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Royal Air Force Tests
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.
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RAF spatial awareness test
The RAF spatial awareness test consists of two parts. The first focuses upon how well you can work with 2D shapes, visualising how they rotate, transform and fit together.
The pace required is substantial, as you will have only 4 minutes to answer 10 questions. This section of the test is similar to an abstract reasoning test.
The second part of the test requires the interpretation of 3D objects, with candidates assessed on how well they can visualise these from different angles. For this section you will need to pick up the pace, as you will have 3 minutes to answer 10 questions.
Find out more about the AST spatial reasoning test here.
RAF electrical comprehension test
The electrical comprehension test assesses your grasp of electrical concepts. Some questions will feature diagrams, so ensure your knowledge of electrical symbols is secure (for example, the representations for a fuse, battery, bulb, switch and motor).
The difficulty level of the questions will equate to the GCSE Physics syllabus. For this test, you will have 11 minutes to answer 21 questions.
Find out more about the AST electrical comprehension test here.
RAF mechanical comprehension test
The RAF mechanical aptitude test is a mechanical reasoning test that assesses your knowledge of and ability to apply mechanical concepts. You will have 20 questions to answer in 10 minutes.
The questions will be multiple-choice, and many will feature diagrams to illustrate mechanical principles. Again, expect a difficulty level similar to GCSE exams with content covering energy, forces, motion, screws, pulleys, gears, and levers.
Find out more about the AST mechanical comprehension test here.
RAF memory test
The RAF memory test assesses your ability to recall information accurately. It contains 20 questions in total but is split into two parts, which are delivered in video format.
The first section will require you to memorise a sequence of letters. You will subsequently be asked questions on their order of appearance and the number of characters between certain letters.
The second section involves the recall of shapes and patterns. You will be shown grids containing coloured squares, each grid displayed one at a time. The complexity of the grids will increase as the sequence progresses.
You will be asked which of the more complicated grids are composites of the original grids shown early in the sequence.
Find out more about the AST memory test here.
How is the RAF aptitude test scored?
The AST is scored based on the number of points accrued by answering questions correctly. It is not negatively marked. You will receive individual marks for each of the seven sections, along with an overall score.
The RAF does not publish the scores needed to pass each section – and these do vary according to the role and service area you have applied for. More competitive roles will have higher pass expectations, as will highly technical roles (such as engineering positions).
The test is designed to identify your strengths and abilities, so higher scores in certain areas will indicate suitability for different roles. The RAF wants to ensure you are placed in the correct career area, so you will take to training and thrive in the role.
Five tips on how to do well in the RAF AST
Complete the online practice AST
The RAF website has a mock test to help you become accustomed to the type and style of questions that will be asked in the AST. This is the closest material to the real test available, so make sure you sit it. Also be sure to check out the RAF test resources at Military Aptitude Tests.
Using further aptitude test resources will help you to sharpen your verbal, numerical, abstract, and mechanical reasoning skills.
Practice your recall
Alongside the need to recall technical concepts in the electrical and mechanical aptitude tests, the RAF memory test requires fast recall skills that you may not be accustomed to exhibiting.
Prepare for being tested upon your recollection of concepts and patterns, by performing small memory tasks every day - such as memorising the content of news articles and asking a friend to quiz you. There are also many ‘brain training’ exercises available online that feature letters and shapes.
Work on your pace
All sections of the AST require a rapid pace of work that requires thinking critically and accurately under pressure. As there is a specific work rate test, it is paramount that you can display the rapid analytical and recall skills sought. Conduct all your practice under timed conditions so you become accustomed to the pace required.
Hone your weaknesses
Adequately practicing for all parts of the AST will help you to quickly identify where your skills are weakest. Although it is tempting to revise areas you are more comfortable with, tackling the tough questions in practice will help you to excel in the real test.
Familiarise yourself with the test format
Make sure you know exactly what to expect from the AST test. It will test general verbal and numerical reasoning alongside technical knowledge, pace, and recall – so ensure you are aware of the expectations and prepare fully for each section.
There will be a practice question to answer before each section, but by the time you sit the test you should be fully prepared for the type of questions, you will encounter.
Is the RAF aptitude test hard?
The RAF AST is challenging as it covers a broad range of skills – from written comprehension to numerical skills and electrical and mechanical knowledge – under pressured time conditions. Good scores are needed to impress. With dedicated practice, however, you can feel confident across all areas of the assessment come the day of the test.
What should I wear to my RAF aptitude test?
When attending your local AFCO to sit the test, the RAF requests you wear smart clothing. Sportswear, t-shirts, jeans or trainers are not permitted. It is recommended that women wear flat or low-heeled shoes.
Remember that – whether correct or not – how you present yourself will likely be viewed as a reflection upon your professionalism, personality and character. Seek to make a good first impression by following the clothing rules.
How long are the RAF aptitude tests?
Each section of the RAF AST varies in relation to the number of questions set and the time given. Some sections only allocate 4 minutes, whereas others allow for a less frenetic pace with a 15-minute time allowance. All sections will need to be completed at a substantial pace – while not compromising accuracy – to secure the points to pass. In total, the test takes around 90 minutes to complete.
What happens if you fail the RAF aptitude test?
If you fail to obtain the score required to progress with training in the RAF area you desired, you may be offered a place to train for a different speciality (with a lower score requirement). You will be able to discuss this with a recruiter at the AFCO once you have your results. If you are set on a particular specialism, you will have the chance to retake the test. If, however, you fail for a second time, you will be asked to reapply in a couple of years.
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Reviews of our Royal Air Force tests
What our customers say about our Royal Air Force tests
July 07, 2022
How to spot obvious sequences
I appreciated the difficulty. I think it would be better to have more questions in the given time to add more pressure for practice.
May 16, 2022
New field of learning
it was a new area that throws you into the ring with an entirely new basis with little time to force yourself to learn it. Overall, enjoyed the intensity regardless of what I score on the first run.
May 01, 2022
I liked it but the telephone / person letter one completely stumped me, as I feel that one had no rhyme or reason.
January 16, 2022
Like an IQ test
The test was overall like an IQ test, so easy to study for. However, more complicated questions should be added.
September 20, 2021
Take your time
Important to take your time and focus on an individual shape at a time. Sometimes you can deduce the solution without having to look at all shapes.
July 03, 2021
Only sequence questions
It only includes sequence questions, whereas on the RAF website the practice test involves a wider range of types of questions.
May 26, 2021
basic pattern solving
I wasn't a fan of the questions where the boxes alternated shapes instead of colours
May 16, 2021
Sequences of the puzzles
I liked that these test my ability to to see patterns in certain things and distinguish discrepancies in the smallest areas
May 13, 2021
some were a lot easier than others and one was impossible(?)
May 04, 2021
I like that it was a little bit challenging at times