Military Flight Aptitude Tests: The ASTB

If you want to become an aviator in the Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, you must pass the Aviation Selection Test Battery (ASTB). The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery developed the ASTB in conjunction with the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute to evaluate those interested in pursuing a career in aviation. The Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard use the complete results of this test battery as a primary selection instruments for aviation programs.

You may take this test as many times as you wish, although there is a waiting period of 30 days between the first time you take the test and the second. You must then wait at least 180 days for all subsequent retests. When you pass the test, your scores are good for life.

The four sections of the test are as follows:

  • Math/Verbal Test (MVT): This is a 35-minute, 37-question test of general intelligence, which includes both mathematics and verbal questions. Those who have low scores on this test tend to have difficulty in the academic portions of training.

  • Mechanical Comprehension Test (MCT): This is a 15-minute, 30-question test of your ability to perceive physical relationships and solve some practical problems in mechanics.

  • Spatial Apperception Test (SAT): This test measures your ability to perceive spatial relationships from differing orientations. This test has 35 questions, and you have 10 minutes to complete them.

  • Aviation and Nautical Information Test (ANT): This is a measure of your aviation and nautical knowledge, helping to determine your interest in naval aviation. The test has 30 questions, and you have 15 minutes to complete them.

To derive your overall scores, your test scores are weighted, and four scores are derived:

  • Academic Qualifications Rating (AQR): (Score: 1–9) This score is a predictor of your performance in the academic portions of ground school training.

  • Pilot Flight Aptitude Rating (PFAR): (Score: 1–9) This score is a predictor of flight grades in primary flight training.

  • Flight Officer Flight Aptitude Training (FOFAR): (Score: 1–9) This score, like the PFAR, is a predictor of flight grades in primary flight training.

  • Officer Aptitude Rating (OAR): (Score: 20–80) This is a composite score derived from the combination of your test scores.

You must meet the following minimum scores to be considered for aviation training:

  • AQR: Navy: 3; Marine Corps: 4

  • PFAR (pilot): Navy: 4; Marine Corps: 6

  • FOFAR (info): Navy: 4; Marine Corps: 6

  • OAR: Navy and Marine Corps: 40

However, to be competitive, you should really have a score of 5 or higher on the AQR and 6 or higher on the PFAR and FOFAR.