The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a set of ten assessments developed and utilized by the U.S. Military. The primary purpose of the ASVAB is to determine if you are qualified to enter the military. If you are qualified, the ASVAB is then used to determine which occupations would be a good fit for you.
Each of the ten assessments is used to measure your aptitude in four domains – Verbal, Math, Science and Technical, and Spatial. You will take all ten tests, one after another, in one testing appointment. This article will discuss the ASVAB overall, and the General Science exam specifically.
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The ASVAB is used in four different applications. The Institutional Version is given to high school students and is used by school guidance counselors to offer career guidance. The Production Version is used as an enlistment qualification and must be taken before an individual can enlist. The Enlistment Screening Version is a smaller version of the full ASVAB and is used to estimate an individual’s chances of obtaining a qualifying score on the full ASVAB. Additionally, the Enlistment Screening Version is used to identify areas of weakness before taking the full ASVAB. The final version is given to active duty military considering retraining.
Registration and cost
Unless you are taking the ASVAB in high school, your recruiter schedules you for the ASVAB. In high school, your guidance counselor schedules the ASVAB for you. For this article, it is assumed that you are working with a military recruiter.
The majority of the ASVAB tests are conducted at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) at 65 locations across the United States and Puerto Rico. If you are not located near a MEPS, your exam may be scheduled at a Military Entrance Test (MET) site, often located in federal government offices, National Guard armories, or Reserve centers. Your recruiter determines the location for you and often arranges transportation to and from the selected testing center.
The ASVAB is administered cost-free. The nearest MEPS or MET site for you may be located outside of commuting distance. In that case, all travel costs associated with the ASVAB are covered. There is no out-of-pocket expense related to ASVAB, regardless of test administration location. Your recruiter will provide the details needed for your exam.
Test delivery method
Exams administered at a MEPS station are delivered by computer (CAT-ASVAB). The exam is adaptive – with each correct response, the questions increase in difficulty. You take the CAT-ASVAB at your own pace, within the allotted time limits. When you finish one test, you can move on to the next test without waiting for the rest of your testing group. You cannot review or change an answer after submitting it. Incorrect responses are penalized, so it is to your benefit to answer as best you can and not mark random answers.
Exams administered at a MET site are usually given by paper and pencil (P&P-ASVAB). All testing candidates take the same exam, at the same pace. You can review and change your answers if time allows before moving on to the next test section. There is no penalty for guessing, and it is to your benefit to make sure all questions have an answer.
The CAT-ASVAB General Science test contains 16 multiple-choice, computer-adaptive questions. You have eight minutes to complete the test before moving on to the next test subject. Be confident in your answer before moving on to the next question. You cannot go back to review or change your responses.
The P&P-ASVAB General Science test contains 25 multiple-choice questions. You have 11 minutes to complete the test. The testing group moves on to the next section as a cohort. If time allows, check your work and make sure you have answered every question – even if you have to guess.
The General Science test evaluates your knowledge of high school-level physical and biological Science. General Science falls under the Science/Technical Domain. Subjects covered in the General Science exam include:
- Life Science – living organisms and their processes
- Earth Science – including geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy
- Space Science – the study of natural phenomena and physical bodies occurring in outer space
- Physical Science – the study of the non-living world including biology, chemistry, and physics
Remember that all questions on the General Science test are at a high school senior level. You do not need in-depth knowledge of the subjects examined, but you should be familiar with the concepts and ideas taught at the high school level.
The General Science test is used to identify military careers that play to your strengths.
On the day of your exam, follow the directions provided to you by your recruiter. The only item you are allowed to take with you into the testing facility is your identification.
You receive an individual score for the General Science test, indicated on a scale of one to 100. Fifty is the mean. Your test results are available to your recruiter immediately. Your recruiter will discuss your score, including the AFQT score, with you after you have completed the ASVAB.
Can I retake the ASVAB?
If you are not happy with your score, you can retake the ASVAB two more times with a calendar month waiting period between attempts. If you are not satisfied with the results of your third attempt, you will have to discuss your options with your recruiter.
How well you perform on the ASVAB decides if you can enlist in the military, and your score influences the occupations that are open to you. While the information is at a basic level, the time limits imposed, as well as your desire to succeed, could influence your score. Take the guess-work out of your study preparation with Mometrix’s study guide, video tutorials, and flashcards. Each product has complete coverage of all of the ASVAB tests and provides you the edge you need to succeed.