A Guide to the RAF Aptitude Test: Practice Questions & TipsFeb 05, 2023
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the UK’s air and space force. An amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, it was established on 1 April 1918 and became the world’s first independent air force.
The RAF Aptitude Test (otherwise known as the Airwoman/Airman selection test) forms part of the RAF recruitment process. If you want to join the RAF in a Regular or Reserve role, you will need to pass this RAF selection test.
In this article, you can learn what to expect from the RAF Aptitude Test, including example questions and tips on RAF test practice and preparation.
What Is the RAF Aptitude Test?
The RAF Officer Aptitude Test forms part of the RAF selection process. This RAF psychometric test includes questions on verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, spatial reasoning, mechanical reasoning, electrical comprehension, memory/recollection and work rate.
RAF Career options that require the AST test include:
- Air Traffic Controller
- Weapons Systems Operator
- Aerospace Manager
If you want to join the Regular RAF in a full-time role, you will need to successfully pass all of the following stages:
- Application – You will need to complete the online registration form. If you are not sure about the role you want to apply for, you can choose ‘to be decided’ on the registration form. You will need to provide personal information including your name, address, qualifications and job history.
- RAF Aptitude Test – This is also known as the DAA (Defence Aptitude Assessment) and was previously known as the AST (Airman/Airwoman Selection Test).
- Selection interviews – If you pass the aptitude tests, you will be interviewed by a qualified interviewer. This face-to-face interview usually takes up to 45 minutes. It will be held at your nearest Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO). This is your opportunity to show the recruiter why you would be a good match for a job role in the RAF. Prepare to be asked why you want to join the RAF (rather than the Navy or Army).
- Occupational health assessment – You will be assessed by a civilian doctor. The purpose of the health assessment is to identify any health issues that might make you unsuitable for military training. The health assessment is very thorough and your general well-being, eyesight and hearing will be checked.
- Fitness test – You will need to attend a fitness center for this test. The arrangements will be made by your local AFCO. During the test, you will need to run 1.5 miles on a treadmill and do as many sit-ups and press-ups as you can within a one-minute time frame. You will be observed by a fitness instructor throughout. Your results will be sent to your AFCO.
- Specialist interview – This stage is only applicable to certain job roles. Specialist interviews are conducted to further establish your suitability for a job role. They can last between one and three days. Your AFCO will be able to tell you whether the job you are applying for requires a specialist interview.
- Pre-recruitment training – Also referred to as Pre-RTC. You will need to attend RAF Halton for three days to complete a further Fitness Assessment, Basic Key Skills Builder assessments and Functional Skills assessments. You will also be given further information on training for new recruits.
- Provisional offer of service interview – This is a formal interview, which will be conducted by a qualified recruiter. It will take place at your AFCO, usually four weeks before your provisional service start date.
- Acceptance – If you pass the provisional offer of service interview, you will receive a formal offer of employment.
- Training – If you accept your offer of employment, you will be enrolled in the appropriate training courses.
If you want to join the RAF as a Reserve, the application process is slightly different. However, you will still be required to pass the RAF Aptitude Test.
RAF Pilot Aptitude Test Format
The RAF Pilot Aptitude Test is designed to assess your cognitive ability, technical knowledge and ability to work accurately under pressure. Your results from this aptitude test will help the recruiter determine the type of RAF role you would be best suited to.
You will not lose any marks for incorrect answers, so it is always best to make an educated guess if you are unsure of an answer.
You are not permitted to use a dictionary or a calculator during any part of the test.
The test takes approximately 90 minutes. You will need to attend your nearest AFCO in person to sit the test, and it will be invigilated by a trained careers officer.
For the numerical reasoning section, you will be permitted to use paper for calculating answers and working out.
Each part of the RAF Aptitude Test is designed to assess a different group of cognitive skills. This is a challenging test, so you will need to pay careful attention to detail and aim for a high degree of accuracy.
The RAF Aptitude Test comprises 148 questions, which are divided into the following sections:
RAF Verbal Reasoning Test
This includes 20 multiple-choice questions, which you will need to answer within 15 minutes. You will need to read, comprehend and analyze a short passage of text before answering the questions.
Also known as the RAF maths test, this part of the assessment is divided into two parts.
The first part is made up of 12 questions, which you must answer within four minutes. These questions are designed to test your basic arithmetic skills, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It also includes questions on fractions and decimals.
The second part comprises 15 questions, which you must answer within 11 minutes. These questions are designed to test your ability to interpret data from graphs and tables.
In this part of the test, you must work quickly to crack a code. You will be presented with a table split into three rows.
These rows will contain a series of letters, numbers and shapes. You will be allowed four minutes to work out 20 alternate codes.
This part of the test requires you to demonstrate how well you can comprehend and manipulate shapes.
The spatial reasoning section is divided into two parts.
The first part is based on 2D shapes, and you will have four minutes to answer 10 questions.
The second part is based on 3D shape orientation, and you will be allowed three minutes to answer 10 questions.
This part of the test is based on GCSE-standard physics electrical knowledge.
You will need to answer 21 questions within 11 minutes. You will be provided with a combination of written and image-based information.
During the time limit, you must show your ability to comprehend elementary electrical concepts, for example how batteries, fuses and switches work.
The mechanical reasoning questions in the test will assess your knowledge of GCSE-standard physics mechanics principles, for example, energy, forces, gears, levers, motion, pulleys and screws.
Some of the questions include diagrams depicting the different mechanical principles.
You will have a total of 10 minutes to work through 20 questions. To answer the questions correctly, you will need to analyze a variety of mechanical concepts.
The memory test is split into two parts. Each part of the test starts with a video. After watching the video, you must answer a series of 10 questions.
For the first part, you will be presented with a sequence of letters. In the questions, you will need to remember the order in which the letters appeared.
In the second part, you will need to recall a sequence of blue grids with yellow squares.
RAF Practice Test Examples
Here are some examples of the type of questions you might be faced with in the RAF Aptitude Test. You can use these RAF AST test practice questions as part of your preparation.
After trying these, access more sample questions on TestHQ.
Verbal Reasoning Practice Question
You are applying for school places for your nine-year-old child. The following schools are available:
School A is located in a village, is a long way from your place of work, has three after-school clubs your child is interested in attending and is a moderate distance from the supermarket.
School B is located in the city, is close to work, has three after-school clubs your child is interested in attending and is a short distance from the supermarket.
School C is located in a village, is close to work, has four after-school clubs your child is interested in attending and is a long distance from the supermarket.
School D is located in the city, is a long way from work, has four after-school clubs your child is interested in attending and is a moderate distance from the supermarket.
School E is located in a village, is close to work, has three after-school clubs your child is interested in attending and is a short distance from the supermarket.
Which school is most suitable for the following scenarios? Remember, each school may be suitable for more than one scenario:
1. You are looking for a village-based school that is close to work and has a maximum of three after-school clubs your child wants to attend.
2. You are looking for a city-based school that is close to work and the supermarket.
3. You are looking for a school with four after-school clubs your child is interested in. You do not mind how far the school is from the shops, but it must be located in a village.
The correct answers are:
1. School E
2. School B
3. School C
Numerical Reasoning Practice Question
Mark earns a monthly salary of £2,450, with monthly outgoings of £1,200. How many months will it take for Mark to be able to buy a motorbike that costs £3,400?
a) Two months
b) Three months
c) Four months
d) Six months
The correct answer is: b) Three months
The amount Mark can set aside each month is £2,450 – £1,200 = £1,250. Therefore, it would take three months to save enough for the motorbike.
Work Rate Example Question
Study the following table:
What could be an alternative code for HOK?
The correct answer is: c) H✔K
H can be coded as either 5 or X
O can be coded as either 4 or ✔
K can be coded as either 2 or #
To find the correct answer, you need to find the option that contains a combination of either of the two potential codes for each letter. From the possible answers given, only c) contains this combination.
Spatial Reasoning Practice Question
Which shape is made by putting the three top shapes together as indicated?
The correct answer is: c)
Electrical Comprehension Example Question
Which of these lists correctly identifies the three basic particles that form an atom?
a) Particles, protons and neutrons
b) Particles, mesons and protons
c) Neutrons, protons and electrons
d) Mesons, protons and neutrons
The correct answer is: c) Neutrons, protons and electrons
Memory/Recollection Practice Question
You will be shown a video with a sequence of letters, for example:
B, Z, V, J, K, P
Each letter will appear on the screen one at a time.
Once the letters have disappeared from the screen, you will be asked a question. For example:
How many letters are there between B and J?
In this example, the answer is two. This may seem very easy, but remember that the letters will have disappeared from the screen when you are presented with the question to be answered.
You can practise the AST RAF test on TestHQ.
Access Practice Material With TestHQ
How did you do with the example questions? If you were stronger at some sections over others, focus your practice on where you need it most.
For a huge range of practice material, take advantage of the TestHQ practice tests to access more than 800 questions and answers.
The package includes full solutions and explanations, so you can understand how to get to the correct answer and avoid those dreaded point deductions.
RAF Aptitude Test Practice Tips
Work Through As Many Online Practice Tests As Possible
This is the most important step in preparing for the RAF Aptitude Test. In addition to training your brain to answer the type of questions contained within the test, it will also improve your confidence on test day.
You can work through a variety of different aptitude tests, including numerical, verbal and logical reasoning questions at TestHQ.com.
Completing RAF Aptitude Test practice questions will also help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to plan your practice strategy according to these.
For example, if you know that you find the mechanical reasoning questions difficult, you can allocate more time to work on preparing for this aspect of the test.
Understand the Format of the Test
The RAF Aptitude Test is relatively long, with a total of 148 questions to answer. Knowing the format of the test means that you will know what to expect on the day of the test, which will help to minimize any nerves on test day.
Revise Basic Knowledge
Many sections of the test require you to show skills in basic knowledge areas, for example, basic math and arithmetic, vocabulary and physics theory. If you can dedicate time to revising these areas of knowledge, this will help to improve your test performance.
Practice Under Test Conditions
When you take the RAF Aptitude Test, you will need to work under strict exam conditions. This means that you will need to work quietly through the questions and stick to the allocated time limits for each section.
A good way to prepare for this is to complete practice assessments under the same conditions. You can choose from a wide range of practice aptitude tests on the TestHQ.com website.
Focus and Stay Calm
Perhaps most important of all, try to remain focused and calm throughout the exam.
Make sure that you get a good night’s sleep before the test and prepare a healthy breakfast to help you feel energized.
If you feel anxious on the day of the test, practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques to help you to regain focus.
RAF Aptitude Test Score Requirements
After you have finished answering all of the questions in the RAF Aptitude Test, you can leave the test room for a break. After you have taken a break, you can return to receive your test results.
RAF Aptitude Test scores are not presented as a mark or percentage. However, you will receive a score for each section of the test. For each section, you will be given a specific skills score between one and nine.
You will also receive six ‘group scores’, which are named from A to E. Each of the group scores comprises a raw score of up to 100.
RAF Aptitude Test score requirements will vary according to the job role or trade that you have applied for. The minimum pass mark is usually higher for popular roles.
The RAF does not publish any guidance on minimum pass marks, so there is no way of knowing what score you need to aim for. The most important thing is that you strive to achieve the best score possible.
Once your test paper has been reviewed, you will be called in for ‘trade counseling’ with the recruiter. During this meeting, you and the recruiter will decide on the trade path you should follow. This decision is based on your assessment results.
If you do not achieve the required score for the trade you wish to work in, you will be allowed to sit the test again. If you do not achieve the required RAF Aptitude Test score on your second attempt, you may be required to wait a year or more before you are allowed to take it again.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the RAF Aptitude Test?
The RAF Aptitude Test is used by the Royal Air Force as a key part of the hiring process. The test is made up of seven sections, each with a series of multiple-choice questions.
This timed test is designed to assess verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, spatial reasoning, mechanical comprehension, electrical comprehension, memory and work rate.
Is the RAF Aptitude Test Difficult to Pass?
The RAF Aptitude Test is a challenging, time-restricted test. Although the actual content may not appear to be difficult, the 148 questions within the test must be answered within 90 minutes, so you will need to work under pressure.
You will likely find some aspects of this RAF psychometric test more difficult than others, depending on your strengths and weaknesses.
Where Can I Prepare for the RAF Aptitude Test?
Preparation is key if you have been asked to sit the RAF Aptitude Test. One of the best ways to prepare for the RAF Aptitude Test is by completing practice tests and assessments. You can find a variety of online resources and mock assessments on the TestHQ.com website.
How Many Questions Are on the RAF Aptitude Test?
There is a total of 148 questions on the RAF Aptitude Test. The test is split into seven sections.
What Topics Are Covered in the RAF Aptitude Test?
The seven topics covered in the RAF Aptitude Test are verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, spatial reasoning, mechanical comprehension, electrical comprehension, work rate and memory.
Can I Retake the RAF Aptitude Test if I Fail?
If you fail to achieve the minimum required score on the RAF Aptitude Test, you will be allowed to retake the test for a second time.
However, if you fail to achieve the minimum required score on your second attempt, you may have to wait a year or more before you are permitted to retake this RAF selection test for a third time.
Where Can I Find More Sample Questions for the RAF Aptitude Test?
You can find sample questions for the RAF Aptitude Test on several different websites. These include TestHQ and the RAF website, which has a comprehensive RAF practice test assessment that is designed to mimic the real test.
What Is a Good Score for the RAF Aptitude Test?
The definition of a good score on the RAF Aptitude Test varies according to the job role or trade you wish to work in.
The minimum pass mark tends to be higher for popular roles and trades, such as RAF test pilot. The RAF does not publish guidance on good scores or minimum pass marks.
Who Is Eligible to Take the RAF Aptitude Test?
Anyone applying for non-commissioned personnel roles in the RAF will be required to take the RAF Aptitude Test.
The first stage of the application process is to complete the online registration form.
This will be checked, and if you are eligible to move forward to the next stage then you will be asked to sit the RAF Aptitude Test.
Is the RAF Aptitude Test Timed?
Yes, the RAF Aptitude Test is a timed test. You will have 90 minutes to complete as many of the 148 questions as possible.
Can I Take the RAF Aptitude Test Online?
No, you cannot take the RAF Aptitude Test online. To take the test, you will need to attend your closest Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO).
Your test will be invigilated by a trained careers officer under strict exam conditions.
Where Can I Find a Complete Guide for the RAF Aptitude Test?
You can search online to find a complete guide for the RAF Aptitude Test. If you are looking for practice aptitude tests, you can find many examples on the TestHQ.com website.
If you are passionate about a career in the Royal Air Force, preparing for the RAF Aptitude Test is vital.
You can improve your chances of achieving the required score by completing as many RAF Aptitude Test practice questions as possible.
Adequate preparation will help you to feel confident on the day of the test, allowing you to gain a score that reflects your abilities. Attaining a high score on the RAF Aptitude Test means you will have access to the best career development opportunities, helping you to progress in the future.