ASVAB Test Blog

Mar 13th, 2023

Top 10 ASVAB Test Strategies for Success!

asvab test strategies for success

Not sure how to study and pass the ASVAB exam?

Here, we’ve put together the top 10 ASVAB test strategies to guarantee success on the day of your exam; the top techniques that ensure you can march into the US military sooner than you think!

1 – Sleep early the night before

The first of our ASVAB test strategies for success is to sleep early the night before.

Many candidates stay up late at night, hoping to cram as much information as possible – including new information they had never studied before.

Put simply, this is a mistake.

Studies show that you cannot effectively cram information the night before an exam. Instead, you become overwhelmed with details; increasing anxiety the night before your ASVAB exam; and disrupting your sleep.

Instead, sleep early the night before – and ensure that this is a good night’s sleep, too.

This will maximize your alertness and focus; and reduce drowsiness and unwanted anxiety and fatigue.

2 – Plan your journey days in advance

This may seem like an obvious point, but the number of times we have heard of candidates arriving late at the exam hall is enormous. Too many times, in fact.

It’s essential that you know where the exam hall is, and to arrive on time.

Arriving on time doesn’t mean 2-minutes before the exam is about to start.

No, it means arriving within 30-minutes before the exam.

This means you can relax; gather your thoughts; find the exam hall; and prepare mentally for the exam you have studied months to prepare for.

Don’t forget about unexpected delays – such as traffic.

3 – Be confident about the exam process

Invigilators before and during the exam are there to assist you.

If you are uncertain about a process or the structure of the exam, don’t be afraid to ask questions. By asking questions, you can focus your entire attention on the exam itself, and not on ancillary issues that plague you with anxiety.

The same is true during the exam as it is before the exam. If questions emerge, just ask an invigilator who will be more than happy to address your concern and put you at ease.

4 – ASVAB test strategies for the pen and paper test

ASVAB test strategies for success differ depending on whether you are taking the pen and paper format or the computerized format.

With the pen and paper format, you can skip questions and come back to them later. If you are struggling with a particular question, don’t be afraid to come back to it later. Make a note of which questions you need to come back to, and make sure you have enough time at the end to review these ASVAB test questions.

If you must change answers, make sure that you erase the incorrect answer. Too often we’ve seen students in the past change their answer, only to forget to erase the incorrect answer. Only one answer per question should be marked.

5 – Exam strategy for the computerized ASVAB exam

Once a question is answered on the computerized format of the ASVAB exam, you are not permitted to go back and change it.

This is a vital consideration, not least because there are many cases where students enter the exam only to realize that they cannot change their answers at the end. Though this number of students is small, you don’t want to be among their number!

Unlike the pen and paper ASVAB test, the computerized format of the ASVAB exam is adaptive. This means that when you answer a question correctly, the next question will be more difficult. Conversely, when you answer a question incorrectly, the next question will be easier.

Try to forget whether a question is easier or more difficult.

Both the pen and paper and computerized formats are structured so that students will score within the same range given their knowledge base. Put another way, if you are well prepared for the ASVAB exam, this will come through equally on either exam format.

6 – Educated guess

With the P&P exam, you have more time to go back and review questions that you find more difficult.

Always attempt to eliminate incorrect answers. Though this may not always be possible, you should at least attempt it. Given the high number of test questions asked on the exam, you are statistically more likely to get extra questions right if you actively adopt this ASVAB test strategy.

Often in multiple-choice questions, two of the answers are more “obviously wrong” compared to the other two answers. These are the targets for elimination.

That way, you can create greater opportunities for educated guesses that deliver the correct answer.

7 – Manage your time during the ASVAB test

One of the most important ASVAB test strategies is to manage your time.

Effective time management is essential.

You do not want to find yourself in a position with little time at the end, with many questions to finish. You have been preparing for many months leading up to this exam, and bad time management should not compromise that.

Always keep an eye on the clock and do not disproportionately spend more time than you need to on one difficult problem. Better to leave these questions to the end and ensure that you have much more time to answer the questions you know for certain.

If possible, try to leave time at the end to review your answers. Of course, this does not apply to the computerized ASVAB exam where you cannot go back and change your answers.

8 – Don’t get distracted

One of the biggest distractions for students is – watching other students!

How many times have you been sitting in an exam hall, wondering how other students are doing? Perhaps you can see them flying through questions – asking yourself whether you are going fast enough?

These kinds of questions are mental distractions. Your focus must be on the exam – and the exam alone. The students who you are watching may be the worst students to perform on the exam, and so are not worthy of emulating to begin with!

Instead, stick to your own time management strategy; stick to focussing on just one question at a time; and never waste time wondering whether you got an answer right or wrong.

9 – Be confident about how much you know

Being confident about how much you know is one of the top strategies to succeed at the ASVAB exam.

Many students become cynical, underestimating their existing knowledge base. The reality is that you know far more than you give yourself credit for.

If you enter an exam filled with self-doubt, don’t be surprised if this impacts exam performance!

If you start second-guessing yourself or wasting time stressing about how ill-prepared you are; and how this will destroy your prospects of enlisting with the military – all this, every bit of it, does nothing to maximize exam performance but instead achieves the precise opposite: to undermine your exam performance and reduce the likelihood of achieving a high AFQT and MOS score.

You have prepared for weeks, if not months, for this moment.

Have the confidence that you know more than you think you do – and translate that knowledge into correct answers on the day of your ASVAB test.

10 – Just enjoy it

This follows on from the previous ASVAB exam strategy; namely, the need to enjoy the experience of taking the ASVAB exam.

Demystify the exam. Rather than being terrified by it, consider the exam a positive opportunity to send a message to exam boards: that you have the requisite knowledge and skill to operate effectively in the US military and, not only that, to achieve the score necessary to join your target position.

Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience in the past and failed the ASVAB test.

You’re not alone.

But the best approach is to turn that bad experience into a positive one.

You’ve learned from your mistakes, doubled-down on your study, and have come back with a point to prove – to score high, and to do it confidently and to enter and leave the ASVAB exam with your head held high. And as far as ASVAB test strategies go, this one is up there with the most pragmatic.

By doing this, and by incorporating these ten strategies, your ASVAB exam success is only just around the corner.



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