The Aviation Standard Test Battery-E (ASTB-E) is utilized by the US Navy and the US Marine Corps to select candidates for the Navy and Marine Corps pilot and flight officer programs, as well as the Navy Officer Candidate School. The US Coast Guard utilizes portions of the ASTB-E to select pilots for training and candidates for its non-aviation officer commissioning program.


ASTB-E Study Guide

Test format

The ASTB-E is a multiple-choice computer adaptive test that consists of seven subtests. These subtests measure abilities that are essential for success in officer training and aviation-related occupations. The questions on the first five subtests adapt to the skill level of the candidate based on previous answers.

You can opt to take just the Officer Aptitude Rating (OAR) section, consisting of three subtests, or the entire battery consisting of seven subtests. If you are not interested in an aviation-related occupation, you only need to complete the OAR section. The OAR portion will take between 1 and 2.5 hours, and the entire battery will take 2 to 3 hours.

Officer Aptitude Rating
Math Skills Test (MST)
Reading Comprehension Test (RCT)
Mechanical Comprehension Test (MCT)Aviation Standard Battery
Aviation and Nautical Information (ANIT)
Naval Aviation Trait Facet Inventory (NATFI)
Performance-Based Measures (PBM)
Biographical Inventory with Response Verification

The three OAR sections are:

  • Math Skills Test (MST): This section evaluates your knowledge of college-level math concepts. Topics covered include basic arithmetic operations, solving for variables, fractions, roots, exponents, and the calculation of angles, area, and perimeters of geometric shapes.
  • Reading Comprehension Test (RCT): This section tests your ability to read and comprehend passages. You will often be asked to identify the main point of the passage, or whether it supports a particular statement.
  • Mechanical Comprehension Test (MCT): This subtest measures your knowledge of basic principles of physics and mechanics. Topics covered included gases and liquids, pressure, volume, velocity, components and performance of engines, principles of electricity, gears, weight distribution, and the operation of simple machines.

The remaining subtests which make up the battery consist of:

  • Aviation and Nautical Information (ANIT): Aviation subjects that are tested include aerodynamics, aircraft components, instrumentation, and flight rules and regulations. Nautical information topics include nautical terminology and history, and general carrier terminology.
  • Naval Aviation Trait Facet Inventory (NATFI): This is a personality test used in officer selection.
  • Performance-Based Measures (PBM): This subtest measures situational awareness, dexterity, spatial orientation aptitude, and ability to multitask. You will have a problem that requires you to identify cardinal directions and then will use a joystick and throttle to track an airplane on a screen. Solving mental rotation problems can help you practice for this section.
  • Biographical Inventory with Response Verification (BI-RV): The purpose of this subtest is to evaluate your ability to successfully complete naval training by collecting information about your background and experiences. It is completed at home and consists of 110 questions.

Signing up for the test

You can register for the exam at any of the following:

  • Your nearest Naval Officer Recruiting Station
  • The Navy ROTC unit at a major university
  • Marine Corps Officer Selection Office
  • A military institute

There is no cost for the exam, and the primary test-taking method is by computer.

You also have the option to take the OAR portion as a paper exam. You will need to discuss the method of delivery with the Navy or Marine Corps personnel scheduling the exam. Neither method is more advantageous to the test-taker, as both delivery methods have proven equal results.

ASTB-E Practice Questions

ASTB-E Practice Test


Test day

At your scheduled test appointment, you will need to present some form of state-issued identification and verification of your social security number. You are not allowed to bring anything else into the testing center—everything you need for the exam will be provided to you.

Scoring & results

Students who complete the full exam will receive four composite scores, and students who complete only the OAR section will receive one score. Score requirements differ by program and service:

Program/ServiceRequired Score
Officer Candidate SchoolOAR
Student Naval OfficerAQR + PFAR
Student Naval Flight OfficerAQR + FOFAR

  • OAR: Officer Aptitude Rating
  • AQR: Academic Qualifications Rating
  • PFAR: Pilot Flight Aptitude Rating
  • FOFAR: Flight Officer Aptitude Rating

The composite scores are based on a stanine scale, meaning the scores range from 1 to 9. Your percentile score is based on how you placed in comparison to other test-takers. So if you receive the average score of 5, it means you performed better than roughly 40-60% of other test-takers. The OAR is scored from 20 to 80 using one-point increments, with average scores between 40 and 60.

The minimum score requirements for each program are as follows:

Student Naval Aviators45
Student Naval Flight Officers45
Marine Pilots & Marine Flight Officers46
Coast Guard Officer Training School45

Should you not pass the exam the first time, you are allowed to take the test up to two more times with at least 31 days between testing dates. This is a lifetime limit, so it’s important to prepare as much as possible before your first attempt. Only your most recent score will be counted, even if it is not your highest score.

You will receive an immediate report of your scores as soon as you complete all seven subtests.

Preparing for the ASTB-E exam

For help in preparing for the exam, check out our ASTB-E Secrets Study Guide. The material is written by exam experts and is designed to give you a complete and easy-to-use study plan for the ASTB-E. The study guide includes practice questions, test-taking strategies, and detailed breakdowns of essential concepts on the exam.

Upgrade your studying with our ASTB-E study guide:

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: October 14, 2021