AFOQT Test: Introduction
The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) was designed by the USAF in 1953 as a testing standard to help decipher which candidates would be best suited to join as an officer. Although there have been many variations of the exam since the beginning, the AFOQT has, since the beginning, been about selecting the best college graduates for Officer positions.
If you desire to join the USAF and potentially become a pilot in one of the world’s most elite flying forces, you will need to not only pass the AFOQT, but also score higher than your peers.
So as to help you understand the importance of the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, its structure, and how to pass the AFOQT, this article will break down the test, give you all pertinent information for the exam and even give you keep recommendations so as to help you score even higher.
AFOQT Test Layout
The AFOQT is a multiple choice exam which can be broken down into 12 sections with a total of 380 questions. To perform this test, you will need to answer all 380 questions in 176 minutes or less.
Below is a breakdown of those sections and their individual time requirements:
|afoqt sections||questions||time (min)|
Air Force Officer Qualifying Test Section Summaries
So as to give you a better understanding of the above sections, here is a quick description of what they entail and what to expect:
Verbal Analogies: This section is about looking for connections between a set of words. This could be from similarities, differences, actions, descriptions etc. An example: if black is to white, then up is to down. The connection is that they are all exact opposites.
Arithmetic Reasoning: This is the testing of basic arithmetic such as problem solving using rations, statistics and basic math.
Word Knowledge: This section tests your knowledge on different words and their meanings.
Math Knowledge: In the math knowledge section, you’ll need to test your basic high school level math skills to include geometry, algebra, etc. Although that may sound easy, remember that you can only spend less than 1 minute per question. By the time your read the question, you now only have about ~40 seconds to answer.
Instrument Comprehension: This section will test your basic knowledge of aviation instruments and their readings. This can also include rotary as well.
Block Counting: In this section, you will given a 3-D picture that shows a bunch of blocks. You’ll need to quickly count how many block touch a particular one.
Table Reading: Just like the name sounds, you’ll need to read basic tables and graphs and answer questions.
Aviation Information: This section will test your basic knowledge of flight physics and aviation principles. This section also includes rotary aircraft information as well.
General Science: Tests basic high school sciences like physics, biology and chemistry.
Rotated Blocks: For this, you will be shown a set of blocks and you will need to locate those that are identical to each other. This section is not graded.
Hidden Figures: For this, you will be shown 4 pictures of a square that has lots of lines within it. You’ll also be show a couple of shapes and will have to quickly find which square has that shape within it. This section is not graded.
Self-Description Inventory: This is your basic personality test. This section is not graded.
To read more about the individual AFOQT Exam sections and what they entail, I recommend checking out our article on the AFOQT Test Layout.
It is important to note that one key aspect in the AFOQT that many students aren’t prepared for is the time requirements. Notice that many of the AFOQT sections give you less than one minute per section and in the case of the Block Counting section, you are only given 9 seconds per question.
Therefore, it is imperative that you manage your time, answer your questions and then if you still have time, you can go back and check your answers. Remember, a blank answer on the AFOQT test is a wrong answer and will be counted against your overall AFOQT test score.
AFOQT Test Scores
Taking the results of the 14 sections above, the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test pairs them into different composite scores. Each score is a percentile for each area (0-99). Therefore, in order to get 99 in a certain section, you’ll need to be in the top 1% of those who took the test.
Because there are different jobs with different sets of skills and requirements, the Air Forces broke the AFOQT scores into 5 categories:
- Academic Aptitude
Each one of the above AFOQT score sections is based on a collection of the 14 section results. You can see them here:
|afoqt score composites||sections included in the score|
|academic aptitude||verbal analogies
Minimum AFOQT Test Scores
In order to become an officer in the US Air Force, you’ll need a 10 in Quantitative and a 15 in Verbal. However, if you wish to become a Pilot or Navigator, you’ll need much higher scores on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test in particular areas of the exam.
Below are those requirements.
|career type||pilot||navigator||combined pilot/nav|
While these requirements seem very high, understand that they are only the minimum and it is highly recommended that you strive to get as high of a score in the end. There are only a finite amount of seats and your AFOQT test scores will play a major role in not only starting pilot training but also in helping you to get a particular platform.
AFOQT Test Study Guides
As you can see, the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test can be tricky. It’s not that it asks really hard questions, but that it is very different and is mainly based on a strict time requirement. Therefore, the best thing you can do as to improve your overall chances is to get a hold of a AFOQT Study Guide.
Study guides are invaluable in helping you to learn the inside gouge as well as help you to become familiar with the exam before actually taking the official Air Force Officer Qualifying exam.
As you saw above, the questions are very simple, if you have the time. However, in most cases, you do not have the luxury of checking your answers and much continue to move on as you go through the exam. Therefore, having had an in-depth understanding of the exam and even a couple of practice tests under your belt, you’ll have everything you need in order to feel comfortable and roll through the AFOQT exam with ease.
To help you find the best AFOQT study guides, we’ve checked and recommended the following:
The The Complete AFOQT Study Guide is the favorite of the bunch. Coming in at 270 pages, this study guide not only covers every aspect of the AFOQT, but also is specific to only the Air Force, unlike many of the other Aptitude Tests out there.
This AFOQT Study Guide has 2 full practice tests, as well multiple sections covering all aspects of the test. I particularly enjoyed the Spacial Recognition section and would advise anyone to take that section seriously. Also, coming in at for a hard copy, this seems like the best deal on the market. Sadly though, they do not have an ebook version.
Check out the The Complete AFOQT Study Guide 2020-2021 here.
The Barron's MFAT Study Guide is as professional as they come. Backed by one of the top leaders in Test Preparation, there is no denying this AFOQT Study Guide’s ability to help you improve your scores.
However, even though I am a fan of Barron’s products, this AFOQT study guide takes 2nd place because it covers all three service’s flight tests to include: ASTB, and SIFT. This can become confusing and loses focus on exactly what you need…information to pass the AFOQT.
Check out Barron's MFAT Study Guide here.
However, if you would like to know more about these study guides and look at alternatives, then I highly recommend you check out our official full-length article Best AFOQT Study Guides. It will help you to choose the right one and will save you lots of money, time and headaches in the long run.
AFOQT Practice Test
One of the major features that I love most about the professional study guides above is the AFOQT practice tests that come with it. A well-done practice test, like the ones above, should not only give you a clear indication of your chances of passing but also help you to gain experience on the test.
Remember that your AFOQT test score is based on percentiles. Therefore, it’s not about how you do, but how you do compare to everyone else. So, to ensure you have a competitive advantage over your peers, you’ll need to access as many practice tests as you can get.
‘Not only would I recommend the above study guides, but I would also recommend you take our free AFOQT practice test. This practice test isn’t as complete as the ones in the study guides, but it should suffice to give you some experience and an understanding of what to expect.
AFOQT Test Frequently Asked Questions
So as to help you on your journey to taking the AFOQT, here are the frequently asked questions that many people ask.
How Do I Signup To Take the AFOQT Test?
If you are attending the AF Academy or are a member of the Air Force Reserved Officer Training Corps, then you should talk to your school or administrators. They will be setting up annual tests to allow their students to take the exam.
If you are not one of the above, then you will need to contact your local recruiter and then will set everything up for you.
How Many Times May I Take the AFOQT Test?
You can only take the test twice and those tests must be 180 days apart from each other. Furthermore, only your most recent test score will be accepted. So, if you took it the first time and got all 50%, but the second time you only got all 25%, then your official score will be 25%.
How Much Does It Cost To Take the AFOQT Test?
Its AFOQT Test is absolutely free.
How to Pass the AFOQT Test
In conclusion, there is no quick or easy way to score well on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test. Instead it requires dedication and practice.
The only way you can get a competitive advantage on your peers though, you’ll need help. You can get help by accessing a study guide and taking as many practice tests as you can get.
Furthermore, if you have access to other cadets or those who have passed, ask them and see what they think. There is nothing better than direct experience.
And with that, I wish you the best of luck. Be sure to check out our other articles on the AFOQT test and don’t forget to check out our free online AFOQT practice test.