Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT)
Before earning a commission in the US Air Force, you must take and pass the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, or AFOQT. The test measures your aptitude in certain areas and is used for selection to some training programs (i.e., pilot and combat systems officer). The exam is similar to the SAT or ACT and takes roughly four to five hours to complete. The Det 800 staff administers the test each semester at the University of Tennessee. The exam is made up of twelve subtests: (1) Verbal Analogies, (2) Arithmetic Reasoning, (3) Word Knowledge, (4) Math Knowledge, (5) Instrument Comprehension, (6) Block Counting, (7) Table Reading, (8) Aviation Information, (9) General Science, (10) Rotated Blocks, (11) Hidden Figures, and (12) Self-Description Inventory.
You will be given a score in each of five areas: (1) Pilot, (2) Combat System Officer, (3) Academic Aptitude, (4) Verbal, and (5) Quantitative (Math). Scores are normally tabulated and returned to you within a week of taking the test. To pass, you must score at least 15 (percentile) on the Verbal portion and 10 on the Quantitative portion. There is no minimum score on the Academic Aptitude portion. If you have aspirations of becoming a pilot, you must achieve at least a 25 Pilot score and a 10 Combat Systems Officer score. However, you must have a combined Pilot and Combat Systems Officer score of 50.
All cadets must take the AFOQT during their junior year of college.
You may take the AFOQT only twice, and you must wait at least six months after taking it the first time. It is highly recommended that you prepare for the exam before taking it. There are various study guides available for purchase (ARCO, Barron’s, etc.) as well as online resources.
Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS)
The Test of Basic Aviation Skills aids in the selection of Air Force pilot candidates by measuring psychomotor and cognitive skills known to be correlated with pilot training performance. The test is made up of ten subtests and takes approximately an hour to complete. Several of the tests are self-paced, which means actual test times may vary.
The results of your TBAS are combined with your AFOQT Pilot score and your flight hour experience (if applicable) to compute a Pilot Candidate Selection Method (PCSM) score. Scores are typically computed within a day or two.
If you wish to pursue a career as an Air Force pilot, you must take the TBAS before or during the fall semester of your junior year. As with the AFOQT, you may take the TBAS only twice, waiting at least six months after taking it the first time. We therefore recommend that you take it at some point during your freshman or sophomore year so you’ll have time to retake it if you score poorly the first time.