keep time management in mind. There is a limited quantity of time available for each question and you do not want to spend more time than you need to on any one question. Space your time throughout the exam to avoid rushing.

Study Preparation for the Assembling Objects Test

All this takes practice. There is no doubt about it.

At times, it can prove very frustrating and even demoralizing as you may find yourself on the side of the wrong answer more often than not. But as with anything, skills take time to develop and grow. Assembling objects is no different. It merely requires discipline and dedication on your part, working through problems daily and – most importantly – learning from your mistakes. By taking as many ASVAB test questions as possible, this skill will evolve quickly over the coming weeks and months.

But ASVAB test questions are only the beginning. There are many other ways to cultivate your skill-base for the assembling objects exam. For instance, you can:

  • Play video games. Spatial reasoning is a commonly examined subtest on IQ exams. There are dozens of free games where you can practice your spatial reasoning skills.
  • YouTube. Similarly, you can find lots of free spatial awareness questions online and throughout YouTube. Take advantage of these free resources as and when you can.
  • Map analysis. One of the reasons assembling objects was introduced to the ASVAB exam is because they found it useful in establishing a candidate’s ability to perform accurate map analysis. Take some time to learn more about map analysis and put your knowledge of scale and area to the test.
  • Drawing. If you are struggling to understand the principles of rotation and mirror images, take out a pen and paper and get drawing. The more you apply these principles in your own hands, the better you will appreciate and understand and apply the concepts in future. If possible, you can even come up with your own assembling objects questions. What better way to prepare for the exam by doing your own exam-like questions!

Apply these principles and test-taking tips of our ASVAB assembling objects study guide and you go that much further toward maximizing your result and making your way through to enlistment of the US armed forces.

Check back to our blog soon for even more exclusive content to help you master the ASVAB exam!

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