Why Do People Pass ASVAB Practice Tests, but Fail the Actual Test? 

by Anderson Duran, ASVAB Tutor / Coach

ASVAB Practice Test Mistakes 

Do you find yourself doing any of these when you take an ASVAB practice test? 
  • Taking it over and over again and getting a higher score
  • Trying to memorize the questions and hoping they'll be on the real test
  • Believing that your practice test score IS your true PiCAT or ASVAB score

These are common and fatal mistakes that a lot of ASVAB test takers make when they take free practice ASVAB tests. 

Why are these mistakes? 

There's a clear difference between an Air Force, Navy, or Army ASVAB practice test and the REAL DEAL. Here are some of the main differences: 
  1. They're not graded the same way.
  2. You may be timed differently.
  3. You won't see the exact same problems

What are practice tests good for? 

That doesn't mean that practice tests are a bad thing; they're not. Practice tests are a great way for you to:
  1. Understand how prepared you are.
  2. Find out what topics you need to work on.
  3. Practice applying test-taking strategies.

It's important that when you take a practice test, you're taking it with the intention to grow from it. That's really it. 

You can take free practice tests like this one here, or ones from your recruiter. But either way, being intentional about GROWING is the key to success here. 

How should you be using practice tests?

Again, a growth mindset is key here. That means you should be focusing on identifying your mistakes and then using your resources to grow from them. Here are some easy things you can do after every practice test you take: 

  • For Math: identify the topics of the questions you got wrong
  • All Subtests: Understand how to explain each question you got right or wrong. (this builds confidence)
  • If the practice test has video solutions (like ours here), use the video solutions to fully understand your mistakes. 

Common mistakes in math include: 
  1. Not knowing what the question is asking
  2. Not knowing what formula/equation applies
  3. Not calculating quickly enough

Don't worry, there's hope. We have an ASVAB Program designed to lower test anxiety and build test-taking confidence through step-by-step teaching and reliable support. 

You can learn more about the ASVAB All-Access Program here: