ASVAB Test Blog

Mar 17th, 2022

Definitive Guide to Guessing on the ASVAB Exam!

guessing on the asvab exam

Guessing on the ASVAB Exam

ASVAB test questions are multiple choice. With four possible answers, you can at least guess the correct answer rather than leaving the answer blank. Guessing on the ASVAB exam can have great results if it’s applied in the right way.

Of course, guessing should be the very last resort!

Any guessing on the ASVAB exam should be educated. There are ways and means of selecting the correct answer even if you haven’t a clue what the answer is.

Whilst none of these techniques are 100% effective, the odds of selecting the correct answer are significantly greater than shooting in the dark – and with over 200+ questions on the ASVAB test, these tips matter!

Eliminate Answers You Know are Wrong

This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised just how many candidates do not eliminate answers they know to be wrong. Nor are we talking about the Math Knowledge exam, either.

We are talking about questions on general science or word knowledge or paragraph comprehension – subjects with considerably greater latitude in working out the correct answer. Too often, candidates get confused and annoyed by a question – the detail of which they have never studied before. Rather than engage with the question, they shuffle onto the next, not taking a moment to review the four possible options.

By reviewing options and by thinking through the question asked, you may be able to eliminate answers you know to be wrong. This is particularly true with the paragraph comprehension test, where the answers are directly linked to the paragraph in front of you. By applying the minimum effort, you can eliminate one, if not two of the available answers.

That narrows things down, with a 50:50 chance of guessing the correct answer.

Much better odds, I think you’ll agree.

Guessing Arithmetic Reasoning Answers

With the arithmetic reasoning ASVAB questions, a different strategy is needed.

Very often with these questions, there are two outrageously wrong answers. Given that numbers are involved, this invariably involves eliminating the lowest number answer and the highest number answer.

The correct answer is more likely than not going to be one of the middle two answers. Again, this is not 100% perfect – but if you took 100 questions and applied this strategy, you would guess more answers correct than if you chose the random 1-in-4 approach.

Questions involving “Always” and “Never”

One of the standard techniques in answering MCQ-style questions is to be suspicious of questions that begin with “Always” or “Never”.

Usually, there is always at least one exception to the rule.

Very few questions starting with “Always” or “Never” are correct. Use this technique to your advantage on the ASVAB exam – or any other MCQ exam you may need to take in your life.

Answers with Opposite / Similar Meanings

On the word knowledge ASVAB exam, answers with opposite meanings should raise alarm bells.

For instance, if the question asks: Garrulous most nearly means ____________.

  1. Talkative
  2. Angry
  3. Speechless
  4. Suspicious

In the case of this question, “talkative” and “speechless” have opposite meanings.

Therefore, one of these answers is most likely to be correct – and sure enough, the correct answer is talkative.

Similarly, if two answer options are very, very close in meaning – neither of them is probably correct.

As always, these should be considered general rules to increase the probability of selecting the correct answer – unless, of course, you already know the answer.

Avoid Considering Past Answers

One of the worst ways of guessing answers on the ASVAB exam is to factor in previous answers.

Yes, the last three answers may have been c), c), c) – but that doesn’t mean you should eliminate c) as a potential answer in the next ASVAB test question.

Regardless of what happened in past questions, the chance of selecting the correct answer – at random – for any given question is 1-in-4, or 25 percent. These odds do not change based on what the last answer option is, or what the future answer options happen to be.

Avoid this technique, however tempting you may find it.

Take Home Message

Guessing answers on the ASVAB exam should only be the last resort.

But even still, there are ways and means to improve the probability of selecting the correct answer. Over the course of this blog, we have highlighted some of those techniques – including:

  • Eliminating answers you know to be wrong, or likely wrong.
  • Avoiding the highest value answer and lowest value answer in questions on arithmetic reasoning.
  • The need to be suspicious with questions that start with “Always” or “Never”.
  • How to analyse word knowledge ASVAB questions to secure the right answer.
  • To avoid considering past question answers.

By developing and incorporating these top ASVAB exam tips into your strategy, you go that much further toward guessing more questions correctly.

Given the high degree of competition for places within the military at present, these extra correct answers can really make all the difference.

Found this helpful? Check back to ASVAB Test Practice soon for even more exclusive content to help you study and pass the ASVAB exam.

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