The royal air force officers and aircrew selection centre computer based aptitude testing



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APTITUDE TESTS
3. The full Computer Based Aptitude Test (CBAT) phase will last for one day. The aptitude tests are designed to assess a range of cognitive abilities and each test measures specific elements of the cognitive process that have been identified as important for job and training success. Test results for each respective cognitive area (i.e. aptitude domain) are summarised and together, they indicate your potential for success during professional training in certain branches. The tests are computer based, but advanced computer-operating skills are not required. Before the tests commence, you will receive detailed instructions explaining how to complete each test, including the practice questions which are designed to reinforce your understanding of what has to be done and familiarise you with the test requirements. The test results indicate your potential for success during professional training in certain branches; however, not all branches have aptitude tests linked with them. Depending on your branch choice(s), and other factors, you may sit the full test programme or, just a proportion of the programme.


  1. Note that there is no limit on the number of times an aptitude test may be taken, but a period of at least one year must elapse between each attempt. However, you should remember that the upper age limit for your branch preference may limit the number of attempts. In addition, remember that certain tests, particularly those for the Pilot Branch, are the same as those used for Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and Army Air Corps flying selection. An attempt for one Service initiates the same time limitation before returning to OASC to undertake testing for either of the others. However, if a new test was introduced that had not been previously tested within the year, an attempt at that specific test would be permitted and the results would then be integrated with the tests already completed. If you have any queries concerning your eligibility to take the tests please contact the Armed Forces Careers Office or the OASC.




  1. Each of the aptitude tests is designed to measure particular abilities, which in turn are grouped into categories or domains. The following is a selection of a few of the tests that form the aptitude testing session, together with an indication of the ability each is intended to reveal.

6. Airborne Numerical Test. This is a reasoning test designed to assess your ability to estimate answers to numerical calculations whilst under a degree of time pressure, as demanded in an airborne environment. You will have to:


a. Solve mathematical problems involving time/speed/distance and fuel consumption calculations.
b. Use mental arithmetic involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, to estimate answers. You will not be allowed to use a calculator or work out the answer on paper during the test.
You can prepare for this test by practising your mental arithmetic and calculations involving time/speed/distance and fuel consumption. The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 33 minutes and an example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:

7. Angles, Bearings and Degrees Test. This is a spatial test designed to assess your judgement of angles and bearings. You will have to:


a. Estimate the angle between two lines.
b. Estimate the bearing of an object from a reference point.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 9 minutes. A simple way to prepare for this test is by familiarising yourself with bearings and different sizes of angles. Examples of the type of screen you will encounter are shown below:


8. Auditory Capacity Test. This is a short term memory test designed to assess your memory capacity under multiple tasks and timed condition. You will have to:

a. Deal with more than one task at a time, e.g. change colours and numbers using the keypad provided, control the movement of a ball presented on screen using a joystick and remember a string of figures.


b. Follow aural instructions given over headphones to remember and recall appropriate actions to take regarding the different tasks.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 21 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:

9. Cognitive Updating Test. This is a multiple tasks test designed to assess your ability to manage and coordinate tasks in a busy working environment. You will have to:
a. Deal with a series of tasks against the time shown in a digital clock, e.g. monitor, control, set up and adjust a variety of technical systems and update information as required.
b. Complete these tasks by means of using multifunction displays, interactive pages and a menu system.
The test administration time, including instructions, is approximately 32 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:

10. Colours Letters and Numbers Test. This is a multiple tasks test specifically designed to assess your ability to shift attention between different tasks. You will have to:
a. Deal with more than one task at a time.
b. Monitor changes and pay attention to detail.


  1. Remember sequences of information.




  1. Complete simple mental arithmetic.

The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 18 minutes. You can prepare for this test by practising your mental arithmetic. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown on the next page:



11. Digit Recognition Test. This is a short term memory test designed to assess your short-term visual memory. You will have to:


a. Remember strings of digits of varying lengths.
b. Answer questions about the string of digits shown.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 4 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:

12. Directions and Distances Test. This is a spatial test designed to assess your ability to interpret descriptions of spatial relationships. You will have to:


a. Interpret written descriptions of the distance and direction between objects.
b. Answer queries on the spatial relationship between different objects.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 16 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:

13. Dynamic Projection Test. This is a spatial test designed to assess your ability to interpret and direct the movement of objects within a 3D, dynamic environment. You will have to:


a. Direct moving objects towards specific points and other objects using bearings.
b. Avoid moving objects and obstacles.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 36 minutes. A simple way to prepare for this test is by familiarising yourself with bearings. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown on the next page


14. Instrument Comprehension Test. This is a spatial test designed to assess your ability to visualise using pictorial, numerical and verbal information.
You will have to inspect instrument readings to visualise the orientation of an aircraft.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 25 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. Examples of the type of screen you will encounter are shown below and on the next page:




15. Mathematics Reasoning Test. This is a reasoning test designed to assess your ability to solve numerical problems. You will have to:


  • Interpret written descriptions to solve numerical problems using time/speed/distance calculations.

The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 17 minutes and you can prepare for this test by practicing calculations using the time/speed/distance formula. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:


16. Numerical Operations Test. This is a reasoning test designed to assess your ability to work out mental arithmetic problems. You will have to:




  1. Do mental calculation using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.




  1. Work quickly and accurately.

The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 1 minute and you can prepare for this test by practising your mental arithmetic. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:




17. Rapid Tracking Test. This is an eye-hand coordination test designed to assess your ability to track and target objects. You will have to:
a. Use a joystick to track moving and stationary objects from a location that is moving continuously.
b. Predict the movement of obscured objects.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 15 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown on the next page:

18. Sensory Motor Apparatus Test. This test is designed to assess your eye-hand-foot coordination. You will have to:


  • Use a joystick and foot pedal to control the vertical and horizontal motions of a moving circle (i.e. red dot) and keep it as close as possible to the centre of the cross-hair.

The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 8 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:


19. Situational Awareness Test. This is a multiple tasks test designed to assess your ability to collate verbal, numerical, pictorial information to build, maintain and update a mental picture of a complex changing situation to solve problems. You will have to:


a. Monitor verbal, numerical, pictorial and coded information which can be presented to you aurally via a set of headphones or visually on screen.
b. Monitor a changing situation to be aware of past, on-going and possible future activities/events that concern the position and movement of a variety of objects.
c. Answer queries on the changing situation and what actions you think is appropriate to take to solve various problems.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 27 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:

20. Spatial Integration Test. This is a spatial test designed to assess your ability to collate information provided by a number of two-dimensional displays to form a 3D air/ground picture. You will have to:


a. Interpret and integrate information presented from various 2D aerial viewpoints about the location and surrounding objects.
b. Interpret and integrate information presented from various 2D aerial, horizontal and vertical viewpoints about the location and moving aircraft.

c. Form a 3D air/ground picture of the location and surrounding objects/aircraft, as seen from different directions/angles.


The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 26 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. Examples of the type of screen you will encounter are shown below:


21. System Logic Test. This is a reasoning test designed to assess your ability to solve logical problems related to a system, based on available numerical and verbal information from different sources. You will have to:


a. Collate relevant information from different folders available from a menu system to solve a given problem.
b. Interpret a variety of information presented in the form of tables, graphs, diagrams, equations and factual statements.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 36 minutes and you can prepare for this test by practising your mental arithmetic. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:

22. Table Reading Test. This test is designed to assess your work rate in terms of scanning and cross-referencing tables of information. You will have to:
a. Cross-reference row and column numbers to identify values in a table.
b. Use multiple tables to identify values when given specific values.
c. Use and interpret information presented in tables on the monitor and hand-held cards.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 10 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. Examples of the type of screen you will encounter are shown on the next page:


23. Target Recognition Test. This is a multiple tasks test designed to assess your ability to search and identify a series of visual targets. You will have to:
a. Scan and search for a variety of targets which can be imageries, colour patterns, strings of alphanumeric characters, codes/symbols and warning signs.
b. Prioritise and alternate between the various scan/search tasks and register as many targets as you can.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 23 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown on the next page:

24. Trace Test 1. This is a spatial test designed to assess your ability to orientate in three-dimensional space. You will have to:
a. Perceive the changing orientation of a moving aircraft from a different perspective/direction.

b. Interpret pictorial information and identify the change in orientation of a given aircraft.



The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 8 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:

25. Trace Test 2. This test is designed to assess your ability to remember the movement of objects in three-dimensional space. You will have to:


a. Watch short dynamic scenarios involving the movement of a number of aircraft.
b. Recall the movement and location of moving aircraft in three-dimensional space.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 9 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. Examples of the type of screen you will encounter are shown below:

26. Verbal Logic Test. This is a reasoning test designed to assess your ability to use and interpret written verbal information from different sources to solve problems. You will be required to:



  1. Collate relevant information from a number of folders available from a menu system.




  1. Interpret and analyse verbal information presented in paragraphs.




  1. Make deductions, inferences and evaluations based on available information.

The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 41 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown below:



27. Vigilance Test. This test is designed to assess your ability to scan information and switch between tasks. You will have to:
a. Scan pictorial information presented in a matrix format.
b. Switch between routine and priority tasks.
c. Work quickly and accurately.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 7 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. An example of the type of screen you will encounter is shown on the next page:

28. Visual Search Test. This test is designed to assess your ability to scan information under time constraints. You will have to:
a. Scan information presented as letters or line figures.
b. Search for a target among a number of distracters.
c. Work quickly and accurately.
The total test time, including instructions, is approximately 3 minutes and you do not need to prepare for this test. Examples of the type of screen you will encounter are shown below and on the next page:








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