Skilled Technical is an Army line score for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The ASVAB test is made of nine sub-tests and line scores reflect the total scores for specific groups of sub-tests. For example, the Skilled Technical (ST) line score is the sum of the general science, verbal expression, mathematical knowledge and mechanical comprehension scores. High ST line scores are required for enlistees interested positions such as aviation operations specialist, civil affairs specialist or information systems operator.
The general science section tests basic knowledge in the life, earth and physical sciences. Some key topics covered include nutrition, the human body, genetics, geology, astronomy, physics and chemistry. A review of basic high-school science textbooks or tutoring sessions should help you earn a strong score in this section.
Upon entering the Army, soldiers are required to absorb huge amounts of written information quickly and accurately. For this reason, the word knowledge and paragraph comprehension ASVAB scores are combined together to create the verbal expression score and then weighted double into the Armed Forces Qualification Score (AFQT). This AFQT score determines overall eligibility for acceptance into military service. The key to scoring well on the word knowledge portion of the test is to build up your vocabulary. Reading a range of books or short stories is one way to increase word knowledge. Looking over Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) vocabulary flash cards or taking online SAT English practice tests are another way to increase your overall word knowledge and comprehension.
The paragraph comprehension section tests an enlistee's ability to read a passage, recall relevant information from that passage and then to answer questions on the passage. As with the word knowledge sub-test, the best preparation is reading. Reading comprehension can be compared to a muscle that maintains ability and information with continued practice and exposure. SAT verbal test prep guides and online practice tests can help build reading comprehension skills. Taking the actual SAT or ACT tests are another way to prepare for the ASVAB test. Taking a solid roster of English coursework in high school also helps with test preparation.
Most technical trades require a solid foundation in mathematics. The mathematical knowledge sub-test draws upon math skills learned in middle school and high school. Enlistees should review concepts such as equations, inequalities, probabilities, word problems and both plane and solid geometry. Many online educational sites offer practice tests and free online courses to help you brush up on or learn more about these math topics.
Finally, test-takers must have a thorough understanding of basic mechanical concepts if they want a high Skilled Technical score. Students might choose to take career technical training courses through their high school. Many required high school math and science coursework should include the basic mechanical concepts to test successfully. Some concepts to familiarize yourself with in this subject area include Newton's laws of motion, force, weight and mass, simple machines, friction and hydraulics. If you plan on taking the ASVAB test, consult with your high school counselor, teachers or ROTC instructors about relevant course work to prepare for the test.
Liz Frazier has been producing Web content, instructional articles and trivia for websites such as TopTenz.net and RealDealTechnologies.com since 2008. Her writing interests lie primarily in the areas of politics (specifically public administration and elections), the military, education and forced migration. Frazier has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from California State University, Northridge.