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In This Chapter

▶ Understanding current, voltage, power, and more

▶ Comprehending electrical flow

▶ Deciphering circuit diagrams

▶ Amplifying your test score

When I was around 12 years old, I impressed my parents by taking an old television set apart and putting it back together. I impressed them right up to the point where I plugged it in and blew up the garage. But the world of electronics is a bit more complex than simply plugging something in and seeing whether it works. I (and the garage) learned this lesson the hard way.

Six years later, when I took the ASVAB, I scored very well on the Electronics Information subtest. (Go figure!) This subtest is designed to measure your knowledge of the principles of electricity and how these principles are applied in the real world. You may see questions about transistors, magnets, engines and motors, and radio and television. (Curiously, there are no questions on this subtest concerning the impromptu demolition of garages.)

You don’t have to be an electronics whiz to score well on this subtest. If you’re not familiar with this information and you want to pursue a military career that requires you to do well on this subtest, this chapter is calling your name. You also need to have some familiarity with basic mathematical and algebraic principles (see Chapters 7 and 8 for more information).

Not every military career requires a good score on this subtest. (Turn to Appendix A to find out which military jobs require a score on this — and other — subtests.) If the military feels that the Electronics Information subtest is important to your desired career, study inten- sively for this test. You can even take a course or two at the local community college if you don’t have a strong enough background in this area. If, however, you don’t intend to pursue a career that requires a score on this subtest, spend your time studying for other areas of the ASVAB.

You have 9 minutes to answer 20 questions on this subtest on the paper version of the ASVAB and 8 minutes to answer 16 questions on the computerized ASVAB. Although 8 or 9 minutes is sufficient time to answer the questions, it doesn’t provide much time for any- thing else — if you don’t know an answer, guess and go.

Uncovering the Secrets of Electricity One day in 1752, Benjamin Franklin was minding his own business, flying a kite in a storm. A key was tied to the kite string and when lightning struck the metal key, Ben was struck by the notion that lightning must be electrified air (well, it happened something like that). Although electricity was just a hobby for Ben Franklin, he made many important contribu- tions. As a result of his famous kite flight, he created many of the terms used today when folks talk about electricity: battery, conductor, condenser, charge, discharge, uncharged, negative, minus, plus, electric shock, and electrician.

Electricity is a general term for the variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric current. You can’t see electricity running through a wire (but you can cer- tainly feel it). You only know electricity is there when you flip on the light switch and the light turns on. Even though electricity appears to be pretty mysterious at first glance, scien- tists understand a great deal about its properties and how it works.

Electricity is measured in three different ways:

✓ Volts: Volts measure the difference of potential between two points.

▶ Understanding current, voltage, power, and more

▶ Comprehending electrical flow

▶ Deciphering circuit diagrams

▶ Amplifying your test score

When I was around 12 years old, I impressed my parents by taking an old television set apart and putting it back together. I impressed them right up to the point where I plugged it in and blew up the garage. But the world of electronics is a bit more complex than simply plugging something in and seeing whether it works. I (and the garage) learned this lesson the hard way.

Six years later, when I took the ASVAB, I scored very well on the Electronics Information subtest. (Go figure!) This subtest is designed to measure your knowledge of the principles of electricity and how these principles are applied in the real world. You may see questions about transistors, magnets, engines and motors, and radio and television. (Curiously, there are no questions on this subtest concerning the impromptu demolition of garages.)

You don’t have to be an electronics whiz to score well on this subtest. If you’re not familiar with this information and you want to pursue a military career that requires you to do well on this subtest, this chapter is calling your name. You also need to have some familiarity with basic mathematical and algebraic principles (see Chapters 7 and 8 for more information).

Not every military career requires a good score on this subtest. (Turn to Appendix A to find out which military jobs require a score on this — and other — subtests.) If the military feels that the Electronics Information subtest is important to your desired career, study inten- sively for this test. You can even take a course or two at the local community college if you don’t have a strong enough background in this area. If, however, you don’t intend to pursue a career that requires a score on this subtest, spend your time studying for other areas of the ASVAB.

You have 9 minutes to answer 20 questions on this subtest on the paper version of the ASVAB and 8 minutes to answer 16 questions on the computerized ASVAB. Although 8 or 9 minutes is sufficient time to answer the questions, it doesn’t provide much time for any- thing else — if you don’t know an answer, guess and go.

Uncovering the Secrets of Electricity One day in 1752, Benjamin Franklin was minding his own business, flying a kite in a storm. A key was tied to the kite string and when lightning struck the metal key, Ben was struck by the notion that lightning must be electrified air (well, it happened something like that). Although electricity was just a hobby for Ben Franklin, he made many important contribu- tions. As a result of his famous kite flight, he created many of the terms used today when folks talk about electricity: battery, conductor, condenser, charge, discharge, uncharged, negative, minus, plus, electric shock, and electrician.

Electricity is a general term for the variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric current. You can’t see electricity running through a wire (but you can cer- tainly feel it). You only know electricity is there when you flip on the light switch and the light turns on. Even though electricity appears to be pretty mysterious at first glance, scien- tists understand a great deal about its properties and how it works.

Electricity is measured in three different ways:

✓ Volts: Volts measure the difference of potential between two points.

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