RAF Aptitude Test and Airman/Airwoman Selection Test Practice

Were you invited to take the RAF Aptitude tests, also known as the Airman/Airwoman selection tests (AST)? Learn about the seven tests included in the AST, and how to practice them online.
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Test Content

The AST, otherwise known as the RAF aptitude test, is comprised of seven sections, containing 148 question items in total. Here is a detailed description of each section:

  1. Verbal reasoning  15 minutes, 20 questions. You are presented with short text passages that contain many details. You are asked to read each passage and then answer questions that relate to it. Most questions are not difficult at all, but they require attention to details and an ability to sift through text and filter relevant data. There is added pressure on you as a result of the short time allowed for each question. Preparing for the test in advance increases your speed when answering these questions.

  2. Numerical Skills  This section contains two sub-sections. the first part focuses on basic arithmetic. You have four minutes to answer 12 questions that require the four basic operations (x,+,-,/), decimals and fractions. The second part focuses on data interpretation. You have 11 minutes to answer 15 questions that rely on graphs and tables. The second section is more difficult as it requires numerical critical reasoning skills. You need to be able to answer these questions quickly and accurately, so it is important to brush up your skills ahead of taking the test.

  3. Work Rate  A unique section that lasts four minutes and contains 20 questions. A table with shape and number codes is provided and have to find alternative codes for a given sequence. 

  4. Spatial Reasoning  This section contains 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 three minutes to answer 10 questions in which 3-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. Spatial reasoning tests can be tricky as they require you to identify the pattern before you can answer the question.

  5. Electrical Comprehension  This section represents basic electrical concepts that are part of GCSE-level physics. There are 11 minutes to answer 21 questions. 

  6. Mechanical ReasoningThis section is also based on GCSE-level physics, focusing on mechanical principles, such as forces and motion, energy, levers, pulleys or screws, and more. You have 10 minutes to answer 20 questions. The aim of the test is to measure your understanding of these mechanical principles. It may be some time since you last worked with information like this, so don’t forget to prepare.

  7. Memory  This part is, in a way, the most entertaining and challenging one. Part one of the section contains 10 questions. You are presented with letter sequences, and you have 1 minute to memorise that sequence. You are then asked questions about the order of letters within the sequence. The second part of the section tests your ability to remember patterns. There are 10 questions, and you will be shown a sequence of grids. The grids are shown one at a time and within each grid there are a number of coloured squares. The grids will appear one after the other and you will only see one grid at a time. You will then be asked to decide which grid is a proper combination of the set of grids displayed in the sequence. 

Practicing for the RAF Aptitude Test

All of the above-mentioned sections can and should be practiced prior to sitting the real test. It is not to say that a three-month course should be taken, but rather that limited, concise rehearsal of concepts can really help improve your test's score. This is for three reasons:

  • Knowledge  Some areas of the test rely on strict knowledge, the kind of knowledge some people tend or prefer to forget.  Numerical, verbal, and physical concepts rely heavily on knowledge. It could be either knowing how to multiply decimals, understanding the meaning of certain unpopular words in the English vocabulary, or understanding the principle 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 tend to change as performance improves. Even the memory and work rate sections are worth rehearsing, as they represent cognitive elements which are now known be affected by training. For example, the memory section is popularly given to older people for increasing their memory skills.

  • Confidence  Pre-exposure to test contents removes uncertainty. This is key for test success. 
  • In Summary

    The AST is designed to test a whole range of your skills, some of which you may be better at than others. The AST is an early stage of the application process, and you want to have the opportunity to take part in later stages, so preparation for each test, even the ones you are stronger at is vital. Prepare with JobTestPrep for the AST. Once you have passed the AST you will next be invited to the appropriate Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC).

    JobTestPrep offers a complete practice pack for RAF Aptitude Test, covering all the sections mentioned in this article. Start practicing now >>

    RAF candidates for Airman/ Airwoman roles, Aerospace Battle Manager, Air Traffic Controller, Air Traffic Control Officer, Weapons Systems Operator and the RAF Regiment are asked to sit the Airmen/Airwomen selection test, also known as AST. The test is administered at a local Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO). The results of this test affect the preferences and positions each candidate can be offered in the RAF. The AST is not the only aptitude test you will take as part of the recruitment process. Many applicants including Officers, Non-Commissioned Aircrew and Non-Commissioned Air Traffic Controllers candidates will attend a series of aptitude tests at the Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC) at RAF Cranwell. In this article we will go through the individual elements of the AST. Prepare for the test with JobTestPrep’s RAF Aptitude Test Practice pack.

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