Whether you already took the AFOQT, or you are planning on taking it in the future, it is an important question to consider how long your scores will be relevant. Perhaps something comes up professionally or family-related and you want to postpone entering the Air Force after passing the AFOQT, or maybe you medically need to wait a couple of years to be ready to use your score.
Regardless of the reasoning, rest assured that your AFOQT score doesn’t expire. It is, however, able to be changed if you score higher on a later attempt at the exam. Read below how you can maximize your score that you may wish to preserve for future use.
Do AFOQT Scores Expire?
AFOQT scores do not expire. This could be your concern for a multitude of reasons, some of which were listed above. Regardless of your curiosity, be confident taking this test knowing that your score could benefit you for years and years to come. With that potential opportunity also comes the fact that you only have a limited amount of attempts to achieve this opportunity. In other words, you only have a couple of attempts at the AFOQT in your lifetime, so doing well or doing poorly will influence this opportunity you will have in the future to join the Air Force since your score will stand for life.
How to Check Your AFOQT Score?
Once you take the AFOQT Test, you will likely be eager to see your score results. Since this test is not extremely popular, the scores are made available to test takers much faster than other standardized and pre-professional examinations. Below we will walk you through how to check and interpret your AFOQT Test score.
When to check
As stated above, your AFOQT score will be viewable to you as the test taker much sooner than you are used to. This can be a good thing since it reduces the time one will await their scores which in turn, often reduces stress as well. Your AFOQT will be checked and scored within 8 to 10 days of your test date. This is significantly faster than other tests like the LSAT which traditionally takes 3 weeks for results and the MCAT that takes about a month.
Where to check
Unless you were in an Air Force ROTC group, you are familiar with the Air Force website since you likely used it to sign up for the AFOQT Test. All test takers will visit this website to check their score, specifically the Personnel Center of the website. On this page, you will need to provide some personal information to access your score including your Social Security Number, last name, and the location you took the AFOQT Test. Then you will be able to view your score.
What does it mean?
Your AFOQT score is a pretty simplistic score to understand. To pass the exam, you must score at least a 15 in verbal skills and a 10 on the quantitative section. Your score overall will range from 0-99 and this number is based on how you performed on each of the 12 subtests of the AFOQT concerning your percentile.
A percentile is how well you scored compared to other test takers. What the number means is how many people you out-performed on a specific test, in this case, the AFOQT. For example, if you get a 66th percentile indication, then that means you did better than 66% of the other individuals who took the AFOQT that year. This means that the average score is 50 meaning 50% of your peers did better and 50% of your peers did worse than you on the exam.
How Many Times Can You Take the AFOQT?
Simply put, you can take the AFOQT up to three times. However, this is usually not the case and not a recommended way of approaching the test. In other words, do not see yourself being given three attempts to pass the AFOQT Test but rather see each opportunity as your singular chance to pass. The reasoning for this suggested mindset is because the AFOQT is infrequently offered and the guidelines become more and more strict as more attempts are granted to an individual. Below we explore these procedures that better explain how many times you can and should take the AFOQT Test.
Your first attempt
For most, this should be your only attempt for the AFOQT. Choose a time to sign up where you feel best prepared to succeed. This test, as stated earlier, is not like other standardized exams like the SAT and ACT where you have unlimited attempts and no time restrictions between attempts. If you don’t like your original score, then you can simply retake the test. However, if you take the AFOQT that will not be the case as you will read more about below. Therefore, you should not treat your first attempt on the AFOQT as many treat their first attempt for other tests like the SAT or ACT: a trial run. This is a dangerous game to play with the AFOQT since your ability to take the test in the future is tarnished by your failed attempt that you were using to “get comfortable.”
Instead, we encourage you to take some practice tests to get comfortable with the timing, environment, and content of the AFOQT Test. This way you are still allowed to demonstrate your knowledge and confidence, however, it is not in an environment with high stakes. Essentially, don’t take the AFOQT until you are truly ready for it.
Your second attempt
Low AFOQT scores are common at first, especially if you are unfamiliar with the testing format (something that you can avoid with practice). Therefore, if you fail your first attempt at the AFOQT, you have another opportunity guaranteed. This second attempt, however, comes with some conditions. One is that you must take the test 6 months after you took your first attempt. Since the AFOQT is only offered in the spring and the fall this usually works out since once you get your score back from your original exam attempt, the next open testing date is approximately 6 months away.
This is mostly to give you additional time to prepare for the second attempt of the AFOQT. You can review your attempt 1 score overall and by each subtest so you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses in context to the test content. You can then focus on certain aspects of the test that you hope to perform better next time. Therefore, 6 months should be more than enough time to review since it is recommended that you start studying for your first attempt at a shorter time out.
However, this 6-month barrier can also be a disadvantage. It means that you must maintain your knowledge of the test’s information, timing, format, and content for a long time. Sometimes it’s just easier to review the stuff you need to and promptly take the test again. However, on this test, that is not an option and requires maintenance in addition to growth in your abilities over 6 months. To avoid this time can be an additional motivating factor to ensure that you are prepared for your first attempt.
Your third attempt
This attempt should only be used, or honestly acknowledged for that matter, as a very last resort. For starters, a third attempt on the AFOQT Test is not guaranteed since it is expected that you pass within your first two attempts. However, if you do find yourself in the situation where you need an additional opportunity, you may appeal to the Air Force if you meet some of their criteria to qualify for the third attempt. These criteria include significant time logged flying, the completion of a college course related to the AFOQT, and other relevant skills to the exam. If deemed an appropriate candidate, then you will be granted one more attempt on this exam. Again, this should not be something you plan on taking advantage of but rather a series of events you hope to avoid by performing well earlier on although it is an option if you are not pleased with your AFOQT results.
Wrapping Things Up: AFOQT Score Validity
So how long are AFOQT scores valid? Simply put, they are valid for your life since they do not expire. One of the most important things to consider before taking the AFOQT is your level of preparedness. As explained above, your attempts are limited but your score is valid for life. Therefore, valuing your opportunities to score well more so than you would on other standardized tests is essential since you don’t have a chance to continuously “redo” the AFOQT. At the end of the day; how hard is the AFOQT? It’s difficult yet manageable with proper preparation to pass it within your first two attempts.