Operational Psychology

The Operational Psychology Department at the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) is responsible for promoting the operational effectiveness and safety of Fleet and Fleet Marine Force activities by delivering effective personnel assessment and selection tools, monitoring attrition trends, providing consultative and analytic services, and developing tailored interventions to optimize human performance. Specific activities include:

  • Oversight of the Aviation Selection Test Battery (ASTB)
  • Support for Fleet selection, training, and attrition needs, to include Navy and Marine Corps aviation (manned and unmanned), the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) community, and Officer Candidate School (OCS)
  • Cross-service collaboration to promote the sharing of aircrew selection research, other related efforts, and best practices
  • Research in the areas of selection, training, and performance measurement and improvement

Aviation Selection Test Battery

The Aviation Selection Test Battery (ASTB) is the primary tool used by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard to select candidates for pilot and flight officer programs. Portions of the ASTB are also used by the Navy for selection into Officer Candidate School (OCS) for various officer communities. The newest version of the ASTB, ASTB Series E (ASTB-E), was implemented in December of 2013.

The ASTB-E is designed to measure abilities and other personal characteristics that are essential to success in the aviation environment. The entire test battery consists of seven subtests:

  • Math Skills Test (MST)
  • Reading Comprehension Test (RCT)
  • Mechanical Comprehension Test (MCT)
  • Aviation and Nautical Information Test (ANIT)
  • Naval Aviation Trait Facet Inventory (NATFI)
  • Performance Based Measures Battery (PBM)
  • Biographical Inventory with Response Validation (BI-RV)

The OAR portion of the tests consists of the MST, RCT, and MCT only. Examinees who take only the OAR portion will receive one score, the Officer Aptitude Rating (OAR), designed to predict academic performance in Naval Officer Candidate School. Examinees who take the entire test battery receive three scores derived from weighted combinations of the subtests. The Academic Qualification Rating (AQR) is designed to predict academic performance in Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API) and Primary phase ground school. The Pilot Flight Aptitude Rating (PFAR) and Flight Officer Aptitude Rating (FOFAR) are designed to predict primary flight performance for Student Naval Aviators and Student Flight Officers, respectively. Minimum requirements for each program differ according to program and service.

For more information on the ASTB, see the ASTB-E FAQ and the ASTB-E Overview web pages.