The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB, is a three-hour timed aptitude test that candidates must take before entering military service. ASVAB contains nine multiple-choice sub-tests. Your overall ASVAB score covers four critical areas: math knowledge, reading comprehension, work knowledge and arithmetic reasoning. This score will determine whether you qualify for enlistment, while the other subtests gauge your abilities related to certain military specialties. To get a good score on any of these tests, you must study and prepare thoroughly before the exam.

Get a Study Guide

To find out what is covered in the test, buy a study guide, such as Arco's "ASVAB: 18th Edition." Most guides on the market offer tips and strategies for taking the test. For example, a guide may provide strategies for managing time during the test, solving word problems, preparing on the test day, figuring out the meaning of words and avoiding common testing mistakes. In addition, a study guide explains the various test categories and provides samples of the test questions. Most study guides cover each of the nine subjects you must take during the ASVAB. Buying a study guide enables a candidate to become more familiar with the real test questions, as well as providing comprehensive information on the test areas covered.

Take a Practice Test

An ASVAB practice test is structured and timed just like the real exam. Several companies offer online practice tests, which enables candidates to become more familiar with actual test conditions. At the end of the test, candidates are given an unofficial test score that helps them know which areas need practice. Taking a practice test gives the candidate a true-to-life exam experience and better understanding of how questions are presented. Candidates can take several practice exams to assess their improvement.

Do Not Leave Any Blanks

ASVAB is a multiple choice test, and test-takers are expected to answer all the questions. The beauty of ASVAB is that you are not penalized for giving a wrong answer, but leaving a blank counts as an incorrect response. If you are not sure how to answer a certain question, you are better off making an educated guess than leaving a blank. You can do this more accurately by trying to eliminate all the answers that you think are clearly incorrect and selecting the most probable one from the remaining choices.

Observe Time

Remember that you are expected to answer all the questions in the nine subject areas within three hours. The Armed Forces Qualifying Test, which consists of the four core areas mentioned above, determines whether an applicant will join the military or not. It is important to focus more keenly on these areas while taking the test and to answer all the questions correctly if possible. Spend adequate time on each question, but also avoid running out of time. Every section has a time limit, and examiners expect students to complete the questions before it expires. It is advisable for candidates to complete all 200 questions and manage time carefully for every section to get a good score in ASVAB.