For those who are looking to get into the military, there are a number of different things you’ll need to do. One of them is to take the ASTB to gain admission into the officer aviation program.
The ASTB is the Aviation Selection Test Battery, and without it, you’re not going to get into the aviation program. But of course, you need to get the right score on your ASTB in order to get into the program of your choice.
We’re going to take a look at ASTB scores, how many times can you take the ASTB, and more so you can be fully prepared and ready to get started on the next phase in your life and your career. If you want to be an officer in the aviation program, this is going to be essential for you.
Can You Retake the ASTB?
The short answer is yes; you can retake the ASTB. This means you can go through it the first time with at least a little confidence that you’re not stuck with your first score. That doesn’t mean you can’t just keep the first score and go with it. But you have some options.
It’s important to note that you only get three chances to take the ASTB. And those three chances are the only ones you will ever get. So, no matter how long it is between your first and second try or your second and third, you will never get more than three tries to get a competitive ASTB score.
If you’re interested in taking this test, that means you should do as much preparation as possible before you take it the first time. Don’t take the first test expecting to use it only as a ‘practice test.’ Instead, treat every attempt as though it was the only time you were going to take the test.
If you get a good score on the first test but want to try again, it’s important to note that you will always be judged based on your latest score. So, if you take the test once and do okay but do worse on the second attempt, that’s still the score that will be used (as long as you pass the second time). This means you should always study harder and be very careful about taking the test at subsequent times.
What’s the Interval Time Before You Can Retake the ASTB?
What if you’ve taken the test once and you’re not sure about retaking it? Well, you have plenty of time to decide because you can take it as soon as thirty days after the previous attempt until the end of your lifetime.
This is designed to keep you from retaking the test back-to-back and blowing all of your chances. But even though you can take it in only thirty days doesn’t mean that you should. If you get a score that you’re not happy with, you want to take as much time as you need to study and to prepare yourself in order to do better.
Keep in mind that this thirty-day period exists between your first and second try. If you would like to take the test for the third time, you will be required to wait at least 90 days between your second and third try. This requires you to take a little more time before you use up that last opportunity ever to take the exam.
Remember, you only get three tries in your entire lifetime, so why would you want to take all three of those in a period of 120 days and never be able to retake it? Instead, you may want to take at least a couple of months between the first and second try and at least a few months between the second and third try.
Don’t push your retake as soon as you can get it. That’s a surefire way to overwhelm yourself and struggle with one of your few options.
How is the ASTB Scored?
There are four composite scores within the ASTB, which are formed from several different sections and questions over the course of the exam. Each of these sections is crucial to different areas of the military and different positions within the officer aviation program.
No matter what branch you are in or what positions you’re looking for, however, you will be required to take all of these sections plus the Officer Aptitude Rating, which consists of three basic skills tests.
The Officer Aptitude Rating consists of a math skills test, reading comprehension test, and mechanical comprehension test. This is used for the Officer Candidate School and is the only section that matters for this program.
The AQR or Academic Qualifications Rating and the PFAR or Pilot Flight Aptitude Rating are used for entry into the Student Naval Aviator program.
Meanwhile, the AQR or Academic Qualifications Rating and the FOFAR Flight Officer Aptitude Rating are used for entry into the Student Naval Flight Officer program.
Keep in mind that there are different scores that you will need for these programs, though most students strive for a five average on the AQR, PFAR, and FOFAR. These are graded based on a stanine system, where a five will give you a decent score.
On the other hand, the OAR is scored on point increments, and you will want to get an average between 40 and 60 points in order to get into the program of your choice. But remember that these are averages.
The minimum required scores for the different tests will be different for each one.
- Student Naval Aviator – AQR = 4, PFAR = 5
- Student Naval Flight Officers – AQR = 4, FOFAR = 5
- Marine Pilots and Marine Flight Officers – AQR = 4, FOFAR = 6
- Coast Guard OCS – AQR = 4, PFAR = 5
- Navy OCS – OAR = 35
If you don’t hit at least these minimums, you cannot even be considered for the program. Make sure you feel confident that you can achieve these levels before you decide to take the test.
How Long are ASTB Scores Valid?
Now, keep in mind that your most recent score is the only score that matters. If you only take the test one time, you don’t have to worry about this. If you retake the test, however, your most recent score is the one that will count and be submitted if you apply for any of the programs.
Your original score will essentially vanish, which is good if your second (or third) attempt is better. If your subsequent attempts are not as good, however, it means that you could end up hurting yourself in the long run.
7 Tips Before Retaking the ASTB Test
Okay, so you’ve taken the ASTB, and you’re not so confident in your scores. Maybe you’ve already decided to retake the test, or perhaps you’re considering it but aren’t entirely sure yet. Well, these are some tips that you should know that might help you make the right decision.
- Know your mistakes. The very first thing you need to do is take a closer look at the test you already took. Where did you do well? Where did you do not so well? You need to know what your strengths and weaknesses were so you can build yourself up in the right areas without losing your skill in the ones you already knew.
- Create a plan. Once you know where you struggled, it’s time to create a study plan that focuses on those areas. If you thought you knew the AQR portion last time, but it turns out you weren’t quite ready, that’s where you need to focus your plan. But make sure you don’t completely neglect any of the areas.
- Create a study schedule. You need an actual study schedule rather than just a plan of what you’re going to study. That means setting specific hours that you’re going to study and then sticking to those hours. If you don’t, you could find yourself struggling just as much to get the work in before it’s time for your test.
- Ask for help. If you’re struggling in any area, and especially if you haven’t done so well in that area in the past and don’t know how to study, get help. Talk to someone else that has taken the test, get a tutor, go through an online program. Just do something to make sure you’re not going to struggle in that area again.
- Take practice tests. Practice tests are going to be the key to everything that you do. That’s because practice tests will help you simulate the real environment, and that’s going to make you feel a whole lot more confident when it comes time to take the real test. You’ll get to see what the questions look like (which is still important after you’ve taken the test once), and you can build your confidence.
- Get yourself healthy. If you’re in the military already, you’re probably in reasonably good physical shape (or maybe the best physical shape of your life), but how are you mentally? Are you mentally strong? Are you actually healthy or just in shape? Getting yourself healthy is going to make it easier for you to perform at your best.
- Get a study guide. You can do a lot on your own studying for the ASTB, but sometimes you just can’t beat having a good study guide, workbook, online course, or even study partner to help you along. Any of these, or any combination of them, will help you feel more confident as you prepare.
Wrapping Things Up: How Many Times Can You Take the ASTB?
If you’re looking to take the ASTB for the first time, the best thing you can do is prepare as well as possible. Make sure that you’re putting in as much time and effort as possible to get yourself ready for the test the first time around.
If you can get a good score on that first attempt, you may not even need to think about retaking it. You may be able to turn in those scores and get into the program of your choice. But if you don’t do as well as you had expected or as well as you need to get the best shot at your goal, take a look at the tips here.
Working on practice tests and using the best ASTB study guides to help you out is going to make a big difference in how well you perform and how confident you feel going into the second attempt at the ASTB.