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

Hi all! I suppose it is finally my time to write on here.

After using this forum for as many tips, hints, tricks, and information I took my third attempt at the ASTB today.

First attempt: 35 1/2/1 - Sometime around 2016
Second attempt: 50 4/5/4 - 13 Aug 2019
Third attempt: 54 7/8/6 - 12 Sept 2019

Going into my last test I was pretty nervous, but as soon as I sat down the nervousness went away. I have to thank everyone on here that has posted their guides, tips, tricks, hints, etc. I did what everyone else stated to do, go back about 30-40 pages and just READ, save the information on your computer, write it down, whatever helps you find it easier. After going through all of the gouges, I searched online "ASTB Flashcards" and a ton of information came up. So thank you everyone who has contributed! I'll be applying for SNA in the upcoming board!

Math: It started fairly simple with probability and ratio problems, did some algebra (nothing too crazy, negative exponent divided by other numbers with exponents) and ended up with matrix problems. The test kicked me out early after a few matrix problems. I am no where near a math whiz, and used YouTube to tutor myself, I watched Khan Academy and The Organic Chemistry Tutor mainly. The books did not explain the math well enough for me.

Reading: Like everyone else stated, bland and boring. I read car manuals, old navy documents (NAVADMIN helped out a lot) and used some of the practice problems I found on this website and books.

Mechanical: Super easy, this is where my studies were focused. I had a questions about at which point is velocity the highest in a tube, a few electricity questions, one was about a piece of metal wrapped around a nail and how much voltage it could run if it was not around the nail, and then some lever stuff. YouTube again has great information and the information on the website is plentiful.

Naval Aviation Trait Facet Inventory: It sucked, there is no way to study for it, but the way I answered was, "would I rather" in a sense would I rather blow a stop sign, or would I rather break something and not tell anyone. I attempted to choose the answer that was more like me, but also one that showed leadership and taking responsibility.

ANIT: Studied pretty hard for this one as well. Definitely brush up on ALL major aviation history, not just Navy. Some questions were "which aircraft first broke the sound barrier" Which aircraft was fitted for refueling during Operation Iraqi Freedom. There is tons of information out there.

PBM: This is where I started getting nervous again, but after the compass section I decided to treat it more as a video game, instead of test, and I actually started smiling and having fun. I did the compass trick found on YouTube, definitely helped. I recommend downloading Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) from Steam, and get a cheap throttle and joystick (Navy uses the Saitek X52), and just familiarize yourself with multitasking. The vertical tracking and stick tracking are simple enough, the dichotic listening is where things get harder. When it first started I learned into the target ear, and closed my eyes. Once the dichotic listening and target tracking started I still leaned over to the target ear, and my MAIN focus was listening. The last section with the emergencies was cake as well, just write down the procedures on the paper, and learn which way the engine power and fuel moves the needle.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask, I'll try to answer anything to the best of my ability!
 
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First of all let me thank everyone who has posted and commented with their scores and insights into the ASTB. The material on here has by far defined my studying for this test and in my personal opinion be the basis of ones studying with the published study guides as a back up.

I am currently a Senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a 3.7 in Aeronautical Science - Fixed Wing and minors in Aviation Safety, Applied Meteorology and Intelligence and Security. I am also Commercial certificated ASEL with an Instrument rating that will come into play later.

First time taking the test this past Friday, Sep. 12 I scored a 55 8/9/8. Not the most impressive OAR score but I mostly studied the math in order to best boost my AQR and FOFAR as well as nautical information for that part of the ANIT subtest. I spent about a week studying for the test before hand and definitely could've done better if I started earlier and stayed with it. But none the less according to my recruiter as long as you get good PBM scores and don't score below the minimum score to attend OCS, the PBM scores is where it really counts for a pilot slot.

Lets start this thing:

Math:
Like I said before, spent the most time studying for the math section. Completed around 11 problems and had about 26 min left before I was kicked out, there was only one about simplifying logarithms that I had to do three times before I felt that I had the sufficient answer. The beginning started with easy find x and different fractional exponents and turned into harder questions since the test is adaptive. I had two probability questions like three dice and two decks of cards what were the chances of pulling a red card and rolling two - two's.

My main resource was the OAR Math Study Guide by Carlos Miro, if you can complete every problem on there without looking at the cheat sheet at the bottom or get to where you can create the function from the word problem and solve from there, you'll do a-okay. Most of the study books that I used were too simplified problems or only simulated questions that will come from the very beginning, but not if you're getting to the harder portion of the test. The closest one I found was Petersons.

Side note that I don't think i've seen on here before: Not every equation has to be memorized. There is a click tab off to the side at the test facility (at least in phoenix) and it gives you all of the basic formulas that you would need for the test. It still might be good to have it all down as for some equations there are pretty good shortcuts that you can use to your advantage.

Reading:
It's been said once, and it'll be said again, driest portion of this whole test. Super bland content that is jumbled together to present itself to you as a burden upon your eyes. I got kicked out of this section with 5 minutes left. After doing all the practice tests in the books, I felt as if this was one of my strong suits, but during the test I could tell that this is what took a toll on my OAR score. The questions are nothing at all like I expected because they weren't really questions. When I was doing the practice tests in the Guide Books, I thought it would ask me a specific question about the text before I even read it to know what I was looking for. All of my questions, and I mean ALL were a read the whole passage and find which out of four answers most correctly correlated to that passage.

The only study material I can suggest for this is post test I went back and the Test Prep Books version of the ASTB study guide with the red cover explains in excruciating detail how to deduce information and pick the most reliable answer.

Mechanical Comprehension:
My favorite portion of the OAR section as my first car was a son-pop project that consisted of the frame of a '67 Camaro, an LS1 Z28 engine with an R700 transmission and four years of work. Spent around 11 minutes on this section and was kicked out. Mostly conceptual with a few mechanical advantage questions such as there is a system of three pulleys (Insert diagram here) two are fixed, one is movable between the two fixed pulley's. If the object weighs 90kg, how much force does the person lifting the object enact on it. This was another section I took advantage of not studying for.

Best study material for this is the gouge that will be attached and whatever else is found on here. I would suggest starting with concepts and use the concepts to find out different equations that can be used.

ANIT:
Pretty good background with aviation, fathers a pilot so I've spent many a time in an aircraft and have about 250 under my belt in Single Engines. Just got done for my Commercial ASEL license and would say I was proficient at aviation knowledge. Spent most of my time studying for the nautical information part of the test such as where everything is on a ship. I got questions about axis of the aircraft, carrier shirt color designations, the different decks aboard the ship (Lowest deck on a destroyer (Orlop deck), deck where ceremonies take place (Quarter deck))

With a background in aviation, I definitely lucked out with this section. As a pilot the best of the best thing to do is read the whole PHAK or Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. But as this book is just as dry as the reading section of the ASTB and all of the concepts are not easy to understand unless you are hands on. My best suggestion is the study and memorize the flashcards on Prof cards and the attached ANIT study guide as I feel there is an even split of Aviation and Nautical questions.

Full study folder for the different sections of question and answer: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1AvPi5oH_h_13TGajDvflDWkftwXO8LS6

UAV:
Almost exactly like the flashcards provided earlier in this guide, I'll link if I can find them. The only difference is the "building" is a tent with tarp looking things provided around them to represent the "parking lots" and the whole picture looks like it is printed from the SEGA Genesis.

There are 8 practice questions before you have to start the test so be prepared.

Definitely suggest using the compass trick, turning it in my hand wasn't fast enough, so I stuck the middle of the compass onto my pencil and stuck it in front of my face. All I can say too is accuracy over speed. I averaged ~2 sec per answer. Each time you answer it tells you if it was right or not and how fast it took you to answer. I got one wrong out of around 17 questions. The hardest thing is the arrow is hard to tell which direction it is facing and I found myself slowing down to be sure of my answer. Which means MORE PRACTICE should have been done before hand.

Dichotic Listening:
Didn't practice for this at all, kinda intuitive I believe. You freak yourself out more if you think that you have to practice for this. Reminds me of the hearing tests everyone used to get in elementary school where you would touch your ear. (Or for the pilots out there, the hearing test required for your first First Class Medical license.) One book suggested to me to push the non-listening headpiece off your ears but everyone here said tilt your head. I would personally say use this trick if you dead need it, but to practice for the multi-tasking stage it makes it hard to track stuff with your head leaning like that, also cuts off part of your peripheral vision. The voices aren't that hard to make selective hearing into the side that you're supposed to be listening to, the most important thing is to not forget which side you're supposed to be listening to.

This section only plays about 40 characters before it switches sides and you have a nice buffer before it switches to let you know which side you should be focused on.

Vertical Tracking:
Like everyone else this takes a little getting used to, don't be scared if you don't get it at first. Just remember easy movements and keep in mind the dead zone when the throttle is neutral, this lasts approx. 15 degrees in both the up and down direction.

Each of the PBM moments have a 15 second practice window.

2D Tracking:
I thought this was a shoe in because in the DA-42 we fly here is stick, but the movements are so jerky and the dead zone in the middle is not like the airplane at all. Utilize the practice section for this portion as it can make or break you and try to get as used to the direction of travel for the cross hairs as possible.

Everything at the same time:
As said by every person that has taken this test, this part is true chaos. It just depends on how well you manage under pressure. Remember, breath and expel the hot gas. I took a second after the practice to stand up and take a quick breather before pressing the trigger on the flight stick to resume the test.

This goes for everything, but no matter how bad you feel you are doing don't get down on yourself, throughout this test I sat and wondered when I should schedule my next test because I was sure that my scores weren't up to the standards I wanted. I was actually kind've shocked to meet the AQ status.

Last but not least for the PBM section, Emergencies:
So while not talked about a lot, this section is the final section of the test and your scores will be calculated the second after this test finishes.

While you are doing the vertical and 2d tracking, you have three different emergencies that could happen (Engine, Fire and Propeller.) My piece of advice is write down the reaction to the emergencies on the scratch paper provided and set in front of you to look at once you get the first warning of an emergency (flash of red with the emergency highlighted.) These included for a fire you set the engine rpm to 0%, the fuel to 0% and pressed the clutch button. Engine, rpm to 100%, fuel to 100% and press the clutch button. Last it was propeller, set engine to 100% and fuel to 50% and press the button. Place priority on finishing the emergency as fast as possible and either you can track the aircraft this whole time or finish the emergency and go back to tracking to wait for the next one to appear. Mine all happened within about 3 seconds of finishing the last and I would say I did a pretty good job of tracking while the emergencies persisted.

If anyone needs any help or suggested study material for something in particular as well as any questions feel free to DM me!
 

RandyNewman

New Member
Just took it at my ROTC unit. Pretty satisfied with a 65 7/6/7 for my first attempt. My adviser told me I should probably just keep that for service selection. Definitely did better than I thought, the PBM was by far the hardest part. I thought for sure I messed up the dichotic listening and the tracking but I ended up alright. I used Barron's and alot of the gouge from this website. Thanks to all who contribute here !
 

mmhoang1

Member
Hey everyone,

Going through the gouges, and I see a lot of fractional exponents. In the "Air Warriors Study Material," it has an example
(4^(-1/4)-16^(-3/9))/2^(-2/10)
I do not understand if I would simplify it or solve it. Seems a too much to solve it by paper.

Another one was simplify this equation
2^16+2^17+2^20/2^10
Again, a lot to do by hand.

Also, I keep seeing this question popping up, and I was wondering if anyone found the answer yet... Which aircraft was designed to target silent/hard to hear Russian submarines?

Thank you!
 

guitarist57

Thick thighs save lives
Longtime lurker here. Just took my final ASTB attempt yesterday, which I'm really happy I did. I was applying for SNA in the 13AUG board, but due to an issue with depth perception discovered at MEPS, my previous score of 44 5/6/5 did not qualify me for SNFO. Retook it yesterday and scored 51 6/6/6! I wanted to thank everyone who's contributed to this with gouges, study guides, flashcards; all of us prospective aviators really appreciate it!
 

pleahy15

Well-Known Member
Longtime lurker here. Just took my final ASTB attempt yesterday, which I'm really happy I did. I was applying for SNA in the 13AUG board, but due to an issue with depth perception discovered at MEPS, my previous score of 44 5/6/5 did not qualify me for SNFO. Retook it yesterday and scored 51 6/6/6! I wanted to thank everyone who's contributed to this with gouges, study guides, flashcards; all of us prospective aviators really appreciate it!
Congrats! Good luck on your next board!
 

M_TOMICH

New Member
I just finished my first attempt at the ASTB for Naval Aviation in Kansas City, and I'll go to MEPS tomorrow morning. I scored a 57 7/5/8 on my ASTB. I'm worried that 5 on the PFAR is not competitive enough for Aviator. I'll need to speak with my recruiter and I'll probably want to retake this exam in 30 days. I need to figure out a solid game plan for raising that PFAR score. I'm not sure if I just bombed the joystick and throttle portion or what. I felt I did great on the L/R even/odd audio commands, but I didn't feel confident about the dual throttle and stick simultaneous target tracking.

Which segments of the exam factor into the PFAR score? I'd like to get an idea of how I can improve, if possible. Thank you in advance for any input/advice.
 
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RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
I just finished my first attempt at the ASTB for Naval Aviation in Kansas City, and I'll go to MEPS tomorrow morning. I scored a 57 7/5/8 on my ASTB. I'm worried that 5 on the PFAR is not competitive enough for Aviator. I'll need to speak with my recruiter and I'll probably want to retake this exam in 30 days. I need to figure out a solid game plan for raising that PFAR score. I'm not sure if I just bombed the joystick and throttle portion or what. I felt I did great on the L/R even/odd audio commands, but I didn't feel confident about the dual throttle and stick simultaneous target tracking.

Which segments of the exam factor into the PFAR score? I'd like to get an idea of how I can improve, if possible. Thank you in advance for any input/advice.
You should probably double check the requirements for Aviation...
 
I just finished my first attempt at the ASTB for Naval Aviation in Kansas City, and I'll go to MEPS tomorrow morning. I scored a 57 7/5/8 on my ASTB. I'm worried that 5 on the PFAR is not competitive enough for Aviator. I'll need to speak with my recruiter and I'll probably want to retake this exam in 30 days. I need to figure out a solid game plan for raising that PFAR score. I'm not sure if I just bombed the joystick and throttle portion or what. I felt I did great on the L/R even/odd audio commands, but I didn't feel confident about the dual throttle and stick simultaneous target tracking.

Which segments of the exam factor into the PFAR score? I'd like to get an idea of how I can improve, if possible. Thank you in advance for any input/advice.
The minimum score for a Student Naval Aviator (SNA) is a 4 on the AQR and a 5 on the PFAR. You met minimums and have a whats considered to be a competitive AQR score. As well as whats considered competitive scores to apply for an SFO.

The PFAR score which is mainly used in selection for a SNA slot :

Pilot Flight Aptitude Rating (PFAR): This score is affected by performance on all subtests, but the greatest contribution is made by the Aviation & Nautical Info and Spatial Apperception Tests.

- from https://www.usnavy.vt.edu/documents/astboverview.pdf

In order to increase this score, I focused mainly on the ANIT section and the PBM section. But from reading this, the Spacial Apperception Test is considered from the UAV section. Did you happen to use the compass trick from
?
 

Brand0034

Well-Known Member
I have a question about the UAV portion. I understand all of the first half of the questions in this study set but when it switches to satellite image questions it seems reversed. I thought your heading would be from the red dot pointing out towards yellow, but it seems to be from the yellow pointing towards the red dot. Can someone verify this?
For instance, the first satellite question on the set has a red dot with the yellow pointing up. I would view that as a north heading.
The answer views the heading as south.
 

OperationChungus

Well-Known Member
I have a question about the UAV portion. I understand all of the first half of the questions in this study set but when it switches to satellite image questions it seems reversed. I thought your heading would be from the red dot pointing out towards yellow, but it seems to be from the yellow pointing towards the red dot. Can someone verify this?
For instance, the first satellite question on the set has a red dot with the yellow pointing up. I would view that as a north heading.
The answer views the heading as south.

The direction of travel for the satellite map questions is indicated by the yellow arrow pointing AT the red circle
 
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