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Ultimate 2021 ASVAB Exam Study Guide!

Jun 30th, 2020
asvab exam study guide

Failure to Prepare, Prepare to Fail!

To correctly answer as many ASVAB exam questions as possible, candidates must put together a detailed ASVAB exam study guide. If you are not sure how to structure ASVAB exam prep, here we have put together the ultimate guide for you.

As the adage goes, if you fail to prepare for something, you should prepare to fail. There is one reason why we keep hearing this adage repeatedly – namely, because it is true.

But most ASVAB students do not structure their study.

Instead, ASVAB exam prep is often disorganized, random, and chaotic.

If this sounds familiar, you should probably stop and take note. There is no point studying for the ASVAB test if that study is both ineffective and inefficient. One way to build efficiency into your study program is by constructing a realistic plan that considers what you need to learn, when you need to learn it, and what and how you plan to revise.

The more detailed the plan, the better – but it must remain a realistic plan that is possible to achieve. The precise dimensions of your plan depend on your own circumstances. Some candidates have more time than others, after all.

Assign Your Military Target

The first step in any effective ASVAB exam study guide is to assign your target.

Do you know which branch of the US military you wish to join? If the answer to that question is yes, do you know what AFQT score you are expected to achieve to even be considered for that branch? If you know what specific employment position you wish to enlist in, do you know what subjects you need to prepare for?

As you may be aware, you are not necessarily expected to score equally high on all nine subjects of the ASVAB test. Instead, you must achieve a sufficiently high AFQT score to even be considered for eligibility.

The AFQT score is calculated from the results of the following four tests of the ASVAB exam:

  • Arithmetic reasoning
  • Mathematics knowledge
  • Paragraph comprehension
  • Word knowledge

Each of the five major branches of the military assigns their own AFQT score.

More specifically, each position in the military is also assigned a score – and this score is calculated from specific tests of the ASVAB. For example, if you are not joining the navy, you are probably better off not spending so much study time on the assembling objects part of the exam. Instead, you should focus your study effort on the AFQT subjects (listed above) and the subjects you need to score high on to be potentially offered a position in the role you have decided to join.

By knowing your target, you can begin to narrow down what subjects you need to focus on over other subjects. If you wish to join the military but do not know what role you wish to join, then you should study all nine subjects with relatively equal measure, depending on your personal strengths and weaknesses.

Assemble Study Materials

Now that you know which subjects to target, the next step is to assemble all study materials needed to cover each of these subjects.

Candidates must eliminate chaotic, random, undirected study. Instead, you must replace it with calibrated, targeted, effective study – where you tick off subjects from a defined syllabus and ensure that all bases are covered in the weeks leading up to the exam.

The only way to achieve this targeted study is by assembling an array of study materials that will cover all bases. Whether it is textbooks, YouTube videos, flashcards, practice test questions – or whatever else you may need – it must be sufficient to cover every detail, both large and small, you need to study. Remember, the purpose of this ASVAB study guide is to help candidates put together a strategic approach to get things done – both efficiently and effectively. You must take the time needed to assemble all materials – and when we say all, we mean all.

Avoid the temptation of preparing for 80 percent of the exam.

Remember – competition for places within boot camp is high. To be considered for selection, you must score as high as possible. And the only way to do this is by assembling all required study materials. The more materials you gather, the better chance you have.

Create a Realistic Timetable

Anyone can assemble a timetable, but timetables are only effective if they are realistic. If you intend to spend too little time on a large subject, then that is clearly going to lead to substantial problems down the line.

You are better off spending more time learning small details well, than by learning a little in a lot of time.

When it comes to creating a realistic timetable, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Make note of your available time on each day of the week and ensure that study periods are adequately spaced out. If you intend to study shortly after a busy gym session, you are likely to be less inclined to focus. You need to space things out in a realistic way that ensures you have enough time to begin in a rested and focussed manner.
  • Study subjects for 50-minute periods. Take a 10-minute break after each 50-minute period. Take notes – and, if possible, flashcards. Always write notes in your own words. This makes them far more memorable!
  • Review these notes at the beginning of your next study session, including on the following day. This should only be a brief review, but you should nonetheless understand what you are reading.
  • Make time at the end of the week’s study period for a complete review of all the notes made over that week. If you find that you do not understand something, return to the study materials, and re-write those notes in a way in which you do understand it. This is part and parcel of the means through which you identify weaknesses and apply that much extra-needed effort.
  • Take ASVAB test practice questions. Practice questions are the most effective way to monitor progress. By watching your scores rise in the weeks ahead, it injects confidence and motivation into future study. Test questions are of extra importance in areas of math, arithmetic, paragraph comprehension, assembling objects, and electronics information.

Do not be disheartened if you do not understand something or if a given subject is proving much more challenging than you thought. That is the nature of learning and, once you discard study stress and anxiety and approach the exam material with some degree of optimism, it makes things far easier in the long-term.

And to mitigate this stress, you must invest the necessary time to design a realistic timetable with the above study techniques in mind. The long-term structure to the plan matters, too – because you must ensure that you are covering all bases of the exam. No study material or aspects of the syllabus should be left untouched. Instead, your plan must be both comprehensive and detailed, covering each syllabus, whilst also being realistic enough to ensure that you have enough time assigned to each knowledge domain.

Diversify Study and Learning Tools

We have already touched upon flashcards and ASVAB test questions and the need to work through a comprehensive ASVAB exam study guide.

But aside from these essentials, candidates should – where possible – diversify study and learning tools. For instance, many of the assembling objects, electronics information, mechanical comprehension, and automotive and shop information rely on images. You should get to grips – literally – with how things work.

Whether it is the electronics side of things or how engines work, learning through practical experience is an invaluable extra. If, for some reason, this is not possible then the next best thing is to watch other people using these tools and machines. And, of course, that leads us to YouTube. There are many hundreds of excellent videos where you can learn about tools, machines, electrical systems, and much more – at every level of learning. Take advantage of these means rather than solely relying on books and study guides.

Also, don’t be afraid to be creative. Yes, candidates can create flashcards but there are many other effective ways to create study tools. For example, for the assembling objects knowledge domain, you can create your own problems. Start small, and gradually make these problems more complex. And once you understand the difference between rotation and mirroring, things begin to make much more sense. The same principle applies to electronics information. Candidates must know electrical symbols. One of the best ways to learn these symbols is to take out a pen and paper and generate your own circuits. For the word knowledge and paragraph comprehension tests, candidates can take around a mini-dictionary and make notes of words they come across – either during the day wandering around or whether you have come across some new words whilst reading a book or newspaper or online article. Similarly, try to vocalize any new words you learn in conversation with other people. This is the best possible way to commit these new words to memory whilst also improving your oral communication skills at the same time. There are dozens of ways to be creative and imaginative when studying.

So, instead of studying for the ASVAB exam, try to live out the ASVAB exam. That way, your path toward success has just gotten much, much shorter.

That’s about it for this ASVAB exam study guide. Hopefully, you found these study techniques helpful. Check back to our blog here at ASVAB Test Practice for more tips and tricks to help you maximize your score and make it through to boot camp!

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