What Are the Different Types of ASVAB Prep?

Exam: ASVAB Test - Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test: General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronics Information, Automotive & Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension, Assembling Objects

Three types of the ASVAB test are available. One of the version implements Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) and the other two “Pencil-and-Paper” (P&P).

The versions are:

  1. The Student ASVAB
  2. The CAT ASVAB
  3. The MET-site ASVAB

The Student ASVAB

This testing program is offered to candidates who are in their high school, studying in 10th, 11th and 12th grade and college students. It is also known as the  “ASVAB Career Exploration Program”. It exposes the students to a wide range of opportunities, career options, suiting their capabilities and interest. In other words, it explores careers based on the student’s skill, potential and knowledge. It is a three-hour, paper and pencil test with 8 composite subtests.

The test scores are made available to the counselor of the respective school to direct you to build the right career path.

Each applicant is provided with the “Exploring Careers Guide” with the exam results, which also includes AFQT scores.

AFQT or Armed Forces Qualifying Test ensures if an applicant is qualified to entry military services. It reflects the candidate’s scores received in the ASVAB test.

The “ASVAB Career Exploration Program” focuses on technical, math, verbal and science skills though the ASVAB test. In-built system of “Find Your Interest (FYI)” is a search engine, identifying your interest in a particular job. OCCU-Find is a bridge that connects ASVAB test and the FYI. This exposes the candidates to hundreds of occupations available according to their interest and capability. The Program attains “Career information Resources” which provides additional information based on their interest and choice.


This test is widely accepted and the most common amongst all.

It can be taken either at MEPS-site or a Military Processing Station. The Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) is a 90-minute exam, which does not require any paper or pencil. The questions are displayed on the screen and have to be answered serially.

This test has similar set of questions as the ASVAB’s P&P test but has been slightly molded and suited according to student’s performance. If a student gets the first answer correct, the next questions he would be attempting, would be a tougher one, saving him/her the time from answering the easier ones. Similarly, if he/she gets it wrong, they will land with fairly easy question in their next attempt. The recruiters want to enhance confidence while answering the questions to the given test so that they perform better and not lose their morale.

Thou the computerized version test do not allow skipping a question or changing an answer. You cannot strategize your time; as the system does not allow you to see the next question in line as you progress. Here you do not have the option of not attempting an answer, you have to choose the best answer.

It has similar subtests as the MET-site and Student ASVAB. It has 10 subtests; the Automotive and Shop Information subtest is subdivided into separate “Auto Information” and “Shop Information” subtest in CAT-ASVAB.

If you finish the sub-section early you can move to the next section without having to wait for the examiner’s permission.

The MET-site ASVAB

Only when your recruiter recommends you to take the exam, The Mobile Examination Test site (MET-site) is taken. It is a military oriented test hence it is a very uncommon. For different cities various locations have been assigned for taking MET.

The format of the exam is similar to “The Student ASVAB”. You need to deal with objective type questions, which is on paper. It is a three-hour timed exam, has eight subtests and the answers have to be answered in a separate sheet of paper. The paper will be scanned after you have written the answer in pencil or a pen. Written exams have an advantage over the computerized ones, they can to go back to the previous questions and change their answers on the same section you are current working on.

An answer is considered to be wrong if you leave it blank. Making a guess can at least give you an opportunity to score, while leaving an answer and not attempting is always wrong. Examiner’s permission is required, if you finish early and wish to move to another section.

It is important to keep your paper work space clean and tidy. The paper scanner is so sensitive that if you have not properly erased your previously selected answers, the system may consider the answer wrong.

You results will be sent to MEPS by the examiner administering your exam. The representative of the military, “the MEPS exam administrator”, will provide a sealed envelope to you. You will receive “unverified test score” which will be later verified by the recruiter who recommended MET for you.






  (Student ASVAB &

  MET-site ASVAB)


General Science (GS)

8 minutes, 16 questions

11 minutes, 25 questions

Basic questions on earth science, physical science and life science are covered. Topics generally dealt are on human nutrition, biology and health, which form a part of life science and elementary physics and chemistry forming a part of physical science. Introductory questions on meteorology, geology and astronomy are dealt with, which forms a part of earth science.

Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)

39 minutes, 16 questions

36 minutes, 30 questions

It requires enlisting those students who possess the skills to solve everyday math. Determining the capability of the student to numerical reasoning.

Word Knowledge (WK)

8 minutes, 16 questions

11 minutes, 35 questions

This tests the student’s knowledge of words he/she faces in their day-to-day life. They usually cover words that have similar meaning, in other words synonyms.

Paragraph Comprehension (PC)

22 minutes, 11 questions

13 minutes, 15 questions

Measure the ability of the candidate, correctly obtains the right information from a written passage.

Mathematics Knowledge (MK)

18 minutes, 16 questions

24 minutes, 25 questions

The application of the formulas in the right place and having clear math concepts.

Electronics Information (EI)

8 minutes, 16 questions

9 minutes, 20 questions

It determines whether the applicant has knowledge of electrical appliances, electrical circuits, electric current and various systems, which are electronically manned.

Auto & Shop Information (AS)

Auto Information:

6 minutes, 11 questions

Shop Information:

5 minutes, 11 questions

11 minutes, 25 questions

This section requires you to have basic knowledge about repairs and maintenance of automobile. It also measures your physical practice in metal and wood shops.

Mechanical Comprehension (MC)

20 minutes, 16 questions

19 minutes, 25 questions

Having knowledge of mechanical devices, structural and mechanical support is evaluated.

Assembling Objects (AO)

16 minutes, 16 questions

Having good judgment and possessing skill for construction and restructuring of objects.

The three versions of ASVAB, CAT-ASVAB, Student ASVAB and MET-site ASVAB, each have distinctive features and are widely popular for the recruitment process.

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