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What Type of Algebra Should I Study for the ASVAB?

by Jen Saunders, studioD

If you plan on joining one of the branches of the armed services and hope to secure a job that requires having math knowledge you will need to get a high score in the mathematics portion of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The ASVAB's math section tests one's knowledge of high school level algebra. It is advantageous to understand the types of algebra problems on the exam so you can be prepared to take the test and earn a high score.

Word Problems

One of the many types of algebra problems ASVAB test takers face are word problems. An algebra word problem presents something to solve expressed in words rather than numbers. Word problems can deal with percentages, equations and a number of other areas. Regardless of the subject you will need to transform the language into a numbers-based formula. Be sure to carefully read the problem and list all the variables and information that can be identified, such as time and distance. You will also need to fix units of measure to any variables like miles, inches and gallons. Identify what the problem demands that you need, structure it, and work in an organized manner with the information you have.

Linear Equations

The ASVAB will contain algebra linear equations -- equations between two variables that gives a straight line when plotted on a graph. Some questions may ask test takers to solve a linear equation with an unknown value. There are a number of free online tools that can help you learn the processes required for solving linear equations. Discovery Education has an online tool that helps people solve linear equations involving an unknown. These tools can help you check your work for accuracy and prepare you to score well on the ASVAB.


Fraction-based problems are common components of the ASVAB. These problems require test takers to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions. If you have forgotten fraction fundamentals it would be advantageous to review the basics and work your way up to more challenging levels. Utilizing a study aid like Parapro Assessment Flashcard Study System will help you comprehend and memorize the workings of fractions. In many cases reviewing the steps to solving fractions through flash cards can help you get that high ASVAB algebra score.

Quadratic Equations

Be prepared to face some quadratic equations smiling back at you from the ASVAB algebra portion of the exam. A quadratic equation is an equation in which the highest power of an unknown quantity is a square. Quadratic equations are typically the next level up in algebra after mastering how to factor equations. The newness faced is that the equation requires solving the value of "x" in order to make the equation true. For example, if an equation is (x – 4)(x – 5) = 0 you must multiply two items together with an answer of zero. If you want a high score in the algebra ASVAB section be sure you have a firm grasp of quadratic equations.

About the Author

Jen Saunders is an entrepreneur and veteran journalist who covers a wide range of topics. She made the transition to writing after having spent 12 years in England where she studied and taught English literature.

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