Preparing for the Day of the Test for McGraw-Hill's ASVAB (page 3)
Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the things that you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.
The Day Before the ASVAB Test
It's too late anyway. Studying for the ASVAB is not something you do the day before the test. At this point, it's too late to stuff information into your mind. If you paid attention to the advice of the author, you have undertaken a steady pace of study that is directed toward success on the test.
Exercise Your Body
If you have studied hard and followed your study plan, you should take the day before the test to pay attention to your personal well-being. Take a run or a long walk, play tennis or basketball, go rock climbing, or have a picnic. Do whatever physical activity gives you joy. Relax and feel good. Drink a good amount of water.
Revel in the fact that you have worked hard and will have the opportunity to show what you know tomorrow. Be excited that your hard work will finally have a payoff as you take the ASVAB. You've worked hard, and now you will obtain your reward.
Have a Healthy Dinner
Eat a decent, low-fat meal. Chicken or fish and a good supply of vegetables would be appropriate. Don't drink any alcoholic beverages or high-sugar or caffeine drinks.
You have worked hard for the past several months. If you have followed the advice in this book, you should go to bed feeling confident and relaxed, and with a smile on your face. Go to sleep early and set your alarm well in advance of the time you need to be at the testing center. Setting a backup alarm is a good idea. If you have trouble sleeping, do some relaxation exercises.
The Day of the ASVAB Test
Eat a Good Breakfast
Have a modest breakfast, but lay off the butter, sausage, bacon, and syrup. Eat lightly, choosing foods that will give you energy and focus. Cereal and milk with some fruit would be good, as would oatmeal. A cup of coffee might sharpen your edge. Eating too much or eating foods that are too fatty can make you feel, think, and act sluggish, and you may not perform your best. Your best bet is to be eating healthy meals all along. One morning of eating right won't help you much. By all means, don't go to the test with an empty stomach.
Don't Drink a Lot of Fluid
Certainly don't go into the test dehydrated, but drinking lots of coffee and water before the test may cause you to be uncomfortable. This could distract you from performing your best.
If you are taking the test at school, you probably need to arrive at your usual time. If you are taking the test at a MEPS or a MET site, it's a good idea to arrive a little early and get comfortable with the testing room.
Relax and Glance at Your Notes
A little stress before you start the test is a good thing, as it will help you stay mentally sharp. An excess of stress can cause test anxiety, a condition that is not helpful to your performance. You have studied hard and done all you can do to prepare, so be confident in yourself and relax. If you feel you need to keep reviewing, scan your notes one more time, but then set them aside. If you follow the advice in this book, you will approach the test as an opportunity to show them what you know. Take a deep breath and begin.
Reduce Test Anxiety
1. Be prepared. If you have studied hard, there is no reason that you can't show what you know.
2. Banish all your excuses for not studying.
3. Don't procrastinate.
4. Stay with an organized study routine that sets aside time each week to study.
5. Reduce as much stress from other aspects of your life as possible.
6. Stay in good physical condition by exercising and eating right.
7. Visualize your success. Imagine yourself receiving great ASVAB scores.
Read or Listen to the Directions
The ASVAB has very specific directions for each test within the test battery. Read the directions carefully and listen intently as the directions are read to you by the test administrator or provided to you on the computer screen. The directions will tell you what you need to do and how you need to approach the test items. You will be given a specified amount of time for each subtest. Pay attention to the time schedule, especially for the paper-and-pencil version of the ASVAB. There will probably be a clock in the room, but bring a watch so that you can manage your time.
The directions that you will be given for both the paper-and-pencil version and the computer version are provided elsewhere in this book, so you should have little in the way of surprises.
Before each test, you will be given some practice items. Be sure to pay attention to those items and the directions. If there is something you don't understand, ask for clarification.
Test Administration (Paper-and-Pencil ASVAB)
The Room You will probably be tested in a room that has surface area that you can use to open the test booklet and record your answers on the answer sheet. There will be a clock visible to you to help you with the timing of the test. The test administrator will indicate the time the test will end on a sign or on the blackboard. The room should be free from noise and visual distractions. The lighting should be sufficient for you to see the questions easily. An audible electronic timer will be used for timing the various subtests to let you know when to stop answering questions.
There will be a test administrator for every 25 persons. If there are more than 25 people, there should be one proctor for every 25 people.
The test directions will be read to you verbatim and in English. You will be given scratch paper to work with.
Cheating-Don't Even Think About It
If you are taking the paper-and-pencil version along with other people, individuals will be given one of several versions of the ASVAB. So copying from others is likely to give you the wrong answers. You will also be seated in such a way that you cannot readily observe another person's answer sheet, and if you can see the answer sheet, the test version and thus the answers are going to be different.
Use of unauthorized assistance such as calculators, slide rules, other mechanical devices, or crib sheets and going forward or backward to other subtests are considered cheating. If you are caught cheating, your test results will be invalidated and you will not be able to retake the ASVAB for six months.
Given that moral character is important for the military, starting off your career with cheating is, well, not your best decision, to say the least.
The review sections of this book have some test-taking pointers that are specific to the subject matter. There are also some general test-taking strategies for multiple-choice questions that are good to keep in mind.
- Read each question carefully, then try to answer it without looking at the possible answers given. If you find your answer among those provided, you probably have a correct answer.
- Read all the answers before deciding on the correct answer. In many instances there could be more than one correct answer, but there will be one that is clearly the best.
- If there are two answers that are opposites, it is likely that one of them will be the correct answer.
- Try to eliminate answers that are clearly wrong and think through the possible remaining answers.
- Carefully consider answers that have qualifiers (usually, mostly, most often, generally). These tend to be correct.
- Pay attention to words like always, never, all, none, and only. They mean what they say.
- If you skip a question or want to go back and revisit it if you have time, jot the item number down on the scratch paper that you have been given. (This applies only to the paper-and-pencil version of the ASVAB.)
- If you have time, go back and review your answers, but remember that your first answer is usually correct. Change the answer only if you are very sure that it is wrong.
- Answer every item. On the paper-and-pencil version there is no penalty for guessing. On the CAT-ASVAB, try to answer every question correctly. Your score is higher if you answer harder questions.
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