Are you taking the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) to become a licensed Air Force Officer?
The AFOQT is a standardized test that measures verbal and math skills and knowledge for those who are interested in attending Officer Training School. Much like other standardized exams, you are allowed to bring survivor kits (e.g., a pencil, sheets of blank paper).
But, are you allowed to use a calculator on the AFOQT?
This article will help answer all your questions about the AFOQT calculator and AFOQT test preparation. We will summarize how the AFOQT is scored for each component of the exam, discuss the best strategies for AFOQT test preparation, and provide you with some helpful resources. By the end of this article, you should know exactly how to study AFOQT to increase your chances of getting into Officer Training School.
How is the AFOQT Administered?
To start, the AFOQT is a standardized exam that you would take to qualify for the Air Force training school. The AFOQT is much like SATs or ACTs. The test is required for all cadets in the Professional Officer Course or cadets who are on scholarships.
If you have any aspirations of becoming an Air Force Pilot, you will need to take and pass this exam with minimum requirements.
Now, how is the AFOQT administered?
If you are familiar with the SATs, then the description is closely similar. If not, we will go into more detail about the components of the AFOQT nonetheless. The AFOQT is a 550 multiple-choice test with 12 subsections that broadly focus on assessing your reading comprehension, vocabulary, math knowledge and reasoning, science components (e.g., physical science, instruments), self-description inventory, and other aviation specific information.
Here is a more detailed description of each subset:
- Verbal analogies
25 multiple choice questions that test your ability to see the associations between words and their meaning.
25 multiple choice questions that test your vocabulary, knowledge on synonyms, etc.
- Math knowledge
25 multiple choice questions that require you to use your prior math knowledge to solve problems. The distinction from this and math reasoning is that you are choosing solutions from your own understanding; whereas, math reasoning requires you to complete problems already listed there for you.
- Math reasoning
25 multiple choice questions using basic math skills for problem solving questions. These would typically include an actual equation for you to solve using your prior math skills. To note, these questions are testing your essential math skills, such as multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.
- Block counting
20 multiple choice questions that test your ability to perceive three dimensional figures and count the number of blocks.
- Instrument comprehension
20 multiple choice questions that test your abilities to read instruments specific to a plan and understand how it impacts the direction of the plane.
- Table reading
40 multiple choice questions that basically test your ability to read tables and charts; speed is a factor here.
20 multiple choice questions that test your knowledge on concepts and terms specific to the field of aviation.
- General science
20 multiple choice questions that tests your knowledge of basic science concepts.
- Rotated blocks
15 multiple choice questions that test your spatial awareness. Here, you are manipulating objects and setting them next to one another.
- Hidden figures
15 multiple choice questions that test your abilities to see small objects within larger ones. This is kind of like a word search puzzle, where you are asked to identify patterns instead of words.
- Self- description inventory
This section is separate from content related knowledge, but rather aims to collect information about who you are and what your behaviors or tendencies are like. The subsection comprises of 220 multiple choice questions that are like a personality test.
The entire AFOQT exam takes about five hours to complete. You are only allowed to take the AFOQT twice in your entire lifetime, and only within 6 months in between test administrations. This is a very important detail that requires your commitment to study AFOQT for your career goals as an Air Force Pilot.
How is the AFOQT scored?
The AFOQT scores are aggregated into five subscales to determine whether you qualify as an Air Force Pilot. Specifically, the AFOQT is scored by six subscales that determine your levels in verbal assessments, math skills, overall academic aptitude, and matched skills relevant for a pilot, combat systems officer, or air battle manager. It’s important to note that these scores never expire.
Like any other standardized exam, each of these scores are based on percentile scores, ranging from 01-99%. Average scores for most cadets range within the 40th percentile across each of the subscales. There are also requirements that your scores must meet in order to be considered for the next phase of your training.
Minimum score requirements for navigator or pilots are reported below:
Pilot score = 25
Math score = 10
Combined Pilot and Navigator score = 50
Pilot score = 10
Math score = 10
Combined Pilot and Navigator score = 50
Your minimum score requirements for verbal must be at least 15 and for math must be a minimum of 10. Your scores on academic aptitude, however, do not have any minimum requirements.
For cadets who are seriously pursuing careers as an Air Force Pilot, scores within the 70s range or above are highly encouraged to increase your chances of getting selected for Officer Training School. If you do not meet any of these minimum scores, you are permitted to take the AFOQT again until after 6 months.
Your AFOQT scores will usually be reported 1-2 weeks after taking the exam. There is a formal review process, where you will meet your cadre to go over your AFOQT results.
How hard is the AFOQT?
This is a tough question. This will all depend on your level of preparation, commitment, and prior knowledge and experiences.
At the very least, you get an easy break with multiple choice items on the AFOQT. You’ll have to select one answer for each question since you do not get penalized for guessing.
The content for the AFOQT is quite comprehensive, so you will want to study AFOQT preparation materials far in advance to assure decent scores. You have a limited number of opportunities to get your scores just right, unlike the ACT or SATs; so just make sure you are committed to the only two times you get to take this exam.
Of note, there are existing opportunities to waive the maximum number of attempts to complete the exam. However, these are very rare instances with dire circumstances, so you can’t waive an exam simply because you did not do as well as you expected.
Why are Calculators Not Allowed on the AFOQT?
Now we know that your math knowledge is tested on the AFOQT. Are you allowed to use a calculator on the AFOQT?
The answer to this is a resounding no; there is a very strict policy that does not allow calculators during the AFOQT.
The good news? The math problems are not too complex and can be easily solved using pencil paper.
How Do You Prepare for the AFOQT?
The AFOQT has a multitude of topics and sections! How do you prepare for such as a wide-ranging assessment?
AFOQT test preparation is extremely important! We recommend practice questions, flashcards, study guides, study groups, and even taking a practice test to get yourself familiarized with the AFOQT exam.
Here are some practice questions to start.
Here is a practice test to check out.
Tips on Taking the AFOQT Exam Without a Calculator
If you are worried about taking the AFOQT exam without a calculator, do not fret further! We have created a list of tips to help you study AFOQT with more efficiency.
- Know your material!
There are several resources that you can access to study for the content specific to the AFOQT exam. Many of these resources are online and free to use. For instance, study guides are available to help you understand key concepts and content of the exam.
- Practice, practice, practice!
Remember that this is a timed exam, so you will want to practice assessing the amount of time you take to complete each section and to lower that time after practicing several sessions. Think of basic math knowledge as a muscle—the more you use it, the stronger it gets.
- Use your time efficiently!
This is a multiple choice exam, so while you are studying content and concepts, you also want to study how to take a standardized exam efficiently. With multiple choice items, you can easily cancel out answers that are clearly not the right ones and leave yourself with 2 or 3 remaining options.
If you find yourself taking too long on a section, make sure to move to the other questions to get those completed and then refer back to that one. Be mindful of your time constraints.
Wrapping Things Up: Are You Allowed to Use a Calculator on the AFOQT?
We’ve reached the end of our article! At this point, you’ve learned extensively about the components of the AFOQT, what to expect from your scores, and how to prepare for the AFOQT exam without a calculator.
The most important thing to remember is that you must put in the work far in advance before the test. You only get two shots to be considered for the Air Force, so make sure to commit wholeheartedly into study preparation and practice.
Because you read this post, you might also enjoy our best AFOQT study guides here.
All of our armed services reviews of study guides can be found here.