How to Prepare and Pass Coast Guard Test? – A Comprehensive Study Guide
A career in the coast guard stands out amongst other branches of the military because you elevate maritime safety and protect naval law.
The Coast Guard offers six different units to join:
- Defense operations
- Maritime law enforcement
- Maritime response
- Maritime prevention
- Marine transportation system management
- Maritime security operation
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What Are the Requirements to Be a Coast Guard?
Before you enlist in this prestigious military branch, you must meet the requirements listed below:
- Age – Only those between 17 and 27 years of age can join this exceptional team
- Residency – You need to be a US citizen or a resident alien
- Education – You need a high school diploma and possibly a GED to enroll in the coast guard, and you cannot have more than two dependents
- Testing – You must pass a military medical exam and an (ASVAB) or the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test
For the reservist programs (someone who lives at home but travels internationally when deployed):
- Only those between 17 and 39 can pursue reservist programs
Here Is What the ASVAB Looks Like.
What Is the ASVAB?
This preliminary exam has 225 questions and nine sections and lasts up to two hours and twenty-nine minutes.
Here are the nine sections:
- Assembling Objects (AO) – This section asks 16 multiple choice questions in 16 minutes. It measures your ability to recognize spatial awareness and your memory. Specifically your memory of objects. For this section, you might be shown separated pieces of a shape and asked which full shape represents all those pieces placed together. Thus, assembling the objects.
- General Science (GS) – This section asks 16 multiple choice questions within eight minutes. You need to have general knowledge of chemistry, astronomy, physics, geometry, meteorology, and biology. You might have questions about the periodic table, the ozone layer, Darwin, or water cycles.
- Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) – This portion asks 16 multiple-choice word problems, and you have 39 minutes to answer them. Study probability, percentages, fractions, and problem-solving skills to ace this part of the test.
- Word Knowledge (WK) – This category asks 16 multiple choice questions in eight minutes. These questions test your knowledge of definitions and context clues. Study with a thesaurus and dictionary. Reading frequently can increase your vocabulary and help with your reading comprehension to benefit other sections.
- Mathematics Knowledge (MK) – This exam has 16 multiple choice questions to complete in 20 minutes. This series accounts for your knowledge of high school math. You need to know how to solve problems with exponents, letter equations, word problems, percentages, ratios, probabilities, and questions about applying PEMDAS. If all of this sounds vaguely familiar, the basic maths study guide will jog your memory and explain each mathematical formula.
- Paragraph Comprehension (PC) – This section of the ASVAB has 11 multiple choice questions to complete in 22 minutes. Each question presents a paragraph, and you read the paragraph and use deductive reasoning and reading comprehension skills to answer questions about the passage. Reading difficult literature helps strengthen your Paragraph Comprehension skills and Word Knowledge.
- Electronics Information (EI) – This portion of the test includes 16 multiple choice questions in eight minutes. Each question revolves around your comprehension of mechanics and electrical equipment. You need to know about conductors, circuits, and electricity.
- Auto and Shop Information (AS) – This section has 11 multiple choice questions to answer in six minutes. This portion assesses your basic knowledge about car repairs and automobiles. Head to a local body shop or ask your mechanic friend for tips to help you study.
- Mechanical Comprehension (MC) – This section of the ASVAB has 16 questions to answer in 20 minutes. Studying material about physics, mechanics, and machinery will help you pass this portion. Reviewing high school physics textbooks helps. If you don’t have them, most local libraries do.
Let’s look at the breakdown of scores on the AFVAB, starting with the AFQT.
What Is the AFQT?
The Armed Forces Qualification Test is a subsection of the ASVAB.
The AFQT measures overall scores in:
- Arithmetic Reasoning
- Mathematics Knowledge
- Paragraph Comprehension
- Word Knowledge.
The AFQT measures the math and reading portions to measure your capability of enrolling in the military.
To enlist in the military and move forward with the process, you need to score at least a 40 on the AFQT if you have a high school diploma or a 50 on the AFQT if you have a GED.
What Do the Sections Measure?
The ASVAB measures your eligibility for ten different qualification areas, including:
- Mechanical Maintenance
- General Technical
- Nuclear Field
- Engineering and Electronics
The computer or test administrator calculates your best results and matches you with the qualification best fit for your experience and knowledge. The results are your composite score or your line score.
For example, someone qualified as a doctor in the Coast Guard will likely score highly on the general science, verbal expression, and mathematics knowledge portions of the test.
A worker destined for a job in the nuclear field scores high on the Verbal Expression, Mathematics Knowledge, Mechanical Comprehension, and Arithmetic Reasoning sections of the ASVAB.
Once you pass your AFQT, the scorers calculate that score into a percentage. The highest score you can receive on an ASVAB is 99, and the lowest score you can receive on an ASVAB is one.
The score further breaks down into eight categories:
- I- 93-99
- II- 65-92
- III A – 50-64
- III B- 31-49
- IV A- 21-30
- IV B- 16-20
- IV C- 10-15
- V 0-9
If you score in the I or II category, you can choose from elite Coast Guard jobs. If you score in the III A category, you might have an entry-level job, but if you score in any lower categories, you don’t qualify to enlist.
How to Prepare for the Coast Guard Test
Luckily Job Test Prep has compiled a comprehensive preparation packet for those interested in enlisting in the Coast Guard.
The basic prep pack consists of:
- Three complete ASVAB practice tests to mimic your actual testing experience. To get the most out of these practice tests, set a timer for each section and pretend you’re really in the exam room with an administrator.
- Mechanical Comprehension practice problems and practice tests.
- Mathematics Knowledge practice problems and practice tests.
- General Science practice problems and practice tests.
- Assembling Objects practice problems and practice tests.
- Paragraph Comprehension practice problems and practice tests.
- Word Knowledge practice problems and practice tests.
- Arithmetic Reasoning practice problems and practice tests.
- Study guides for the ASVAB to help you with more difficult sections and explain portions that confuse you.
- Timed practice tests and practice tests that illustrate how to best answer the questions.
Job Test Prep also offers a complete test prep package for the ASVAB. It has an ASVAB diagnostic test to identify the sections you struggle with and which sections come naturally to you.
Take the diagnostic test and study the areas that give you the most difficulty. Make a note to spend extra time with those sections, so you don’t get hung up during the actual exam.
Use the study guide and explanations to your advantage. Learn how to approach the questions that give you more difficulty. This will increase your AFQT scores to make sure you qualify for enrollment in the military.
With the help of Job Test Prep, after you receive your diagnostic score results, the company creates a plan tailored to your needs and weaknesses. Job Test Prep wants you to succeed, and if you pay attention to this tailored plan and study, you have a high chance of passing the ASVAB.
The plan asks you questions relating to the areas you struggle with and provide step-by-step solutions so you understand exactly what the questions ask and how to solve them. Instead of guessing the correct answer at the last minute, you can take your time on the test and finally understand the solution.
You repeat the process until you earn the desired score to earn a decent score on the AFQT, pass the ASVAB, and enlist in the Coast Guard.
In addition to a diagnostic test, the full test prep package includes:
- A basic math study guide- If math isn’t your strong suit, that’s okay. This test prep package has equations from each subject and breaks them down to the basics.
- Explanations for every question on the practice tests
- Three complete ASVAB practice tests with study guides
- Ten Mathematics Knowledge tests
- 14 Arithmetic Reasoning tests
- Three Word Knowledge tests
- Two General Science tests
- Six Assembling Objects tests
- Nine Mechanical Comprehension tests
- Two Electronics Information tests
- 11 Paragraph Comprehension tests
Both the basic package and the full package have the same three deals.
- One week access for $79
- One month access for $89
- Three-month access for $99
Start Preparing for the ASVAB Today
How you perform on the ASVAB determines your eligibility to enlist in the Coast Guard. If you envision a career with the prestigious branch of the military, you can prepare with Job Test Prep’s study guides and preparation packages.
Both the basic package and the full package have all the tools and information you need to pass your ASVAB. Start studying and enroll in the Coast Guard soon!
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.