When it comes to planning your future, you want to make sure you know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to get there. So, how do you make sure that you’re on the right path? One way, if you’re looking to enter the military, is with the ASTB.
Now, the ASTB requires you to do a great deal of studying, and it’s not actually required just to enter into the armed forces. In fact, it’s only needed if you’re looking to get into specific programs or the officer level with certain branches of the armed forces. But for those who do want that, you need to know what to do.
If you’re looking to figure out how long you should study for the ASTB test, we’re going to talk about that right here. In fact, we’re going to talk about why you need to take this test, what it consists of and just how you should be studying in order to get the best score and placement possible.
What is the ASTB Test For?
The ASTB is for those individuals who want to enter into the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps pilot and flight officer program or the U.S. Navy officer candidate school or the U.S. Coast Guard non-aviation officer commissioning program.
This test covers a great deal of information that will help you in being selected for any of these programs. It covers your abilities related to the aviation environment as well as the overall skill level. The test allows those in charge of making decisions to decide whether a particular candidate should be eligible for this position.
It does this by testing your basic skills in areas like reading, math, and mechanical comprehension, but it also tests areas that will be important if you chose to go on into aviation. For those who don’t want to go into aviation but want to become an officer, only the fundamental skills portion is required.
Remember, you will only get three attempts at this exam, so you want to make sure you know your overall goals before you take it for the first time.
How Do You Prepare for the ASTB Test?
If you’re getting ready for the ASTB, you need to make sure that you’re fully prepared. There are several steps that you should follow in order to fully prepare yourself, and these steps are going to help you get a better score, which will allow you to get into any of these training programs that you want.
- Get a study guide. One of the first things you’re going to want is a study guide that will help you with each section of the exam. Even if you’re not planning to take the aviation sections, a study guide for the entire test may be a good idea as it will go into detail of the other areas as well.
- Take a practice test. You may want to take a practice test before you start studying, so you know where you really need the most assistance. Then, take one as you get closer to your test day. If you do this, you’ll be able to see your progress and see where you still need more assistance.
- Know the scores you need. The score you need will depend on precisely what you want out of your test results. The best thing that you can do is get as high of a score as possible, but you want to know as you’re looking at practice tests whether the scores you’re getting give you a good chance at the position you want.
- Don’t overthink it. This is supposed to be an aptitude test for the most part, which means you shouldn’t have to study too much in order to pass. Now, there may be a bit more studying in the aviation section; however, the officer portion shouldn’t be anything you don’t already know.
How Many Sections Does the ASTB Test Have?
There are a total of seven different subtests for the ASTB; however, not all of these subtests are required. You are able to apply to these programs with only three subtests, which make up the Officer Aptitude Rating. It is generally considered best to take the entire battery, however.
The base sections of the ASTB or the Officer Aptitude Rating covers Math Skills Test, Reading Comprehension Test, and Mechanical Comprehension Test. These are the minimum sections that you must complete in order to be considered for any of these programs and will test your overall competence in general areas.
This portion of the exam covers algebra, basic math, geometry, angles, time and distance problems, probabilities, and perimeter. In general, it’s similar to what you would find in a high school math course.
This portion of the exam is about reading passages and choosing answers based on what you read. It’s essential to keep in mind that only one answer is correct and to read carefully.
This portion of the exam is elementary physics and relates to volume, pressure, velocity, and mechanics of simple machines.
The entire battery adds Aviation and Nautical Information, Naval Aviation Trait Facet Inventory, Performance Based Measure, and Biographical Inventory with Response Verification. These test portions are computer-adaptive, which means that the questions will continue to get more challenging as you continue to answer more of them.
Aviation and Nautical Information
This portion of the exam is about nautical terminology, basic aviation principles, and aviation history.
Naval Aviation Trait Facet Inventory
This is a personal inventory, so you will need to answer some questions about yourself, which are in the form of either or questions.
This is a flight simulation that you will need to go through using a joystick, headset, and throttle, and a map. Then you guide your plane where you’re supposed to go.
Biographical Inventory with Response Validation
This section of the exam is about your personal experience, achievements, and success related to aviation. It’s all about you and your abilities.
How Many Questions are in the ASTB Exam?
There is no set number of questions to the ASTB though there is a general amount. In fact, the first sections of the ASTB, including the OAR (as a single section), Aviation and Nautical Information, Performance Based Measure, and Biographical Inventory with Response Verification, are between 20 and 30 questions each. The final section, Naval Aviation Trait Facet Inventory, is 88 questions that make up a personality inventory.
The questions on the expanded section of the test (aside from the inventory) are computer-adaptive. That means you will not only be competing to try and complete all of the questions before the time is up, but you will also be competing to answer even more challenging questions as you go. The important thing is to make sure you don’t blindly guess on questions.
Overall, you will be docked more points for wrong answers than you will for not getting all the way to the end. That means you should focus on each question and try to be confident about the answer before you move on. Of course, you do need to get through a good portion of the exam, so don’t slow down too much.
What is a Good Score on the ASTB Test?
One thing to know about the ASTB is that you’re not actually competing to get a set number score. You’re competing to rank against the other people who took the test along with you. The people who do the best on the exam when compared to their peers will be the ones that are chosen.
This means that those who have a smarter or more advanced class will need to get a higher score in order to pass through than those who are in a less advanced group. In general, however, you’re going to want 4’s or above in each category, which will allow you to reach the minimum that each of the different programs require.
Keep in mind that some programs require you to get 5’s or even 6’s on different sections of the exam. If you don’t, you will not be allowed in, and you will have to retake the exam.
If you do not pass the exam, you are able to retake it; however, you will have to wait 31 days in order to take it a second time. You are allowed up to three attempts over your entire life for this test. Between each attempt, you must wait a minimum of 90 days to be able to retake it.
5 Helpful ASTB Study Tips and Resources
When it comes to studying and preparing for the ASTB, you want to make sure that you are doing it the right way. We’re going to take a closer look at a few of the most important study tips and resources for this process. That way, when the time comes, you’re going to be ready and able to pass the exam.
- Because you are only granted three attempts and then are never allowed to retake it again, it’s essential to prepare yourself fully and make sure that you’re ready when you do. If you do not pass on the first try, you may want to spend a little more time studying before you retake it, which means you may not want to take it in 31 days exactly.
- Getting answers right is more important than answering every question. If you know you’re not going to get to the end of the test in the allowed time, then slow down a little and try to answer as many questions correctly as you can. Don’t get caught up in trying to finish the exam over anything else.
- Get enough rest. Yes, that’s one of the essential tips for this exam because it’s really all about measuring your level of aptitude. If you are ready to take the test, you should have a pretty good understanding of the information on it without spending a lot of time studying. So, make sure you’re getting plenty of rest, so you show up on test day at your best. That’s how you’re going to answer the questions correctly.
- The Complete ASTB Study Guide. This book will give you all of the information that you need in order to pass this exam. It goes into all of the different sections, and it’s an inexpensive guide, which makes it a good option for those on a budget but still looking to do well.
- OAR Study Guide 2020 – 2021. If you’re really sure you don’t want to go for the aviation portion of the exam, you can take a look at this guide as well, which focuses only on the Officer Aptitude Test. You’ll get a little more focus on the three sections that are covered in this exam.
Wrapping Things Up: How Long Should You Study for the ASTB Test?
When it comes to preparing for the ASTB, you want to make sure that you are looking at the material and that you know where you’re going to struggle. Take a practice test before you begin to measure where you’re starting from and build from there. You don’t need to spend hours studying for this exam. Instead, focus only on the areas where you aren’t already as knowledgeable as you want to be.