What Kind of Math is on the ASVAB?

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Now that you have made up your mind to enlist in the military, the ASVAB will be a mandatory part of your future.  The scores that you receive on this Aptitude test will be determining factors in how the trajectory of your military career will go. It will also decide whether you receive any monetary bonuses or incentives.

Several subtests make up the ASVAB. These subtests encompass an abundance of subjects to gauge your knowledge in basic subjects like math, sentence comprehension, vocabulary, and more. One area that may cause the most anxiety is the math portion.

You may be wondering what kind of Math is on the ASVAB or what to expect in general? Don’t worry; we will help you squash those fears and adequately prepare for the math portion of the ASVAB. There are several things that you may not be expecting, and that is normal. However, you must get the prep time you need.

Keep reading to get a grasp on what to expect on the ASVAB math section and how to prepare for it.

Is the Math on the ASVAB Hard?

Is the Math on the ASVAB Hard?

Is the Math on the ASVAB Hard?

Though “hard” is a relative term, Math is one of the most challenging areas on the exam. It is the one that many individuals struggle with the most. However, with adequate preparation, studying, and patience, you can certainly do well.

One question you may be asking is how math is used in the military. Several occupations within the military rely on math. You may need to calculate the distance that a missile will need to travel, or you may need to calculate how much fuel is required for a tank. This all requires math, making it essential for daily military operations.

The math portion of the ASVAB exam includes several different topics. There are several various topics that students will need to understand to do well on the exam. This includes basic math, understanding fractions, and knowing an abundance of different formulas.

A common question that many individuals may ask is what grade level math is on the ASVAB? The exam generally covers arithmetic topics that have been included in Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry.

There are several subjects covered in the math portion of the exam – this includes the following:

There are two different math subtests on the ASVAB exams. These include Math Knowledge and Arithmetic Reasoning.

How are Your Math Skills Tested on the ASVAB?

How are Your Math Skills Tested on the ASVAB?

Your math skills are tested in several ways on the Math portions of the ASVAB exam. These include an abundance of different problem types and variations of questions. You must also familiarize yourself with several concepts and be able to recall at the time of the exam.

These concepts include:

  • Factorials
  • Finding the absolute value
  • Factoring
  • Using Prime Numbers
  • Utilizing the Order of Operations
  • Using and multiplying exponents
  • Scientific notation
  • Computing square roots
  • Using the FOIL method
  • Using the quadratic formula
  • Computer the area and perimeter of an object
  • Several geometry concepts include right angles, right triangles, surface area and
  • System volume
  • Equation Symptoms
  • Inequalities
  • Graphing equation
  • Coordinate geometry (inclusions distance, slope-intercept, and even slope)

These are only a few of the concepts which you will find on the exam. There is an abundance of others that are used to test your true math skills. The items can appear in several different ways than you may be used to seeing them.  However, you mustn’t let them trip you up. Hence, the importance of practicing what you read and making sure you read it carefully.

On the exam, you will find that your math skills are tested using many different question types. These include word problems and traditionally formatted equation problems. When you begin to take the Mathematical Knowledge section of the exam, you should find that these questions are more straightforward and essentially laid out in a way that leads you to the answer. There will be no guessing about what type of problem the question is and what kind of solution you are looking for.

The Arithmetic Reasoning section of the test exposes users to the word problems. This area may be harder because test takers are asked to read carefully and figure out what is being asked of them.

Though it is essential to understand what is on the exam, the only way to get better at this portion of the exam is to practice, especially if you are someone who is not stable in general math.

How to Ace the Math on the ASVAB?

How to Ace the Math on the ASVAB?

How to Ace the Math on the ASVAB?

If you are nervous about taking the math portion of the exam, don’t be, there are several things that you can do to ensure that you get the score you desire. The tips in this section will ensure that you have the right information to pass the exam. There are several strategies that you can employ to do well on the exam the list below will help you understand what areas you should be studying and how to do well.

ASVAB Math formula sheetThe ASVAB formula sheet is your friend. This will provide you with all the formulas that you need to do well on the exam. It includes things like how to solve fractions – multiplication, division, addition, and even subtraction. You will even find formulas for percent, exponents, factorials, logarithms, and geometry. You will need to understand how to use these formulas.

ASVAB Math Course – If you are struggling to study on your own, several course options can provide you the support you need. Taking an ASVAB math course is an excellent option for getting extra help, and it will ensure that you are being shown the concepts in a manner that is easy to understand. You also can ask questions if you need to, without delay.

Focus on Problem Areas – A significant way to ensure that you do well on the exam is to focus on the areas where you may be struggling the most. If you are unsure of where to begin or do not know your weakest areas, taking a diagnostic test would be an excellent thing to do. You don’t want to waste time doing an in-depth review of concepts that you already understand. You would then just simply be wasting time. To maximize your time spent studying work backward from the areas where you find the most difficulty.

Assess your Progress – As you are studying, it is essential to assess the progress you have made. This means not merely taking a diagnostic test and studying until the day of the exam. You will need to include a checkpoint to understand if you have been retaining the information. This can be done by merely retaking the diagnostic test or taking another math practice portion. This validates or invalidates how you are studying for the exam.

What if You Fail the Math Section of the ASVAB?

What if You Fail the Math Section of the ASVAB?

You mustn’t fail the math portion. Your AFQT score is a combination of this score, math, and verbal expression score. Failing the math section would mean that you essentially would fail the overall exam. However, it’s important to remember that the ASVAB does not operate on a Pass or Fail system. It is merely a test of your current knowledge. There are several ways to avoid failing. All you have to do is combat common test-taking pitfalls.

Make sure that you do not lose focus on the goal at hand. The ASVAB, much like the ACT or the SAT, can be an exhausting exam. It is a long exam, and it can be easy to lose focus on the exam. However, relaxing and concentrating on each test as they come is a wonderful idea.

Another surefire way to fail the exam is by not checking your work. You must save time to double-check your answers before completing the exam. This ensures that you do not make any careless mistakes or accidentally mark the wrong answers. If you are taking the paper version of the exam, you must remember to erase it fully and completely.

Last but not least, it’s important to remember that you have practiced for all of the exam’s problems. It can be helpful to attempt to recall specific practice problems that may mimic the information on the exam.

Recommended ASVAB Math Study Guide

Recommended ASVAB Math Study Guide

Recommended ASVAB Math Study Guide

The best thing that you can do for yourself when study for the ASVAB is to invest in study guides is flashcards. These can be items that you make, items that you have found online, or even items that you purchase. The guides listed below are excellent resources for ensuring that you not only do well on the exam but also excel.


This is an excellent resource if you are looking for free, on-demand help. This practice test site offers an abundance of study guides to prepare you to sit for the exam. On this site, you will find information on using arithmetic reasoning formulas and reviews of basic concepts like order of operations. The site also boasts an abundance of examples, interactive questions, and sample questions that will help you visualize how to solve specific problems.

ASVAB for Dummies by Angie Papple Johnston

The For Dummies series always does a great job of breaking information down into readable, manageable and understandable chunks. The text provides two sections dedicated to the math portions of the exam. Part 3 of the book entitled Making the Most of Math contains four chapters to ensure you have all of the information to pass the exam. Each chapter focuses on a different math area, which includes basic knowledge, Algebra, Geometry, and Arithmetic reasoning. With this text, you will also be able to put these skills to practice using the seven practice tests offered at the end of the book. These include answer keys and even detailed explanations.

CliffsNotes ASVAB AFQT Cram Plan by Pat Proctor, Carolyn Wheater & Jane Burstein

This text is an excellent option if you are looking for preparation materials for the ASVAB. This text focuses on providing the most comprehensive way to study for the test. It includes a study calendar, reviews of each topic covered on the ASVAB, and even diagnostic and practice exams. The study plans provided in the text focus on three different timelines – two months, one month, and one week.

Wrapping Things Up: What Kind of Math is on the ASVAB?

The ASVAB aims to test your general math skills. This allows the military to determine if you are a good fit for certain positions, has a direct impact on your AFQT score, and if you can do math in military strategy. You must put your effort into not just passing but doing well on the math portion of the ASVAB.

Math on the ASVAB can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can use to do well. The Arithmetic Reasoning portion of the exam focuses on solving equations. It asks direct questions. The Mathematical Knowledge section of the exam zeros in on word problems and other questions that force the test taker to read and understand the problem.

It is important to remember that the math on this exam encompasses basic math knowledge and subjects like Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. If you have taken and been able to excel at high school level math, you should be in great shape to pass the exam.

All of our armed services reviews of study guides can be found here.

> What is a GT Score on the ASVAB?

> Can You Retake the ASVAB?

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Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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