Navy QM Quartermaster ASVAB Study Guide

Branch Navy
Title Quartermaster

Stands watch as assistant to the officers of the deck and to the navigator; serves as helmsman during time when precise ship control is required; performs communications, navigation, and bridge watch duties; procures, corrects, uses, and stows navigational charts and publications; maintains navigational instruments and keeps navigational time; participates in ceremonies conducted in accordance with national and foreign observance and customs; sends and receives visual messages; serves as executive petty officer.

Able to perform the duties required for QM2 and QM1; understands the use and time requirements on various files and logs; understands various types of messages; prepares quarterly schedules of preventive maintenance; requisitions equipment; interviews, selects, and evaluates personnel for the navigation department; plans emergency drills; conducts briefings; understands the law of cyclonic storms and storm avoidance measures; understands the limitations of radar and loran aids to navigation; understands the use of radio direction finding (RDF) equipment; organizes and maintains technical library; prepares and submits budget requests; plans and supervises on-the-job training; serves as enlisted technical or specialty expert; plans, organizes, and directs the work of subordinate personnel; plans and administers on-the-job training programs; supervises the preparation of reports; serves as senior enlisted technical or specialty administrator; ensures maximum efficiency of the work force and the equipment; prepares general correspondence concerning fiscal, supply, and administrative matters; assists in the formulation of plans, policies, and budget requirements; may supplement the officer corps in overall supervision and administration of personnel and equipment; may also supervise personnel in other specialty areas.

Able to perform the duties required for QM3; uses Coast Guard publications concerning Nautical Rules of the Road, maneuvering board and relative bearings; selects charts for voyage planning; determines danger angles and danger bearings; determines ships position by celestial observations; conducts basic weather observations and understands their significance; supervises bridge personnel; inventories installed equipment and spare parts; orders repair parts and tools; adjusts compasses and prepares deviation tables; adjusts and aligns sextants and stadimeters; interprets weather charts; plots probable path and location of storm centers; prepares a great circle track using various methods; maintains the ships equipment configuration accounting system; prepares weekly schedules of preventive maintenance; supervises preventive maintenance procedures; prepares oceanographic reports such as wave observation log, ships ice log, adjusted track log, and sounding journal; supervises and trains personnel in navigation, watchstanding, and use and care of navigational charts, tables, and publications.

Inventories, procures, uses and corrects nautical charts and publications; uses basic course plotting instruments, lead line, depth sounder, and compass; identifies aids to navigation; handles plain language radio communications and visual communication; maintains compass record book and weather observation sheet.

Subtests Arithmetic Reasoning, Paragraph Comprehension, Word Knowledge

Arithmetic Reasoning

  • 13 Questions
  • 54 Problems
  • 36 Flash Cards


Number Properties 8 4 10

An integer is any whole number, including zero. An integer can be either positive or negative. Examples include -77, -1, 0, 55, 119.

Rational Numbers

A rational number (or fraction) is represented as a ratio between two integers, a and b, and has the form \({a \over b}\) where a is the numerator and b is the denominator. An improper fraction (\({5 \over 3} \)) has a numerator with a greater absolute value than the denominator and can be converted into a mixed number (\(1 {2 \over 3} \)) which has a whole number part and a fractional part.

Absolute Value

The absolute value is the positive magnitude of a particular number or variable and is indicated by two vertical lines: \(\left|-5\right| = 5\). In the case of a variable absolute value (\(\left|a\right| = 5\)) the value of a can be either positive or negative (a = -5 or a = 5).

Factors & Multiples

A factor is a positive integer that divides evenly into a given number. The factors of 8 are 1, 2, 4, and 8. A multiple is a number that is the product of that number and an integer. The multiples of 8 are 0, 8, 16, 24, ...

Greatest Common Factor

The greatest common factor (GCF) is the greatest factor that divides two integers.

Least Common Multiple

The least common multiple (LCM) is the smallest positive integer that is a multiple of two or more integers.

Prime Number

A prime number is an integer greater than 1 that has no factors other than 1 and itself. Examples of prime numbers include 2, 3, 5, 7, and 11.

Operations on Fractions 5 2
Simplifying Fractions

Fractions are generally presented with the numerator and denominator as small as is possible meaning there is no number, except one, that can be divided evenly into both the numerator and the denominator. To reduce a fraction to lowest terms, divide the numerator and denominator by their greatest common factor (GCF).

Adding & Subtracting Fractions

Fractions must share a common denominator in order to be added or subtracted. The common denominator is the least common multiple of all the denominators.

Multiplying & Dividing Fractions

To multiply fractions, multiply the numerators together and then multiply the denominators together. To divide fractions, invert the second fraction (get the reciprocal) and multiply it by the first.

Operations on Exponents 1 6 7
Defining Exponents

An exponent (cbe) consists of coefficient (c) and a base (b) raised to a power (e). The exponent indicates the number of times that the base is multiplied by itself. A base with an exponent of 1 equals the base (b1 = b) and a base with an exponent of 0 equals 1 ( (b0 = 1).

Adding & Subtracting Exponents

To add or subtract terms with exponents, both the base and the exponent must be the same. If the base and the exponent are the same, add or subtract the coefficients and retain the base and exponent. For example, 3x2 + 2x2 = 5x2 and 3x2 - 2x2 = x2 but x2 + x4 and x4 - x2 cannot be combined.

Multiplying & Dividing Exponents

To multiply terms with the same base, multiply the coefficients and add the exponents. To divide terms with the same base, divide the coefficients and subtract the exponents. For example, 3x2 x 2x2 = 6x4 and \({8x^5 \over 4x^2} \) = 2x(5-2) = 2x3.

Exponent to a Power

To raise a term with an exponent to another exponent, retain the base and multiply the exponents: (x2)3 = x(2x3) = x6

Negative Exponent

A negative exponent indicates the number of times that the base is divided by itself. To convert a negative exponent to a positive exponent, calculate the positive exponent then take the reciprocal: \(b^{-e} = { 1 \over b^e }\). For example, \(3^{-2} = {1 \over 3^2} = {1 \over 9}\)

Operations on Radicals 6 4
Defining Radicals

Radicals (or roots) are the opposite operation of applying exponents. With exponents, you're multiplying a base by itself some number of times while with roots you're dividing the base by itself some number of times. A radical term looks like \(\sqrt[d]{r}\) and consists of a radicand (r) and a degree (d). The degree is the number of times the radicand is divided by itself. If no degree is specified, the degree defaults to 2 (a square root).

Simplifying Radicals

The radicand of a simplified radical has no perfect square factors. A perfect square is the product of a number multiplied by itself (squared). To simplify a radical, factor out the perfect squares by recognizing that \(\sqrt{a^2} = a\). For example, \(\sqrt{64} = \sqrt{16 \times 4} = \sqrt{4^2 \times 2^2} = 4 \times 2 = 8\).

Adding & Subtracting Radicals

To add or subtract radicals, the degree and radicand must be the same. For example, \(2\sqrt{3} + 3\sqrt{3} = 5\sqrt{3}\) but \(2\sqrt{2} + 2\sqrt{3}\) cannot be added because they have different radicands.

Multiplying & Dividing Radicals

To multiply or divide radicals, multiply or divide the coefficients and radicands separately: \(x\sqrt{a} \times y\sqrt{b} = xy\sqrt{ab}\) and \({x\sqrt{a} \over y\sqrt{b}} = {x \over y}\sqrt{a \over b}\)

Square Root of a Fraction

To take the square root of a fraction, break the fraction into two separate roots then calculate the square root of the numerator and denominator separately. For example, \(\sqrt{9 \over 16}\) = \({\sqrt{9}} \over {\sqrt{16}}\) = \({3 \over 4}\)

Miscellaneous 1 2 2
Scientific Notation

Scientific notation is a method of writing very small or very large numbers. The first part will be a number between one and ten (typically a decimal) and the second part will be a power of 10. For example, 98,760 in scientific notation is 9.876 x 104 with the 4 indicating the number of places the decimal point was moved to the left. A power of 10 with a negative exponent indicates that the decimal point was moved to the right. For example, 0.0123 in scientific notation is 1.23 x 10-2.


A factorial has the form n! and is the product of the integer (n) and all the positive integers below it. For example, 5! = 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120.


Order of Operations 3 1 4

Arithmetic operations must be performed in the following specific order:

  1. Parentheses
  2. Exponents
  3. Multiplication and Division (from L to R)
  4. Addition and Subtraction (from L to R)

The acronym PEMDAS can help remind you of the order.

Distributive Property - Multiplication

The distributive property for multiplication helps in solving expressions like a(b + c). It specifies that the result of multiplying one number by the sum or difference of two numbers can be obtained by multiplying each number individually and then totaling the results: a(b + c) = ab + ac. For example, 4(10-5) = (4 x 10) - (4 x 5) = 40 - 20 = 20.

Distributive Property - Division

The distributive property for division helps in solving expressions like \({b + c \over a}\). It specifies that the result of dividing a fraction with multiple terms in the numerator and one term in the denominator can be obtained by dividing each term individually and then totaling the results: \({b + c \over a} = {b \over a} + {c \over a}\). For example, \({a^3 + 6a^2 \over a^2} = {a^3 \over a^2} + {6a^2 \over a^2} = a + 6\).

Commutative Property

The commutative property states that, when adding or multiplying numbers, the order in which they're added or multiplied does not matter. For example, 3 + 4 and 4 + 3 give the same result, as do 3 x 4 and 4 x 3.

Ratios 15 4

Ratios relate one quantity to another and are presented using a colon or as a fraction. For example, 2:3 or \({2 \over 3}\) would be the ratio of red to green marbles if a jar contained two red marbles for every three green marbles.


A proportion is a statement that two ratios are equal: a:b = c:d, \({a \over b} = {c \over d}\). To solve proportions with a variable term, cross-multiply: \({a \over 8} = {3 \over 6} \), 6a = 24, a = 4.


A rate is a ratio that compares two related quantities. Common rates are speed = \({distance \over time}\), flow = \({amount \over time}\), and defect = \({errors \over units}\).


Percentages are ratios of an amount compared to 100. The percent change of an old to new value is equal to 100% x \({ new - old \over old }\).

Statistics 4 3

The average (or mean) of a group of terms is the sum of the terms divided by the number of terms. Average = \({a_1 + a_2 + ... + a_n \over n}\)


A sequence is a group of ordered numbers. An arithmetic sequence is a sequence in which each successive number is equal to the number before it plus some constant number.


Probability is the numerical likelihood that a specific outcome will occur. Probability = \({ \text{outcomes of interest} \over \text{possible outcomes}}\). To find the probability that two events will occur, find the probability of each and multiply them together.

Word Problems 11

Many of the arithmetic reasoning problems on the ASVAB will be in the form of word problems that will test not only the concepts in this study guide but those in Math Knowledge as well. Practice these word problems to get comfortable with translating the text into math equations and then solving those equations.

Paragraph Comprehension

Word Knowledge