Coast Guard Pilots have to take aptitude tests
General Military Questions

3 Military Flight Aptitude Tests Explained

Suppose you serve in any military branch and are interested in being an officer, working as a pilot, or in aviation. In that case, you must take one of the military flight aptitude tests.

Military flight aptitude tests test your knowledge of aviation and show how potential candidates would apply their expertise in a variety of settings.

Also, the military flight aptitude tests determine if you have the right aptitude to find success in officer or pilot training.

Related Article 6 Reasons the ASVAB Test is Hard

#1 – Military Flight Aptitude Tests: ASTB Test

Navy Pilots must take the military flight aptitude tests
Image: af.mil

The ASTB-E is the Aviation Selection Test Battery that the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines use to determine who is a good fit for being a flight officer or a pilot.

Also, in some cases, the test helps the Navy determine who should go to Officer Candidate School

The ASTB includes seven different subtests.

The subtests include the following:

Reading Comprehension

The reading comprehension subtest reveals how well you can find relevant information within a text.

Also, you must be able to make logical inferences based on what you read.

Mechanical Comprehension

The Mechanical Comprehension subtest explores how well you understand mechanics and physics.

Math Skills

Math Skills cover equations and the basics of computation, geometry, algebra, and data.

Aviation and Nautical Information Test

There is a tremendous amount of information related to Naval and aviation on the test, including terminology.

Performance-Based Measures Battery

The Performance-Based Measures Battery covers your spatial awareness and your ability to use a stick and throttle.

Also, you must perform these tasks at the same time.

Naval Aviation Trait Facet Inventory

This inventory measures if you have the traits necessary for success in the field of aviation.

Biographical Inventory with Response Validation

The inventory covers your background and experience in the field.

Also, you can expect the ASTB to take up to just over three hours to complete.

Furthermore, you can retake this test up to three times in your entire life as long as you wait 30 days in between tests.

However, with some targeted study skills, you should only have to take the test once. 

The scores come from the different subtests.

The first three subtests make up one score, which is called the Officer Aptitude Rating.

The rest of the scores come from three other subtests. The final subtest is not scored, as it is background information on the test taker.

The minimum score depends on the military branch and the training program itself.

The ASTB has four score components.

First, you have the OAR, which has a score range of 20-80.

The rest are the Academic Qualifications rating, Pilot Flight Aptitude Rating, Flight Officer Rating.

However, the scores for these are called a stanine score, which is a 9 point scale.

These scores go from 1 to 9: The higher your stanine score, the higher your percentage.

For instance, if you score a 5, you did better than 40 to 60 percent of other test-takers that day.

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#2 – Military Flight Aptitude Tests: Army SIFT Test

Army Helicopter Pilot Requirements
Image: Wikimedia.org

Soldiers who wish for consideration for the Warrant Officer Flight Training Program must take the SIFT test.

The SIFT test is the Selection Instrument for Flight Training.

There are seven subtests to the SIFT, and they include the following:

Simple Drawings

The simple drawings subtest requires you to figure out which graphic does not belong with the others.

Hidden Figures

For the Hidden Figures portion of the SIFT, you must find an image hidden behind other images.

Army Aviation Information

This subtest covers everything about Army Aviation, and it covers a great deal of ground.

Spatial Awareness

The subtest covering spatial awareness covers the ability to envision being in a cockpit and visualize its position in relation to the surrounding areas.

Math Skills

The Math Skills portion is an adaptive portion of the test, and it involves basic bath, algebra, as well as geometry.

Mechanical Comprehension

Another adaptive portion of the test is the Mechanical Comprehension subtest.

This section tests your knowledge of mechanics and physics.

Reading Comprehension

The reading comprehension subtest covers your ability to extract meaningful information from text.

These portions of the test are timed and have a fixed number of questions.

Also, the scores on the SIFT can range from 20 to 80.

You must at least score a 40 to pass, but with the training programs being competitive, you really need a higher score to have an edge.

Also, many test-takers finish the test in two hours but expect to take up to three hours to complete the exam.

You have one additional opportunity to retake the SIFT if you fail the first time.

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#3 – Military Flight Aptitude Tests: AFOQT

air force officers must take a military flight aptitude tests
Image: af.mil

If you wish to be an officer in the Air Force, you must take the Air Force Officer Qualification Test (AFOQT).

Not only does the AFOQT help the Air Force understand who might make the best candidate for officer training, but it also helps match officers with jobs.

Typically, you take this exam when you are a sophomore in college when you realize you want a commission.

Also, ROTC members stake the AFOQT for scholarship reasons.

The AFOQT is a lengthy test with over 500 questions to answer over five hours.

Plus, the AFOQT has 12 subtests.

Reading comprehension

Like the other tests, reading comprehension covers your ability to find important information within a text.

Verbal Analogies

The Verbal Analogies tests your ability to see relationships between words.

Arithmetic Reasoning and Math Knowledge

These are two different subsets, and the arithmetic section is your ability to use basic bath skills while the math section covers algebra, geometry, and other mathematical concepts.

Table Reading

The Table reading subtest shows how well you can pull data from tables.

Block Counting

This subtest lets the Air Force know how good your spatial awareness skills are.

Word Knowledge

If you like vocabulary and tend to know the meaning of words, you will likely do well on the Word Knowledge subtest.

Hidden Figures

While it seems like you are playing Where’s Waldo, the ability to find hidden objects or figures in complicated drawings is a necessary skill for this subtest.

General Science

The science subtest covers a wide range of science topics.

Aviation Information

This section is essential, especially if you wish to go into aviation because it tests aviation knowledge.

Each of the subtests combines to one score.

Also, each composite score tests your aptitude and knowledge for specific training programs, all of which have their unique minimum standards.

The subtests break into five different sections: pilot, navigator-technical, academic aptitude, verbal, and quantitative.

You will have a score between 1-99 for each of these sections that reflect your percentage.

For example, if you score a 60 in the pilot section, you did better than 60 percent of others taking the test that day.

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Conclusion

If you serve in the Armed Forces and wish to go into aviation or become an officer, you will wonder about military flight aptitude tests.

Also, if you are in college and want to join the Air Force as an officer, you will also take a knowledge and aptitude test.

Each military branch has minimum expectations and scores requirements to attend one of the advanced training programs.

The Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines use the ASTB test to find potential candidates.

Also, if you are in the Army, you take the SIFT Test.

For those who serve or wish to serve as an officer in the Air Force, you’ll begin to study for the AFOQT test.

Each test has slightly different scoring, and the scores have different meanings as they relate to different jobs and skills.

References:

https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmotc/nami/Pages/ASTBOverview.aspx

https://home.army.mil/rucker/application/files/9215/9318/0619/Cadets_and_Candidates_FAQ.pdf

https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/p611_256_2.pdf

See Also

High School to Flight School

Army Helicopter Pilot Requirements

Becoming A Pilot in the Air National Guard: 5 Steps

Navy Pilot Requirements

ASVAB Scores and the Military Jobs that Qualify

Air Force PAST Test Standards

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See details on the various types of military flight aptitude tests used by the military to determine the suitability of a candidate for flight training.
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