What is the RAF mechanical reasoning test?
Your understanding of mechanical concepts such as pressure, cogs, circuits and gears will be put to the test in this section of the test — so make sure you take the time to read up on the subjects covered.
Within the RAF, there are a huge variety of roles that require candidates with mechanical aptitude, so doing well in this section of the test is really important if you're interested in technical, mechanical and engineering-based roles.
When you're taking past tests, make sure you do so in exam style conditions to help you get used to the environment you'll be in, and ensure you get used to the pressure of working against the clock.
The format of the RAF mechanical reasoning test
In just 19 minutes, you'll be required to answer 13 questions on different mechanical concepts.
Questions are multiple choice, and you'll usually have to select from five possible answers on each question. Sometimes questions take the form of diagrams or pictures, and will need you to work out what's going on in order to select the correct answer.
Remember, if you're unsure of an answer don't panic. Try and eliminate any you know to be incorrect. It's easier to make an educated guess between a smaller number of possible options. Just make sure you don't leave anything blank.
How is the RAF mechanical reasoning test scored?
After the test, you'll have to wait a short amount of time while your overall score is calculated. Then, an RAF recruiter will sit with you and run you through your result. Their role is to help you understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and which career paths within the RAF would be best suited, and open to you, based on your test results.
There isn't a specific pass mark, but the better you do in each section of the test, the more choice you'll have when it comes to your RAF career.
How to pass the RAF mechanical reasoning test
Practice — practising mechanical reasoning tests is the best way you can prepare yourself for the demands of the real one. Practising helps you with speed, accuracy and confidence. All of which are important on the day.
Think outside the box — revising can get dull, which is why we always recommend thinking outside the box and learning about mechanical principles in unique and novel ways. Find computer games based on your understanding of mechanical principles, or look at how cogs work in an object around the house. Bringing these concepts to life can really help better your understanding.
Prepare — ensuring you have everything you need ready the day before the test, arriving in good time to the test centre and reading through the test instructions carefully are ways you can keep nerves in check and help yourself to feel more prepared for the test ahead of you.
Keep an eye on the time — time is one of the biggest challenges in the RAF tests. Make sure you don't spend too long on difficult questions at the expense of questions further on in the test. If you have time at the end of a section, you can always revisit anything you need more time on.
Check out our full RAF AST and CBAT aptitude tests page here that include free tests.