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The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test

The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test

Updated May 18, 2022

By Melissa Reynolds
Melissa Reynolds

A career in the Air Force can be a great step after graduating college. If this is your chosen path, you will need to learn about the tests you have to take to get there.

For decades, the US Air Force has used the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) to select the best members to join their team as entry level officers.

The test is especially important when entering the Air Force. The score you receive will determine if you are suitable for military occupations, including officer training.

Learning how to prepare and best take the test will help you to succeed.

What Is an Air Force Officer Qualifying Test?

The AFOQT is used to assess skills and personality aspects that are known to help candidates succeed in their training programs.

The test is a multiple-choice, standardized test that covers several topics. Your score is based on the number of correct answers in each of the 12 subtests.

In total, the test takes five hours to sit and is taken during the candidate’s sophomore year at the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC).

The test is used to award several scholarships for the United States Air Force and the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

It’s also used to qualify candidates for Officer Training School programs and for officer commissioning through the ROTC.

It can only be taken twice, and you must wait 150 days between taking it a second time, so it is important to be prepared.

The most recent test score is the one that will be used to determine entry.

What to Expect on an AFOQT

The AFOQ covers a lot of ground. There are 12 sections to the test, for a total of 470 questions, which cover different aptitudes and skills.

The following explains what to expect in each section and how best to prepare.

Verbal Analogies

Questions: 25
Time: 8 minutes

This section of the test looks at relationships between words and how well you understand how they relate to each other.

You will need to know similarities and differences, time, categories, cause to effect, parts to whole and source to product.

You must have a good understanding of the English language. Frequent reading will help build vocabulary and lead to better test results.

Sample Questions

This part of the test looks at your knowledge of relationships between words.

You need to decide whether the relationship is about opposites, synonyms, meaning or another explanation.

Choose the word to best complete the analogy:

1. Spring is to Fall as run is to:

a) Hurry
b) Crawl
c) Move
d) Fly

2. Cursive is to write as:

a) Whispering is to talking
b) Swimming is to water
c) Car is to driving
d) Crying is to feeling

3. Doctor is to hospital as fireman is to:

a) Fire
b) Firehouse
c) Fire truck
d) Firehose

Arithmetic Reasoning

Questions: 25
Time: 29 minutes

You must use different types of math to solve problems, including word problems. You should understand word problems such as mixture, time distance, integers, percentages, proportions and geometry.

Sample Questions

You must use math to solve word problems with multiple-choice answers.

1. A mom has a busy morning. She spends 1 hour doing laundry, 2 hours grocery shopping and 1.5 hours making dinner.

What percentage of time did she spend doing laundry?

a) 50%
b) 35%
c) 22%
d) 65%

2. What is the volume of a container that is 10 ft long, 6 ft high and 7 ft wide?

a) 20 ft
b) 365 ft
c) 205 ft
d) 600 ft

3. There are two whole pizzas on the table. The pieces are divided into 24 slices each. A group of friends eat 1/8th of the pizzas, what percentage is left?

a) 25%
b) 75%
c) 88%
d) 35%

Word Knowledge

Questions 25
Time: 5 minutes

You must be well-studied in words and their meanings. You will be presented with a word and must select another word that is the closest in meaning.

Sample Questions

You need to understand the meaning of words.

Choose the word that is the closest to the word in CAPS.

1. THOUGHTFUL

a) Mindful
b) Faithful
c) Considerate
d) Empathetic

2. MANIACAL

a) Frenzied
b) Frantic
c) Humorous
d) Indifferent

3. RESPLENDENT

a) Sumptuous
b) Flashy
c) Glorious
d) Tense

Math Knowledge

Questions: 25
Time: 22 minutes

In this section, you will need a strong knowledge of mathematical components such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and concepts.

There will be word problems to solve with algebra equations, as well as problems involving systems of equations, exponents, absolute values, and more.

Sample Questions

Which of the answers is correct based on mathematical principles?

1. An obtuse angle is:

a) Not paying attention
b) A small angle
c) A large angle
d) An angle with unequal sides

2. The fraction 3/9 is equal to:

a) 1/3
b) 5/10
c) 4/8
d) 2/5

3. The variable in algebra is shown as:

a) A
b) E
c) X
d) G

Reading Comprehension

Questions: 25
Time: 38 minutes

The reading comprehension portion consists of five passages of approximately 500 to 600 words based on military written material.

There are then four to six questions that deal with the passages.

Sample Question

Armed Forces Day in the US is part of a whole week of celebrations held in May. Countries all around the world celebrate their own version of Armed Forces Day.

It is held to commemorate Americans that serve in the five sections of the US military. These are Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Navy and US Coast Guard.

Armed forces day was formed in 1949 and the first one happened in 1950. The aim was to bring together the separate days that honored different parts of the US military. This was because they had been brought together under the Department of Defence.

The Marine Corps still celebrates its dedicated day but takes part in Armed Forces Day too.

The armed forces and national guard are also recognised on many other days throughout the year.

Celebrations usually include educational activities, military displays, parades and festivals.

1. Armed forces day is only held in the US

a) True
b) False

2. The first Armed Forces Day was held in 1949

a) True
b) False

3. What isnt held on Armed Forces Day?

a) Military displays
b) Festivals
c) Parades
d) Swimming displays

4. All five sections of the US Military are known collectively as the Department of Defence

a) True
b) False

Air Force Officer Qualifying Test Preparation
Air Force Officer Qualifying Test Preparation

Instrument Comprehension

Questions: 20
Time: 6 minutes

This section tests your ability to determine the position of a plane using both magnetic compass and altitude indicators as your flight instruments.

For example, you might be shown various images of an aeroplane in different possitions while in flight and will have to idenfity which image fits with the magnetic compass and horizon line shown on your dials.

Block Counting

Questions: 20
Time: 3 minutes

Block counting looks at spatial awareness and perception.

You will be given an image of a three-dimensional stack of blocks and must figure out how many blocks are adjacent to a certain block.

Sample Question

Airforce officer test
Airforce officer test

How many blocks in the image above?

Table Reading

Questions: 40
Time: 7 minutes

You will be tested on your ability to read a table with X and Y axes accurately and quickly.

Sample Question

The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test
The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test

1. Which number is represented by the coordinates (4,5)

a) 73
b) 14
c) 77
d) 33

2. Which number is represented by the coordinates (8,2)

a) 44
b) 81
c) 02
d) 77

3. Which number is represented by the coordinates (5,3)

a) 73
b) 84
c) 55
d) 11

Aviation Information

Questions: 20
Time: 8 minutes

You will be tested on your knowledge of general aviation information and terminology.

You should also know basic airport regulations, physics of flight, aviation principles and the flight control surface of fixed wing aircraft and their functions.

Sample Questions

You should choose the best answer to the question or statement.

1. The roll is considered to be:

a) The motions of the airplane
b) The movement as the plane begins to move
c) Motion of an aircraft along its nose-to-tail axis
d) The jolt as the plane lands

2. Bleed air is air that is:

a) Blowing the wrong way
b) Compressed hot air that is produced by the engine
c) From a malfunction
d) Extra air

3. A deadstick refers to:

a) A forced landing
b) A malfunction
c) An unproductive employee
d) All of the above

General Science

Questions: 20
Time: 10 minutes

This section requires a basic understanding of high-school level science, in particular physical and biological sciences.

Sample Questions

Which of the answers best replies to the question?

1. What is energy called that is created from the sun:

a) Solar energy
b) Heat energy
c) Kinetic energy
d) Yellow energy

2. The PH scale is:

a) A measure of weight
b) A measure of time/space
c) A measure of how acidic water is
d) A chart for marine life

3. The mitochondria is:

a) A disease
b) The powerhouse of a cell
c) A tropical storm
d) A chemistry chart

Rotated Blocks

Questions: 15
Time: 13 minutes

You are asked to visualize objects and move them in space. You will be given pictures of a shape or block and must find the identical shape or block.

This section is not counted in the AFOQT score.

Sample Question

The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test
The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test

Find the identical shape.

Hidden Figures

Questions: 15
Time: 8 minutes

This section tests your ability to find a figure among many other figures. This section is not included in the AFOQT score.

The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test
The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test

Find the hidden shape

Self-Description Inventory

Questions: 220
Time: 40 minutes

You will be given a series of statements and will be asked to rate how closely they describe your personality in terms of a scale of strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly disagree.

This personality test is not counted toward the AFOQT score.

What Is the AFOQT Scoring?

The AFOQT does not have a specific pass or fail score. The better you do on the test, the better your chances of being considered for an officer position.

Each commission source has their own minimum requirements for their programs.

You must score a minimum of 15 in verbal and 10 in quantitative. Aspiring pilot applicants must score a minimum of 25 in pilot, 10 in navigator and a combined pilot/navigator score of 50.

Subtest scores are then compiled and create five composite scores based on a percentile for each group.

Pilot Composite

The Pilot composite looks at your knowledge and abilities that are deemed necessary for successful pilot training.

This includes subtests that measure the ability to determine aircraft attitude from instruments, perceptual speed, quantitative ability and aeronautical concepts.

The pilot score is taken from arithmetic reasoning, table reading, math knowledge, instrument comprehension and aviation information.

Combat Systems Officer Composite

The Combat Systems Officer composite looks at knowledge and abilities needed for successful navigator training.

This composite shares some subtests with the Pilot composite, although the ability to determine aircraft attitude and aeronautical concepts are not included.

There are subtests that look at verbal aptitude, perceptual speed, knowledge of general science and spatial abilities.

The score is taken from arithmetic reasoning, block counting, general science, table reasoning and verbal analogies.

Air Battle Manager Composite

The Air Battle Manager composite includes elements of the pilot composite and also has subtests for spatial ability and verbal aptitude.

Subtests include math knowledge, verbal analogies, table reading, block counting, instrument comprehension and aviation information.

Academic Aptitude Composite

Academic Aptitude looks at verbal and quantitative knowledge and abilities. All of the subtests make up this composite.

The score comes from word knowledge, arithmetic reasoning, verbal analogies and math knowledge.

Verbal Composite

The Verbal composite measures verbal abilities and knowledge. Subtests measure relationships with words and the ability to understand synonyms and reason.

Scores are from verbal analogies and word knowledge.

Quantitative Composite

The Quantitative composite measures quantitative knowledge and abilities. It shares subtests with Combat Systems.

However, it also has subtests to determine your ability to understand and reason regarding arithmetic relationships, as well as use math terms, formulas and relationships.

The score is based on math knowledge and arithmetic reasoning.

Situational Judgement

Situational judgement looks at one’s decision-making skills and their ability to make judgements when faced with situations based on real military scenarios.

You need to display innovation, mentoring, leadership, integrity, professionalism, resource management and communication.

Can You Resit the AFOQT?

The test can be taken twice, with a minimum of 15 months between sittings.

Regardless of the score you received on the first test, it is the second test score that is used to determine admission.

So, if you did well the first time, think carefully before trying for a higher score.

How to Prepare for an Air Force Test

Taking any kind of test can cause nervousness and anxiety. There are several steps you can take to prepare:

  • Make use of study materials. There are many websites that have great study aids and practice tests. Make the most of them to best prepare for what the actual test will hold.

  • Create a study plan. Before you prepare, create a study plan that focuses on all the subtests and does not neglect areas you find difficult. Once you find areas you need to work on, add in extra time in those spaces.

  • Learn the formats and questions. Do not be surprised by a format you do not understand. Look at the practice tests so you know what to expect.

  • Practice in real time. As noted above, the times are given for each section. Repeat taking the practice tests in the time allotted and work to get your time as quick as you can.

  • Talk to someone. Speak to those who have taken the test to get a feel for how it went, what their issues were and what they felt they could have done differently.

Final Thoughts

Joining the Air Force can lead to a great career. To get there, you need a good result on your AFOQT.

The information above provides a solid introduction to what you can expect on the test and how best to prepare. Start with what you already know and build on what you do not with practice tests and studying.

Remember, you can only take the test twice, and it is your second score that counts. Plan carefully and do the best job you can.