ASVAB ParagraphComprehension

ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension is one of the four subtests used to calculate the AFQT score; 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 how to study and prepare for the ASVAB paragraph comprehension exam – and what you need to do to achieve the highest possible score.

ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension 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.


10 Questions

22 Minutes


15 Questions

13 Minutes


Paragraph comprehension is about understanding the broad meaning of paragraphs; of words within contexts; and how to infer the meaning from otherwise vague details.

To score high on the ASVAB paragraph comprehension test, candidates must adapt to understanding how
paragraphs are put together and how to take away an accurate understanding of words, phrases, and the
overall context of the piece.

  • Inference Questions

    Often, you are not asked to directly interpret the meaning of a paragraph but are asked to infer some meaning from the paragraph. In these cases, the meaning is not so clear, but it has sufficient information for you to use to infer what is likely to be going on. This tests a candidate’s analytical skills, which is why this exam is used to calculate a candidate’s AFQT score.

  • Word Knowledge Questions

    In these questions, you will be asked about a certain word or phrase. You must then interpret the correct meaning of that word or phrase within its wider context. In these cases, you must read the sentence before and the sentence after this word or phrase and try to establish what it means. Often, the answers will supply trick answers which you must be keen to avoid.

  • Detail Questions

    These kinds of question are sometimes the easiest, but not always so. You will be asked to farm the correct answer to a specific question. Be careful not to rush, though, because often the paragraph will include multiple sets of information and so you must take the time to ensure that you are choosing the correct piece of data. Sometimes the paragraph is about an abstract or difficult concept, making this kind of question that little bit more challenging.

  • Context Questions

    In context questions, the candidate is asked to interpret the entire, overall meaning of the paragraph. You will be provided with four possible titles of the paragraph and challenged to choose which is the most accurate and appropriate title that reflects the general meaning of the paragraph. These ASVAB test questions can be difficult at times because each title may reflect the meaning of at least some part of the paragraph.



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

Test Taking Tips!

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

  • 1Read more. But avoid just reading casual topics or topics with which you are comfortable. Instead, you must challenge yourself. Many paragraph comprehension questions are often on abstract or arcane or challenging topics. Therefore, you need to get out of your comfort zone and become that much more comfortable with difficult reading material.
  • 2Learn how to infer. Inference questions are one of the core questions types for this exam. This means taking a set of facts and working out what those facts point to. There are many great YouTube videos online that can help you learn how to effectively infer information.
  • 3Practice ASVAB test questions. The more test questions you practice, the more equipped a candidate becomes at working through problems and learning from explained answers. Whilst reading and learning and exam prep is important, there is also a significant need to test your knowledge in the weeks and months leading up to the ASVAB exam.
  • 4Understand context questions. If you are asked to find the meaning of a word within its context, you must read the sentence before and after that word. Many words change meaning, particularly when cloaked with a different context. Avoid the common mistake of choosing the most appropriately sounding answer, as this may well be a trick answer!
  • 5Think as if you were the author. Many questions ask candidates to decide, from a list of four options, what the most appropriate title for the piece would be. In these cases, try to take a step back and think as if you were the author of the piece. The correct answer is the one with the broadest meaning, and not one with a specific meaning that talks about one aspect of the paragraph alone.

How to Pass the
ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension Exam?

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 paragraph comprehension exam.