AIR FORCE OFFICER QUALIFYING TEST: INTRODUCTION
The US Air Force has long recognized the need for selecting the finest and most qualified individuals to join their officer ranks. Since 1953 the Air Force has relied on the AFOQT as one of many measures for determining overall officer potential. Although the test has undergone several transformations the goal has remained the same: to select college graduates for entry level officer positions in the US Air Force. The modern AFOQT is a multiple choice test that measures subjects' verbal and quantitative abilities as well as other categories ranging from spatial awareness to general aviation concepts.
If you wish to become an officer you will be required to take the AFOQT. The importance of this test cannot be overstated. Your scores will be used to determine if you meet the standards for officer training, and will be used to consider if you are suitable for certain military occupations. Below you will find all you need to know: a breakdown of the test format, scores, and samples questions and answers; frequently asked questions and helpful product recommendations for all your study needs. Aim high and Good Luck!
The AFOQT is a multiple choice test which consists of 12 subtests totaling 470 questions with an allotted time of 213 minutes, approximately 3.5 hours. It may seem like a long time, but the test will go by incredibly fast. It is crucial for timed practice tests to be a part of your study regimen. You will have one 10 minute break between Math Knowledge and Instrument Comprehension.
|SUBTESTS||No. of Questions||Time (mins)|
Below is a description of each subtest and how you should prepare for them:
Verbal Analogies. This sections measures the ability to see the relationship between words, whether that may be similarities, differences, categories, time; parts to whole, cause to effect, and/or source to product. To do well in this section, one must possess a comprehensive understanding of the English language. Regular reading and vocabulary building will help test takers to do well on this section.
Arithmetic Reasoning. Tests one's ability to use arithmetic to solve a variety of math problems, including word problems. Studying basic word problems such as proportions, mixtures, and time-distance; percents, integers, ratios, and basic geometry will be helpful. See product recommendations for more advice.
Word Knowledge. This section measures one's knowledge of words and their meanings. The test taker will be presented a word and must choose another word that is closest in meaning to the original word. Regular reading and vocabulary building will help test takers to do well in this section.
Math Knowledge. This section measures one's knowledge of mathematical principles and concepts. Arithmetic, geometry, and high school level algebra will comprise most of the problems. Knowing how to factor, solve, and simplify algebraic expressions; understanding exponents, absolute values, and systems of equations and solving inequalities will be helpful. You will also encounter words problems. Test takers should know how to solve word problems by creating algebraic equations. See product recommendations for more advice.
Instrument Comprehension. Tests one's ability to determine the position of an airplane using flight instruments (Magnetic Compass and Attitude Indicator). See Sample Questions for a detailed explanation. Practice material can be found in several different study books. See product recommendations for more advice.
Block Counting. This section measures spatial apperception and awareness. The test taker will be presented an image of a 3-dimensional stack of blocks and must determine how many blocks are touching a specific block. See sample questions for a detailed explanation.
Table Reading. Tests one's ability to quickly and accurately read a table with X and Y axes.
Aviation Information. This section measures knowledge of general aviation information and terminology. It is important to understand basic aviation principles, the physics of flight, airport regulations, and the flight control surfaces of fixed wing aircraft and their functions. Most of the questions will be about fixed wing aircraft, but some questions may be on rotary aircraft. You can find numerous resources online such as Youtube videos, Wikipedia articles, and online forums to study general aviation concepts. See product recommendations for more advice.
General Science. This section is designed to test one's understanding of basic high school level science, specifically the physical and biological sciences. Refresher high school science study guides and scanning Wikipedia articles for basic science concepts may prove helpful. See product recommendations for more advice.
Rotated Blocks. This section will test your spatial ability by mentally visualizing objects and manipulating them in space. You will be given an illustration of a block and must determine which block is identical to the original block. See sample questions for a detailed explanation. This section will not be counted in your AFOQT score.
Hidden Figures. Tests one's ability to see a simple figure among many complex figures. See sample questions for a detailed explanation. This section will not be counted in your AFOQT score.
Self-Description Inventory. This section is a simple personality test. This section will not be counted in your AFOQT score.
The subtest scores are compiled to create 5 composite scores which are based on a percentile for each area (0-99). The five AFOQT composites and the kinds of knowledge and abilities they measure are described below.
1. Pilot. This composite measures some of the knowledge and abilities considered necessary for successful completion of pilot training. The Pilot composite includes subtests which measure quantitative ability, the ability to determine aircraft attitude from instruments, knowledge of aeronautical concepts, and perceptual speed.
Pilot Score = Arithmetic Reasoning, Math Knowledge, Instrument Comprehension, Table Reading, Aviation Information
2. Navigator-Technical. This composite measures some of the knowledge and abilities considered necessary for successful completion of navigator training. The Navigator-Technical composite shares some subtests with the Pilot composite, with the exception that measures of an ability to determine aircraft attitude and knowledge of aeronautical concepts are not included. However, subtests are added measuring verbal aptitude, some spatial abilities, perceptual speed, and knowledge of general science.
Nav - Tech Score = Verbal Analogies, Arithmetic Reasoning, Math Knowledge, Block Counting, Table Reading, General Science
3. Academic Aptitude. This composite measures verbal and quantitative knowledge and abilities. The Academic Aptitude composite combines all subtests that make up the Verbal and Quantitative composites.
Academic Apt Score = Verbal Analogies, Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Math Knowledge
4. Verbal. This composite measures verbal knowledge and abilities. The Verbal composite has subtests which measure the ability to reason and recognize relationships among words and the ability to understand synonyms.
Verbal Score = Verbal Analogies, Word Knowledge
5. Quantitative. This composite measures quantitative knowledge and abilities. The Quantitative composite shares subtests with the Navigator-Technical composite discussed above and has subtests which measure the ability to understand and reason with arithmetic relationships and to use mathematical terms, formulas, and relationships.
Quantitative Score = Arithmetic Reasoning, Math Knowledge
Three of the 12 subtests are not used in calculating the 5 composite scores. Rotated Blocks, Hidden Figures, and the Self-Description Inventory are not used in calculating your score, and are used for statistical purposes by the USAF. Your scores in these three categories will not be counted for or against you.
All applicants taking the AFOQT must score a minimum of 15 in Verbal and 10 in Quantitative. For aspiring pilot applicants, you must score a minimum of 25 in pilot, 10 in navigator, and possess a combined pilot-navigator score of 50. For applicants looking to land a job as a combat systems officer, formerly known as a navigator, you must score a minimum of 10 in pilot, 25 in navigator, and possess a combined pilot-navigator score of 50.
|Career Type||Verbal||Quantative||Pilot||Navigator||Combined Pilot/Nav|
Keep in mind these minimum scores are misleading. With an average score of 50 meaning the test taker scored better than 50% of all other test takers, officer candidates that are selected have scores that are usually much more competitive.
Below you will find sample questions for the 12 subtests. While these questions will help familiarize you with the questions on the test, they are not representative of all the material that will be found on the AFOQT. In fact the questions on the test will be more difficult. Since the AFOQT is a test of your general knowledge, to do well, it will require a comprehensive study regimen.
DIRECTIONS: This part of the test measures your ability to reason and see relationships among words.
You are to choose the option that best completes the analogy developed at the beginning of each question.
1. Rural is to sparse as urban is to
2. Infancy is to childhood as engagement is to
3. Odd is to unusual as amusing is to
4. Waterfall is to cascade as
A river is to fish.
B ocean is to cross.
C stream is to meander.
D hurricane is to warn.
E lake is to sail.
5. Cocoon is to butterfly as
A web is to spider.
B den is to lion.
C pouch is to kangaroo.
D covey is to quail.
E cave is to bear.
DIRECTIONS: This part of the test measures your ability to use arithmetic to solve problems. Each problem is
followed by five possible answers. You are to decide which one of the five choices is most nearly correct.
1. A car traveled at 60 miles per hour for 2½ hours. If one inch equals 20 miles on a map, how far has the car traveled on the map?
A 7.5 inches
B 8.3 inches
C 9.7 inches
D 10.5 inches
E 15.0 inches
2. What is the volume of a container that is 22 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 10 feet high?
A 1369 cu. ft.
B 1500 cu. ft.
C 1650 cu. ft
D 2209 cu. ft.
E 3300 cu. ft.
3. A sport’s fan spent a total of $450 on baseball tickets. If only $4 and $5 tickets were bought, and there was an equal number at each price, how many $5 tickets were bought?
4. A student spent 2 hours studying, 1 hour doing laundry, and 1 ½ hours watching television. What percentage of time was spent doing laundry?
A 44 percent
B 37 percent
C 33 percent
D 22 percent
E 11 percent
5. If a train can travel 405 miles in 4 ½ hours, how far can it travel in 30 minutes?
A 45 miles
B 53 miles
C 60 miles
D 81 miles
E 90 miles
DIRECTIONS: This part of the test measures your knowledge of words and their meanings. For each
question, you are to choose the word below that is closest in meaning to the capitalized word above.
DIRECTIONS: This part of the test measures your knowledge of mathematical terms and principles. You are to
decide which one of the five choices is correct.
1. 17 6 15
–– + ––– + ––– is equal to
20 100 50
2. If 5 v – u = – 2 and – v + 9 u = 18, then the simultaneous solution of the given equation is:
A u = 3, v = 9
B u = 2, v = 0
C u = 1, v = – 9
D u = – 2, v = – 36
E u = 3, v = – 15
3. Which of the following statements is false? A triangle can have:
A three equal angles.
B one obtuse angle.
C three equal sides.
D two right angles.
E three acute angles.
4. The value – 1/9 √ 81 is equal to:
B – 1
D – 9
5. The factors of 30x² – 30 are:
A (5x – 6), (6x + 5)
B (15x + 5), (2x – 6)
C (5x – 6), (6x – 5)
D (30x – 5), (x + 6)
E (5x + 5), (6x – 6)
DIRECTIONS: This part of the test measures your ability to determine the position of an airplane in flight from
reading instruments showing its compass heading, amount of climb or dive, and degree of bank to right or left. In
each problem the left-hand dial is labeled ARTIFICIAL HORIZON.
On the face of the dial, the small aircraft fuselage silhouette remains stationary, while the positions of the heavy black line and the black pointer vary with changes in the position of the airplane in which the instrument is located. The heavy black line represents the HORIZON LINE. The black pointer shows the degree of BANK to the right or left.
If the airplane is neither
climbing nor diving, the
horizon line is directly on
the fuselage silhouette, as
in dial 1 below.
If the airplane is climbing,
the fuselage silhouette is
seen between the horizon
line and the pointer, as in
dial 2 below. The greater
the amount of climb, the
greater the distance
between the horizon line
and the fuselage silhouette.
If the airplane is diving,
the horizon line is seen
between the fuselage
silhouette and the pointer,
as in dial 3 below. The
greater the amount of dive,
the greater the distance
between the horizon line
and the fuselage silhouette.
If the airplane has no bank, the black pointer is seen to point to zero, as in dial 1 above.
If the airplane is banked to the pilot’s right, the pointer is seen to the left of zero, as in dial 2 above.
If the airplane is banked to the pilot’s left, the pointer is seen to the right of zero, as in dial 3 above.
The HORIZON LINE tilts as the aircraft is banked and is always at right angles to the pointer.
Dial 1 above shows an airplane neither climbing nor diving, with no bank.
Dial 2 above shows an airplane climbing and banked 45° to the pilot’s right.
Dial 3 above shows an airplane diving and banked 45° to the pilot’s left.
In each problem the right-hand dial is labeled COMPASS. On this dial, the arrow shows the compass direction in
which the airplane is headed. Dial 4 shows the airplane headed north, dial 5 shows it headed west, and dial 6 shows
it headed northwest.
Each problem consists of two dials and four silhouettes of airplanes in flight. Your task is to determine which one
of the four airplanes is MOST NEARLY in the position indicated by the two dials. YOU ARE ALWAYS
LOOKING NORTH AT THE SAME ALTITUDE AS EACH OF THE FOUR AIRPLANES. EAST IS ALWAYS
TO YOUR RIGHT AS YOU LOOK AT THE PAGE.
DIRECTIONS: This part of the test measures your ability to “see into” a 3-dimensional pile of blocks. Given a certain numbered block, your task is to determine how many other blocks it touches. All of the blocks in each pile are the same size and shape. Look at sample questions S1 through S5 below.
Block S1 touches the other two top blocks and the two blocks directly below it. Therefore, the total number of blocks touched by S1 is 4. For sample question S1, 4 is choice D in the key to the right.
Block S2 touches blocks S1 and S3 and the unlettered block to the right of block S3. Because block S2 touches three other blocks, the answer is 3. According to the key, 3 is choice A for sample question S2.
Now look at sample question S3. Block S3 touches three blocks above, three blocks below, and one block on the right. Therefore, the correct answer is 7; so, C is the correct choice for sample question S3.
Now count the blocks touching blocks S4 and S5. For block S4, the correct answer is 5; so, D would be the correct choice. For block S5, the correct answer is 4; so, C would be the correct choice.
DIRECTIONS: This part of the test measures your ability to read a table quickly and accurately. Look at the table below. Notice that the X values appear at the top of the table and the Y values are shown on the left side of the table. The X values are the column values. The Y values are the row values. For each test question, you are given an X value and a Y value. Your task will be to find the box where the column and row intersect, note the number that appears there, and then find this number among the five answer options.
DIRECTIONS: This part of the test measures your knowledge of aviation. Each of the questions or incomplete statements is followed by five choices. You are to decide which one of the choices best answers the question or completes the statement.
1. The rearward retarding force of airplane drag is opposed by:
2. The cowling is located:
A on the landing gear
B around the engine
C close to the tail
D on the wing
E inside the fuselage
3. Airport taxiways are identified at night by omni-directional edge lights. What color are the lights?
C alternate red and green
4. If the aircraft ammeter is indicating a minus value, this means the:
A generator or alternator output is inadequate
B electrical system is functioning normally
C battery should be turned off
D battery is adequately charged
E battery requires water
5. The angle formed by the chord of an airfoil and the direction of the relative wind is called the:
A angle of incidence
B angle of attack
C stall angle of the wing
D pitch angle
E critical angle of attack
DIRECTIONS: This part of the test measures your knowledge in the area of science. Each of the questions or incomplete statements is followed by five choices. You are to decide which one of the choices best answers the question or completes the statement.
1. In the International System of Units, a measurement for mass is
A a meter
B a henry
C an ampere
D a kilometer
E a kilogram
2. What is energy called that is derived from Earth’s internal heat?
3. Compounds that include fat and oils found in foods and the human body are:
4. Resistance is the tendency for a material to oppose the flow of electrons and is measured in:
5. In order for a lunar eclipse to take place, the:
A moon must be between the sun and the Earth
B moon must be in early crescent phase
C Earth must be between the sun and the moon
D Earth's axis of rotation must point toward the moon
E Earth and moon must be on opposite sides of the sun
DIRECTIONS: This part of the test measures your ability to visualize and manipulate objects in space. In each problem you are shown a picture of a block. Your task is to find a second block which is like the first.
Look at the two blocks below in the first row. Although they are in different positions, the blocks are exactly alike.
Look at the two blocks above in the second row. They are not alike. They can never be turned in such a way that they will be alike.
DIRECTIONS: This part of the test measures your ability to see a simple figure in a complex drawing. At the top of each page are five lettered figures. Below these on each page are several numbered drawings. You are to determine which lettered figure is contained in each of the numbered drawings.
The lettered figures are:
The numbered drawings are similar to drawing X above. Which one of the five figures is contained in drawing X?
Figure B is contained in drawing X. Thus, B is the answer to sample question X. Drawing Y is exactly like drawing X except that the outline of figure B has been darkened to show that all of figure B appears in the drawing. Notice that the figure is the same size and in the same position as it appears at the top of the page. Therefore, you do not need to rotate the page in order to find the figure. Look at each numbered drawing and decide which one of the lettered figures is contained in it.
DIRECTIONS: This inventory measures personal traits and attitudes. The inventory consists of a list of statements. The task is to read each statement carefully and decide how well each one describes you. Look at the sample statement below:
Sample: I enjoy reading poetry.
Decide if the sample statement is characteristic of you and indicate your agreement using the scale below.
|Strongly Disagree||Disagree||Neutral||Agree||Strongly Agree|
If you strongly agree that the statement describes you, select response E on the scale. If you strongly disagree, select response A on the scale. You would select B, C, or D to indicate other levels of agreement.
You should work quickly but reply to all statements. Give your first impression about how well each statement describes you by comparing yourself to people in your same sex and age group. Don't spend a long time deciding what your answer should be. There is no right or wrong answer to each statement. Answer all statements, even if you're not sure of your answer.
The 10 statements below are representative of the types of statements in the inventory.
I always try to finish what I start.
I generally get along well with most people.
I get nervous if I have to speak in public.
People often get upset with me for now showing up on time.
I like to listen to many different kinds of music.
Usually I let my work goals take priority over my personal interests.
I am not comfortable supervising others.
I am pleased when friends drop in to see me.
I don’t like to be involved in group activities.
I have higher work standards than do most people.
SAMPLE QUESTION ANSWERS
Self Description Inventory
NOTE: There are no right or wrong answers for these items.
Like other military flight aptitude tests, the AFOQT measures general knowledge from a wide range of categories which can make studying for it seem hopeless at times. Fortunately there are a number of books and study guides out there to help you do well and increase your score. Although this list isn't comprehensive it does include the most helpful and relevant study guides available for succeeding on the AFOQT and, by extension, allowing you to start your career serving in the U.S. Air Force.
barron's military flight aptitude tests
Out of all the study guides available for officer candidate tests, Barron's Military Flight Aptitude Tests was by far the most helpful and useful study guide for preparing for the AFOQT. Barron's takes an in depth look at the AFOQT, ASTB, and the AFAST, providing 2 full practice tests for each flight test. What makes this study guide stand out from the rest is its introductory lessons on each subtest. Barron's assumes the reader has no prior knowledge of any of the material and takes an in-depth look at each subject. This proves to be extremely useful as it provides a baseline for the reader to expand their knowledge.
Granted, this isn't the holy grail when it comes to studying for the AFOQT and the ASTB. Since it's a general knowledge test no study guide is going to be all encompassing. Barron's math knowledge section is definitely lacking and the instrument
comprehension section is difficult to understand. You'll need to supplement other study guides for these sections. On the other hand, Barron's does an excellent job demystifying complicated aviation terminology and concepts into an easy to understand format for those with no background in aviation. To be fully prepared for the AFOQT it is best to draw on several sources, but if you only had to choose one study guide you couldn't go wrong with Barron's Military Flight Aptitude Tests.
arco/peterson's master the military flight aptitude tests
Finding full length practice tests and study material for the AFOQT can be a challenge. There isn't a lot of information out there and, when you do come across it, it is usually incredibly disorganized and confusing to understand. Luckily, Peterson Publishing fills this void with their study guide Master The Military Flight Aptitude Tests.
The book covers the AFOQT, ASTB, and the AFAST with one full-length practice test for each flight test as well as educational information on military flight programs, service academies, and the different G.I. Bills. Although this information isn't going to hurt you, it certainly isn't going to help you come test day. The best use for this book is to provide yourself with additional study questions to help you become more comfortable and confident with taking standardized flight tests for the military. Unlike Barron's, this book does not contain introductory lessons on each subtest
so it wouldn't be good to use this as a starting point for your studying. Rather, if you are looking to augment your practice problems Master The Military Flight Aptitude Tests provides, arguably, the most difficult questions out there for your study needs.
Bar none this is the best study guide available for those who aren't particularly adept at math or haven't taken a math class in a long time. CliffNotes Math Review for Standardized Tests covers everything from arithmetic and algebra to geometry and word problems. This book manages to break down increasingly complicated math problems in such a way that is very easy to understand.
CliffNotes has a pre-test and post-test for every section in the book including numerous practice problems for each type of math question. By the time you finish this book, you will have covered hundreds of math problems including some of the most common problems found on standardized tests. Although this book was not written exclusively for the AFOQT many
of the questions found in officer candidate tests are word problems which are covered extensively in this study guide. CliffNotes Math Review for Standardized Tests is arguably the best book available for brushing up on your math skills.
Barron's Essential words for the GRE
Studying for a vocabulary section can be a little intimidating. It certainly isn't easy to just increase your vocabulary in a short amount of time; however, Barron's Essential Words for the GRE makes this task a little easier.
Unlike other vocabulary building books which just provide a lengthy list of words and definitions, Barron's organizes 800 words into sentence completion exercises of 10 words at a time which makes integrating these words into your everyday vocabulary much easier than just going down a list and relying on rote memorization. If you have an average vocabulary and and are looking to do well on the AFOQT, Barron's Essential Words for the GRE is a great addition to your study material.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I want to join the air force. do i have to take the afoqt?
Only those looking to join the officer ranks are required to take the AFOQT. Enlisted applicants looking to serve will take the ASVAB instead.
HOW DO I BECOME AN OFFICER?
There are 3 different ways of becoming an officer in the US Air Force: Attend the Air Force Academy after graduating high school, join the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) while in university, or attend Officer Training School (OTS) after earning your bachelor's degree.
What are the BASIC requirements for becoming an officer?
The basic requirements for Officer Training School (OTS) are:
- Between 18 and 34 years of age*
- US Citizen
- Have a bachelor's degree
Your character will also be a factor. A through background investigation will be conducted and any applicants with law violations, past drug use, and/or poor financial records will be judged accordingly. Contact your local USAF recruiter for more information.
* You must be commissioned by 35 years old for most jobs. For pilots and navigators, you must be commissioned by 30.
How do I schedule myself for the AFOQT?
You should contact your local US Air Force recruiter. They will want to gather preliminary information to make sure you qualify as an applicant. If you do qualify, your paperwork will be passed on to an officer recruiter who will contact you and schedule a test date.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TAKE THE TEST?
The AFOQT is completely free and costs nothing to take.
HOW MANY TIMES CAN I TAKE THE TEST?
You are allowed to take the test only twice in a lifetime. The test dates must be within 180 days or 6 months from each other. The most recent test score will be used, not your highest score. It is possible to request a waiver to take the test for a third time; however, this is very rare.
HOW LONG ARE MY SCORES VALID?
Your AFOQT scores are valid for life.
What are the average scores for the AFOQT?
The AFOQT is scored using a percentile system with scores ranging from 0-99. A score of 50 is average and means that the test taker did better than 50% of all other test takers. These scores can be misleading. To become an officer in the US Air Force, it is likely that your score will have to be more competitive.
What are the minimum scores for the AFOQT?
All applicants taking the AFOQT must score a minimum of 15 in Verbal and 10 in Quantitative. For aspiring pilot applicants, you must score a minimum of 25 in pilot, 10 in navigator, and possess a combined pilot-navigator score of 50. For applicants looking to land a job as a combat systems officer, formerly known as a navigator, you must score a minimum of 10 in pilot, 25 in navigator, and possess a combined pilot-navigator score of 50. Keep in mind these minimum scores are misleading. With an average score of 50 meaning the test taker scored better than 50% of all other test takers, officer candidates that are selected have scores that are usually much more competitive.