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Posts from the ‘AFOQT’ Category

17
Mar

AFOQT Study Materials

I took the AFOQT a long time ago so I can’t personally vouch for any of these.  I did use a Barron’s book though for the S-version, along with almost every other book available at the base library.  Here are some inputs from the Facebook group that I thought I would consolidate and do a post with to make the information more readily available.  Don’t forget to check your base or maybe even local library for free resources you can borrow.

Here is a link to my other AFOQT posts (including this one)
http://journeytoairforceots.blogspot.com/search/label/AFOQT

Official AFOQT Page.  Use this to make sure you are studying for the right version of test.
http://access.afpc.af.mil/pcsmdmz/AFOQTPrepMaterials.html

Books (Facebook comments about the books are below the link)

Barron’s Military Flight Aptitude Tests
https://www.amazon.com/Barrons-Military-Flight-Aptitude-Tests/dp/0764145738

  • “Barron’s is great except the table reading is nothing like the actual test. Find the real table reading example from the air force site and skip Barron’s table reading.”

AFOQT Study Guide:  Test Prep and Practice Test Questions for the AFOQT Exam

  • “That’s the one I used. It really helped my verbal score, but I don’t think the math problems were as diverse. But then again, I just suck at math. Haha”
  • “Yes, the verbal part was key. I ended up getting a 96 in that section — I definitely attribute that to the study guide.”
  • “Lowest score was an 84, highest 96. I ran through all the practice questions a few times and brushed up on algebra.”
  • “Have Barron’s as well, it’s very thorough. And it clearly explains both practice tests.”
“I ordered the official GRE books, Peterson’s master the officer candidate test 9th edition, Barron’s military flight aptitude test, Nelnetsolutions.com and the pictured book. I used as much resources as possible!”
13
Oct

AFOQT and TBAS – A Follower’s Experience

One of the followers of my blog wrote up this really great overview of his/her experience with the AFOQT and TBAS.  Here it is:


AFOQT

“My Scores: P: 96 N: 97 AA: 91 V:88 Q: 86 ABM: 97 CSO: 97 PCSM: 64 Flight Hours: 0

This was my study experience for the AFOQT and TBAS tests.

First and foremost, you need to go to this page and make sure you are studying for the correct test:  http://access.afpc.af.mil/pcsmdmz/AFOQTPrepMaterials.html.  I printed everything out from this website and put it in a three-ring binder.  That includes the very important table reading chart, test bank, and key.  The website also has a PowerPoint that includes everything that will be on the test and practice tests.

When I started studying, they had just changed from version S to version T of the test.  All of the books that were out there were written for version S.  If I hadn’t had gone to the above website, I would have studied for the incorrect test.  With that said, I did buy a book to study from.  I used Barron’s:  https://amzn.com/B00PJ4NDAG.  This was a great resource to learn about the basics of aviation and also gave me a few practice tests to try out.  There may be something out for version T now, but I’m not sure.

The key to getting a good score on the AFOQT is practice, practice, practice.  When I went into my test, I knew exactly what to expect, and there were no surprises at all.  Also, there may be questions that you don’t know the answer for.  Don’t get caught up in them, because you have very little time.  The following was how I studied and practiced for each section.  Keep in mind that I took the test a year ago, so I may not remember everything I did to study, but I do remember the key elements.

Verbal Analogies 19 Seconds per question:  I read from Barron’s book to study for this test.  It’s pretty much a test of your vocabulary.  Really, the only way to get good at vocabulary is to read and expand your vocabulary.  With that said, the PowerPoint from the Air Force also tells you exactly what type of analogies there will be, and what to look for.  There is a practice test in the book and in the PowerPoint.

Arithmetic Reasoning 1 minute per question:  There is no way to get around being good at math, you either have it or you don’t.  If it’s been a while since you took a math class, like it was for me, the practice tests are even more important.  There are tests in the book, and one in the PowerPoint.

Word Knowledge 12 seconds per question:  Again, this is a test to measure your vocabulary.  Look at the PowerPoint for more info on examples and a practice test.

Math Knowledge just under 1 minute per question:  Same as the arithmetic test, know your math and do the practice tests in the book and in the PowerPoint.

Reading Comprehension 7 ½ minutes per passage:  Really no way to study for this.  In the test, read carefully and deliberately both the passage and the questions.  It’s not hard, just pay attention.

Situation Judgement:  Also no way to study for this test.  It’s all about you and your ability to make judgement calls.  Read carefully, and be smart with your answers.

Self-Description Inventory 11 seconds per question:  It’s a personality test about you.  Be honest, and don’t get caught up in a question, as you have lots of questions in very little time to do it in.

Physical Science 30 seconds per question:  Like math, you either know your science or you don’t.  This was my weakest subject, and the Air Force provides very little study material, and not a full practice test.  I think I just read about the topic in the Barron’s book (though it’s different since it’s about version S), looked online for test prep suggestions (I don’t have much for you, sorry), and watched a bunch of YouTube videos on the different parts of science.

Table Reading 10 seconds per question:  Since I wanted to be a pilot, this was the test that I practiced the most for.  I suggest the same for you.  This test is hard, and you have to be well practiced to finish it.  In fact, they don’t expect you to finish it.  There are 40 questions, and I finished 39.  To practice this, print out the Table, the questions (“Reading Items”), the answer key, and (very important) a bubble sheet that you yourself find online.  When I first started practicing, I would just circle the answers on the answer sheet.  One day I decided to fill in bubbles on a bubble sheet and learned that it takes almost as long to fill in the bubble than it does to find the answer.  It was very eye opening to me, as I was nowhere fast enough.  The other thing that takes just as long is keeping tabs on what question you are on.  The “Reading Items” page is full of lots of numbers, and it’s really easy to lose your place.  For the test you are not allowed to use a straight edge on the chart itself; however, I read a suggestion from someone to use a piece of scratch paper on the “Reading Items” sheet to keep yourself on the correct line.  I didn’t have a piece of scratch paper during this part of the test, so I used the chart itself to keep me on the correct line so I wouldn’t lose my place.  Whatever you do, practice this test at least 10 times with a bubble sheet, and go in with a plan.  Last, make sure you are filling in the correct bubble.  I accidentally skipped a number on the bubble sheet, but luckily caught it after a couple of questions, and was able to fix it quickly.  But, that cost me the 40th question.

Instrument Comprehension 12 seconds per question:  I used the PowerPoint and the book to study for this.  I took the full length tests in the book.  You have 12 seconds per question, so don’t panic and visually think of what direction the aircraft would be flying.  Think of it as you are standing pointed north.  The compass is telling you what direction the aircraft is flying, and the artificial horizon is the one that’s in the aircraft.  Take the tests in the book, it’ll help a lot.

Block Counting 9 seconds per question:  This is a very visual test.  It was also the only one that I found that the actual test was harder than the practices that I did.  I suggest doing as many practice tests as you can.  As you count the blocks, touch each block with your pencil so you don’t miss one.

Aviation Information 24 seconds per question:  If Physical Science was my weakest category, this was even worse before I started studying.  The book really helped a lot getting the basics down.  Also, there were several YouTube videos that I watched that taught the basics.  Between the two, I did well.  Take the practice tests in the book.

TBAS

You can’t really “study” for the TBAS like you can the AFOQT, but there are some things you can do to increase your chances of getting better.  The info provided about the TBAS test is here:  http://access.afpc.af.mil/pcsmdmz/TBASInfo.html.

Play Video Games with an inverted axis:  Everyone says this, but it may not make sense to you.  Many people aren’t used to how flight sticks work.  On a video game, if they push on the stick they expect that they screen/crosshairs will move up.  This is exactly opposite of what you want.  If you push on the stick, you want the screen/crosshairs to go down.  If you pull on the stick, you want the screen/crosshairs to go up.  This is vital! And it’s not enough to do it a few times, it needs to be muscle memory where you don’t even have to think about it.  The target that you are supposed to be following will be going everywhere, and you don’t have any time to think, you must just react.  So, now you have a legitimate excuse to tell your significant other that you NEED to play some video games, and a lot of them.

Direction Orientation Test:  There are flash cards for these, print them double sided, cut them out, study them in with every spare moment that you have, and make them second nature.  The faster you answer correctly, the better your score.  I’d click the answer before the computer finished loading each question, which resulted in my answering the question in 0.001 seconds for each question.  That helps your score a lot.

Multi-Tasking Test:  I’m not going to lie; this is a hard test.  But, I had a lot of fun with this one.  A couple pointers. First, with the memorization part, make the letters into a word.  They aren’t going to show all of the letters that they put up.  So if you make the letters into a word, then it’s much easier to remember the other couple random letters.  For example:  the example on the webpage is “WRBDVEZM.” Looking at it for a few seconds I see “BED, DMV, REM, EZ (easy)” and a random W.  If I can remember these couple of words and a “W” then when they pop up to test me I can answer correctly.  The math isn’t hard, just remember that it’s there.  With the guage, let it get to the yellow before you click it to reset it.  At first I would click it as soon as it started moving.  But, then I noticed that the more it moved the more points I received.  Just don’t let it get to the red.

Remember to have fun! I hope this helps, good luck everyone!”


Here is the link to the TBAS flashcards.  Thank you anonymous follower for this great information!  You know who you are.

https://airforcejourney.com/downloads/

 

24
Aug

AFOQT (T Version)

I recently noticed my AFOQT posts are extremely outdated!  Here is an update.

I took the test in 2014 so when I applied for OTS my test was scored as the “S” version.  The letter “S” didn’t mean much to me at the time but shortly after I was accepted they rolled out the “T” version.  I have heard the AFOQT is nothing but a huge science experiment and I completely agree.  I feel like whoever makes the test does a ridiculous amount of calculations to somehow quantify whatever you answered to a percentile.  It seems like the calculations from S to T were slight vs. dramatic; the biggest change was probably the addition of the reading comprehension section.

To provide some context for the minute differences, here were my scores from the original “S” version vs the “T” version:

Test Date Form/Version Pilot Navigator Acad Aptitude Verbal Quantitative
2014 S/1 84 90 72 74 63

 

Test Date Form/Version Pilot Navigator Acad Aptitude Verbal Quantitative
2014 T/7 78 90 65 69 57

The first place you should probably go as you prepare for your AFOQT is the official web site.  Here is the link.  I would pay special attention to the “AFOQT Information Pamphlet” and the “AFOQT Prep Course.”

After you review those material and get a feel for what the test will be like, the next step will be to obtain some study materials.  I believe I talked about what books I used and how I used the base library in my last post, and my advice for this post is the same.  I have also heard of people using a “Barron’s” book but since I only studied for the “S” version I can’t really vouch for anything anymore.  My biggest advice is to use as many books as you can get your hands on and spend a lot of time practicing using a timer.  The AFOQT is a fast test so you want to be sure you are prepared for the pace.
I’ll let the official material speak on the mechanics of the test.  You will have to coordinate details on test administration with your recruiter or education center, but in general the test is administered by test control officers (TCOs) once per month.  It is scored on paper and mailed by USPS to whoever the graders are, I think at Randolph AFB, TX.  Once they are graded they automatically update the database online and it usually takes 2-6 weeks to get your results back.
Good luck!  My closing advice is to do your best on the test because the scores matter but are not crucial.  The better you do, the better it will look; but at the same time a terrible score is not the end of the world (as long as you meet the pre-requisites.)  Feel free to post any questions or any more recent advice.
28
Aug

New AFOQT Advice From Forums (EarthToGreg)

Here is a post from EarthToGreg on airforceots.com.  I did not read the entire post, but it looked like good stuff.

Source link here:

NOTE: I started this post a month or more ago when I had just completed the AFOQT, but it got really long and I never completed it. However, this forum has been so useful in helping me through the OTS process, that I felt I wanted to give some personal tips related to the AFOQT. The post is long, but there are some true gems awaiting those who get through it. Ok……

I recently got my scores back from the AFOQT and did pretty well, so I figured that I would offer some helpful tips to potential test takers on how they might best prepare for and take the test. I took the test with the intentions of applying non-rated, but I prepared for the rated sections nonetheless. My final scores were as follows:

P:95 / N:99 / AA:98 / V:99 / Q: 94;
ABM: 98 / CSO: 99

FYI, for those wondering how to get their ABM/CSO score, I just recently discovered that they can be found through a different portal than my recruiter gave me to find my other AFOQT scores. You can access your ABM/CSO scores through the PCSM website, along the left hand side (“Check ABM/CSO Scores”, duh), at:
http://access.afpc.af.mil/pcsmdmz/boarddates.html

To start, I gathered as many AFOQT/Officer Candidate Test books as I could find. To note, NONE of the current books appear to be updated to the new Form T of the AFOQT. However, most sections are still the same, and the new ones can’t really be studied for anyway (“Situational Judgement”). I’ll comment more on the new sections below.

My biggest suggestion here is to CHECK YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY. I live in a fairly populated area, so my library had all sorts of AFOQT/ASVAB/Officer Candidate Test books. This saved me a ton of $$$ having to purchase these books. The only books I wound up buying on Amazon.com were the Accepted, Inc. AFOQT book (the one with the jet fighter on the front) and a used For Dummies ASVAB guide that I bought for $0.99 + shipping. I’ve since donated the ASVAB book back to my local library, but for now I’m keeping the Accepted, Inc. AFOQT book, because…well, because I like the F-15(?) on the front…

I could go into more detail on one book versus another, but this post is already going to be long enough. I’d say that the Peterson’s Officer Candidate Test book had the most challenging vocab and math sections to review. Obviously, the ASVAB books did not directly translate to the AFOQT, but still provided extra practice questions for the math and verbal sections. I’d say that the ASVAB questions were not generally quite as difficult as AFOQT questions, but sometimes the ASVAB books did a better job of explaining the general math concepts and vocab strategies. Since the recent changes in the AFOQT, the ASVAB books are also a good way to practice the Reading Comprehension. It’s important to note that AFOQT questions all have five possible answers, while ASVAB questions only have four possible answers. This means questions from the AFOQT have 25% more possible answers to choose from than the ASVAB (and 33% more answers to get wrong!).

In regards to the Form T updates, my recruiter only gave me about a week’s heads up that some of the sections would be different. The “General Science” section became “Physical Science”, simply meaning there was less science that I needed to study, and good riddance to the death of the “Hidden Figures” section (and “Rotated Blocks”). The rest of the changes will be discussed below.

Ok, on to what I can comment on about the individual sections…

Verbal Analogies – I’m glad this section was first. I knew that time was going to be my primary enemy on the exam, so I tried to burn through and confidently answer each question as quickly as possible. I remember I had a little bit of time to go back and review my answers from this section, but not a ton of it. This prompted me to make a strong mental note to “kick it up a gear” in terms of trying to go through questions at the highest pace I could handle.

As for studying for VA, I had been smart to read the “How to study for Verbal Analogies” section in each of the study guide books I had. Each book had slightly different advice for how to tackle analogies (generally, some form of “create a sentence in your head that explains the relation between the given analogy, then apply that sentence to the other choices and pick the closest one”. When two choices seem close, try to pick the one that is likely very subtly more sensible or specific. Don’t necessarily fall in love with a particular answer because it ‘thematically’ fits with the given analogy (EX: say the given analogy was boat:ocean, and you want to pick fish:sea (because it has to do with water/ocean), even though plane:air is also available). Yes, fish also move through the sea, but a plane is a form of transportation that is moving through its proper medium (the air). And therefore, likely the correct answer.

The real finesse in this section (i.e., the most difficult questions) will come from understanding how to compare ‘like’ parts of speech (comparing adjectives to other adjectives; not mistakingly comparing an adjective to a verb, adverbs to verbs). EX: say the given analogy is Pedestrian:Walking, with Water:Running and Athlete:Run as possible answers. I believe the closer answer here would be the Water:Running, because both ‘walking’ and ‘running’ are conjugated the same way (sorry, making these examples up as I go along…I don’t have a test prep book in front of me at the moment). Either way, you can see from these two examples how the test makers can find ways to trip you up.

Arithmetic Reasoning – This is where SPEED is of the essence. I must have looked like a madman to my proctor, because I was frantically trying to burn through these questions at the highest reasonable rate that I could handle. I say ‘reasonably’ frantic, because most important of all, YOU DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO WORK THROUGH A QUESTION TWICE. Ask for scratch paper; use it liberally! Try to avoid chicken scratch (“Eek, did I write down a 1 or a 7?!?”) Don’t try to squeeze calculations into an empty corner; instead, ask for more paper. With each question, I clearly scratched down the number to the question I was answering, gave myself plenty of room for laying out the problem, with enough room in case I had to do long division or something. When I finished each question, I quickly penciled a box around the work on the scratch paper, to make sure that I wouldn’t commingle my previous scratch work with the next question. This also made it easier to refer back to a question later, in case I skipped it or wanted to double check an answer.

IMPORTANT: Another use for the scratch paper, and one that can be used on all the sections (not just the math sections), is to quickly scratch down the number of a question that you aren’t 100% certain about. That way, if you have time at the end to review questions, you can quickly refer back to the specific questions that you were less than 100% certain about. On that note, I’d say that if you’re more than 80% certain about an answer, go ahead and answer it on the spot, rather than leave it ‘blank’ and come back to it…you may run out of time to come back! Answer the 80% question with your best guess, immediately mark down the # of the question on the scratch paper, and take a second look at it if you have time to review. Time is your enemy; keep moving! Or, in the words of General George S. Patton, “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”

Word Knowledge – This section was surprisingly easier than I had anticipated. For word lists and flashcards, I downloaded a couple awesome GRE Test Prep apps by the publisher Magoosh. The apps became my go-to “time killer” phone app in the weeks leading up to the test. The vocab words in the app were grouped into increasing levels of difficulty (1 through 5), with a total of about 1,000 of the most commonly found words on the GRE. I feel like the words on the AFOQT didn’t go much deeper than Level 3. Nevertheless, the toughest word I came across on the actual test was a fairly ‘standard’ word, but it had three different definitions that were hard to choose between. On break, I was discussing the section with another test taker and we both had a laugh about how this seemingly simple word kind of stumped us both.

Math Knowledge – Again, liberally use that scratch paper (ask for an extra fresh sheet before you start!). Beyond the test prep books, my local library also had a book on “mental math”. The book was filled with simple little tricks you can use to quickly crunch numbers. Understanding math as bases of 10 goes a long, long, long way towards quickly guesstimating answers. Once I began to understand some of the most common tips, I swear that I began to notice that the test makers seem to almost PURPOSEFULLY INCLUDE QUESTIONS THAT CAN BE ANSWERED QUICKLY USING BASIC MENTAL MATH TECHNIQUES. $100,000 minus $45,376? Easy. Need to find the factors of a large number, like 17,543,898, so you can begin to divide it? Try a 9 for starters. Well, actually, try 2 first (it’s an even number after all!), then you’ll know to try 9 (that is, if you know the trick that can cue you to whether the number 9 is one of the factors!). I won’t go into the details on how/why these techniques work, but they do, and they’re all well documented in books on the subject (or probably websites, for that matter). I swear, more than anything else, these mental math techniques will help SHAVE MAJOR CHUNKS OF SECONDS off both Quantitative math sections. Oh, and know your basic Pythagorean Triples (3,4,5 / 5,12,13 / 7,24,25 / 8,15,17) and be able to quickly recognize when you’re looking at their accompanying multiples (6,8,10 = 2 x 3,4,5, etc).

Reading Comprehension – I didn’t exactly know how to study for this. I can read. I can comprehend what I’m reading. I won’t go into the details of the actual passages, but they were basically Air Force themed, which made them more interesting to read than your standard SAT reading passages. I actually learned a few things I didn’t know!

The finesse here is being able to distinguish what was just a simple ‘point’ the author was making vs. his overall purpose to a passage. Also, I would quickly glance over the accompanying questions before reading each passage. I then read through the whole prompt WITHOUT trying to “hunt and peck” for the answers. I avoided “hunt and peck” because I wanted to make sure that I completely understood the entirety of the author’s tone and purpose, before picking my final answers. Knowing the questions beforehand will help you leave mental ‘breadcrumbs’ of where/what paragraph a certain statement came from, etc.

I’d say that I definitely erased and changed more answers in this section than any other section (…except the self-description, lol). I usually don’t like to second guess my first instinct, but I had plenty of extra time at the end to come back and review the questions that I was only 80% certain about (again, I used the scratch pad to mark down the answers that I wanted to possibly come back and review).

Situational Judgment Test – This is one of the new sections on the AFOQT, and one that you can’t necessarily study for (although I’d definitely say there are ‘right’/‘right-er’ and ‘wrong’ answers!). Some of the ‘wrong’ answers were almost laughably wrong and easy to eliminate. The proctor made a joke that those with prior military service would probably answer these better than the civilians in the room. I’ve had to manage and lead teams before in the civilian corporate world, so I tried to apply some of those techniques (try to keep the little things off your boss’s plate, but provide guidance if you’re about to run off a cliff; don’t go over people’s heads and avoid having to get the big boss involved, etc).

EX: Are you or a subordinate running behind on a few tasks on your daily to-do list? You and/or your subordinate should probably just stay late that day and finish them up without getting the boss involved. Running weeks behind on a mulit-million dollar government contract? Yeah, you probably want to let your boss know where you’re at with that (with supporting information as to why you’re behind..and how you might fix it, etc). Actually, in some way, the writing passages from the Reading Comprehension section might help a little in guiding your answers on this section.

Overall, I actually wound up a little pressed for time on this section, due to the fact that I’d get stuck trying to decide between which answer was ‘right’ and which one might have been ‘right-er’.

Self-Description Inventory – These don’t really have a right or wrong answers, although they might be testing for consistency (questions often get repeated, but worded in a slightly different way). In the end, I just tried to give honest answers. Some people took a lot longer to complete this section than other people (not sure if they were going back over previous answers to ‘normalize’ their consistency). It’s weird though, you can ask if, “I like dangerous situation” and I will say disagree or strongly disagree, but if you ask if, “I like bungee jumping” or “i like skydiving”, then I’d agree or strongly agree (because I’ve done them and would do them again…). Bungee and skydiving are “calculated risks” that I’m perfectly cool with, but saying that I enjoy “dangerous situations” sounds like you’re asking if I’d like to climb the face of El Capitan without a rope (no thanks!).

Physical Science – I’m glad this section was chopped from General Science down to Physical Science, because it meant not having to learn a lot of biology, physiology and anatomy. Wikipedia describes the physical sciences as: Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Earth Sciences. I’m not sure if chemistry crossed over at all into the DNA realm. This stuff was all rudimentary versions of subjects that I learned in a lot more depth back in high school. I believe the test prep books for the ASVAB also went into these subjects. Read them, read a variety of them. I also watched a few YouTube videos to help me better visualize the elements of electricity (wattage, volts, amps, etc) and how they relate to one another.

UPDATE 27AUG2015: I pulled my Accepted Inc, “AFOQT Study Guide” off the shelf (the one with the jet fighter on the front!) and here is how the Table of Contents broke down the Physical Sciences:

Chemistry
– Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures
– States of Matter
– Periodic Table and Chemical Bonds
– Acids and Bases
Physics
-Motion, Thermal Physics, Heat Transfer, and Wave Motion and Magnetism
Geology
– Earth’s structure, the Hydrologic Cycle, and Tides
Meteorology
– Atmosphere and Clouds
Astronomy
– Our Solar System

Fyi, DNA/Heredity were categorized under life science, not chemistry, so one can likely assume that there are no longer and DNA questions on the AFOQT. It’s a lot easier to find military prep books with Math and Verbal study sections, so if you need to, you can always try googling the web to gain a surface understanding of the Physical Sciences sections. Even in the prep book, each subsection of the Physical Sciences was only 2-3 pages long at most. The Khan Academy is always a good place to start:https://www.khanacademy.org/science

Table Reading – Ok, everyone says this is the hardest part of the exam, or rather, that you shouldn’t expect to answer all the questions in the allotted time. Also, the prep books out there are notorious for not adequately describing and using the type of table that we used on the actual exam (a simple laminated +/- 20×20 grid that was handed out to all test takers prior to the exam). MODERATORS: You might want erase this part of my answer, if it reveals too much about the exam (or is a violation of test taking rules). What I’m about to reveal is a little tool I figured out on the fly that helped me to answer all the Table Reading questions in the allotted time. Hopefully, I’m not screwing myself over with revealing what I’m about to tell you. I figure though, if you’ve made it this far in my post and/or if you’re a regular user of the airforceots.com website, then maybe you deserve getting a little ‘freebie’ tip. Ok, here goes….

So, the test rules and the proctor specifically said that you CANNOT use a straight edge on the laminated grid they hand you. Fine, not a problem. However, what they DON’T say anything about is whether you can use a straight edge in the test booklet itself. In essence, I folded over piece of scratch paper and used it to cover over the previous questions I had already answered (edged ABOVE the current question I was answering), thus, providing me a better visual cue as to which test question I was currently working on. It’s one thing to look on the grid (without a straight edge, of course) and find that the answer is 73….Well, when you look back over to the test booklet itself to find out which answer is 73 (i.e. letter A, B, C, D, or E), you’re once again going to see question after question, row after row, of just numbers. So even once you have the answer from the laminated grid, you’re still going to wind up spending another couple of seconds just trying to refocus your eyes back to the test booklet itself to 1) find the question you were working on, and 2) find the correct letter of the numeric answer you got from the grid. I only had to scoot the scratch paper down about every third question in order to maintain the visual cue.

Again, I carefully read the instructions and listened to what the proctor specifically said about not using a straight edge on the grid itself. During the test, I wasn’t being particularly sly about using the scratch paper as a straight edge in the test booklet and the proctor never said anything it. So I guess it was either “all good” or I just got lucky and he didn’t notice. If you’re leery about using this method (and maybe you should be!), you could always ask your proctor about it before the test section begins. Regardless, someone might see it as violating the ‘spirit’ of the no straight edge rule. After all, the (aptly named) first core value of the USAF is: Integrity First. I used this method because I felt it wasn’t in violation of the test rules, and I’m offering the method up for critique in case others see it differently.

Another technique that could work (without the use of any straight edge): If you can search the grid with just one hand (I preferred using two), then it might behoove you to keep a finger on your other hand pointed at that question in the test booklet. Again, trying to reduce the lag time between looking at the grid and having to refocus back over to the test booklet to find the correct letter answer.

Instrument Comprehension – The exam is just like the prep books. The more you can quickly and ‘gutturally’ answer these questions, the better. Be able to quickly recognize the extremes of a full left-turn and a full right-turn. I had a slight moment of terror during the test where I just couldn’t wrap my head around a particular answer and it felt like my brain was about to explode. Took a breath, gave my best answer, and moved on to the next questions (which were a lot easier). I may have just hit a purposefully ‘difficult’ question, or maybe I was starting to feel test fatigue at this point in the day. It seems like they’ll put the most difficult question about 3-5 answers from the finish, so that you’ll either take a best guess and keep moving, or get bogged down and not have time to finish the remaining questions (all of which seemed to be easier).

Block Counting – Similar to Instrument Comprehension, in that I felt that the most difficult set of blocks was purposefully placed a few questions from the end. So either you got bogged down with the hard one or knew enough to just keep moving on to the easier questions at the end. Again, time is your enemy on this section, but RECOUNTING WILL BE YOUR DOOM. I had to take wild guesses at the last set of blocks.

Aviation Information – You’re going to have to find an AFOQT specific test prep book to help you study for this, and even then, the flying information in those books appears to be far from complete compared to the breadth of questions they will ask you. I’m guessing those with private pilot’s licenses will fare much better on this section. Luckily, I had watched a few pilot license videos on YouTube to better understand flight physics (what a chord/camber line is, bernoulli’s principle, etc), as well as videos with information on understanding the various instruments, taxi signs and runway lights. Looking at my score, I swear I must have gotten lucky and guessed correctly on a number of questions, because there were definitely some questions that I simply had zero understanding of what the answer might be (maybe eliminating one or two possible answers). Bottomline, don’t just trust the prep books on this; if you want to do well, you’re going to need to go above and beyond to find a flight training book or spend some time watching YouTube videos on the subject.

Phew, after a month on the back burner, this post is finally done. Remember, all of this stuff is basically 10th grade math and English (and science). As one forum member said, you definitely shouldn’t look at the AFOQT as an ‘intelligence’ test. That being said, since it’s not an ‘intelligence’ test, then good scores should be seen as indicative of your level of commitment towards studying and scoring well on the exam.

Last edited by EarthToGreg on Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:29 am; edited 6 times in total

3
May

BOT Guide Attachment 4 – Taking the AFOQT/PCSM

My worst experience with the whole application process was taking the AFOQT.  Not because it was a difficult test, but because I graduated in three years prior and took my last math class eight years prior.  Math was my biggest problem.

The AFOQT has changed!  I took the “S” version but a new version is out now.  Be sure you do your research and study for the correct test.

The hardest part about the my “S” test was the time.  I focused on studying content and did not take a lot of time going through mock timed tests.  This hurt me.  On both of my two math sections I ran out of time and could have scored better if I was quicker.  Bottom line, be sure you time yourself taking the practice tests and take them over and over again until it is second nature.

For studying, I borrowed all of my books from the base library.  Especially with the new test, I would consider buying a book or two to augment your study.  The books on base were extremely poorly written and riddled with errors, at least the math sections.  The other sections were okay, but I was very disappointed by the quality.  I was surprised the publisher would release books with so many errors, but they did help so I can’t complain too much.  Bottom line I recommend getting on the forums and finding the most current information on studying for the new test.

I did check out a GMAT/GRE book and meant to study the math and take the pretests from those books, but in the end I was intimidated and didn’t take the time to do it.  I believe this was the strategy for those who aced the math portions though.

If you have questions on the scoring just let me know.  I don’t know how much detail I should go into because I know the test has changed.  For mine, there were two math sections and two verbal sections.  The two math combined as your quantitative score, the two verbal as your verbal score, and all four I think were your academic aptitude.  The other weird tests with blocks, science, and cockpit instruments combined to be your pilot/navigator score.

Important Note for Non-Rated Applicants

There is one important thing to note though.  The AFOQT is required, but the PCSM is not.  The one thing which threw off a lot of people is something called the ABM/CSO score.  Both of those positions are rated positions so it would be logical to assume a non-rated applicant did not need them, but that is incorrect.  For whatever reason they want you to upload these scores which are printed on a separate page.  The good news is all you have to do is go to a separate web site, enter in your AFOQT information, and your ABM/CSO form will be generated.  Some of the applicants forgot this but the AFRS staff contacted them and gave them the opportunity to fix it.

Scoring

After I took the test I had to wait about 7-10 days for the score to be available.  All you do is go to a web site and enter your information and test location, and the system will either tell you no scores are available or give you your scores.  I simply printed the form for my soft and hard copy files because it has to be uploaded at the very end.

Testing

I forgot to mention that my education center conducted the AFOQT around once per month.  All I had to do is contact base training, ask around, and I was put in contact with the right person.  At Peterson AFB, the test was conducted in the same room as WAPS testing.