Aviation Selection Test Battery (ASTB)

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  • AviationSelectionTestBattery(ASTB)

    TheAviationSelectionTestBattery(ASTB)isusedbytheU.S.Navy,MarineCorps,andCoastGuardasonecriterionusedinmakingselectiondeterminationsforofficeraviationprogramapplicants. ThemostrecentcompleterevisionoftheASTBwascompletedbytheNavalOperationalMedicineInstitute(NOMI)incooperationwith theEducationalTestingServices(ETS) inPrinceton,NewJersey in1992. In2004,threenewparallel formsof thisASTBversionwerereleasedbyNOMI,andForms1and2,whichhadbeenincirculationfrom1992to2004,weresuspended.

    The ASTB is used by the Navy Personnel Command (NPC) and Commandant Marine Corps to selectcandidatesfortheNavyandMarineCorpspilotandflightofficerprograms.PortionsofthetestarealsousedbytheNavyforselectionintoOfficerCandidateSchool(OCS).TheCoastGuardcurrentlyusestheASTBtoselectpilotcandidatesfortraining,andusesasubcomponentscorefromtheASTBforitsnonaviationofficercommissioningprogram.

    ASTBAdministrationProceduresandPolicies

    The ASTB is administered at Navy Recruiting Districts (NRDs), NROTC units, Marine Corps OfficerSelectionOffices(OSOs),andatnumerousotherpermanentcustodysites. Thetestisadministeredinapaper format, but atmany sites it can be administered on a computer through awebbased systemcalledAPEX.NET.TherearethreeversionsofthetestForm3,Form4,andForm5.Eachversionofthetestcontainsdifferentquestions,butallthreeversionshavethesameformat,subtests,andnumberofquestions. The complete test battery contains 6 subtests and requires approximately 2 hours toadminister.

    RetestPolicy: ExamineesthatwouldliketoimprovetheirscoresontheASTBmustwaituntilthe31stdayfollowingtheirinitialattemptsbeforetakingdifferentversionsofthetest. Forexample,anindividualthattakesForm3duringtheirfirstadministrationmusttakeForm4orForm5duringtheirsecondtestingsession. A thirdandfinalattemptatForm3,4,or5 isauthorizedonthe91stday followingthe firstretest. Thesetestintervalrequirementscannotbewaived,soitisimportantthatexamineesareawareof the forms taken during previous administrations and the amount of time that has passed betweenadministrations. Please talk to your recruiter or call 8504522257, and chooseOption 3 followed byOption5ifyouareunsureofyourtestdateorformnumber.

    3TestLifetimeLimit: AmajorchangeregardingtheadministrationoftheASTBwastheestablishmentofa3testlifetimelimitinJuly2004. Anexamineemayonlytakeeachversionofthetest(Form3,Form4,andForm5)once,whichmeansthatanindividualwillonlybeallowedtotaketheASTB3timesduringhisorherlifetime.Examineesmusttakeadifferentformduringeachretest,buttheformscanbetakeninanyorder.ThislimitonlyappliestoForms3,4,and5.Therefore,ifindividualstookapreviousversionofthetest(Forms1and2,whicharelongerinuse),itisnotcountedinthislimit.

    IllegalTesting: Anexamineethatreteststooearlyorretestsusingaformthatheorshehasalreadytakenwillgenerateanillegaltest.Anillegaltestmeansthattheindividualwillnotreceivevalidscoresfor the testing administration. On the other hand, the illegal test will still be counted against theindividualslifetimelimit.

  • ASTBScoringandExamineeDistributionsThecurrentversionoftheASTBwasconstructedandvalidatedtopredictbothperformanceandattritionthrough the primary phases of aviation training for Student Naval Aviators (SNAs) and Student NavalFlightOfficers(SNFOs).

    Theentiretestbatteryconsistsof6subtests:

    ASTBSubtest Length TimeLimitMathSkillsTest(MST) 30items 25minReadingSkillsTest(RST) 27items 25minMechanicalComprehensionTest(MCT) 30items 15minSpatialApperceptionTest(SAT) 25items 10minAviationandNauticalInformationTest(ANIT) 30items 15minAviationSupplementalTest(AST) 34items 25min

    During the testadministration,examineeshave theoptionof takingtheentire testbatteryor theOARportionofthetest,whichconsistsoftheMathSkillsTest,ReadingComprehensionTest,andMechanicalComprehensionTest. ExamineesthattakeonlytheOARportionwillreceiveonlyonescore,theOfficerAptititudeRating(OAR),whichisusedtopredictacademicperformanceinNavyOfficerCandidateSchool(OCS).OARscoresrangefrom20to80,andarescaledastscores.

    DistributionofOARScoresFiscalYear2004

    0

    50

    100

    150

    200

    250

    300

    350

    400

    450

    20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80

    OARScore

    Num

    bero

    fExa

    minee

    s

    N=7789

    OAR

  • ThechartshowsthedistributionofOARscoresforallexamineestakingtheASTBinoneyear.Thegreenband shows thatmostexaminees obtain scores between40 and60,while very few individuals obtainscoresattheupperandlowerextremesofthescorerange.

    TestMerges:ApplicantswhohavetakenonlytheOARportionoftheASTB(MST,RCT,&MCT)maytaketheremainingportions(SAT,ANIT,&AST)toobtainacompletesetofscores.Examineesmusttakethe remaining portionswithin 90 days of the initial test, and the test date of the SAT, ANIT, & ASTbecome theofficial test date for the completeexam. The testmergewill count as onlyoneattemptagainsttheexaminees3testlifetimelimit.

    Examineesthattaketheentiretestbatteryreceive4scoresthatarederivedfromcombinationsofthesubtests. Thefollowingthreescoresarerelevanttotheselectionofaviationcandidates:

    TheAcademicQualificationsRating(AQR)ispredictiveofacademicperformanceinaviationpreflightinstruction(API)andprimaryphasegroundschool.

    ThePilotFlightAptitudeRating(PFAR)ispredictiveofprimaryflightperformanceforStudentNavalAviators(SNAs).

    The Flight Officer Flight Aptitude Rating (FOFAR) is predictive of primary flight performance forStudentNavalFlightOfficers(SNFOs).

    Alongwiththesethreescores,individualsthattaketheentiretestbatteryalsoreceiveanOfficerAptitudeRating. TheAQR,PFAR,andFOFARarestandardizedandreportedasstanines. AQR,PFARandFOFARscoresrangefrom1to9. Thegraphicbelowindicateswhatpercentageofanormalpopulationwillfallintoeachcategory.

    Notethattheabovefiguredepictsthenormaldistributionofasinglescoreonly.Aviationaccessionsaremadebasedontwoscores(AQR&PFARorAQR&FOFAR).Thejointdistributionsofscoresonthesetwocombinationsareasfollows:

  • PFAR1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

    AQR 1 95.8% 87.3%2 95.5% 94.3% 87.0% 72.8% 55.4%3 85.0% 85.0% 82.8% 72.2% 55.3% 37.7%4 70.0% 70.0% 69.7% 65.9% 53.9% 37.6% 19.1% 7.7%5 51.4% 51.4% 50.7% 46.7% 35.6% 18.9% 7.7%6 31.1% 31.0% 30.4% 26.9% 17.4% 7.6% 3.1%7 15.3% 15.3% 14.8% 12.2% 6.6% 2.9%8 5.9% 5.9% 5.6% 4.2% 2.3%9 1.8% 1.8% 1.7% 1.2%

    FOFAR1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

    AQR 1 95.6%2 95.5% 94.7% 85.8% 70.9%3 85.0% 85.0% 83.2% 70.8% 53.3%4 70.0% 66.9% 53.1% 31.2%5 51.3% 47.8% 31.0% 15.3% 5.6%6 30.9% 26.4% 14.9% 5.6% 1.8%7 15.0% 11.8% 5.4% 1.8%8 5.8% 4.3% 1.7%9 1.8% 1.3%

    EachcellofthechartshowsthepercentageofexamineesthatobtainedaparticularscoreorhigherforeachscorecombinationontheAQRandPFARorAQRandFOFAR. Thereforeindividualsthatscoreda6ontheAQRandan8onthePFARwouldbeincludedinthepercentageforanAQRof5andaPFARof7.Forexample,ifanindividualwantedtoknowhowmanypeoplescoreda4ontheAQRanda6onthePFAR,heorshewouldlookdowntheleftsideofthetableandfindtherowthatcontainsAQRscoresof4and then go across the table to the PFAR score of 6. In this case, the table shows that 37.6% ofexamineesobtainedanAQRof4orhigherandaPFARof6orhigher.

    ASTBStudyGuideandSampleQuestions

    ThemostfrequentlyrequestedinformationabouttheASTBiswhattypesofquestionsareonthetestandwhetherstudymaterialsareavailable.Thefollowingsectionisdesignedtoprovideinformationtoanswerthesequestionsandprepareindividualsforthetypesofinformationthattheywillseeontheexam,butinnowayisitmeanttobeanexhaustivestudyguide. Thesectionincludesanoverviewofthequestions

    ExamineeDistributionsforAQRandPFARScoreCombinations(FY04)

    ExamineeDistributionsforAQRandFOFARScoreCombinations(FY04)

  • found in each subtest, links todocuments thatwill help prepare examinees, andsamplequestions foreachsubtest.

    TheASTBsubtestscontainthefollowingtypesofitems:

    Mathematics: ThemathskillsassessedbytheASTBsubtestsincludearithmeticandalgebra,withsomegeometry. Theassessmentsincludebothequationsandwordproblems.Someitemsrequiresolvingforvariables,othersaretimeanddistanceproblems,andsomerequiretheestimationofsimpleprobabilities.Skillsassessedincludebasicarithmeticoperations,solvingforvariables,fractions,roots,exponents,andthecalculationofangles,area,andperimeterofgeometricshapes.

    ReadingComprehension: ReadingcomprehensionitemsrequireASTBexamineestoextractmeaningfromtextpassages.Eachitemrequirestheexamineetodeterminewhichoftheresponseoptionscanbeinferred from the passage itself. This is pretty straightforward, although it is very important thatexamineesrememberthatincorrectresponseoptionsmaystillappeartobetrueonlyoneanswertoeachitemcanbederivedsolelyfromtheinformationinthepassage.

    Mechanical Comprehension: Items containedwithin themechanical comprehensionportionof theASTBincludetopicsthatwouldtypicallybefoundinanintroductoryhighschoolphysicscourseandtheapplicationofthesetopicswithinavarietyofsituations.Thequestionsinthisportionofthetestgaugeexamineesknowledgeofprinciplesrelatedtogasesandliquids,andtheirunderstandingofthewaysinwhich thesepropertiesaffectpressure,volume,andvelocity. Thesubtestalsoincludesquestions thatrelatetothecomponentsandperformanceofengines,principlesofelectricity,gears,weightdistribution,andtheoperationofsimplemachines,suchaspulleysandfulcrums.

    Aviation&NauticalInformation:ASTBsubtestsalsoassessanexaminees familiaritywithaviationhistory,nauticalterminologyandprocedures,andaviationrelatedconceptssuchasaircraftcomponents,aerodynamicprinciples,andflight rulesandregulations. Ofall theASTBsubtests,ANIscoresare themosteasilyimprovedbystudybecauseitislargelyatestofknowledge,ratherthanaptitude. Examineescanprepare for this subtestbyreviewinggeneral referencematerials, suchasencyclopedias,FAAandcivilian aviation books, and handbooks and manuals that provide an overview of basic piloting,navigation,andseamanship. Inadditiontothesesources,someexamineeshaveusedcommerciallyavailable studyguides. Even thoughNOMIdoesnot endorse aparticular studyguide, books that aredesignedtoprepareindividualsformilitaryaptitudeflighttestsandofficercandidatetestsoftenprovideagoodintroductiontoaviationandnauticalrelatedsubjects.

    SpatialApperception:Theseitemsevaluateanexamineesabilitytomatchexternalandinternalviewsofanaircraftbasedonvisualcuesregardingitsdirectionandorientationrelativetotheground.Eachitemconsistsofaviewfrominsidethecockpit,whichtheexamineemustmatchtooneoffiveexternalviews. Theseitemscapturetheabilitytovisualizetheorientationofobjectsinthreedimensionalspace.

    AviationSupplementalMaterial:ThefinalsubtestoftheASTBwilltypicallycontainavarietyofitemsthataresimilarinformatandcontenttotheitemsintheprecedingsubtests.

    TherewillbealinktoapagethatcontainssamplequestionsforeachsubtestontheASTB.

    TherewillbealinktotheProgramAuthorizationsandinstructionsrelatedtothetest.

    Allitemsonthetestunderwentsensitivityreviewsanddifferential itemanalysistopreventculturalandgenderbiasinthenewASTB.

  • The scores submitted for pilot programs are the AQR& PFAR. The AQR&FOFAR are used for flightofficerprogramselection.TheminimumscoresforentryintotheflightprogramsaredeterminedbyNPCandCommandant,MarineCorps.

    FrequentlyAskedQuestionsabouttheASTB

    WhatdoestheASTBmeasure?

    TheASTBisprimarilyanaptitudetestitassessesmathskillsandaptitude,theabilitytoextractmeaningfromwrittenmaterial,familiaritywithmechanicalconceptsandsimplemachines,andtheabilitytoperformmentalrotationstodeterminetheorientationofaircraftin3dimensionalspace.

    TheASTBalsomeasuresatesttakersknowledgeofaviationandnauticalterminology,familiaritywithaircraftcomponentsandfunction,knowledgeofbasicaerodynamicprinciples,andgraspofsomeflightrulesandregulations.Performanceonthispartofthebatterycanbeimprovedbystudy,andexamineeswithaviationandtoalesserextent,shipboardexperiencewilltypicallydowell.Boththeseconceptshaveproventobeexcellentpredictorsofbothtrainingperformanceandsuccessintraining.Examineesthatwalkinwithsomelevelofbasicknowledgeintheseareasaremorelikelytosucceedasaviators.

    HowdoIknowifIshouldtaketheentireASTBoronlytheOARportion?

    AgeneralguidelineisthatindividualswhoareapplyingforaviationprogramsshouldtaketheentireASTB battery (Navy and Marine Corps pilot and flight officer programs and Coast Guard pilotprograms). Individualsthatareapplyingforotherprograms(Ex:NavyOCS)mayonlyberequiredtotaketheOARportion,butindividualsshouldtalktotheirrecruitersorprogramadministratorsformoreinformation.

    HowwelldoestheASTBpredicttrainingperformanceandattrition?

    ASTBscoresarehighlypredictiveofaviationtrainingoutcomes,suchasgradesthatareobtainedfromtestsduringtraininginclassroomsettings(academicgrades)andratingsthatarederivedfromperformanceinaircraft(flightgrades). Themeasurethatisusedtodescribethetestsabilitytopredictflightgradesandacademicgradesiscalledvalidity. ThepredictivevalidityoftheAQRforthepredictionofSNA(pilot)academicgradesisr=.45(p

  • webbasedversionoftheASTBallowsfortheadministrationoftheexamanywhereintheworld,butthesystemisoperatedonasecureserverthatismonitoredandcontrolledbyNOMI.

    Even though some individuals feelmore comfortable taking the paper version of the test, studieshave found that there is virtually no difference in pass rates between the paper and computerversionsofthetest.

    HowcanIfindoutmyASTBscores? Isthereanywaytofindoutmyscoresimmediately?

    ThepaperandpencilversionoftheASTBmustbesenttoNOMItobescored.Unlikepreviousformsof the test, scoringmanuals were not issued to the fleet for ASTB Forms 3, 4, and 5 in order toprotecttestsecurity. Therefore,recruitersandothertestadministratorsarenolongerabletoprovideunofficialscoresforthetest.Inordertoobtainscoresforthetestexamineesorrecruitersmaycall8504522257.Afterhearingthemessage,pressOption3,thenOption5toobtainscores.Anofficialscoreletterwillbegeneratedthatcanbesentbefaxedmailed,oremailedtoamilitaryoreducationaddress.

    ImmediatescoresontheseASTBformscanbegeneratedusingtheAPEX.NETwebbasedplatformforASTBadministration. Askyour recruiter formore information,orhavehimorhercontactNOMIat8504522257x1060.

    WhatistheBiographicalInventory(BI)andwhyisntitusedanylonger?

    The BI considers background experiences, such as extracurricular involvement in high school andcollege,relevanttosuccessinthefastpacedanddemandingaviationprogram.AlthoughtheBIwasinitially a powerful predictor of attrition, its ability to predictwhich students will complete aviationtraininghasessentiallydeclinedtozerooveraperiodofyears.

    WhatarethecurrentASTBminimumscorerequirements?

    The minimum score requirements differ by program and service. Please refer to ProgramAuthorizations 106 and 107, and MCO 1542.1I, or talk to your recruiter for specific informationregardingtheprogramtowhichyouareapplying.

    Howwelldomostexamineesdoonthistest?

    PleaserefertothetablesabovewhichshowscoredistributionsfortheOARportionofthetestaswellasscorecombinationsfortheAQRandPFAR(pilots),andtheAQRandFOFAR(flightofficers).

    WhyweretheoldformsoftheASTBreplaced? Arepassratesequivalentbetweentheold(Forms1&2)andnew(Forms3,4,&5)ASTBforms?

    ThereareseveralreasonsfortheintroductionofnewformsoftheASTB.Thefirstreasonisthatthelasttimethatthelastrevisionofthetestoccurredmorethan10yearsago.Therefore,someofthequestions had become outdated and needed to be updated. Also, widespread exposure of testquestionsontheInternetand instudyguidesmade itnecessary toupdate theASTB toensure itsaccuracyinpredictingindividualsthatwouldbesuccessfulinaviationtraining.

    Nationwide pass rates on the ASTB at both USN and USMC SNA & SNFO standards are virtuallyidentical(+/3%)topassratesonForms1and2.

    WhichtestsmakethegreatestcontributiontoeachscoreIreceived?

  • TheformulasthatareutilizedtocomputeASTBscorecomponentsareproprietaryinformationandwillnotbereleasedbyNOMI.ThefollowinggeneralguidanceisofferedtoassistexamineesinpreparingforanASTBtestorretest.

    AcademicQualificationsRating(AQR):Thisscoreisaffectedbyperformanceonallsubtests,butthestrongestinfluenceismadebytheMathSkillsTest.

    PilotFlightAptitudeRating(PFAR):Thisscoreisaffectedbyperformanceonallsubtests,butthegreatestcontributionismadebytheAviation&NauticalInfoandSpatialApperceptionTests.

    FlightOfficerFlightAptitudeRating(FOFAR):Thisscoreisaffectedbyperformanceonallsubtests,butthestrongestinfluenceismadebytheMathSkillsTest.

    OfficerAptitudeRating(OAR):Thisscoreisaffectedbyperformanceonthefirstthreesubtests,MathSkills,ReadingComprehension,andMechanicalComprehension.

    IheardthereweresomequestionswithnorightanswersontheASTB. Isthisjustarumor?

    TherewereafewflaweditemsinoneofthesubtestsreleasedwiththenewASTBformsin2004.NOMIcaughtthesebeforeanyofthetestshadbeengiven,butseveralofthetestbookletshadalreadybeenmailedouttorecruiters.Therefore,theflaweditemswereeliminatedfromthescoringkeyuntilupdatedformsweresentout.Duringthetimeperiodthattheflaweditemswereinthefield,examineescoreswerecalculatedusingfeweritemssothatexamineescoreswerenotaffectedbytheflaweditems.

    Ihaveseenstudyguidesformilitaryaviationtestsinbookstores.WouldtheseguideshelpmestudyfortheASTB?

    NOMIdoesnotendorseanycommercialstudyguides,buttheguidesmightbehelpfulforexamineeswhowanttoacquiretestingstrategies,reviewandpracticemathprinciplesandproblems,familiarizethemselveswithmilitaryhistoryandaviationterminology,andpracticepacingontimedtests.

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