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1,001 questions about the ASTB (post your scores & ask your questions here!)

Mike2319

New Member
Hey everyone.

My scores for my first run are 64 7/6/6. This was with maybe a good 2-3 days of studying.

I'm disqualified from being a pilot, so I'm mostly focused on being a NFO. I really only have 1 week of serious studying I could do before I can do a retest and then service selection preferences are due. So I won't have a 3rd attempt. I met the minimum scores but I'm worried that they are not competitive enough. However, I'm also worried that I might do worse and botch my chances completely. Should I keep my scores or study and hope for the best? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
Hey so I just took my ASTB-E and wasn't going to put anything in here, but I feel obligated to because of how much this website helped me prepare. First of all, I would recommend 3 to 4 weeks to adequately prepare. I studied almost every day for at least 3 to 4 hours during that time -- with maybe a day or two off here and there. Second, I would try and get a good nights rest, if you don't, dont be discouraged because I tried to, but I ended up falling asleep at around 3 am (woke up at 7 to head an hour over to the testing center). Third, I would recommend not studying the day before. I went over my notes for about an hour the day before and that's it. By that point you should be adequately enough prepared that anything extra you do on the last day would just be overkill and can end up stressing you out. Remember, sometimes less is more.

As for the actual test: I would write these topics down so you have an outline of what you're going to tackle to study.

- I'm going to go in order of the sections for this and also going to attach videos from youtube that helped me a lot-

Math Skills Test (MST):
Know how to multiply, subtract, and add matrices. Know your log and exponent rules. Know your basic and advanced DRT (Distance/Rate/Time) problems. Work on doing basic algebra (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) without a calculator because you for damn sure won't be able to use it on the test. Know your basic probability (1/6 chance to roll a 6... so what are your odds of rolling a 6 twice in a row --> 1/6 * 1/6 = 1/36, etc.). I don't know what it's called, but the labor problems are a big part of the test (it takes 4 hours to do this job with x people how long does it take with y people or it takes 5 people 6 hours to do this specific job and after 3 hours one additional person is added to the team to help every subsequent hour, how long does it take to finish the project?). I know it seems simple, but know how to do your basic fractions and percentages. Know weighted percentages, averages, and averages in general (Joe got a 54, 53, and 52 on the first three tests, what should he get on the last two tests to get an 80... or test a is worth 20% and test b is worth 80%, if he got a 60 on test a what does he need to get a 90?) Know basic geometry like area of a circle or rectangle, what kind of triangles have what features (like the equilateral triangle having all the same sides), arc length, etc. Know how to calculate volume or surface area for cubes, cylinders, and cones. I had a cone question. Know how to use FOIL and how to solve for x in equations that are (x^2 +4x +4). Go at a deliberate pace, you have time, but just remember you don't have ALL day. also learn your perfect numbers (6,28, 496...etc. you probably only need to know the first 4)

Reading Comprehension Test (RCT):
The reading was really dry and I had to reread a lot of the material 3 or 4 times before I got it down. A lot of the choices are correct, but you have to just find the most correct one, or a lot of the choices would be mostly right except one detail that eliminates it. It's pretty much like the SAT reading section, I didn't study for it, but I made sure not to skip that part of my practice test too. If you feel like this may be a weak suit, I recommend practicing.

Mechanical Comprehension Test (MCT):
Understand the basic concepts of classical physics -- I know that may seem like a lot, and it is, but if you study hard for this section, you WILL do well. It's mostly concepts and they are pretty basic ones at that, so this is all about effort on your part. Learn about the mechanical advantage of simple machines. Specifically, pulleys, inclined planes, and levers. Learn about tension, springs, torque, balancing on a fulcrum (I'll provide links to helpful youtube videos). Learn about gears, circuits (parallel and series), Ohm's law (which really isn't a law, but is really helpful with circuits), what work is (w=fd), gravity (and how every object accelerates and decelerates at the same rate towards Earth -- think about dropping a bullet and firing it in the x direction; they're both going to hit the ground at the same time), relativity, quantum, and nuclear physics (nah im just kidding about the last three, but have a basic understanding on how nuclear fission reactors work -- I had a question about control rods). Pendulums, buoyancy, density (both specific density and density in general), and bernoulli's principle will also help. Mostly concepts, but be prepared for a math question or two.

Aviation and Nautical Information Test (ANIT): This one is straight up reading and learning as much as you can about aviation and nautical information. This is where the majority of my notes are. The Barron book I used was very helpful for laying the groundwork, but most of the information, you will find on this website. I'm going to attach the links of the things I found helpful. I do not recommend reading the flight manual. Take that with a grain of salt, because that manual has almost everything about aviation that will be on the test(minus the history stuff). I think it is too dense and too specific to be of that much help for a test like this. You're better off using the Barron's book that I'll post the link too. In addition, the gouge (still not sure what gouge means) on this website for all things ANIT was immensely helpful. Here are the basics of what I learned (this isn't everything by any means): Parts of a ship (orlop, bow/prow, poop deck, starboard, etc., parts of an airplane (ailerons, flaps, fuselage, etc.), the three axes, what basic controls of a plane are, avgas weighs 6 lbs, basic military history of the navy and airforce (what's an F9F panther, who broke the sound barrier and what was it in?XS-1, Chuck Yeager; what was the main strategic bomber in 1950s? B36 Peacemaker, etc.), what drag/weight,thrust, and lift are, your instruments like altimeter, vertical speed indicator, magnetic compass, etc., angle of climb/rate of climb, taxiway lights, lights on the side of a ship, passing a slow plane on the right, etc. There's just way too much for me to put down, but again, you'll only go as far as you study because you can't wing this part.

Naval Aviation Trait Facet Inventory (NATFI):
You can't study for this, it's going to ask you what best describes you and it'll have two choices -- neither will be enticing to pick. Don't sweat it and be honest. This one sucks to get through, but at least you don't have to study for it.

Performance Based Measures Battery (PBM):
This one's also going to suck haha. There's several parts to this one. First, it'll have the compass section where it gives you a heading and asks you to pick the right parking lot. I'll attach the link to the flashcards that helped me as well as a video on how to do it. I practiced this everyday at least once (went through the all 64 flashcards) until the test date -- also they let you practice during the actual test, do that as much as you can until you're comfortable with it. The second part is a dichotic listening section where you have to press certain buttons depending on what ear hears what -- lean to the side where you want to focus on. The third is tracking with a joystick and throttle. This is the hardest part and it's meant to be that way so don't sweat it if you're not doing so hot. Just stay calm, cool, and collected, and do the best you can. I'm 100% sure they designed it to be way too hard for your average jimmy and joe like me. Then they're gonna make you put the dichotic listening with the tracking -- just do your best. What helped me for this, is I got an old halo game and made my controls inverted and played that for a few hours a week to familiarize myself with inverted controls. Finally, they're going to give you "emergency instructions" to do while tracking, write these down and follow the directions. Anyways, my advice is just try your best on this one.

Overall, this is not an easy test, you will not do well unless you study hard, but if you do study hard, regardless of how smart you think you are, you're going to do great.

Here's a link to everything that helped me study. The book I used is Barron's Military Flight Aptitude Tests 4th Edition and I got it off amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1438011040/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Really good MCT/ physics videos:
-- pulleys and tension
-- pulleys and tension
-- bernoulli's principle
-- buoyant forces
-- series/parallel circuits
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rSHqvjDksg -- ohm's law
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5vN8jGTU3o -- MA of levers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zrphnd_0VI -- torque

Math videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyAuNHPsq-g -- matrices
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5ZGDNxJwxA -- exponent rules
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPLyCH1WaEY -- log rules
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6BTcH_HSf4 -- DRT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyJSKQRamVo -- DRT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyMnNbeQ3F4 -- weighted avgs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlfRoDI3esA -- arc length


ALso the attachments I posted are really helpful especially ANIT gouge and ASTB gouge -- there's also a google drive folder with a lot of really good links, but I don't own it so I don't think I can share it -- if you ask around you can probably get it -- there's a really good math oar practice test with 114 questions. Anyways don't say I never do anything for you guys.

-MD 9/8/9 67
 

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alexng30

New Member
The third is tracking with a joystick and throttle. This is the hardest part and it's meant to be that way so don't sweat it if you're not doing so hot. Just stay calm, cool, and collected, and do the best you can. I'm 100% sure they designed it to be way too hard for your average jimmy and joe like me. Then they're gonna make you put the dichotic listening with the tracking -- just do your best. What helped me for this, is I got an old halo game and made my controls inverted and played that for a few hours a week to familiarize myself with inverted controls. Finally, they're going to give you "emergency instructions" to do while tracking, write these down and follow the directions. Anyways, my advice is just try your best on this one.
First, awesome write up, I was looking for something exactly like this and I guess it was just perfect timing on your part.

Just to add on to your advice for the stick and throttle part of the test, I'd recommend DCS (Digital Combat Simulator) if you have a half-decent PC. You can download it off Steam and it's probably the best "free" flight sim out there, ESPECIALLY when talking about combat aircraft. Obviously, it's never going to replace actual flight training, but it's still a very good way to get a basic feeling for how a plane flies. DCS has a bit of an intimidating reputation for being a study sim in that you really can learn to fly certain planes by reading real-life flight manuals, but the free plane that comes with the game (Su-25) can be started up at the press of a button and all your cockpit instruments (artificial horizon, speedometer, altimeter, etc.) behave as they would IRL. Hell, I think you can skip the entire startup + taxi + takeoff procedure and just spawn in already in the air and ready to fly if you want. Ever since they released the F-14 (yes, there's a near true-to-life F-14 in a flight sim) the sim has gained a decent amount of popularity, so there will be plenty of youtube videos aimed at beginners for how to get started as just the setup can seem daunting at times.

For a cheap HOTAS package that has both the throttle and stick, I'd recommend the Thrustmaster T-flight HOTAS X for around $50-$70 online. If you wanna splurge a little, you can also get some USB rudder pedals, but I'd hold off unless you're sure you wanna make DCS a hobby rather than simply a basic training tool for the flight portion on the test.

Anyways, great post on your part and it's really helped me out as someone just starting the OCS application process!
 
Last edited:

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
but the free plane that comes with the game (Su-25) can be started up at the press of a button and all your cockpit instruments (artificial horizon, speedometer, altimeter, etc.) behave as they would IRL.
Just keep in mind it's Russian, so the AI operates the opposite of western instruments, which really makes my head hurt whenever I see a video of one in action.
 

Yameyantok

New Member
Hey y'all, I'm new here & just took the ASTB today. I just want to start off saying I wish I read through this website earlier and more often, and will definitely be doing so until I retake (probably gonna give myself 40+ days). Any feedback and advice would be greatly appreciated.

42 4/5/5
Definitely wasn't pleased with my OAR score, and I know I'll do better on the others with more studying. This was after studying for about 2-3hrs/day, 3-4 times a week for 2 weeks, and another 2 weeks with 5+ hours every day. I took a very laid-back approach to studying and ended up cramming the last two weeks. In addition to some of the study guides and videos posted here, I used the Trivium ASTB Study Guide and Khan Academy.

I'm pretty sure my low OAR score was due to my performance on the Math section. I went in pretty confident in my math skills, and not even five questions in I hit a wall. I panicked a bit after seeing that I had spent 5 minutes on one problem, and there were a few others where I froze for a bit. Proportions and multiple rates word problems were the ones that got me. I'm going to look through some GRE prep books for more practice problems.

I actually took the test two separate days: OAR on Tuesday and the rest of the ASTB today. I figured this would be less stressful, and it gave me more time to study for the for the ANIT.
Definitely need to memorize history, and be able to identify different types of aircraft, ships, and signals.
 

Ed014

New Member
Hey y'all, I'm new here & just took the ASTB today. I just want to start off saying I wish I read through this website earlier and more often, and will definitely be doing so until I retake (probably gonna give myself 40+ days). Any feedback and advice would be greatly appreciated.

42 4/5/5
Definitely wasn't pleased with my OAR score, and I know I'll do better on the others with more studying. This was after studying for about 2-3hrs/day, 3-4 times a week for 2 weeks, and another 2 weeks with 5+ hours every day. I took a very laid-back approach to studying and ended up cramming the last two weeks. In addition to some of the study guides and videos posted here, I used the Trivium ASTB Study Guide and Khan Academy.

I'm pretty sure my low OAR score was due to my performance on the Math section. I went in pretty confident in my math skills, and not even five questions in I hit a wall. I panicked a bit after seeing that I had spent 5 minutes on one problem, and there were a few others where I froze for a bit. Proportions and multiple rates word problems were the ones that got me. I'm going to look through some GRE prep books for more practice problems.

I actually took the test two separate days: OAR on Tuesday and the rest of the ASTB today. I figured this would be less stressful, and it gave me more time to study for the for the ANIT.
Definitely need to memorize history, and be able to identify different types of aircraft, ships, and signals.


I actually take the ASTB next week on Tuesday and I am debating on telling my recruiter to reschedule it because I don't feel confident at all. I also crammed on studying the past few days. I am going to look around the thread but if anyone can save me some time and tell me any good sites or books to find that will help me with the other sections of the test besides the OAR. Thank you!
 

KabarJaw

New Member
I actually take the ASTB next week on Tuesday and I am debating on telling my recruiter to reschedule it because I don't feel confident at all. I also crammed on studying the past few days. I am going to look around the thread but if anyone can save me some time and tell me any good sites or books to find that will help me with the other sections of the test besides the OAR. Thank you!
I'm in the same boat, although I have not scheduled my test yet. I am doing that after MEPS on Tuesday. I am currently studying for it with resources found on this site. Mostly I am going through practice tests to find what I am struggling with and then using Khan Academy to learn it.
 

Ed014

New Member
I'm in the same boat, although I have not scheduled my test yet. I am doing that after MEPS on Tuesday. I am currently studying for it with resources found on this site. Mostly I am going through practice tests to find what I am struggling with and then using Khan Academy to learn it.

Yeah after going back to 2018 on this thread and looking over the study material I have come to conclusion I am not ready yet to take the ASTB lol. I have some more studying to do. I procrastinated before but after reading a lot of reviews I am motivated to put the hours in everyday to studying. I think I am going to do the samething and just go to MEPS first and take the test later. Good luck!
 

bchezna

New Member
I was PROREC-Y for NFO, with a 54 on the OAR and 6/6/7, but wanted to see if I could do better on the test, and maybe get PROREC-Y for SNA, This time i made it out with 52 6/7/7. Any advice on whether or not i should just accept the NFO offer, or if I should commit to reapplying?
 
I would suggest against that fron what I have previously read from other posts. It is ultimately up to you. Do what you feel what is best with you career and life goals.

I was PROREC-Y for NFO, with a 54 on the OAR and 6/6/7, but wanted to see if I could do better on the test, and maybe get PROREC-Y for SNA, This time i made it out with 52 6/7/7. Any advice on whether or not i should just accept the NFO offer, or if I should commit to reapplying?
 

Aaron Young

New Member
Hey I guys I just took the ASTB this morning and got these scores: 57, 7/6/7

MATH:
I felt prepared going into the exam for the math portion, but I underestimated how difficult it would actually be. I had a couple log problems, a few ratio problems, and some factoring of exponents. I should have spent more time studying on this section then I had.

READING:
Going into the exam I felt this would be my strongest portion due to how I scored on my ACT and SAT. While it was the easiest section for me, I was surprised at how dry the passages really were. I believe the key of these questions is to find the answer that comes directly from the passage, not inferring what the correct answer could be based on the passage.

MECHANICAL COMPREHENSION:
I have never taken a physics class before (I am a Business Major), not even in high school. I split most of my studying time on this section and the Aviation and Nautical Information test. To be honest I don't remember much of what was in the actual test and I am sorry for that. What I do know is that the Barron's book covered most if not all of what I encountered. If I came across a problem that I had no idea how to solve I wouldn't spend much time trying to figure out an answer. I just picked whatever made logical sense to me and moved on to the next question. I used this technique for the rest of the exam as well.

NATFI:
Boring, don't have to study for it so it wasn't too bad. Just lots of questions.

AVIATION AND NAUTICAL INFORMATION:
I felt the Barron's book gave me all the information I needed to pass this section of the exam. The questions were mainly about different parts of the plane and their functions. I felt like I had more Aviation questions rather than Nautical, and had little to no historical questions that had to do with names or dates. This surprised me as the practice tests in the Barron's book had quite a few.

PBM:
Sucked, used the compass trick for the UAV portion of the test. I probably missed like 5 due to not holding the paper correctly on some of the NE and SW type bearing questions. Joystick and throttle portion was intimidating to begin with but I started to feel more comfortable as the test progressed.
mattdavid1234 sums it up really well. Go read his as it is much better than what I could explain. Its on this same page (343).

Overall I'm pleased. My OSO was happy with how I scored and does not want me to retest so I'm going to stay where I am at.
 

Ed014

New Member
Hey I guys I just took the ASTB this morning and got these scores: 57, 7/6/7

MATH:
I felt prepared going into the exam for the math portion, but I underestimated how difficult it would actually be. I had a couple log problems, a few ratio problems, and some factoring of exponents. I should have spent more time studying on this section then I had.

READING:
Going into the exam I felt this would be my strongest portion due to how I scored on my ACT and SAT. While it was the easiest section for me, I was surprised at how dry the passages really were. I believe the key of these questions is to find the answer that comes directly from the passage, not inferring what the correct answer could be based on the passage.

MECHANICAL COMPREHENSION:
I have never taken a physics class before (I am a Business Major), not even in high school. I split most of my studying time on this section and the Aviation and Nautical Information test. To be honest I don't remember much of what was in the actual test and I am sorry for that. What I do know is that the Barron's book covered most if not all of what I encountered. If I came across a problem that I had no idea how to solve I wouldn't spend much time trying to figure out an answer. I just picked whatever made logical sense to me and moved on to the next question. I used this technique for the rest of the exam as well.

NATFI:
Boring, don't have to study for it so it wasn't too bad. Just lots of questions.

AVIATION AND NAUTICAL INFORMATION:
I felt the Barron's book gave me all the information I needed to pass this section of the exam. The questions were mainly about different parts of the plane and their functions. I felt like I had more Aviation questions rather than Nautical, and had little to no historical questions that had to do with names or dates. This surprised me as the practice tests in the Barron's book had quite a few.

PBM:
Sucked, used the compass trick for the UAV portion of the test. I probably missed like 5 due to not holding the paper correctly on some of the NE and SW type bearing questions. Joystick and throttle portion was intimidating to begin with but I started to feel more comfortable as the test progressed.
mattdavid1234 sums it up really well. Go read his as it is much better than what I could explain. Its on this same page (343).

Overall I'm pleased. My OSO was happy with how I scored and does not want me to retest so I'm going to stay where I am at.

Nice scores man! I am having trouble with mechanical comprehension. How long did you study for?
 

Aaron Young

New Member
Nice scores man! I am having trouble with mechanical comprehension. How long did you study for?
I studied for about 4 hours total for the mechanical portion. In hindsight I wish I would have doubled my study time for each section just so that I would have felt more confident with myself while actually taking the test.
 

MikeontheMic16

New Member
Hello everyone! If you’re reading this, I would definitely follow everyone’s advice and prepare yourself at least 6 weeks in advance. I hadn’t been talking to the Navy for too long and decided to take the test after about a week. My thought behind this was to familiarize myself with the test and then I’ll know what to expect and what to study for. So going into the test without studying was rough, especially after discovering this site. Definitely do not go in cocky and cold turkey, it will be a wake up call. Lol But on the bright side, it will be a good wake up call and it will allow you to familiarize what the test will be like and what will be on it, especially the UAV compass section and the throttle joystick part. That stuff will blindside you. I ended up scoring a 45 / 3-4-3, not good, but also didn’t study. I take the test again Oct. 28th and I know I’m going to kick ass on it because I know what to expect now and I’m going to be studying a good amount as well. If you haven’t already, read mattdavid1234’s post. Super helpful!
 

jpreed

New Member
Hey everyone!

I recently took the ASTB-E (last week) and I got 59 7/8/7.

I lurked on here a bit before I took the ASTB-E, and pretty much everything helped. If anyone has specific questions about how I studied, please just ask. I would pretty much say the same things everyone before me has already said. Good luck to everyone else!
 
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