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How should I prepare for a military aptitude examination?

It has always been my dream to join the Air Force. I am extremely excited because I am now old enough to apply. I would like to do my best in order to get accepted. One of the areas I would like to excel in is in the examination. However, I am not sure how to prepare for the different tests such as the military aptitude testing. Is it similar to the skills assessment test and are there any effective tips I can use to better my chances of passing the exam?

Jan Berry

in Exams and Tests

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Ross Pratt on January 12, 2018

Before anyone joins the Air Force, they are required to do the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT). This exam normally includes four sections namely:

  • Verbal ability in English
  • General Awareness
  • Numerical Ability
  • Reasoning and Military Aptitude Tests

The Military Aptitude Test is made up of two sections; spatial ability and verbal skills. The total duration of the Common Admission Test is 2 hours. If you want to excel in this exam you need to be prepared to answer each section correctly not just the aptitude test. However, to answer your question, yes, there are certain things you can do to better your chances of performing well in the aptitude section. First and foremost, you need to know which types of questions are asked in this section. Military aptitude tests are very different from skills assessment tests. The questions in these sections are not meant to test your skills but rather test your spatial ability. This section is believed to be the easiest. It comprises of 25 questions. To answer them correctly, you need to understand what concepts the questions are based on and have a general idea of which types of questions are asked. The military aptitude questions are normally based on a change in precession and visual reasoning.
Most of the AFCAT spatial ability questions are asked along these lines:

  • Identifying one odd pattern among many similar patterns
  • Choosing one correct pattern that can succeed a given pattern
  • Choosing the missing piece to complete a given pattern
  • Pinpointing the similarities between elements in a Venn diagram

Understanding change in precession is vital if you want to excel in this section. This includes changes in position, direction, replacement, deletion, shades and addition. Apart from getting an idea of what to expect, it might also help to use an AFCAT preparation guide. The guide has all the information you need to prepare and crack your AFCAT exam. Last but not least, it might be of great benefit to seek help from someone who has already done the tests and passed. A person who has done the test will give you some advice on what to do and what not to do to pass the examination. Take full advantage of their time to learn everything you need to learn. When you get to the examination room, just relax and believe you are well prepared for the examination. Panicking will make you mess up even on the simplest questions. Therefore, just keep calm.

Larry Warrena year ago

I agree. When you are preparing for an AFCAT examination you need to gather as much information about the test as possible. Find out how long it takes to do the exam, what the exam regulations are and which questions are commonly asked in the examination. It is also a good idea to do mock AFCAT tests so that you can identify your strong and weak points. Once you have identified your strong and weak areas, try studying more on the weak areas so that you can improve. It is advisable to get a tutor for your weak areas because they will help you improve more compared to if you do it on your own. Lastly, start your preparations early. Do not start studying a week before the test. Start preparing months before the tests. This way, when the test date is approaching you will be well prepared for the test.

Caroline Campbell8 months ago

I didn’t know the structure of the exams to join the army, but the way to study for them seems to be the same as for any other examination. You need to start preparing early by taking as many mock tests as possible and asking anyone you may know that has already taken the test about the most difficult parts of it. Before taking a skills assessment test, I wanted to know how it was like and thus I asked some people that had already taken it. And when I did my test, I was prepared and found it easy.  


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