RAF Aptitude Test - Practice for the Selection Test
Eldar Author

Eldar,  British Army Exam Expert at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at: ask_the_team@jobtestprep.co.uk


What is the DAA/AST?

The Defense Aptitude Assessment (formerly Airman Selection Test) is a test administered by the RAF. It is a qualifying test for the following roles:

  • Aerospace Battle Manager
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Air Traffic Control Officer
  • Weapons Systems Operator

And the RAF Regiment as a whole. It is administered at a local Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO).Your results in this test will determine the preferences and positions you will be offered in the RAF.

Click here for our full AST/DAA Preparation Pack, with practice materials for every question type and full solutions to help you master the test!

DAA Practice Test

Verbal Reasoning

This section includes 20 questions that must be answered in 15 minutes. You are presented with short passages containing many details. You must read each passage and then answer questions related to it. While most questions are not too difficult, they do require attention to detail and the ability to sift through text and filter relevant data. Moreover, the short time frame adds to the pressure. 

DAA Sample Question #1 - Verbal Comprehension

Edwin, Rajiv, Sheryl and Mildred are four buddies who share a love of extreme sports. Edwin is mad for skydiving. Following skydiving, his favourite sport is rock-climbing, then quad-biking, and then jet-skiing. Rajiv most adores jet-skiing. Besides that he loves rock-climbing more than quad-biking, but less than skydiving. Sheryl likes skydiving least and quad-biking most. Between rock-climbing and jet-skiing, she prefers rock-climbing. Mildred tries to avoid jet-skiing. She'll choose skydiving over quad-biking, but will always prefer rock-climbing.

Which activity would Edwin and Rajiv be most likely to do together?

A. Jet Skiing
B. Quad Biking
C. Skydiving
D. Rock Climbing
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

General Explanation:

It is recommended to summarise the information from the paragraph in a table on your draft sheet.

Interpretation of the passage:

Edwin's preferences are detailed in an orderly manner. He always prefers skydiving (skydiving > all the rest). After skydiving, his favourite is rock-climbing, then quad-biking, and then jet-skiing. Edwin's preferences are:
skydiving > rock-climbing > quad-biking > jet-skiing.

Rajiv's preferences are less ordered. He most adores jet-skiing (jet-skiing > all the rest). He loves rock-climbing more than quad-biking (rock-climbing > quad-biking), but less than skydiving (skydiving > rock-climbing). Rajiv's preferences are:
jet-skiing > skydiving > rock-climbing > quad-biking.

Sheryl's and Mildred's preferences are described in an even more complex manner.
Sheryl least prefers skydiving (all the rest > skydiving) and most prefers quad-biking (quad-biking > all the rest). Between rock-climbing and jet-skiing, she'll choose rock-climbing (rock-climbing > jet-skiing). Sheryl's preferences are:
quad-biking > rock-climbing > jet-skiing > skydiving .

Mildred tries to avoid jet-skiing (all the rest > jet-skiing). She'll choose skydiving over quad-biking (skydiving > quad-biking), but will always prefer rock-climbing (rock-climbing > all the rest). To conclude, Mildred's preferences are:
rock-climbing > skydiving > quad-biking > jet-skiing .

Using a table may turn out to be a better alternative. It would take time to create it at first, but once completed, will allow you to answer all questions in a row. Try to use abbreviations in order to save time:

Since we were acquainted with people who have different preferences, your logic should be that each sub-group of the four will choose to do together their common most preferred activity. This logic is also implied in the phrasing of the question – "doing their favourite extreme sport".

Specific Explanation to Q1:
Edwin's most favourite activity is skydiving, while Rajiv's is jet-skiing. It makes sense to address these two activities as the possible answers. Note that while skydiving is Rajiv's second priority, jet-skiing is Edwin's last priority. Therefore, their common most favourite activity is skydiving.


DAA Sample Question #2 - Verbal Comprehension

Five of your employees are nominated for promotion. Which of them would you recommend to be promoted, based on their characteristics?
(The same person could fit more than one description)

Josh is 29 years-old. He has five years of experience, has an energetic temperament and works quickly. . He is very authoritative and popular among the other workers, but has quite weak managerial skills.
David is 40 years-old. He has fifteen years of experience, has a calm temperament, and works moderately fast. He is moderately authoritative, moderately popular among the other workers and has superb managerial skills.
Samuel is 35 years-old. He has twelve years of experience, has an energetic temperament, and works quickly. He is very authoritative, but unpopular among other workers and he has high managerial skills.
Chris is 28 years-old. He has seven years of experience, has a calm temperament, and works quickly. He is not very authoritative, but he is very popular among other workers, and has superb managerial skills.
Greg is 32 years-old. He has six years of experience, has a mild temperament, and works slowly. He is authoritative, very popular among other workers and has moderate managerial skills.

You need a "sly old fox" – as experienced as possible and very authoritative.

A. Josh
B. David
C. Samuel
D. Chris
E. Greg
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

General Explanation:
This set of questions presents information about 5 different candidates. Each candidate's description contains information in 7 different categories. These categories are addressed in the same order in each of the descriptions. Noting such details is of importance since it can improve future inspection of the description when you look for each item's solution.
Each of the requirements that follow the general description relate to only some of these categories. Your goal is to sift through the description in order to find the most suitable candidate; hence, it is advised to read the demand characteristics first and only then to look at the descriptions.

One of the best ways to reach the correct solution as fast as possible is to eliminate each option that doesn't meet any of the demands. The best way to handle this elimination process is to first approach the categories which are easiest to eliminate. The first and last categories can be approached with ease, since you don't need to look for them in the middle of the sentence. You can just check the beginning or the end of it. In addition, try to find prominent words in each attribute, which you find easy to recognise. By doing so, it will be easier for you to locate the required category in every question, e.g. the word " authoritative," sticks out as a long word, which is always followed by a coma.
Once you've eliminated all options but one, or you've found a candidate whose description answers all of the boss's demands, you can mark the correct answer and continue to the next question.

Specific Explanation for Q1:
This item examines two categories only. The first demand is that the candidate will be as experienced as possible. David is most experienced, then Samuel, Chris, Greg, and Josh. The second demand is high authoritativeness. You should examine the profiles of the candidates by seniority, until you find a candidate with high authoritativeness – they will be the best fit for the demands.
David is described as moderately authoritative. That is not enough. Samuel is described as very authoritative, as required. Therefore, Samuel is the right choice.

Numerical Skills

This section contains two sub-sections: basic arithmetic and data interpretation. You are given four minutes to answer the first section. It consists of 12 questions that require the four basic operations, decimals, and fractions. You have 11 minutes to answer the 15 questions in the second section. These rely on graphs and tables. The second section is the more difficult of the two as it requires critical reasoning skills. 

DAA Sample Question #3 - Numerical Reasoning

Calculate: 22/3 + 2/9

A. 3
B. 2 and 8/9
C. 2 and 5/6
D. 2 and 4/12
E. 3 and 1/3
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

2/3 can also be expressed as 6/9.

2 and 2/3 + 2/9 = 26/9 + 2/9 = 28/9.


DAA Sample Question #4 - Numerical Reasoning

What is the value of X?

7x – 35 = 5 – 3x

A. 3
B. 4
C. 5
D. 7
E. 10
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer
7x – 35 = 5 – 3x / add 3x to each side.
10x - 35 = 5 / add 35 to each side.
10x = 40 / Divide each side by 10.
x = 4  

Spatial Reasoning

This section is comprised of two parts. Part one is four minutes long and contains 10 questions that measure your 2D orientation skills. Shapes are broken into pieces, and you are asked to reconstruct them. The second part measures your 3D orientation skills. You have 3 minutes to answer 10 questions in which three-dimensional shapes are depicted from different views. You must choose the set of shapes that changes only the perspective and not the nature or type of shapes. 

DAA Sample Question #5 - Spatial Reasoning

Below are two separate objects, each has a dot placed in one corner, and each has five possible rotations. Choose the answer option in which the dots are placed in the same corners of the objects as in the model.

Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is (D).

To solve this question, try to imagine each 3D figure and rotate it in your mind. Then, according to this rotation, try to deduce if the dot is in the same place as its first position. Here, we can see option (D) is the correct answer.    


DAA Sample Question #6 - Spatial Reasoning

Below are two separate objects, each has a dot placed in one corner, and each has five possible rotations. Choose the answer option in which the dots are placed in the same corners of the objects as in the model.

Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is (C).

To solve this question, try to imagine each 3D figure and rotate it in your mind. Then, according to this rotation, try to deduce if the dot is in the same place as its first position. Here, we can see option (C) is the correct answer.    

Work Rate

Here there is a table with codes that consist of letters, numbers and shapes You must find alternative codes for a given sequence according to the table. This section lasts 4 minutes and contains 20 questions. 

DAA Sample Question #7 - Work Rate

 Which could be an alternative code for RDG?

6 1 3 5
A. 6♥5
B. 6♠5
C. ♦15
D. 6♠♣
E. 35♣  
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is D- only this answer replaces each letter of "RDG" with a matching number/symbol for each letter.


DAA Sample Question #8 - Work Rate

 Which could be an alternative code for EQZ?

2 4 5 1
A. ⇔42
B. ♦59 
C. 4▼2 
D. ⇔59
E. 45♦  
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is D- only this answer replaces each letter of "EQZ" with a matching number/symbol for each letter.


DAA Sample Question #9 - Electrical Reasoning

A parallel circuit consists 4 branches, A, B, C, and D. Branch A has a resistor of 50 Ω, Branch B has a resistor of 30 Ω, branch C has a light bulb with a resistance of 30 Ω, and branch D has a light bulb with a resistance of 10 Ω. Which branch will draw the most current?

A. Branch A
B. Branch B
C. Branch C
D. Branch D
E. All have the same current
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

In a parallel circuit, the currents divides unequally between the branches. A current is drawn to low resistance; thus, the most current will flow through the branch with the least resistance. This is due to Ohm’s law: I = V / R. Or: the lower the resistance, the higher the current.

Therefore, the correct answer is D.

Note that for this question, there is no difference between a resistor and a light bulb: both apply their resistance the same.


DAA Sample Question #10 - Electrical Reasoning

What is expected to happen to a circuit’s total resistance when an additional resistor is added in series?

A. It will decrease
B. It will increase
C. It will remain the same
D. Depends on the values of resistance
E. It will be halved
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The formula to calculate the total resistance (RT) of a circuit when N resistors are connected in series is:

RT = R1 + R2 + R3 … +RN

Therefore, when we add more resistors in series, we increase the circuit’s total resistance.

The correct answer is B.


DAA Sample Question #11 - Mechanical Reasoning

Which kayak rider needs to put in more effort?

raf mecahnical sample question

The correct answer is (A).

In this question, we are required to determine which paddler is forced to use more effort into the paddling.
First, we must distinguish the differences between the paddlers: Paddler A is using a longer paddle than paddler B. Given a longer paddle, a larger part of its surface will be in contact with water. Water’s resistance will thus apply a stronger moment; therefore, rowing with a larger paddle requires more effort.


As with every test, adequate preparation is essential for your success. However, it is perhaps more so with the RAF aptitude test, as it may not only be your ticket into the Royal Air Force, but it will also determines your eligibility for specific positions within the organisation based on your score. Therefore, it is paramount to practise effectively, focusing on your desired position and making sure to hone the skills in the sections most relevant to it.

Our AST preparation PrepPack™ contains clear and comprehensive explanations to enhance your understanding and has recently undergone an extensive update to faithfully reflect the changes that have occurred in the real test.

It is worth mentioning that the AST is not the only aptitude test candidates might take as part of the recruitment process. Some applicants, including Officers, Non-Commissioned Aircrew, and Non-Commissioned Air Traffic Controllers candidates, also have to attend a series of aptitude tests at the Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC) at RAF Cranwell.

Practising for the RAF Aptitude Test is Your Key to Success

All of the aforementioned sections can and should be practised prior to sitting the real test. That is not to say that a three-month prep course should be taken but, rather, that limited, concise practice of concepts can help improve your test score. The main advantages such practice will give you are:

  • Knowledge – Some areas of the test – especially numerical, verbal and physical concepts – rely heavily on knowledge, the kind of knowledge some people tend to forget over time.  This could be knowing how to multiply decimals, being familiar with the meaning of certain unpopular words in the English vocabulary, or understanding the principal laws of motion and gravity.
  • Response times – The act of practice is rewarding. At first, everything seems complicated and time-consuming. With even little practice, these feelings start to change as performance improves. Even the memory and work rate sections are worth rehearsing, as they represent cognitive elements that are now known to be affected by training. For example, the memory section is popularly given to older people to help increase their memory abilities.
  • Confidence – Pre-exposure to the content of tests removes uncertainty. This is key for test success. 

Prepare with JobTestPrep to Land the Job You Deserve

The AST is designed to test a range of skills, some of which you may possess more than others. The AST is taken early in the application process, so preparation for each aptitude test is essential in order to move on to the later stages. JobTestPrep's comprehensive practice PrepPack™ includes all the tools you need to equip yourself for the challenge. As the package consists of a rigorous simulation which reflects the precise length, difficulty level and time limit of the ATS itself, you will be thoroughly prepared and substantially more confident when you face the real thing on your way to get the position you desire!


Read more about:
RAF Recruitment FAQ
Military Aptitude Test
ADF Aptitude Test

More Free Practice

We at JobTestPrep find the assessment tests world highly diverse and fascinating. If you are looking to deepen your knowledge in the aptitude tests world, or you want some extra practice before your test, we've got you covered!

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Free Aptitude Test | Free Psychometric Test | Free Numerical Reasoning Test | Free Verbal Reasoning Test | Free Cognitive Test | Free Critical Thinking Test | Free Abstract Reasoning Test | Free Spatial Reasoning Tets | Free Personality Test | Free Inductive Test | Free Mechanical Reasoning Test  

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