What is the ASVAB paragraph comprehension test?
Similar to the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) word knowledge test, the comprehension test is also designed to assess your communication skills through the lens of how strong you are at extracting meaning and key pieces of information from longer passages of text.
A really useful skill in so many different roles, doing well at this test shows that you are a competent reader, are able to recognise the difference between fact and fiction, and understand what information is important and what is less so.
Looking at basic comprehension questions and paragraph comprehension test past papers will help you to hone your skills and get quicker and better.
The format of the ASVAB paragraph comprehension test
The ASVAB paragraph comprehension test consists of 22 questions which you'll need to work through in just ten minutes.
Each question will present you with a passage of text, before asking you to select the correct multiple choice option in answer to the question being asked.
Answering correctly helps the examiner to see how well you can read through something, extract key information and demonstrate basic understanding. It's really important to read each question carefully. Don't skim read as you might miss vital information that leads to getting the answer wrong.
How is the ASVAB paragraph comprehension test scored?
Your ASVAB score adds up your score on every section of the test. You'll be given three different readings of your result. They are as follows:
1. A standard score — this is your score in comparison with the average test taker and it's ranked from 1-100. 50 is the median.
2. An AFQT score — the Armed Forces Qualification Test score is the score that determines whether you got enough points to join the army, navy etc.
3. A composite score — your composite score will allow you to see which specific roles you could progress into.
Top tips to pass the ASVAB paragraph comprehension test
1. Get prepared — put together a study plan to help you work through all the different sections of the ASVAB. It's important to spend more time on your weaker areas, so you can build yourself up into a competent candidate across each section of the test.
2. Pick up a book — the paragraph comprehension test is all about understanding how well you can pick out key pieces of information from dense passages of text. Why not practise in an informal way by reading passages from your favourite novel and asking a friend or family member to test you on what you've read?
3. Keep an eye on the clock — time is tight on every section of the ASVAB, and it's easy to get carried away working out one answer at the expense of others. Keep an eye on the clock and make sure you allocate roughly the same time for each question to help you stay on track.
4. Look to the future — it can be hard to motivate yourself, but the better you do on the test, the more exciting and diverse the career opportunities you'll be offered. Try and remember that when the going gets tough.
5. Just try your best — if you've practised and prepared, then the only thing you can do on the day is your best. Keep calm, take a deep breath and work through the test as well as you can — that's all anyone can ask of you.
Check out our full ASVAB assessment page here that include free tests.