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For those studying for the AFAST...

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Hey guys,


I just recently discovered this forum and I wanted to say I'm extremely impressed with how much information you have regarding the WOFT application process. I was selected back in 2005 when the selection rate on the boards for those coming from enlisted service was over 50%. And the no-gos could resubmit their application indefinitely, so most of those who weren't selected were the same guys making the true acceptance rate even higher. My application was fairly mediocre and I'm not sure if it would be good enough up today, but one of my strong points was my AFAST score. That test hasn't changed in the last 30 years, much less since I took it, so hopefully I can add some relevant information about the test.


You guys already know 2 of the important strategies. I was happy to see these posted all over the board because I've been saying the same things to anyone asking me about the test:

-Study from the ARCO book only, all of the others are terrible. You can find some general books to help with the "Helicopter Knowledge" and "Mechanical Functions" tests, but as far as books related specifically to the AFAST, the ARCO book has everything you need to study while the others are at best poorly organized and at worst inaccurate. I'd also memorize the answers to every question on the "Helicopter Knowledge" and "Mechanical Functions" tests because some of those questions are the same ones you'll see on the test.

-Study the complex movements section until you can answer the questions without referencing the key.


Here are a few more tips related to the scoring:

-THE BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SELF-DESCRIPTION TESTS ARE SCORED. Seriously, I know the ARCO book says they aren't, but they are, and they're a huge part of your score. I was fortunate enough to take the test in a very small, laid back testing center, and I was the only one taking any kind of test, so the proctor graded it right in front of me and provided some insight into the scoring procedures.

As he started he said "You got the first question wrong, but don't worry, everyone seems to get that one wrong." I thought "He must mean the first question on the second test, because I remember the very first question, it asked what size city I grew up in. I know I answered that correctly." But it turns out that was the question he was referring to. How there can even be a right or wrong answer to that I still don't know, but I know "population over 100,000" is wrong, and based on both his comment and the overlay he placed over my bubble sheet, I think they're looking for small town guys. For some of the questions it's impossible to figure out what the "right" answer is, but for others (particularly on the Self-Description test) it can be easier. I'm not saying you should lie on the test, but if you develop an appreciation for studying and working hard and going to the dentist (?) just before taking the test, you might find you score better. ;)

-If you don't know an answer in the "Mechanical Functions" test, it's better to leave blank. In all other tests you should almost always guess, unless you're running out of time and haven't even looked at a question. The scoring procedures for each test are as follows:

--Background Information, Self-Description Form, Cyclic Orientation: Your base score is the number of questions you got right. No penalties for wrong answers, so if you're about to run out of time or you're clueless just mark something.

--Instrument Comprehension, Complex Movements, Helicopter Knowledge: Your base score is the number of questions you got right minus the number of wrong answers divided by 4. In other words, for every 4 questions you get wrong you lose a point. That means as long as you can narrow down an answer to a 1/4 shot or better you should guess. And if you can't do better than that for even the hardest questions you probably shouldn't be taking this test to begin with. :) The only way I would leave a question blank is if there were 5 multiple choice answers and I didn't have time to even read the question. If you notice you're getting short on time I recommend getting through the rest of the test as fast as possible by eliminating the 1 or 2 obvious wrong answers on each question and guessing from there. Then go back if you have time and answer as many as you can with more accuracy.

--Mechanical Functions: This is the only test where the base score is a straight number right minus number wrong, so if you really have no idea about a question you should leave it blank.


How the scoring works from there I don't really know. You might notice that there are 200 questions on the AFAST (100 background/self description and 100 on the technical tests), and if you get them all right using the scoring above, you'd have a score of 200, even though the max score is 176. They add the base scores for each of the 100 questions and they're brought down a bit to reach your total score, but on my test that was a very small amount. My base scores using the rules above were 69 on the Background and Self Description tests and 96 on the technical tests, which turned into 68 + 93 for my total reported score. My guess is that not all 100 of the B/SD test questions are graded. Maybe only like 80 of them. The specifics of it aren't too important though, what is important is knowing that the Background and Self Description sections are worth a significant amount of points, and knowing the correct strategy for guesses on each individual test.

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That is a lot of great info. I'm supposed to be going to take the AFAST in about 2 weeks, so that is really helpful.


Anyone heard anything about SIFT yet? I kept hearing that AFAST was until the end of June, but I have yet to hear anything about the SIFT.

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