Inside General Science

Along with math, science is an academic area that many people find intimidating. But there’s no reason to be afraid of the ASVAB General Science section. As with the math section, the biggest challenge will be answering all the questions in the the time allotted. 

Depending on which format of the test you take, the General Science section will either include 25 questions to be answered in 11 minutes, or 16 questions to be answered in 8 minutes (the first is for the paper test, the second is for the computerized version). The key to answering all those questions in 30 seconds or less is to be prepared!

So, what will you need to know for the ASVAB General Science section? The questions can come from any area of science: biology, human physiology, chemistry, physical sciences, geology, earth science, astronomy, etc. While this covers a lot of knowledge, the questions from each field will only involve the fundamentals of that field. 

For example, here is a sample astronomy question:

  1. Which planet is next farthest away from the sun after Earth?
    1. Venus
    2. Mercury
    3. Jupiter
    4. Mars

This question is probably one that most people could answer without having studied or reviewed any astronomy concepts.

Some of the questions are a bit harder, though, and will require you to have memorized concepts from high school level science courses.

Here is an example biology question:

Which trait would prevent a new unidentified species from being categorized in the kingdom Animalae?

  1. asexual reproduction
  2. cell walls
  3. no backbone
  4. hard exoskeleton

And an example chemistry question:

Solid CO2 is formed at high pressure and low temperature. Once it is brought to room temperature and atmospheric pressure, it is expected to sublimate. What do you expect to happen?

  1. It will change state from solid to liquid to gas.
  2. It will remain frozen.
  3. It will become a gas.
  4. Its temperature and pressure will increase.

As you can see, unless you have recently taken all your high school sciences and you remember the details well, you will need to brush up on a big range of science topics. Since the range is so wide, the best option is to use an ASVAB study guide. A book or online course designed specifically for the ASVAB will target the key concepts from each different field of science that you need to know. Working with a tutor who is knowledgeable about science could also help a lot!