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Importance of Timing on the ASVAB Exam!

Jul 27th, 2021
importance of timing on the asvab exam

Importance of Timing on the ASVAB Exam

To succeed at the ASVAB exam, timing is key.

In fact, this is one of the great problems for many candidates. There have been so many cases where perfectly competent and well-prepared candidates fall at the very last hurdle – namely, the need to apply strategy to how you intend to complete the ASVAB exam on the day of your test.

It’s not enough to study, though that is important. You must have a key strategy in mind, about how you intend to tackle the exam from a strategic perspective.

Any strategy worth its name will involve timing. And given the high number of ASVAB test questions asked during the exam, it’s crucial that candidates adequately time themselves and prepare for each subject – knowing what to expect and what to do when more difficult questions come their way.

That’s why timing is so important – and that’s why we’re going to share with you the top strategies to help you maximize your score on the day of your ASVAB exam.

Know Your MOS Score

There are generally two kinds of ASVAB candidate: the kind that know what job they want in the military, and the kind that does not.

If you are in the former category, you will know what subjects to focus on – because these subjects will be used to calculate your MOS/line score. It also means you can focus less on some subjects over others. It also means you can spend more time creating a timing strategy for the subjects you need to score well on.

If you are in the latter category, you will likely need to prepare for all subjects on the ASVAB exam. Of course, that makes the ASVAB test far more challenging. And that’s why timing, for you, is even more important.

Here is the approximate time you are allotted to complete each question for each subject of the ASVAB examination.

ASVAB SubjectTime to Answer Each Question
 Word Knowledge30 Seconds
 Mathematics Knowledge1 Minute 15 Seconds
 Arithmetic Reasoning2 Minutes 20 Seconds
 General Science30 Seconds
 Mechanical Comprehension1 Minute 15 Seconds
 Automotive and Shop Information35 Seconds
 Electronics Information30 Seconds
 Paragraph Comprehension2 Minutes
 Assembling Objects1 Minute

Not much time, then.

You must be quick, but you must be right.

You must also content with the fact that you are highly unlikely to score all ASVAB test questions correctly. Though that is a laudable and ambitious target, it is extremely rare.

Do not worry, then, if you struggle on a few questions.

After all, the scoring system for the ASVAB exam is not based on the number of questions you answer correctly, but rather how your score compares to a standardized score of average results. We have discussed the ASVAB scoring system already, so we won’t spend any more time on it here.

How to Time Yourself

During the ASVAB exam, time is worth its weight in gold.

You cannot, therefore, waste time. You must value each and every second – and ensure that you are wisely spending that time. Do not spend more time than you need to on an ASVAB question you are clearly struggling with. It means you have less time to answer other questions on the exam, perhaps far easier questions. In fact, the less time you spend on these easier questions, the more likely you are to get them wrong. That’s why you must proportion your time accordingly and ensure you are not left rushing to answer these easier problems.

Furthermore, you should always leave time at the end to review answers. Remember – once you complete a subject of the ASVAB exam, such as Word Knowledge, you cannot return to it. Make sure you leave sufficient time at the end of each subject round to review your answers, and, to ensure that you have answered all questions on the subject. Even if you can eliminate some answers of a question, it massively increases the probability of guessing the correct ASVAB test answer.

The importance of timing on the ASVAB exam, then, cannot be understated.

Too many candidates enter the exam confidently – and rightly so, only to waste what they have learned by either rushing through the exam, and making too many simple mistakes, or by spending too much time on a couple of questions – sabotaging their ability to spend the proportionate amount of time on each question. Candidates must remain calm and keep a structured approach in mind. Though the pressure of the exam can be overwhelming, you must try to avoid letting this get to you. That way, you can focus on what matters – to answer each question without rushing and without spending too much time on any one question.

Take Home Message

The ASVAB exam is hard enough without making it more difficult.

By not implementing a clear and effective timing strategy, you increase the probability of error. Given the high degree of competition for places in the US military, it is imperative that you avoid this very avoidable conclusion. Do not let your study over the past weeks and months go to waste. Avoid assuming that just because you have studied all the material that things will go swimmingly on the day of your ASVAB test.

They rarely do – and you must be prepared for that.

That’s why timing is so important.

Get this right, though, and you go one step further toward acing the ASVAB exam!

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