• Please take a moment and update your account profile. If you have an updated account profile with basic information on why you are on Air Warriors it will help other people respond to your posts. How do you update your profile you ask?

    Go here:

    Edit Account Details and Profile

ASTB - Prep/Study Guide feedback


ASTB: My Gouge

First things first, DO NOT purchase the Cliffs book. The consensus on Airwarriors is that it may actually hurt your score. It is full of errors and is very different from the actual ASTB.

You will get some benefit from the Arco book, however. You can also get it online for free (link below). I printed the ASTB sections on my school's tab.

The member mmx1 on Airwarriors has already made a must-see page that helped me out big time: www.columbia.edu/~mmx1/astb/ This should be where you start your studying.

Here are some additional tips for each section.

Math Skills Test
The Arco book and the marine gouge, especially, on mmx1’s page will show you exactly what types of problems you will need to study. However, these two sources do not give a good explanation of how to do the problems.

For that, you will need this book: http://www.amazon.com/ARCO-GMAT-Math-Review-Gmat/dp/0768918316 The GRE/GMAT math review covers EVERY type of problem on the ASTB and shows you the simplest way to do them. Look at the marine gouge and the other Arco book to first see what type of math problems you need to study. Then go through this book and highlight the problems that you need to do. After that, here is the key: treat math like any other section and study really hard for it; it is a fallacy that you cannot study for math and improve. Practice the problems a million times until you can do them in your sleep. Believe me, I am not that good at math and I felt perfectly at ease on the section because I studied really hard using this book.

Reading Skills Test
The Arco’s practice problems will do the trick. They are just like the real ASTB.

The key thing is to remember this: toss any previous knowledge aside and answer the question based ONLY on the information given in the passage.

Also, there is no sentence completion. There is only reading comprehension.

Mechanical Comprehension Test
The marine gouge and the mechanical gouge from mmx1’s page are the best things out there, but even they are not that helpful because a lot of this section is just common sense.

You can look over the sections in the Arco book too, but they are only slightly helpful.

Take an introductory physics class if you can. I took one the semester before I took the test, and there were about 4 out of 30 problems that I would not have been able to answer without the class. That’s good enough to raise your score a point or two, which is definitely worth it considering how competitive aviation slots are.

Scan the entire ASTB section of Airwarriors for every last shred of gouge you can find. I cannot stress this enough, because this will give you an idea in some cases of the exact types of questions you will see on the test. This helped me big time.

This book may help you if you are hopeless in this area: http://www.amazon.com/gp/explorer/0764123408/2/ref=pd_lpo_ase/102-7094373-4438523?. I haven’t actually used it, so if somebody who has wants to chime in, that would be great.

It also won’t kill you to learn about how engines work.

Since much of this section is just common sense, studying can’t help you for all of the problems. You can just figure them out when you get to them, even though you’ve never seen anything like them before.

Spatial Apperception Test
The Arco book is great for this. Mmx1 also has some nice tips on his page.

Keep in mind that the pictures on the real ASTB are different from the examples in the Arco book. You can find samples of the real pictures here: http://www.nomi.med.navy.mil/NAMI/astb/astbwebsitewriteup.htm Click on the blue button on the bottom of the page to get NOMI’s sample questions.

The actual ASTB’s spatial apperception questions are more difficult than Arco’s, with very confusing angles in almost every case. Most of the time, you will probably only be able to narrow it down to two answers. Therefore, DO NOT just pick the first one that you think is right; look at all possible answers first, then pick.

Aviation and Nautical Information Test
This is the hardest section to prepare for because the information comes from such a vast amount of knowledge about ships and planes and narrows it down to only thirty questions.

The marine gouge and mmx1’s boat link will help you a lot. The Arco is worth a look, but isn’t very helpful when it’s all said and done.

The FAA’s Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical knowledge is an absolute must. Use the marine gouge and the Arco and all of the gouge on the ASTB section of Airwarriors.com to get a feel for the type of stuff you need to learn. Then go through the book, highlight the relevant material, and study, study, study.

I also studied The Annapolis Book of Seamanship and it definitely helped. As with the FAA book, I took a look at the gouge and the Arco book first to see what type of stuff I should highlight in it. Then I read the highlights more times than I can count. Since this book is geared only towards sailing, however, I’m sure there are better books out there. If somebody else can chime in with a good book they used that would be great.

Since this section is so difficult to prepare for, to get an edge you are honestly going to have to scan EVERY single thread in the ASTB section of this forum and note what types of things people say will pop up on the test. Also, get addicted to Airwarriors (pretty easy to do) and read aviation related stuff on here as much as you can. Go to all of the links people post. Get interested. Go to wikipedia.com and read about planes and the Navy. My addiction to reading about planes (more emphasis on planes than ships on the test) online helped me out BIG TIME.

One last tip. Do not rush into taking the ASTB. I studied for 6 months for this test
(no joke), mostly to acquire airplane and ship knowledge. It was worth it, however, because my studying paid off; I will never have to take it again (it was a rough few hours in that test room), and it absolutely helped me to get pro rec’d. Have fun studying!

Fezz CB

I studied for 4 hours....at Barnes and Noble. My buddy and I just grabbed the arco books and studied away. Ill admit that the book was a little different from the actual test. But I felt I was prepared despite my lack of aviation knowledge. Again, different strokes for different folks. Some people have to study more than others. Live by the gouge, die by the gouge.


4 hours and you got a pro rec? Sweet God you must be smart as hell.

I honestly was ripping my hair out for 6 months. I had a pile of books and random documents about a mile high.


Teaching MIDN how to drift a BB
what were your scores? I took it the first time and got 4/4/4 44, I took it again and am still waiting for the results. Its been 5 weeks now, dumb paper tests....

Fezz CB

4 hours and you got a pro rec? Sweet God you must be smart as hell.

I honestly was ripping my hair out for 6 months. I had a pile of books and random documents about a mile high.
Oh sorry. I took the test while I was in NROTC. So not a whole lot of time to study for the test with other school stuff to handle. But that was soooooo long ago. I got 5/6/6 if i remember correctly. But seriously, do your best. That way u can get what you want i.e. NFO or Pilot. Good luck!


HA! All this ASTB talk got me to looking... I just found my scores from 2002!

I remember, I actually took this on watch. My Chief came back and supervised. Funny stuff.

I don't know what the three numbers you guys are writing down are but...

AQR- 7
PBI- 6
OAR- 57


Whateva! I do what I want!
Super Moderator
Guys this is awesome. I'm a 2/c NFO wannabe and I'm probably going to take the test this semester or early next semester and this is really helpful.
Thanks for the helpful info. I took the astb yesterday thinking a few days of studying was enough. Boy, was I wrong! I dont have an aviation or nautical background so I went in it cold. If you have anymore advice. It would be appreciated.
I understand that everything on this site is tailored to aviation (hence the AIRwarriors), but I had a question as to whether or not anyone knows anything about getting into OCS for the SEAL program and how competitive it is to get accepted.


Teaching MIDN how to drift a BB
Its VERY competitive from what I have heard, with only a few slots open to non priors per year. Might have a better shot at enlistment for that (from what I have heard, might be bad gouge, so research more)The good news is that there is an Officer Recruiter across the street from your school. If you need his number pm me.

I am a 1/C and I took the ASTB at the end of September of this year. I went on my 1/C aviation cruise and I studied for only about 2 weeks. I used the new Barron's ASTB book for the information and practice tests. You can get it from Barnes & Nobles or Amazon, its new with copyright 2007. The book was very helpful and some of the questions were the same as my exam.
End result, I got a 6,7,7


Jackass said:
I realize this is old as hell, but good gouge.

Question, the FAA pilot pdf is like 600 somethin pages. How did you go about determining what was important? Did you go through every page?
Try this one:


(I know it's only the first section, but it covers most of the basics you'll need.)

It's only 111 pages, and I would take a few hours and read it all. I kept mine in my bathroom, finished it off during a few dumps. (It's a cyclical learning process of mine that consists of ridding the body of waist while simultaneously replacing the void with new, useful knowledge.)

The questions I remember from Form 3 of the ASTB regarding the FAA handbook asked about basic aviation concepts, flight controls, principles/theory of flight, communications, passing/overtaking porcedures, colors - lights and runways/taxi lights, wingtip vortices, sound barrier concepts and shockwaves, air density and how it relates to pressure, humidity, and temperature, compass headings/navigation, etc. You'll need to learn it all anyway! Good luck!

EDIT: Now that I go back and look at the other sections of that handbook, there were a few questions regarding characteristics of certain weather patterns, i.e. cold fronts, etc. Also, there were some questions on instruments, and a couple on classification of Aircraft based on size or load capacity...soooo I would say read the first section in-depth, and then scan the major topics of the others, but don't get into things like "Blockage of the Pitot Tube" unless you really have time to scrutinize the whole book.