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GT Improvement

To improve the General Technical (GT) line score, you have two major options:

FAST Class(Edit)

The education center at your post should have instructions about how to get involved with the FAST program. You will join the Basic Skills Education Program or GT Improvement class (which one you go to depends on how you do on the TABE). These programs will work if the soldier pays attention, does the work, and doesn't freak out on test day.

The biggest problem with these is getting a slot. For example, Ft. Drum, home to thousands of soldiers who would like to improve their GT score, only processes 20 students a month in the BSEP program. Write your congressmen and/or proceed to your alternative:


Quick answer: go to this Magic Link: , register (it's free for military), and start plowing through the ASVAB practice.

Longer answer: (The rest of this page).

Test preparation is best done with a buddy. Even one who doesn't completely know the material can help. It is best to have a few layers of support:

  1. Your own mind and determination
  2. A buddy--anybody
  3. A nerd-buddy (the guy in the unit with a really high GT score)
  4. A professional

The biggest key to GT improvement is what to focus on. There are 9 sections on the ASVAB, but only 3 of them affect the GT score, and they are:

All three of these are useful to every soldier. There, I said it. I know there's a tempting mindset that says, "I'm street smart, not book smart." Even those soldiers have to be able to do basic math from time to time and they have to be able to understand and give orders. The difference between a high GT and a very high GT is probably not terribly important, but the difference between a low GT and a high GT probably is.

The good news is that none of them, not even the dreaded Arithmetic Reasoning section, are impossible to learn. The math problem solving here is just following instructions and using common sense. Like anything else, you cannot expect to be good at it unless you have proper training and practice. Many good soldiers have been so focused on their military tasks that they have forgotten some grade school tasks, but that is just a matter of a little retraining.

So, we will zoom in on each of the three subjects. I'll start with the one most people cite as their weakness:

Arithmetic Reasoning(Edit)

This section gets its own page: Arithmetic Reasoning Test Improvement.

Word Knowledge(Edit)

Just a big chain of, "What does this word mean?" questions. Exactly like these Word Knowledge Sample Questions from, or these samples from

In my opinion, there are two ways to study for this test. The first is highly focused: see if you can find a list of the words used on the test (say, from an ASVAB study book) and then drill on each of them, such as with flash cards. The second, and probably better in the long run, is to just start using a dictionary all the time. Sit and read a book, then Google any word that you don't know. If you don't have a dictionary or Internet handy, underline the word and come back to it when you do. Same thing goes for people using words in conversations. If you have the humility to ask what something means eventually you will not have to.

During the test, be sure to read each choice. Sometimes a wrong answer jumps right off the page at first. Also, be sure to mark questions that you're not sure about and come back to them. Sometimes the subconscious remembers while you're doing something else.

Paragraph Comprehension(Edit)

Reading a few paragraphs and then answering questions about them. This is usually a matter of having the mental endurance to pay attention to every detail. Watch out for words like "not", "always", "mostly", etc., that are critical to understand the answer they are looking for.

A good sample from

Further Resources(Edit)

Last changed: 2011/01/09 19:17