What Is the Navy ASVAB Test?
The ASVAB test is the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery Test. This exam is often taken by:
- Junior and senior students at high school
- People who want to join the US Military, including the Navy
If you take the Navy ASVAB test, your score will be valid for a two-year period. This is helpful if you are still deciding between a range of different career paths.
Your score on the ASVAB test indicates whether you will meet the Department of Defense criteria, so it forms part of the Navy entrance exam. It will also help you to decide which military career path you would be best suited to.
The ASVAB test is available in three different formats:
The Computer Adaptive test (CAT-ASVAB) – This computer-based version of the test is often taken by potential military recruits. It is administered at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) and used as part of the military enlistment process. The CAT test includes 145 questions which must be answered within a 154-minute time frame.
The Paper and Pencil version (MET-site ASVAB) – This version of the test is provided at mobile examination test sites, or METs. It is also used for enlistment purposes into one of the US military services. Test sites can be found in many different cities, but you will need to be referred to sit the test by a recruiter. The MET test includes 225 questions which must be answered within a 149-minute time frame.
The Student version (Student ASVAB) – This version of the test is used as part of career planning in high schools and colleges. It is very similar to the MET test. If you are taking the Student ASVAB, your results will be sent back to your school. You can use your results to help plan your career options with a career counselor. You will also have access to the Find Your Interests inventory, which will help you to explore different career paths, choose a college major and learn more about your personality type.
Although the format of the CAT and MET tests is slightly different, your score should be similar, regardless of which test format you take.
If you want to join the Navy, your ASVAB results will be used to determine your occupational specialty. To stand a better chance of getting into your preferred Navy unit, you should concentrate on achieving the best possible score for the exam.
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What Are the Sections of the ASVAB Exam?
The ASVAB test is designed to test the following aptitudes:
- Science and technical
The ASVAB exam can be broken down into the following subsections:
General Science (GS) – Science and Technical
Questions in this section will test your knowledge of earth and space science, life science and physical science.
CAT test – 15 questions in 10 minutesMET/Student test – 25 questions in 11 minutes
Example General Science Question
The chemical symbol NaCl is more commonly known as:
c) nitrogen trichloride
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Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) – Mathematical
Questions in this section will test your ability to solve basic mathematical problems.
CAT test – 15 questions in 55 minutes
MET/Student test – 30 questions in 36 minutes
Example Arithmetic Reasoning Question
One in every 9 children in a school vote for Sally as school president. All others vote for Tom. How many children vote for Tom if there are 810 children in the school?
Word Knowledge (WK) – Verbal
Questions in this section will test your ability to identify the meaning of words through the use of synonyms.
CAT test – 15 questions in nine minutes
MET/Student test – 35 questions in 11 minutes
Example Word Knowledge Question
'Provoke' most nearly means:
Paragraph Comprehension (PC) – Verbal
Questions in this section will test your ability to extract information from written materials.
CAT test – 10 questions in 27 minutes
MET/Student test – 15 questions in 13 minutes
Example Paragraph Comprehension Question
The couple walked back to the ocean, where towels were dotted all over the beach. An ominous black cloud, approaching from the east, cast a huge shadow across the ground. To the west and over their heads, there were no clouds to be seen and the sun warmed their skin, as though it was part of the deception.
The ‘deception’ mentioned in the final sentence is that:
a) The sky is clear to the west
b) A storm is not approaching
c) It is going to rain
d) The sun is warm
Mathematics Knowledge (MK) – Mathematical
Questions in this section will test your ability to apply mathematical concepts.
CAT test – 15 questions in 23 minutes
MET/Student test – 25 questions in 24 minutes
Example Mathematics Knowledge Question
The ratio 24:12 is the same as:
Electronics Information (EI) – Science and Technical
Questions in this section will test your knowledge of electronic systems, devices and electrical current.
CAT test – 15 questions in 10 minutes
MET/Student test – 20 questions in nine minutes
Example Electronics Information Question
The abbreviation AC stands for:
a) adaptable charge
b) ampere coil
c) alternating current
d) altimeter charge
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How to Pass the Navy ASVAB Test
Auto Information (AI) – Science and Technical
Questions in this section will test your knowledge of automotive repair and maintenance.
CAT test – 10 questions in seven minutes. This section is not included in the MET/Student versions of the test.
Example Auto Information Question
On a car, the radiator forms part of which system?
Shop Information (SI) – Science and Technical
Questions in this section will test your knowledge of metal and wood shop procedures.
CAT test – 10 questions in six minutes. This section is not included in the MET/Student versions of the test.
If you are taking the CAT test, your scores for AI and SI will be combined to create an overall AS score.
Auto and Shop (AS) – Science and Technical
This section combines the AI and SI portions of the CAT test. It is only included in the MET/Student versions of the test.
MET/Student test – 25 questions in 11 minutes
Mechanical Comprehension (MC) – Science and Technical
Questions in this section will test your knowledge of material properties, the principles of mechanical devices and structural support.
CAT test – 15 questions in 22 minutes
MET/Student test – 25 questions in 19 minutes
Assembling Objects (AO) – Spatial
Questions in this section will test your knowledge of fixing items together. You will need to show that you can identify how parts of an object fit together.
CAT test – 15 questions in 17 minutes
MET/Student test – 25 questions in 15 minutes
What to Bring to the ASVAB Test
You will not need to bring much with you to the test. Calculators are not permitted, so you must not bring one into the test room.
The test center will provide paper and No. 2 pencils. This is especially important if you are taking the MET or Student test, as you must fill in the answer sheet using a writing instrument that the machine will be able to read.
If you would like to complete practice tests while waiting to enter the test room, bring your own pens or pencils along, as you might not be able to use the equipment supplied before the official test begins.
How Does the Navy ASVAB Scoring Work?
If you are applying to join the US Navy, your ASVAB results will be used to decide whether you qualify for a job or rating.
The Verbal Expression (VE) score is calculated using your scores from the PC and WK sections of the ASVAB.
The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score is calculated using your scores from the PC, WK, MK and AR sections of the ASVAB. Combining related subjects to match Navy ratings requirements helps recruiters to decide whether you have aptitude and ability to succeed in a particular job role.
Different scores are needed for different Navy career paths. Here are a few examples:
To be eligible for the role of air traffic controlman, your score for the VE, AR, MK, MC sections must total at least 210 or your score for the VE, MK, MC and CS sections must total at least 210.
To be eligible for the role of hull technician, your score for the VE, AR, MK and AS sections must total at least 200 or your score for the MK, AS and AO sections must total at least 150.
To be eligible for the role of Navy diver, your score for the AR and VE sections must total at least 103 and your score for the MC section must be at least 51.
How to Prepare for the Exam
To prepare for the Navy ASVAB test, you should dedicate plenty of time to studying. When planning your study schedule, consider incorporating the following activities:
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Step 1. Sit Past Papers
This is the best way to become familiar with the format of the test and questions in each section.
It will also allow you to practice working against the clock, which should help you to improve your time management skills before the real test.
Be careful that you focus on all sections of the test equally. Try not to spend more time on the sections you find easy, and make sure that you do not avoid practicing the sections you find more difficult.
Step 2. Become Familiar With the Format of the Questions
Knowing what to expect in terms of question structure should help you to feel more confident about taking the actual test.
Once you have completed a few practice tests, you will quickly learn how the questions are laid out and how best to tackle them.
As this is a multiple-choice test, ‘distractor’ answers are often used. These answers are incorrect but look very similar to the correct answer. They are used to find out whether you have read the question and possible answers carefully, so it is important that you pay attention to detail.
Step 3. Find Out What Score You Need for Your Chosen Career Path
As mentioned, different sections of the test are relevant to different career paths in the Navy.
If you know which career path(s) you are interested in, find out which scores are most important to your chosen job roles.
For example, if you want to be a hospital corpsman, your scores in the VE, MK and GS sections will be most important. If you want to work in logistics support, you need to gain good scores in the VE and AR sections.
Step 4. Consider Using a Navy ASVAB Study Guide
You can access many different ASVAB study guides on the internet. These resources provide access to study tips, ASVAB practice test Navy questions and advice on how to succeed when taking the exam.
Choose a study guide that complements your individual learning style and provides access to learning materials that you will find useful.
Step 5. Create a Study Plan
Once you know the date of your exam, consider putting together a personalized study plan to track your progress.
To begin, take a US Navy ASVAB practice test to identify your current score. Afterwards, you can start to think about which areas you need to focus on – for example, this might be improving your speed and accuracy or making sure you read the questions thoroughly before answering.
The best way to prepare for the ASVAB is to dedicate time to answering a range of Navy practice test online questions.
When taking the ASVAB, you will not be penalized for leaving an answer blank. If you are not sure of an answer, it is best to make an educated guess and then move on.
If you are taking the MET or Student test, study the answer sheet carefully before you begin marking it. Check that you know where to record your answers, and do so neatly to minimize the risk of your paper being misread by the machine during marking.