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FAQsMinimize
Is there a way to prepare for the TBAS?
Can you take the TBAS more than once?

Some say playing video games is a good way to practice. Any hand-eye coordination practice you can do with a computer should help out.

Yes. You are allowed one retest (i.e. you can take the test twice). You may still come across individuals who will tell you you can only take the test once (this was the case some time ago with the BAT - the test the TBAS replaced) and you may also see that indicated in online info). The retest policy can be found in AFI 36-2605, Attachment 3 (para A3.7) - forewarned is forearmed! There must be a 6-month interval between tests.


   
The Mysterious TBASMinimize

We've termed the TBAS "mysterious" (like its predecessor, the BAT) because, frankly, there isn't much information out there on what it's like or how to prepare. Because it's a heavily controlled test, people who've taken it can't talk about it. Thus, ALL of the information below is from publicly-available info - and most of it is reported verbatim from the AETC sources.

So what is it? It is a computer-based flight aptitude test designed to measure a pilot applicant's psychomotor (aka hand-eye coordination) skills and cognitive aptitude. The results from your TBAS are combined with your AFOQT pilot composite score and your experience (flight hours) to compute your PCSM. The PCSM (Pilot Candidate Selection Method) score is the only way you can "see" your TBAS results - you'll never receive an actual TBAS score.

The TBAS is given at many locations across the states, although it is not as readily accessible as other tests due to the special computer workstation requirement.
Click here for a listing of TBAS locations.
The test takes about an hour. There are nine subtests - see more details below. In the beginning you will be presented with detailed instructions on your computer screen - take the time to go through the instructions carefully; you are not subject to a time constraint when viewing the instructions. Some of the sub-tests are self-paced, others are timed.

While there's no such thing as a practice test, you can prepare by 1) reviewing all of the information on this page and 2) practicing general hand-eye coordination by playing computer games.

Even though you can now take the TBAS twice (or, presumably, one each, if you've taken the BAT but now need a TBAS score due to timing), you may be subject to deadline constraints -- you have to wait six months between tests, it may be difficult to schedule a test depending on how far you live from test locations, and you'll need to make sure the TBAS is scored in time for your board deadline. Therefore, you ought to plan on only taking it once and make the best out of it! Get a good night's sleep prior to the test, and don't let nerves psych you out. For ROTC cadets, they often offer the test during Field Training. If you live far from another testing site, this may be a good option for you -- however, if you expect Field Training to be draining for you, or that it might not be the right environment for you to perform your best on the TBAS - WAIT! Schedule the test for another time.

Make sure to bring a filled-out
candidate worksheet with you to the test. Also bring a valid picture ID, your social security card, your transcript, and your logbook (if you have flying experience). You will be asked to enter the info from your candidate worksheet into the computer workstation before the test begins. GOOD LUCK!

TBAS - The New BATMinimize

Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS) - BAT Replacement
Due to aging (and antiquated!) equipment, the Air Force has replaced the BAT with a more modern test. The new test is the TBAS, which was fielded in August 2006. The information on the test sections comes from the
official TBAS page and an AF Personnel Operations Agency briefing.

TBAS Sub-Tests

  • Directional Orientation Test
  • Multi-Tasking Test Section
    • 3-Digit Listening Test
    • 5-Digit Listening Test
    • Horizontal Tracking Test (HTT)
    • Airpline Tracking Test (ATT)
    • HTT & ATT
    • HTT, ATT, and 3-Digit Listening
    • HTT, ATT, and 5-Digit Listening
  • Emergency Scenario Test

Directional Orientation Test
Measures spatial orientation abilities. Participant must determine a UAV’s position relative to a target. Test simultaneously presents a "tracker map" which shows the location and heading of the UAV; and a forward field of view, as seen through a fixed, forward pointing camera of a UAV, which shows a single building surrounded by four parking lots. Task is to click on the parking lot that a computer generated voice instructs. Example: Image the west parking lot. There are 48 questions.
Scores: Combination of accuracy and speed of responses.

Multi-Tasking: 3- and 5-Digit Listening
Participants are presented with auditory letters and numbers. They must squeeze the trigger when they hear any of the three (or five) specified numbers. Approximate time 3 minutes (each).
Scores: Accuracy and quickness of response; participants penalized for not responding to the specified numbers and for false responses.

Multi-Tasking: Horizontal Tracking Test (HTT)
Participants use rudder pedals to keep a box over an airplane as it moves horizontally along the bottom of the screen. The airplane moves at a constant speed and changes direction when it “hits” the side of the screen or if a participant successfully targets it for multiple seconds. The level of difficulty (airplane speed) increases as the task progresses. Approximate time 3 minutes.

Multi-Tasking: Airplane Tracking Test (ATT)
Participants use a joystick to keep the gunsight on the airplane as it moves at a constant rate. The airplane randomly changes direction when it hits the side of the screen or if a participant successfully targets it for multiple seconds. The level of difficulty (airplane speed) increases as the task progresses. Approximate time 3 minutes.

Multi-Tasking: Combined Tests
Following completion of each test individually, the participant must accomplish tasks simultaneously. Approximate time 3 minutes (each).
 

  • HTT and ATT
  • HTT, ATT, and 3-Digit Listening
  • HTT, ATT, and 5-Digit Listening

Emergency Scenario Test
Measures decision-making under stress. While participants simultaneously perform the horizontal tracking task and the airplane tracking task, they are presented with three emergency scenarios (one at a time) which they must cancel out by typing a code with the keyboard.
Subjects are given 8 minutes to read the instructions, memorize the 3 emergency situations and the correct response (code) for each of the 3 situations.
Participants are cued by verbal announcement and the word “emergency” moving along the top of the screen. Difficulty increases with response accuracy. Approximate time 3 minutes.

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