Adults who want to enlist in the military must take an aptitude test to determine for what career within the military they are best suited, whether or not they are trainable, and even if they may be eligible for leadership positions. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery measures ability on a wide range of skills -- from mathematics to language to mechanical skills. Recruits who want to improve their score need information on how to best study for the test.


The ASVAB is comprised of between eight and 10 tests. The number of tests given is dependent upon where it is taken. According to the Official Site of the ASVAB, the tests are general science, arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, mathematics knowledge, electronics information, auto and shop information, mechanical comprehension and assembling objects. Most recruits take the ASVAB on computer, but paper and pencil tests are available in some areas. The ASVAB may take up to three hours to complete, depending on whether the pencil and paper or the computer version of the test is used.

Improving ASVAB Scores on the AFQT

According to the Official Site of the ASVAB, under ASVAB Fact Sheet, the first and perhaps most important score recruiters look at is the Armed Forces Qualification Test score. The AFQT is a blend of several of the ASVAB tests: arithmetic reasoning, mathematics knowledge, paragraph comprehension and word knowledge. A good score on the AFQT goes a long way toward recruits getting the career choice they desire. The United States Coast Guard Training website has suggestions for preparing for the AFQT. First, take a practice test for each subject on the AFQT. A score of 80 percent or better is good; a 93 percent puts a recruit in the top level for recruitment. If recruits demonstrate weaknesses on the practice tests, they should use some of the free vocabulary, mathematics or reading comprehension websites to raise their scores. The Coast Guard Training Site has a list of tutorials available.

Mechanical and Shop Tests

The mechanical comprehension, auto, shop and electronic information tests are different from the AFQT. These tests measure specific knowledge and vocabulary in automotive, shop and electronics information and are used to measure a soldier's aptitude for mechanics, which helps with job placement. Recruits who want to raise their score may read about the tests on the United States Coast Guard training website. Also, there are practice tests for each of the shop tests and the mechanical comprehension tests at the 4Tests website and the Test Guide website. In addition, vocabulary reviews for the tests are available at Quizlet. Tutorials are available at Free Tutorials.

The Science Tests

The ASVAB also tests general science knowledge. To prepare for the general science tests, recruits can read about the individual tests on the United States Coast Guard training website. Practice tests for general science can be found at the ProProfs Flashcards website, and additional vocabulary flashcard resources are available at Quizlet. Also, there are websites for science tutorials: has science tutorials, as does Internet 4 Classrooms.