Careers at Royal Air Force
Founded in 1918, The Royal Air Force, or RAF, is one of three branches of the British Armed Forces. It provides incredible training and qualifications to all those enrolled in its prestigious graduate scheme. To join, you’ll need to undergo some of the most demanding tests used today.
With more than 33,000 employees and different career options, RAF is a collaboration of many dedicated professionals, including pilots, aviation engineers, RAF Police, air traffic controllers, and nurses.
Royal Air Force Application Process
The RAF protects interests at home and abroad by responding to threats (whether from unauthorised aircraft or cyber-attacks), strengthening national and international security to prevent conflict, constantly monitoring UK airspace, and delivering aid in partnership with the Department for International Development.
There are several roles within the RAF that require you to complete a selection test, known as the DAA (formerly AST). Such roles include:
- Air Traffic Controller
- Air Traffic Control Officer
- Aerospace Battle Manager
- RAF Regiment
- Weapons Systems Operator
But what is the DAA?
What is the Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA)?
The Airman/Airwoman Selection Test is an aptitude assessment. It is used alongside a health assessment, fitness test, pre-recruit training, and interviews, during the recruitment process to decide whether candidates are suitable for recruitment into the RAF.
Although some test sections will not be relevant for all roles, the RAF asks candidates to sit the full DAA so they can identify their strengths – and perhaps uncover skills that have been previously overlooked.
As there is a wide range of opportunities available within the RAF, the DAA is used to indicate where a candidate may be best placed to excel.
The format of the RAF aptitude test
The RAF Aptitude Test is made up of seven different parts, which are explained in detail below. It aims to test your cognitive ability, accuracy under pressure, and technical knowledge of specific skills.
Each section consists of multiple-choice questions, which must be answered under timed conditions. You should aim to answer as many questions as possible, but be aware that most candidates do not fully complete each test.
The test is not negatively marked, so no extra points are lost for incorrect answers. Before you start each section, there will be time to read through the instructions and complete a practice question.
The test is part of the selection process and will be taken at your closest Armed Forces Career Office (AFCO). You will need to bring a photographic ID, such as your passport or driving licence. Everything else you need to take the test will be provided.
RAF Aptitude Tests
RAF verbal reasoning test
The RAF verbal reasoning test assesses your ability to understand, interpret and apply written information. The test consists of short text passages, on which you will have to answer multiple-choice questions about the content of the paragraph or implication of the information divulged.
You will have a total of 15 minutes to answer 20 questions. Use of a dictionary is not permitted.
Find out more about the DAA verbal reasoning test with sample test questions here.
RAF numerical reasoning test
The RAF numerical reasoning test assesses your ability to deal with numbers and process the data in graphs, tables, and charts. It is split into two parts.
For the first section, you will have 4 minutes to answer 12 questions, which will test your basic mental arithmetic – such as your ability to deal with ratios, fractions, percentages and sequences.
The second section will focus on your ability to interpret and analyse data. You will have longer to complete this, with 15 questions to answer in 11 minutes. Use of a calculator is not permitted, but you can use rough paper for your workings.
Find out more about the DAA numerical reasoning test with aptitude test examples here.
RAF work rate test
The work rate test assesses how quickly and accurately you can complete tasks. As the emphasis is on the speed of processing, you will have only 4 minutes to answer 20 questions.
For the test, you will be presented with a table containing rows of numbers, letters, and shapes. You will then be given 20 codes and must use this table to determine the alternative combinations for these codes.
Find out more about the DAA work rate test here.