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Jul 18th, 2020

ASVAB Biology Study Guide!

asvab biology study guide

Biology on the ASVAB Exam

Biology is an enormous subject. Whilst it is not possible to cover each topic in detail, candidates are expected to have a comprehensive, rounded understanding of the fundamentals of biology. Here in this ASVAB biology study guide, we provide just that.

Biology is about the facts. Unlike other parts of the ASVAB exam – such as Mathematics Knowledge – biology does not require the candidate to work things out using logic and analytical reasoning. Instead, biology is about how things work and how the living world is structured and organized.

There is some degree of understanding required, but the level that candidates are expected to reach is not too high. At most, it requires a high school understanding of biology.

Biology is just one part of the ASVAB General Science exam. Depending on whether you are taking the CAT-ASVAB or the Paper ASVAB determines the number of questions asked and the time allotted to complete them.

  • CAT-ASVAB: 15 questions in 10-minutes
  • Paper ASVAB: 25 questions in 11-minutes

Therefore, even though biology is a broad subject, you will only be asked a handful of questions. This makes it more challenging for the candidate because there are many other, broad subjects to prepare for on the exam: chemistry, physics, astronomy, and earth science.

Note that the general science exam is not used to calculate the AFQT score. Therefore, if general science is not required to calculate your MOS score, you should perhaps focus on other subjects of the ASVAB test.

Studying for ASVAB Biology

To score high on the ASVAB biology element of the general science exam, candidates must put together a detailed plan about what subjects they wish to study and how to revise those subjects in the coming weeks and months.

To do this, you must know the entire syllabus of what gets asked. If you do not know what to study, you can never be prepared for biology questions on the ASVAB exam.

As you prepare your ASVAB biology study guide, make a note of the following five subjects and make sure that you have adequately prepared for each subtopic.

ASVAB BiologySub-topics
Ecology Ecosystems
Consumers and producers
Definition of biodiversity
Taxonomic classification
Human biologyOrgans and what they do
Types of blood cell
Structures of the body
Function of body systems
Types of muscle
Structure of the skeleton
Nutrient, vitamins, and minerals
PlantsBasic plant physiology
Plant reproduction
Types of plant
CellsCell structure and function
Organelles and what they do
Cell reproduction
Cell processes
GeneticsChromosomes
Genes, XX and XY
DNA and RNA
Mitosis and meiosis
How genes get passed down

Compile Study Resources

Once you know what to study, now you need to compile study resources.

Candidates must assemble the required books and courses and any other study material that you intend to use to complete this subject. You must ensure that your study resources cover all examinable topics above. Without these resources to hand, you can never create a comprehensive study plan.

If you are a registered member of ASVAB Test Practice, you already have access to the Module on ASVAB General Science. Study the units in this module and all associated ASVAB test questions and the end of Module exam. If you are using standard textbooks or other online courses, please make sure that all subjects are covered.

Create a Detailed Study Plan

Now that you have these resources, the next step is to create a detailed study plan.

This plan should not only focus on ASVAB biology. Instead, you should create the plan around the wider ASVAB exam. You must ensure that you spend an adequate amount of time on all ASVAB General Science subjects – and not over-focus on biology itself. However, if biology is proving to be more difficult than the other sciences, assign more study time to this knowledge domain.

When you create this plan, be realistic.

There is no point spending an hour covering a lot of subjects. If you rush, you cannot be expected to understand the topic. Biology is about understanding the facts. If you try to memorize the subject without understanding it, this will undoubtedly lead to failure. It is also highly unproductive, and this will in turn, serve to undermine your motivation to study the subject.

When creating the ASVAB biology study plan, remember to include time to revise notes. Those notes must be written in your own words. If you copy directly from textbooks or any other online source, it means you are copying for the sake of it rather than trying to understand the topic. And by re-writing notes in your own words, it forces your brain to think harder about the subject – making it far easier to convert short-term memories to long-term memories.

And in the end, it is long-term memories that serve the most value for any exam.

That’s about it for our ASVAB biology study guide. Check back to our blog soon for more tips, study guides, and exam techniques to help you master the 2021 ASVAB exam and make it through to boot camp!

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