ASVAB: Word Knowledge

Prepare for the ASVAB: Word Knowledge Test with tailor-made practice materials.

ASVAB Aptitude Tests

What is the ASVAB word knowledge test?

The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) word knowledge test is designed to assess how comfortable you are with the context and meaning of language. Essentially, the test assesses you on your basic literacy skills, which you'll be required to use every day in all of the military jobs available to you.

Practisting your general reading, writing and comprehension skills is the best way you can prepare for the ASVAB word knowledge test. In particular, focusing on synonyms and antonyms is a great way to familiarize yourself with what's likely to be asked of you on the test.

The format of the ASVAB word knowledge test

The ASVAB word knowledge test is all about uncovering how adept you are at understanding the meaning and context behind a series of different words.

You'll be required to answer eight multiple choice questions in just 15 minutes (that's just under two minutes a question).

The questions normally ask you to choose the correct synonym, out of a list of possible options, to demonstrate you've understood the meaning of that word.

Communication is an incredibly important, even lifesaving, skill in the military, so this section of the test is essential to get right.

How is the ASVAB word knowledge test scored?

Once you've completed every section of the test, your paper will be marked and you'll be given three different scores.

The first one is your standard score. It's graded on a scale of 1-100 (with 50 being the median). Results are grouped in tens, which means if you score 60, you're one grouping above the median of 50 and therefore have scored above average.

You'll also be given an Armed Forces Qualification Test score (this shows which military functions you've scored highly enough to join), as well as a composite score, which determines which role(s) you have enough points to qualify for.

Top tips to pass the ASVAB word knowledge test

1. Practise — there really is no substitute for taking past tests. Not only will it help you to understand what to expect on the day, it'll also help you to find the right balance between speed and accuracy.

2. Work on your synonyms — get a friend to test you, or find new and innovative ways to remember synonyms for common words. For example, you could pick out key words from your favourite novel and time yourself to come up with five alternatives.

3. Remember why you're doing it — your dream job could be about to become a reality if you do well on the ASVAB.

4. Don't panic — if you're finding the questions trickier than you expected, or running out of time, the important thing is not to panic. Take a deep breath and keep going.

5. Keep an eye on the time — you'll have just under two minutes to answer each question (assuming the test allows 15 minutes for eight questions). Try and stick roughly to this time as it'll help ensure you get a chance to answer every question.

Check out our full ASVAB assessment page here that include free tests.

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