What Is The National Guard Aptitude Test?
The National Guard aptitude test refers to the assessments needed to be completed in order to join the military.
To join the National Guard, every prospective member of the military has to complete a range of assessments including the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The tests are conducted at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) around the US and Puerto Rico.
The tests cover four areas of aptitude: Math, Verbal, Spatial, and Science and Technical.
There are two types of ASVAB tests, the CAT-ASVAB which is a computer-adaptive test, and the pencil and paper version.
The pencil and paper version of the test is the older type, and you will generally have a longer time limit to complete the questions.
With the CAT-ASVAB, you must complete each of the subsections within the specified time limit, and the questions adapt to suit your ability. This test usually takes candidates about two hours to complete. The pencil and paper one can take 3-4 hours including administration details and instructions.
The subtests that are in the ASVAB are as follows:
- General Science
- Arithmetic Reasoning
- Word Knowledge
- Paragraph Comprehension
- Math Knowledge
- Electronics Information
- Auto Information
- Shop Information
- Mechanical Comprehension
- Assembling Objects
If you want to join the Army National Guard, you will also need to meet certain eligibility criteria, including age, general fitness, and nationality.
What To Expect In The National Guard Aptitude Test
The National Guard Aptitude Test (ASVAB) is a timed test that takes about 3.5 hours to complete, and you have to take it at a Department of Defense test center.
The test covers 10 different subtests; which include questions on math, science and technology, verbal and spatial.
General Science Test
The general science section of the ASVAB covers the following areas:
- Life science
- Physical science
- Earth and space science
You'll have eight minutes to answer 15 questions, and the science in question will be based on things that you will have learned in high school.
Arithmetic Reasoning Test
For the Arithmetic Reasoning section of the ASVAB you will have 15 minutes to answer about 30 questions, so you'll need to work fast and be ready to work through different word problems that will cover things like arithmetic, percentages, basic operations, and other math-related principles that you will have learned in school.
Word Knowledge Test
Word Knowledge is about your knowledge of vocabulary and your ability to understand the way words are used in sentences.
In the ASVAB Word Knowledge subtest, you will have 15 minutes to answer eight questions, and you'll need to recognize the meanings of words by finding the synonyms or antonyms from the multiple-choice options.
Paragraph Comprehension Test
For the Paragraph Comprehension section of the test you will have 22 minutes to answer 10 questions.
In this section, you will be provided with a written paragraph that you need to read and understand, with a question that you need to answer based on the information given.
Mathematics Knowledge Test
The math knowledge section of the test consists of 15 questions that you will have 20 minutes to answer. You will have to answer a number of questions on principles like fractions, percentages, decimals and ratios as well as finding averages and analyzing data.
Knowledge of electronics is tested in this subsection. You'll need to know about electrical concepts like currents and circuits as well as electrical systems and devices. The questions will be based on both word problems and visual representations of circuits.
You'll have eight minutes to answer 15 questions.
Auto and Shop Information Test
You will have seven minutes allocated to the Auto and Shop information test and you will need to answer 10 questions.
These are quite specific subjects, relating to both automotive repair and the processes that take place in a wood or metal shop.
You will also need to have knowledge of common terminology used as well as tools.
Mechanical Reasoning Test
In the Mechanical Reasoning subsection of the ASVAB, you will be asked 15 questions that you have to answer in 20 minutes.
The questions will focus on basic mechanical principles and physics that you will have learned in school, such as gravity and acceleration, pulleys, and gears.
You will also need to have knowledge of the properties of materials. There is plenty of practice test material available for mechanical reasoning to ensure you pass this part of the assessment.
Assembling Objects Test
The assembling objects test focuses on your spatial reasoning skills, and you will be asked to use descriptions of objects to decide what they will look like when they are assembled.
You'll have 40 minutes in this section to answer just 15 questions, so make sure that you use as much of this time as possible to demonstrate that you have good spatial reasoning.
Top Tips To Pass National Guard Tests
Although the National Guard test is about your aptitude and natural abilities, preparation is key to a good performance.
If you want to achieve the highest score possible, you need to create a study plan and do some learning and revision in the run-up to the test - use the time wisely so that you aren't cramming, and so that you can still enjoy your normal activities, too.
2) Practice Test Questions
Practicing National Guard tests is an essential part of your preparation. Not only will you be able to familiarize yourself with the test format, you will also be able to use the results to focus your revision and learning on the areas where you are less confident or perhaps less knowledgeable.
3) Revise the concepts & principles
Although you will have already learned most of the subjects that you are going to be quizzed on in the ASVAB, it is likely that you will need a refresher on some principles.
For some people, the mechanical, electrical, auto, and shop sections will be the most challenging, so allocate your revision according to your weakest areas.
This is a timed test, and although 3.5 hours seems like a long time when you first sit down, the time can go quickly!
If you are taking the CAT-ASVAB on a computer, you will be able to move on from the section you are completing as soon as you are finished, but if you are doing the pencil and paper version you won't be able to move on until the time is up.
Make the most of the time you have, but don't rush through the questions - make sure that you read all the given information and the questions thoroughly, and check your answers if you have time at the end of the section.
5) Self Care
You will not be able to perform at your best if you haven't had enough rest, and you will struggle if you are distracted by being hungry and thirsty.
Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep a night so that your cognitive function is not impaired, and prioritize healthy meals and good hydration for the best results.