The Alternate Flight Aptitude Selection Test is an exam that is used to select both men and women who are suitable candidates to be helicopter pilots in the Army. If you are wishing to be accepted into an Army training program that will put you on track to fly helicopters in your career, the Alternate Flight Aptitude Selection Test, or AFAST, is a necessary step along that path. There is a specific set of skills that are required of helicopter pilots and those skills are examined during the taking of this test. Some of the attributes desired in an Army helicopter pilot include leadership skills, coordination, motivation, and more.
The AFAST is not a test that simply looks for the intelligence of those being examined. Rather, the Alternate Flight Aptitude Selection Test is designed to measure skills and characteristics that are specifically important for the job at hand. Largely the test is designed to find personality and background characteristics that the Army has identified as being crucial to success as a helicopter pilot.
There is a set of seven subtests that make up the whole of the AFAST. In total, those seven tests have a combined 200 questions that will need to be answered by the applicant. All of the sections have separate directions and time limits, so it is important to be comfortable with all of the material that will be included before you sit for the test. Sample questions are a great way to focus your study time and make sure that you perform your best.
The process of evaluating the test is quite simple – if your results meet or exceed the established cut score, you will be able to advance in the screening process and be given further consideration. Should your final score fall below that line, you will be excluded from consideration for flight training programs. After failing the meet the cut score, you have to wait at least six months before being given permission to take the test again. After a second failed test, you will not have the opportunity to take the Alternate Flight Aptitude Selection Test a third time and you will be eliminated from consideration for helicopter flight training in the Army.
The seven subsections of the test represent a cross-section of various areas of knowledge that are crucial to success as a helicopter pilot. The first section is simply a background information form which will collect data regarding your history and experience. From there, the second subtest is an instrument comprehension test which evaluates your ability to read simple gauges from the helicopter and interpret their information. The third subtest is known as a complex movements test, and it reviews your talent for judging distance and imaging movements.
The fourth subtest on the AFAST is a general helicopter knowledge test. Twenty questions regarding the basic physics of helicopter flight will be presented. The cyclic orientation test is subtest five, and it will examine how comfortable you are with the movements of the stick and the corresponding response from the helicopter. Subtest six is a mechanical functions test that is more in line with a general mechanical aptitude test, with questions involving topics like pulleys, gears, etc. The final subtest is a self-description form on which you will answer questions that revolve around what you like to do, your interests, and more.
If you have dreams of flying a helicopter in the Army, you will first need to get past the Alternate Flight Aptitude Selection Test by achieving a score that at least surpassed the cut line. You will have a maximum of two opportunities to take this test, so proper preparation and study is vital to your success and your long term career plans.