Arithmetic Reasoning

One reason the Arithmetic Reasoning portion of the ASVAB is so important is that this is one of the four sections used to calculate your Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score. Each branch of the military has specific AFQT requirements. If you don’t have the appropriate minimum score, you won’t be able to enlist.

The Arithmetic Reasoning portion contains 30 questions. You have 36 minutes to complete the section, which gives you approximately one minute to answer each question.

Questions on the Arithmetic Reasoning section focus on basic mathematics skills:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division

Some of the concepts covered in questions might include:

  • Percentages
  • Interest
  • Ratios
  • Proportions
  • Unit conversions
  • Averages
  • Rates

Many of the questions on the Arithmetic Reasoning section are word problems. For example, a question might ask how many buses you would need to transport 144 students to a school field trip if each bus can carry 36 people. To solve this problem, you would need to understand that you must divide 144 by 36. When working on word problems, it’s important to read the question carefully. You don’t want to make careless errors due to simply misreading the information that has been provided.

You can prepare for the Arithmetic Reasoning portion of the test by spending some time reviewing online practice-test questions and study guides. Remember to time yourself as you work to determine if you are answering questions too quickly or too slowly.

If you are not sure of an answer, try to make an educated guess. For example, if a question asks whether a number is divisible by four, the answer is obviously no if the number is not divisible by two. However, if you can’t eliminate any incorrect answers, you should still complete the question. The ASVAB has no penalties for incorrect answers, so even a random guess has the potential to boost your score.