What is the OAR?
The OAR (Office Aptitude Rating) is a civil service exam used by military services like the Navy and Marine Corps to decide if you meet the qualifications to train as an officer. OAR tests assess your ability in maths, reading, and mechanics (subtests of the ASTB-E - Aviation Standard Test Battery). The scores can help you decide which role you are best suited for in the military.
To take the test, there are some requirements you must meet - for example, you have to be a US citizen to take the OAR test and between 19-35 years of age. You will also need to have an extensive background check, so be sure to consider these requirements before applying.
An office aptitude rating can be challenging, as it requires you to get a competitive score regardless of your fitness level, recommendations, or GPA.
Also note that the test adapts to your answers - so if you are doing well, the harder the questions will get.
How is the OAR test structured?
The OAR comprises 3 subtests. Below provides a brief overview of what each paper test might contain:
- Math Skills Test (approx 30 questions): the test might include numeracy skills such as calculating fractions, angles, area, perimeter, roots, solving variables, and arithmetic operations.
- Reading Comprehension Test (approx 20 questions): the test measures reading and comprehension skills, which is your ability to extract key information from the text and draw conclusions from the information provided.
- Mechanical Comprehension Test (approx 30 questions): the test might include skills such as understanding concepts and principles of pressure, volume, velocity, gases, and liquids as well as engine components, performance, gears, pulleys, fulcrums, weight distribution, and electricity.
Each test is a multiple-choice question that tests your cognitive abilities to become a training officer.
Math Skills Test
The maths skills test is a 30-question timed exam that lasts 40 minutes. The maths is based on college-level numeracy so it's important to sharpen your skills across a variety of different areas.
To learn more about the OAR Math Skills Test, check out our full page here
Reading Comprehension Test
The reading comprehension test is a 20-question timed exam that lasts 30 minutes. The reading is based on a random passage of text so it's important to read the text first carefully as you will need to conclude from the information within it. It's considered by some the easier part of the test.
Mechanical Comprehension Test
The mechanical comprehension test is a 30-question timed exam that lasts 15 minutes. Make sure you practice and revise foundation knowledge in high school physics knowledge like Newton's law and principles of pressure, weight, and electricity.
Want to know more about the OAR Mechanical Comprehension Test? Check out our full page here.
Top tips for the OAR test
Understand what you need to research and study
You should use this guide to pull from the topics you need to research and study. Particularly sharpening your basic numeracy skills and any of the previously stated mechanical reasoning topics. This will put you in a much better position to score high on your OAR test.
Practice lots of tests
For the subtests sections such as maths, reading and mechanical comprehension revision is crucial. We encourage you to try our practice tests so you can try a variety of potential questions and answers. This will help build your confidence and help you become familiar with the test formats and timings.
Focus on areas you find difficult
There isn't much point in focusing on the areas you are great at. You'll most likely do well in those parts. To improve your score and performance you want to find the areas you find difficult and practice them. Sort of a no-brainer right?
Don't be afraid to fail
You have approximately 3 attempts in your life to complete the OAR test and with the number of resources at hand, we hope that 3 is all you will need - third time lucky right? If you do fail or have failed in the past please don't let it discourage you. Learn from your previous or potential failure and grow from it.
How is the OAR scored?
OAR tests use a point-based system with a score range from 20 to 80 cumulative points. The average score for the OAR range from 40 to 60. Approximately 10% of applicants score higher than 60. When applying to the Navy's officer candidate school, a minimum OAR score of 35 is required.
Is the OAR harder than the ASVAB?
The ASVAB is considered easier than the OAR by some. OAR tests are typically testing college-level math, for example.
What is a good score on the OAR test?
40 to 60 is the average score for applicants completing an OAR test. The minimum score required is dependent on the military role you are applying for in which branch. The Navy's minimum score for example is 35.
How long is the OAR test?
The OAR test is between 1.5 and 2 hours in length. This would suggest that you should spend between 1 minute and 1 minute 30 seconds completing each question.
How many questions are on the OAR test?
There are 80 questions taken on a computer.