The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Aviation Selection Test Battery (commonly referred to as the ASTB) was developed to predict the success of students in aviation officer training programs. The Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard use various tests from the complete test battery as a primary selection instrument for their aviation programs.
The ASTB is primarily an aptitude test. It assesses math skills and aptitude, the ability to extract meaning from written material, familiarity with mechanical concepts and simple machines, and the ability to perform mental rotations to determine the orientation of aircraft in 3-dimensional space.
The ASTB also measures your knowledge of aviation and nautical terminology, familiarity with aircraft components and function, knowledge of basic aerodynamic principles, and grasp of some flight rules and regulations. You can improve your performance on this part of the battery by studying. Examinees with aviation and (to a lesser extent) shipboard experience will typically do well. Both these concepts have proven to be excellent predictors of both training performance and success in training. If you walk in with some level of basic knowledge in these areas you’ll be more likely to succeed as an aviator.
The entire battery consists of six tests:
|astb Test||Number of Items||Time limit (minutes)|
|Math Skills Test (MST)||30||25|
|Reading Skills Test (RST)||27||25|
|Mechanical Comprehension Test (MCT)||30||15|
|Spatial Apperception Test (SAT)||25||10|
|Aviation and Nautical Information Test (ANIT)||30||15|
|Aviation Supplemental Test (AST)||34||25|
Here's a description of each of the tests:
|Mathematics - The math skills assessed by the ASTB subtests include arithmetic and algebra, with some geometry. The assessments include both equations and word problems. Some items require solving for variables, others are time and distance problems, and some require the estimation of simple probabilities. Skills assessed include basic arithmetic operations, solving for variables, fractions, roots, exponents, and the calculation of angles, area, and perimeter of geometric shapes.|
|Reading Comprehension - Reading comprehension items require ASTB examinees to extract meaning from text passages. Each item requires the examinee to determine which of the response options can be inferred from the passage itself. Although it is very important for examinees to remember that incorrect response options may still appear to be true only one answer to each item can be derived solely from the information in the passage.|
|Mechanical Comprehension - Items contained within the mechanical comprehension portion of the ASTB include topics that would typically be found in an introductory high school physics course and the application of these topics within a variety of situations. The questions in this portion of the test gauge examinees’ knowledge of principles related to gases and liquids, and their understanding of the ways in which these properties affect pressure, volume, and velocity. The subtest also includes questions that relate to the components and performance of engines, principles of electricity, gears, weight distribution, and the operation of simple machines, such as pulleys and fulcrums.|
|Aviation & Nautical Information - ASTB subtests also assess an examinee’s familiarity with aviation history, nautical terminology and procedures, and aviation-related concepts such as aircraft components, aerodynamic principles, and flight rules and regulations. Of all the ASTB subtests, ANI scores are the most easily improved by study because it is largely a test of knowledge, rather than aptitude. Examinees can prepare for this subtest by reviewing general reference materials, such as encyclopedias, FAA and civilian aviation books, and handbooks and manuals that provide an overview of basic piloting, navigation, and seamanship. In addition to these sources, some examinees have used commercially available study guides. Even though NOMI does not endorse a particular study guide, books that are designed to prepare individuals for military aptitude flight tests and officer candidate tests often provide a good introduction to aviation and nautical-related subjects.|
|Spatial Apperception - These items evaluate an examinee’s ability to match external and internal views of an aircraft based on visual cues regarding its direction and orientation relative to the ground. Each item consists of a view from inside the cockpit, which the examinee must match to one of five external views. These items capture the ability to visualize the orientation of objects in three-dimensional space.|
|Aviation Supplemental Material - The final subtest of the ASTB will typically contain a variety of items that are similar in format and content to the items in the preceding subtests.|
Your test results will be categorized as follows:
The Academic Qualifications Rating (AQR)* – used to predict academic performance in aviation preflight instruction (API) and primary phase ground school. (This score is affected by performance on all subtests, but the strongest influence is made by the Math Skills Test.)
|The Pilot Flight Aptitude Rating (PFAR)* – used to predict primary flight performance for Student Naval Aviators (SNAs). (This score is affected by performance on all subtests, but the greatest contribution is made by the Aviation & Nautical Info and Spatial Apperception Tests.)|
|The Flight Officer Flight Aptitude Rating (FOFAR) – used to predict primary flight performance for Student Naval Flight Officers (SNFOs). (This score is affected by performance on all subtests, but the strongest influence is made by the Math Skills Test.)|
|The Officer Aptitude Rating (OAR) – used by the Navy to predict academic performance in Officer Candidate School. (This score is affected by performance on the first three subtests, Math Skills, Reading Comprehension, and Mechanical Comprehension.)|
* The Coast Guard uses the scores from the AQR and PFAR to determine eligibility for its flight training programs. These are the scores you list on the AVCAD application check-off sheet.
You may only retake the battery three times. After the first time, you’re required to wait at least 30 days before taking it again (i.e., you can’t take it until the 31st day after your first test). After the second time, you’re required to wait at least 90 days before taking it for the last time (i.e., you can’t take it until the 91st day after your second test).
If you take a re-test too early or if you take a re-test using a form that you’ve already taken, the scoring computer will consider it an illegal test. An illegal test is counted as one of the three tests you may take in your lifetime, even though the score is not counted as a valid score.
Regardless of whether your re-test scores are higher than those of a previous test, only the most recent scores are considered for program eligibility.
You can take an ASTB at most Navy and Marine Corps recruiting centers. Coast Guard ESOs may also obtain them for 30 days at a time from the Naval Occupational Medicine Institute in Pensacola, FL or administer the on-line version.
For more information, go to NOMI's ASTB web site.