ASVAB Word Knowledge Study Guide

ASVAB Word Knowledge Study Guide

With all other tests, Word knowledge is included which is similarly vital in processing the eligibility of an aspiring applicant. This study guide will help you improve your knowledge to get ready for your coming exam.

As you join the US military service, certain evaluations must be accomplished to assist in navigating your primary niche in the military branches. That being said, like all other military branches, an applicant must be able to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) evaluation which is conventionally subdivided into ten test subjects. The domains included in the test will help determine your admissibility to be part or initially be enlisted with the Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Army, National Guard and etc…

With all other tests, Word knowledge is included which is similarly vital in processing the eligibility of an aspiring applicant. Furthermore, it is also widely considered as one of the most important domains to be taken as this would pre-define your vocabulary skills especially, in times of military operations which are somewhat dependent on verbal deliberations, and honing such skill is a necessary step in leading or supporting a certain military operation.

And we have to say our ASVAB Word Knowledge Study Guide is one of the most detailed ones, that definitely will be useful for you!

Take note: Be wary that the word knowledge test only has a duration of 8 minutes with 16 questions to be answered. However, if you will take the paper ASVAB test, you are given 11 minutes in answering 35-word knowledge questions.


Sections of the ASVAB Word Knowledge test

As we continue with the course, take note of these two primary types of questions included in the test:

Literal Definition of a word

These questions let you choose between a set of words that may define the pre-given word.

Example 1:

Nefarious most nearly means,

A. Kindness

B. Thoughtfulness

C. Worthy                

D. Evil

With the given choices above, the answer would be D. Evil. Always read the other words to know if it is likely synonymous or antonymous with the given word.

Example 2:

Flabbergasting most nearly means,

A. Plain

B. Dumbfounding         

C. Simple                     

D. Mundane

The answer above would be “B. Dumbfounding.” Like the first note, always read the other given words to know if they are similar in nature and definition.

Example 3:

Idyllic most nearly means,

A. Picturesque

B. Dreadful    

C. Flawed    

D. Atrocious

It is apparent that the answer would be A. Picturesque, considering that majority of the given words are antonymous with the questioned word.


Emphasized (italicized or underlined) Term

Unlike the first type of question, the emphasized word would be the crux of the question which can be answered by determining how it was utilized in the pre-given sentence.

Example 1:

Tim told his best friend, Cole,” Break a leg, bro!”

A. You’re a loser     

B. Good luck           

C. Good riddance

D. You’re welcome

It would be “B. Good Luck.” Break a leg is a common idiom that expresses your support to a certain someone.

Example 2:

As Gary finished the exam, he told his seatmate, Bryan,” Oh dude, the test was indeed a piece of cake.”

A. Difficult

B. Mind-boggling  

C. Easy

D. Strong

The answer is “C. Easy.” Like the first example, the phrase “ A piece of cake is a common idiomatic expression used by many people when expressing ease in doing a particular work.


Core Topics To Study/Ponder

Having much knowledge about basic to advanced grammatical appendices is a fundamental setting that is necessary for you to adapt upon taking all ASVAB tests to properly analyze the set of pre-given questions. Among these technical and grammatical components are; roots, suffixes, and prefixes.

Take note: There’s no need to memorize all of the succeeding terms but it’s more convenient to familiarize the entirety of the grammatical components for accurate deliberation.

To put it into perspective, if you’re aware that “anti” means “opposite/against” then you’d be able to figure out that “anti-Covid 19” means a notion against the concurrent Covid-19.


To make things clear, the subsequent terms are common prefixes along with their equivalent definition and how it is used in common words.

bene – good – beneficiary

Sample sentence: John is a beneficiary of an international scholarship.

de – opposing term – delimitation

Sample sentence: The research should have its own limit and delimitation manner.

dis – refuse, opposing factor of – disentangle

Sample sentence: Gwyn tried to disentangle the twisted rope.

em- / en – cause to happen – empower – enlist

Sample sentence: You’ll soon be empowered after enlisting in the service.

in- – inside tern – input

Sample sentence: You must always consider the raw inputs and subsequent outputs.

inter – between certain concepts – intermediary

Sample sentence: Jesus is the intermediary between humanity and the Almighty Father.

mid – in between or middle spot – midterms

Sample sentence: It’s crucial to pass the midterms with flying colors.

mis – wrongly, contradictory – misconception

Sample sentence: World as it is, bears a common misconception about life and death.

non – not – non-existent

Sample sentence: Chloe’s best friend is no less than a non-existent being that only resides in her imagination.

over – beyond, over – oversee

Sample sentence: The military force is established to oversee peace.

re – again – revitalize

Sample sentence: The essence of brotherhood revitalizes the sense of belongingness.

semi – initial, halfway – semi-bald

Sample sentence: Joe went to his barber and asked for a semi-bald cut.

under – beneath, below, under – underlying

Sample sentence: Every conflict has its own underlying reason.



Common suffixes along with their meaning word application:

-able  – having the capacity – breakable

Sample sentence: True love is not a breakable bond.

-al – relevance – relational

Sample sentence: It’s nice to have an improved relational thinking style.

 -ence – instance of activity – commence

Sample sentence: The proctor remarked,” Let the exam commence!”

-ation –manner or process – evolution

Sample sentence: The evolution of man is predicted to be a paradox of life.

-ful – plenty/filled with – wonderful

Sample sentence: Life is indeed a wonderful journey.

-ist – one who epitomizes – specialist

Sample sentence: Our neighbor is a resident medical specialist.

-less – not having, act of post-removal– boneless

Sample sentence: Have you ever tried the boneless milkfish?

-let – small version – piglet

Sample sentence: The mother pig was walking alongside her three piglets.

-ment – act / progress of – development

Sample sentence: Humanity is now at the edge of AI development.

-ness – bearing a certain characteristic – holiness

Sample sentence: We shall abide by the holiness of God’s word.

-er / -or – one who acts or perform – operator

Sample sentence: Mr. Doe is a tractor operator in West Virginia.



Common Roots along with their meaning and  word application:

The common roots are words that are the primary origin of other words attached with either a prefix- (before a word) or -suffix (after a word).

bio – means ‘life’ – Biology

cede – going towards – precede

corp – a part of a single body – incorporation

dict – utterance – dictionary

domine – overwhelm/ overcome – domination

form – figure/shape – formulation

fract – breakage/scattered – refraction

graph – outlining – Telegraph

path – experience or feeling – Telepathy

press – deviate – suppress

tract – pulling action – retraction

vok – stimulate or call – evoke


          As you finish reading the ASVAB word knowledge study guide above, keep in mind that knowing more than what is pre-given in this study guide is a preferable way to pass the ASVAB Word knowledge Exam with flying colors. Basically, this section of the ASVAB serves as a fundamental determiner for your eligibility in the service thus, having prior knowledge about grammatical, technical and a hint of extensive literary background would guarantee a higher score with the test.

If you want to practice and prepare for the coming test, our FREE ASVAB practice test is an optimal choice!

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