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The OAR Test

The OAR Test

Updated January 22, 2023

By Hannah Denby
Hannah Denby

What Is the OAR Test?

The Officer Aptitude Rating (OAR) test forms part of the Aviation Standard Test Battery Exam (ASTB-E).

This standardized test is used by military groups including the Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy.

Participants can choose to take the OAR test as part of the full ATSB-E or take the OAR portion only.

The full ATSB-E includes seven subtests; the OAR portion comprises just three of these subtests.

You will be allowed between 90 minutes and two hours to take the OAR.

For the full ATSB-E, you will be allowed between two hours to three hours and 15 minutes.

If you wish to apply for aviation programs, you will need to take the full ATSB-E.

If you want to apply for separate programs, including the Navy Officer Candidate School, it may only be necessary to take the OAR portion.

You should always check with your recruiter before booking a test.

The OAR subset of the ASTB tests:

  • Math ability
  • Mechanical comprehension
  • Reading comprehension

If you are considering a career in the military, your OAR test scores will be used as part of the admissions process.

Your results will also help determine which occupation(s) you would be best suited to.

If you meet the minimum criteria to apply for the officer training program, you will be eligible to register to sit the OAR.

If you want to apply for an officer candidate school, you must be a US citizen with a bachelor’s degree, and you must be between 19 and 35 years old.

During the officer training program application process, you will be subject to a thorough background investigation.

If you are ready to schedule an OAR test, you should speak to your recruiter. You will be permitted to sit the test up to three times only, so it is important to allow yourself adequate time to prepare.

Candidates must leave a minimum period of 31 days between test attempts.

The OAR test takes between 90 minutes and two hours to complete the computer version of the OAR test (known as APEX). If you are sitting the paper-based version of the OAR, this may take longer.

All questions in the test are multiple-choice.

They are designed to measure your general understanding of essential principles and whether you have the required cognitive abilities and knowledge to pass the officer training program.

What Are the Sections of the OAR?

The paper-based version of the OAR is structured as follows:

Math Skills Test:

40 minutes to answer 30 questions on:

  • Area
  • Basic arithmetic
  • Calculation of angles
  • Exponents
  • Fractions
  • Perimeter
  • Roots
  • Solving for variables

To pass this section, you will need to understand algebra, arithmetic and geometry. Some questions will be framed as equations, but you will also be asked word-based math problems.

You may be asked to solve for variables, estimate probabilities and answer time and distance problems.

Example OAR Math Practice Test Questions

Example Question

1. If 20x+5=10520x + 5 = 105, what is the value of xx?

a) 5
b) 6
c) 7
d) 8

Example Question

2. The numbers between one and six are printed on each side of a six-sided dice. When rolling the dice, what is the probability of rolling a five or a six?

a) 1 in 2
b) 1 in 3
c) 1 in 4
d) 1 in 5

Example Question

3. If 3x=6x213x = 6x – 21, what is the value of xx?

a) 3
b) 8
c) 5
d) 7

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How to Pass OAR Test in 2021
How to Pass OAR Test in 2021

Reading Comprehension Test

30 minutes to answer 20 questions. The following skills will be assessed:

  • Ability to draw direct inferences from text passages
  • Ability to extract meaning from text passages

Example OAR Reading Comprehension Questions

Example Question

Which of the following words is closest in meaning to ‘inevitable’?

a) Inadequate
b) Incomprehensible
c) Ineluctable
d) Indeterminate

Example Question

A sharp increase in the enrolment of nursing students in tertiary education establishments highlights a clear boost in the number of expected graduates over the next five years. This is in direct contrast to the shrinking numbers seen over the past decade. The issue of job placement after graduation is expected to worsen over the next few years, as job demand will exceed supply. A recent study found that former students and nurse educators remain skeptical about whether the existing system of placements will be able to meet the needs of increasing numbers of trainee nurses. As the main employer for nursing graduates, hospitals will need to find creative strategies to absorb new recruits, ensuring appropriate experience can be gained whilst providing opportunities for most graduates.

Of the following statements, which one does not follow from the text passage?

a) Nurse educators think that the current allocation system is inadequate
b) Job placement is going to become more difficult
c) Hospitals are creative when it comes to finding solutions for high demand
d) There was a decrease in the number of nursing graduates during the past ten years

OAR Mechanical Comprehension Test

15 minutes to answer 30 questions on:

  • Engine components and performance
  • Fulcrums
  • Gears
  • Pressure
  • Principles of electricity
  • Pulleys
  • Simple machine operation
  • Velocity
  • Volume
  • Weight distribution

Example OAR Mechanical Comprehension Questions

Example Question

1. A magnet is put between two identical, anchored magnets. In which direction would you expect the magnet to move?

a) Towards Magnet 1
b) Towards Magnet 2
c) It will not move at all

Example Question

2. Which of the following words describes an electrical component that holds a voltage across the gap between two conductive materials?

a) Inductor
b) Capacitor
c) Resistor

How Is the Test Scored?

Your OAR results will be given as a cumulative score between 20 and 80.

On average, candidates score between 40 and 60. The minimum score required to qualify for officer training will be dependent on which military service you are applying to.

For the Navy, you will need to achieve a minimum score of 35. However, since there are limited places available on the training program, you should aim for an OAR score that is higher than 35.

Achieving a competitive OAR score will help to maximize your chances of being offered a place.

How to Prepare for the Exam

To achieve the best possible performance on the Navy OAR test, you should focus on strengthening the core cognitive skills being assessed. The best way to achieve this is through practice.

You might try playing online math games to practice your algebra skills or filling in the crossword to improve your vocabulary for day-to-day practice.

For a more formal approach to preparation, using an OAR study guide is an effective way to improve your skills.

There are a range of free and paid-for options available online.

A Navy OAR study guide will usually provide access to sample questions, allowing you to practice answering questions in the same format as you will see on the actual OAR test.

Aim to focus equal attention across all areas of the test.

Don’t be tempted to only practice the areas that you feel confident in.

Sitting a practice test will also enable you to practice working under pressure, answering questions against the clock to improve your time management skills.

Becoming familiar with the layout of the test and the type of questions you can expect to see is a good way to minimize nerves and feel confident on test day.

Some of the best OAR study guide websites offer access to a full practice version of the OAR test.

Set a timer, answer the OAR practice questions and try to simulate the real test as much as possible. This will help to boost your confidence when it comes to the examination day.

Final Thoughts

The Navy OAR test is adaptive, which means that the more correct answers you give, the harder the questions will become.

It is not possible to skip a question on the OAR test.

If you are unsure, it is best to make an educated guess and move on to the next question.

That said, it is important not to rush through the test, as you will be more likely to make mistakes.

Putting in plenty of practice before taking the OAR test will help you to understand which answers you should guess and which you need to spend more time thinking about.