Navy OAR Test – Ultimate Study Guide + Preparation Tips
Last Updated on May 3, 2022
If you are currently serving in the military and want to become a commissioned officer, then taking the OAR (Officer Aptitude Rating) exam is where you start.
Your high school, college GPA, and general application components along with passing the exam all factor into whether you will get placement.
If you are a civilian who is about to enlist and you want to take the OAR test, you must contact a recruiter who will discuss the next steps in your application process.
Your OAR test score will be used to determine whether you’ll be admitted to Officer Candidate School in the officer training program.
The OAR test is standardized and used to determine your skills and abilities if you want to become an officer in the U.S. military.
The test is a subset of the Aviation Standard Test Battery exam (ATSB-E). You can elect to take the test as one part of the full ASTB-E or on its own.
If you want to apply for the aviation programs you need to take the entire Aviation Standard Test Battery exam.
If you want to apply for separate programs like the Navy Officer Candidate School, then you only need to take the OAR test.
The OAR exam as a subset of the ASTB-E is used by the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
What is the exam like?
The OAR exam is a multiple-choice standardized test that measures your knowledge of math, reading comprehension, and mechanical comprehension.
It is almost the same format as the SAT or ACT exam, but the topics are more technical and in-depth.
You have a choice of two test formats:
You have 85 minutes to complete this test. There are a fixed number of questions in a specific sequence in each subtest.
You will not be penalized for incorrect answers, but any questions left blank will be scored as incorrect. If you don’t know the answer; guess!
This version adjusts the number of questions and their difficulty based on your previous answers.
While you answer the questions, the test automatically modifies the difficulty level of the rest (either up or down), depending on the number of correct answers.
This is a bonus, but if you don’t answer enough questions in the specified time, a penalty is added to your score.
Also, you do not want to guess on this version, but give the correct answer as often as possible, otherwise your score may decrease.
Frequently asked questions:
Who can take the test?
If you are enlisted or a civilian you are eligible to take the OAR exam if you are between the ages of 19 and 35, and if you have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
How long is the OAR test?
The test is between 1.5 and 2 hours long. So, you have about 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds to answer each question.
How much does it cost?
It is completely FREE if you are a qualified candidate!
The OAR exam consists of three subtests that test your core cognitive skills through a series of aptitude tests. These are a math skills test, a reading comprehension test, and a mechanical comprehension test.
- Math Skills Test: OAR math tests your ability to formulate math problems in algebra, arithmetic operations, and geometry. You will also have to answer word problems and equations such as:
- Time and distance problems
- Estimate probabilities
- Solving variables
- You will also have questions dealing with fractions, roots, exponents, area calculation, angles, and perimeters of geometric shapes.
The math skills test has 30 questions which you have 40 minutes to complete. Make sure you do as many practice questions as possible before you take the real test.
The math portion of the exam has the most time allotted to answer questions.
Reading Comprehension Test: Here you will be assessed on your reading level and ability to retain and draw conclusions from information. There will be several short passages in the comprehension questions, to read, that range in levels of difficulty.
- The reading comprehension section has 20 questions that you have 30 minutes to complete. You will have to decide how to respond from a group of options applying to each passage.
- There might even be some incorrect response options, but only one response will be the correct answer.
Mechanical Comprehension Test: Here test-takers will be evaluated on their overall understanding of mechanical concepts; focusing a lot on physics.
- More than half of the questions require that you analyze an image to answer them. You have to work quickly here with only 30 seconds to answer each question because you have 30 questions that need answering in 15 minutes!
- In the mechanical comprehension test, some of the questions test you on how well you understand the essential principles of gases and liquids in how they affect velocity, volume, and pressure.
- You need to understand concepts such as the mechanisms of engine components and gears, weight distribution, electricity, pulleys and fulcrums, and operating basic machinery.
What is a good score on the OAR test?
The OAR test is given a cumulative score that ranges from 20 to 80, with the average scores ranging from 40 to 60.
The minimum score required to qualify for an officer training program depends on the branch of the military you are in or want to go into.
The Navy requires a minimum score of 35. As a test taker, you want to prepare well in advance to get a competitive score as the officer training programs have limited available spaces.
Meeting the minimum criteria doesn’t guarantee your admission.
Your exam results are used to determine who are the best possible candidates suited to be officers, and with an acceptance rate of only about 4%; you want your score to be as high as possible!
When do I get my results?
If you choose to do your OAR test through APEX, the online testing system (computer version), you will get your results immediately upon completion.
If you take the OAR on paper, your test is sent to and scored at the Naval Medicine Operational Training Center.
Once you have received your results back and your have achieved the minimum score you will be able to take the full ABST-E exam and complete the remaining subtests within 30 days of completing the Officer Aptitude Rating (OAR) exam.
Where can I take the test?
The OAR and ASTB-E are available to be taken at over 250 registered locations around the world. These locations include military institutes, Naval Officer recruiting stations, and Marine Corps Officer selection offices.
You work with your recruiter and apply online through any international military website and make an appointment at a location that works for you.
What must I bring with me on the OAR test day?
- A photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, or military identification card.
- Verification of your social security number.
- Any electronic device, such as smartphones, and/or cameras (into the testing room).
- Personal belongings, such as handbags, backpacks (into the testing room).
- Calculators. You may not use them for the math portion of the test.
You will be given scrap paper and pencils to use during the exam.
How do I prepare for the OAR test?
Find out what topics you need to research and study
There are several excellent study guides available to help you in understanding concepts and sharpening your skills in numeracy and mechanical reasoning as well as reading comprehension.
We highly recommend that you check out the two following guides to assist you in your OAR study preparation:
- JobTestPrep.com: A wonderful platform where you can practice challenging questions and prepare for the exam in the best possible way. Access the practice tests here.
- The OAR Test Prep: Officer Aptitude Rating Study Guide and Practice Exam Questions for the Navy [4th Edition] (Paperback) by Joshua Rueda, available at Book People.
- OAR Study Guide 2020-2021: OAR Exam Prep and Practice Test Questions for the Officer Aptitude Rating Test by Trivium, available at Amazon.com.
Do sample questions for the various aptitude tests
Good OAR study means a comprehensive revision of the subtests sections. The more familiar you are with the questions and the more often you get the answers right in practice tests, the better your chances are of making sure you score high on the real test!
Concentrate on the difficult areas
It’s pretty straightforward. Don’t waste time on the things you’re already adept and confident in. By all means, do a brush-up, but concentrate more on the areas you struggle with.
Don’t be afraid to fail
You can do the OAR test at most three times. If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. Failure is just an opportunity for learning and improvement. Don’t be discouraged.
We recommend Jobtestprep.com to begin your OAR Test preparation. They have all the resources you need to help you in your study and to prepare you to excel on test day. Making use of our practice questions, online lessons, practice tests, and others will help you test and improve those core cognitive skills. Good luck!!