Are You Smarter Than a US Marine?


By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos

About This Quiz

Uncle Sam wants you … to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)! The ASVAB is a multiple choice test offered to anyone who wants to enlist in the Marines (or other service branches). This sprawling test covers everything from science, to mathematics, to basic physics, mechanic concepts, English skills and a whole lot more. Do you think you can pass the ASVAB and get into the branch of your choice?

The ASVAB is a critical step in any Marine's career. You need a minimum score of 31 to get into the Army or Navy, 32 for the Marines, and because planes are like, complicated, a minimum score of 36 to get into the Air Force, the same score you need for the Coast Guard. Do you think you can pass the ASVAB with the minimum score to make it into the branch you’ve dreamed of?

To pass the ASVAB, you need a basic grasp on a wide range of concepts. You’ll have to prove your understanding of general science, arithmetic, electronics, word and sentence comprehension, electronics and automotive systems and a lot more. One part of the test is computer-based, while the second half is given in written format.

Before anyone hands you a .50-caliber machine gun, they want to know for sure that you understand the purpose of a “safety,” and they’ll be further reassured when you prove you can use that word correctly in a sentence. Take our sample ASVAB quiz now!

Which of the following clouds are wispy, sparse clouds?

Cirrus clouds are often wispy, thin clouds that have a strand-like appearance. They are often so long and transparent that one cloud seems to stretch on for many miles.


Shock absorbers are part of which car system?

Shock absorbers, struts and the like are all part of a vehicle's suspension system. They're the parts that keep potholes from rattling the fillings out of your teeth.


Which of the following is NOT a human blood type?

There are four human blood types, O, AB, A and B. O-negative is the universal blood donor type because it is compatible with other blood types.


Which of the following tools help you measure angles?

A protractor is one of those nifty transparent plastic tools that's used for measuring angles. It's loaded with lines and numbers that indicate degrees.


How many grams are there in one kilogram?

The kilogram is a standard unit of measure, equal to about 2.2 pounds. There are 1,000 grams in each kilogram.


Which of the following people is mostly likely to be "duplicitous"?

A person who is duplicitous engages in deceptive behavior. Liars are duplicitous people.


The ozone layer is found in which layer of the atmosphere?

Just above the troposphere, you'll find the stratosphere … and that's also the region that contains the ozone layer. Ozone helps to absort ultraviolet light from the sun, and thus keeps us from getting fried by the sun's immense energy.


Which of the following planets is closest to the sun?

Sun-blasted on one side, frozen on the other, Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. Earth is the third-closest planet, right after Venus.


Newton’s First Law of Motion essentially describes the the law of _____.

Newton’s First Law of Motion says that objects in motion tend to stay in motion. In other words, it's the law of inertia.


The Big Bang Theory is used to describe what?

It's also what happens when you play with matches and gasoline. Many scientists posit that the universe began with a massive explosion -- the Big Bang, about 14 billion years ago.


The vascular system is also called the ______ system.

In the human body, the vascular system is the circulatory system. It's the web of vessels that move blood and lymph around the body.


Which type of electrical equipment stores an electrical charge?

Capacitors are electrical components that can store an electrical charge. In the early days of electricity, capacitors were called condensers.


Herbivores are animals that primarily feed on which type of food?

Animals like cows are herbivores. They eat plants and only plants, except that one time when Betsy came down with Mad Cow disease and wound up eating Farmer John's face, but that hardly ever happens.


What word describes a symbiotic relationship in which one organism thrives while another suffers?

It happens in ecosystems around the world -- parasitism. Tapeworms, for example, invade the digestive systems of a host creature and use its energy to sustain their existence.


Most electrical wire is made from ______.

Copper is a very conductive metal. It's why most wires use copper as their base metal.


Woodworkers use a plane for which purpose?

Planes are specialized tools in a woodworking shop. They help carpenters remove thin strips of wood from a piece of lumber.


What does it mean if you "incinerate" something?

Incinerate means to destroy an object by burning it. Better to incinerate those biohazardous materials than to dump them into the local forest.


What carries unoxygenated blood to the heart?

Blood carrying fresh oxygen flows out of the heart via arteries. Veins, on the other hand, direct unoxygenated blood back to the heart.


What kind of trees lose their leaves during one season of the year?

In the Northern Hemisphere, each autumn, deciduous trees shed their leaves as part of their strategy for surviving cold winters. Then, in the spring, they regrow their leaves.


What sort of structure does DNA have?

The intertwining double helix structure of DNA is iconic. Its delicate strands carry the genetic code that makes us who we are.


The clutch and drive shaft are part of which vehicle system?

The clutch and drive shaft are part a car's transmission system. Without a transmission, that car isn't going anywhere.


"Discrete" pretty much means _____

Something that's discrete is separate or individual. One beach is made of billions of discrete bits of sand.


If you drop two objects of varying mass from the same height -- in an environment with no air resistance -- which object hits the ground first?

In the absence of air resistance, the objects will strike the ground at the same time. That's because gravity exerts the same force on both objects.


What do you call a sudden burst of energy from one part of the sun's surface?

A solar flare is an abrupt eruption of high-energy radiation from one part of the sun's surface. Solar flares often cause interference in electrical devices and communications on Earth.


Something that's putrid is ____.

Putrid refers to something that's rotting and emitting a terrible odor. Your high school son's sneakers are putrid.


Which factor causes the seasons to change on Earth?

Earth's rotational axis has a tilt that causes seasons to change. It's why the Northern Hemisphere burns up in July and then plunges into a deep freeze in January.


If you tolerate something, you _____ it.

If you condone something, you tolerate it. "She condoned her toddler's terrible behavior at the mall, something other shoppers could barely tolerate."


Which of the following is a mineral?

Sodium chloride is a mineral. Better known as salt, it's a substance that the human body needs in order to function properly.


If you view a pH scale, any number below ____ is considered acid.

In chemistry, the pH scale is used to note whether a solution is basic or acid. At 7, the solution is neutral -- below 7, it is considered acidic.


What's the best definition of "imbecilic"?

Something that's imbecilic has the traits of an imbecile -- that is, it's stupid, silly, or both. Try not to be imbecilic.


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