How to Study for the ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension Test
The ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension portion is only 11 written questions and 22 minutes long, but it’s an important factor in determining your success. For starters, the ASVAB test creators understand how PC is applicable to the other nine portions of the exam and your success-as-a-whole while enlisted.
Whether dealing with Electronics Information, General Science, or Arithmetic Reasoning, your ability to read and understand materials is paramount to your ability to navigate other subject matter areas. In the following article, we’re going to be sharing some tips for how you should prepare for the Paragraph Comprehension section. Let’s begin!
1. Read Every Day
Reading can be tough if it wasn’t modeled well for you growing up. And even if it was, having a technical mind can mean you’d rather be doing things with your hands than sitting down with challenging materials. Regardless, you should schedule time every day to read, both for pleasure and educational purposes.
Start with low-hanging fruit. These would be materials that you actually have some interest in. If you like working with electronics and your hands, then technical manuals and non-fiction may provide the entertainment value you need to keep going. That’s fine. Go for it. But as you sharpen your reading skills on the familiar, try to challenge yourself with something that’s out of your comfort zone as well. It’s the only way to improve.
2. Take Practice Tests
The best way to start preparing for the ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension exam is to take as many practice tests as you can. We offer some for free here at 4Tests.com. As you delve into it, you’ll start to see sample questions like this one:
They’re usually fact-driven, as you can see above, and require you to keep tabs with certain details to recall the correct answer. Just a simple, straight-forward multiple choice item but one that requires you to pay attention to the subject matter and how one sentence flows into the next.
3. Watch Videos
There are many places where you can go online to delve deeper into study materials. With high-speed Internet making it easier to consume videos and what-not, YouTube has emerged as a pretty valuable resource. Watch as much as you can. Become familiar with ASVAB influencers online, and listen to the experiences of other test-takers. It has become easier than ever before to absorb information thanks to technology and the volume of study materials now available for free.
4. Work With a Friend
It’s always easier to prepare for the ASVAB when you’re going through it with a friend. People have a tendency to retain information better when studying as a group. That’s because you compensate for each other’s weaknesses. So work with a friend who’s also going to take the ASVAB. If you can, try to line up your testing dates at the same time so you can travel to the exam together as well.
5. Purchase Study Materials
As great as free content like ours is, you may also wish to consider purchasing an official study guide from a bookstore. These can be a little on the expensive side unless you pick up a used copy of the previous year’s exam. Just make sure you’re also keeping tabs on the news surrounding the ASVAB to ensure there haven’t been any drastic changes to the content of the test. And, considering this is an article about Paragraph Comprehension, we’d be remiss if we failed to advise you to focus on that section as much as possible.
6. Read Aloud
Reading things aloud is always good practice for paragraph comprehension. That’s because it forces you to slow down your reading and say the words on the page instead of the ones in your head. In other words, you won’t gloss over any words and your mouth will stumble if you read something wrong.
If you’re not in a place where you can say the words out loud, then you can still get the same effect reading silently. Simply make sure that you are moving your lips with the text.
7. Take a Prep Course
Testing materials and online independent study are effective, and you should definitely be finding time for them. But if you get the opportunity to take a preparation course for the ASVAB — which will cover details of Paragraph Comprehension, of course — do it!
Having that one-on-one time with a certified instructor is vital to clarifying any points of confusion that you may have. Take advantage of the moment should it arise and ask as many questions as you can. If you can’t find a class in your area, see about hiring a tutor or bartering for their expertise in some way.
8. Learn from Past Mistakes
You get three shots at the ASVAB. If you fail the first time, you can retake it a month after your initial testing date. If you do poorly a second time, then you have to wait another six months from the second test date. Whether it’s a span of one months or seven months, take note of your weak areas and redouble your efforts. Learning from past mistakes will bring you ever closer to the score you desire. It will also help you perform better on other sections.
9. Get Familiar With PC in Other Disciplines
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can isolate Paragraph Comprehension. It’s going to show up in multiple sections of the ASVAB. Therefore, as you’re preparing, make sure you are reading a variety of materials that have to do with math, science, and machinery.
The more examples you can find of textual passages in different areas of discipline, the more you’ll be able to navigate those individual sections on the exam. In other words, prepping for all sections will help you improve your Paragraph Comprehension scores as well.
10. Use Context Clues As Much As Possible
Context clues are vital to staying focused on what you’re reading. They’ll also help you better understand vocabulary, thus setting you up for success on the Word Knowledge portion of the ASVAB as well. The stronger your vocabulary is, the better your paragraph comprehension will be. And that’ll make you stronger at comprehending other challenges within the exam itself.
ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension Is Vital to Every Component of the Test
Don’t fear the ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension section. While it’s certainly valuable on the other sections, it’s also somewhat simple in its formatting and length. Once you get the hang of it on your practice tests, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way on test day. Best of luck, and if you have any additional questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Pixabay]