SIFT Study Guide 2018 – 2019

What comes with Trivium Test Prep’s SIFT Study Guide?

You probably think this is a typical study guide. However, Trivium Test Prep’s unofficial SIFT Study Guide 2018 – 2019: SIFT Test Prep and Practice Test Questions for the U.S. Army’s Selection Instrument for Flight Training Test isn't like other study guides.

Because we know you value your time, our unofficial study guide includes a quick yet full review of everything on the test with real examples, graphics, and information.

Trivium Test Prep’s SIFT Study Guide 2018 – 2019 gives you the edge you need to score higher and pass the first time.

Best of all, Trivium Test Prep’s SIFT Study Guide 2018 – 2019 offers you:

  • A full review of what you need to know for the SIFT exam

  • SIFT practice questions for you to practice and improve and worked through practice problems with explanations

  • Test tips and strategies to help you score higher

  • Real world examples

Our SIFT prep book covers all the material that will be on your exam, including:

  • Simple Drawings

  • Hidden Figures

  • Aviation Information

  • Spatial Apperception

  • Reading Comprehension

  • Math Skills

  • Mechanical Comprehension

… and also comes with two FULL SIFT practice tests — one inside and one online, so that you will be ready on test day.

But before you buy SIFT Study Guide 2018 – 2019, you may find yourself wondering, what is the SIFT? What’s on the SIFT? How is the SIFT scored? Can you retake the SIFT? How is the SIFT administered? We are the SIFT experts, and we are happy to answer all your questions below!

Some Frequently Asked Questions about the SIFT-E…

What is the SIFT?

The SIFT exam is required for acceptance to the US Army Warrant Officer Flight Training (WOFT) program. The US Army Personnel Test Program Office replaced the Alternate Flight Aptitude Selection Test (AFAST) with the SIFT exam in 2013. Results and qualification standards are currently monitored and controlled by the US Army Aviation Branch and US Army Recruiting Command. Civilians who possess at least a high school diploma and current military members may attempt the SIFT and complete an application packet for consideration to the WOFT program.

The exam is designed to assess your knowledge and aptitude in mechanical concepts, aviation-related terminology, and basic flight rules and aerodynamic principles, in addition to your familiarity with helicopter components and functions.

Candidates may take the exam at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS), US Army Education Centers, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) units, and select US Army personnel testing centers. Allow at least two and a half hours to complete the exam, which includes time for candidate verification and test registration, taking the exam, and an authorized break as designated by the test proctor.

What is on the SIFT?

The SIFT is only presented in a web-based format consisting of seven subtests. The first five subtests contain fixed questions where candidates get a set number of questions. The last two subtests use CAT where the difficulty of questions is presented to the candidate based on the correctness of previous answers. The time allowed for the last two subtests may vary due to the CAT format.

Your testing strategy is very important, as in certain areas it may or may not be to your advantage to make an educated guess on unanswered questions if time is about to expire. This is explained in further detail later, where the subtests are individually described.

  • Simple Drawings (SD): asks you to select the odd item or figure in a series of images. You must work rapidly through the questions because of the two-minute time limit. DO NOT guess on questions; incorrect answers are subtracted from your overall score.

  • Hidden Figures (HF): asks you to identify a hidden image in a complex picture of shapes and lines. DO NOT guess on questions; incorrect answers are subtracted from your overall score.

  • Army Aviation Information Test (AAIT): measures your knowledge of helicopter flight concepts, theory of flight controls, and aircraft components. Make an educated guess for ALL questions; incorrect answers will NOT be subtracted from your overall score.

  • Spatial Apperception Test (SAT): asks you to identify views as seen from the cockpit, and visualize the corresponding orientation of the aircraft in three-dimensional images. Make an educated guess for ALL questions—incorrect answers will not be subtracted from your overall score.

  • Reading Comprehension Test (RCT): assesses your level of reading comprehension by testing your understanding of the text in word passages. You must demonstrate the process of eliminating answers as there is only one correct answer possible. Make an educated guess for all questions; incorrect answers will not be subtracted from your overall score.

  • Math Skills Test (MST): a CAT-formatted subtest that assesses your ability to compute mathematical equations and word problems derived from basic algebraic principles, order of operations, and geometric figures. You may also be asked to solve logical puzzles.

  • Mechanical Comprehension Test (MCT): a CAT-formatted subtest that assesses your knowledge of physics concepts as related to flight, such as air pressure and force. You must also solve problems using scientific formulas. It is recommended that you DO NOT randomly guess at unknown questions.

How is the SIFT scored?

SIFT scores are calculated on a range from 20 to 80 with 40 being a minimum qualifying score for WOFT at the time of publishing this study guide. The current mean score for accepted candidates is 50 with a standard deviation of 10. The US Aviation Branch and US Recruiting Command may adjust the qualifying level based on accession requirements.

Subtests are scored using a compensatory method; the effects of attaining a low score on one subtest may be reduced by receiving a high score on another subtest. There is no published weighted average identifying the importance of scoring high in any one subtest versus another.

Results from taking the SIFT are available immediately after completing the exam. The test control officer (TCO) will provide you with a score letter. Make sure the score letter is signed by the TCO before leaving the testing location.

Can you retake the SIFT?

Candidates may take the SIFT exam twice in a lifetime. Once the initial exam is completed, you must wait at least 180 days to pass before attempting a retest. Once you pass the SIFT test with a qualifying score, you may not retake the exam to attain a higher score. Likewise, if you fail to attain a qualifying score after taking the SIFT twice, you are barred from taking the SIFT again.

How is the SIFT administered?

Recruiters schedule civilian candidates for the SIFT once the WOFT initial qualification requirements are met. Military members may contact their local Education Center on post to register for the SIFT. The actual test dates vary among testing locations. Candidates will be notified of available test dates when they register to take the test.

On the date of the test, you must bring valid photo identification and your Social Security card to verify your identity. Personal bags and electronic devices such as cell phones and calculators are not allowed in the testing room. The test proctor will provide pencils and scratch paper for you to use to solve problems.

Wow, that is a lot of information to take in about the SIFT. Now you might find yourself wondering, what are my next steps? Why should I use Trivium Test Prep’s SIFT study material?

Trivium Test Prep is an independent test prep study guide company that produces and prints all of our books right here in the USA. Our dedicated professionals know how people think and learn, and have created our test prep products based on what research has shown to be the fastest, easiest, and most effective way to prepare for the exam. Unlike other study guides that are stamped out in a generic fashion, our study materials are specifically tailored for your exact needs.

Where can I buy SIFT Study Guide 2018 – 2019?

You can find SIFT Study Guide 2018 – 2019 for purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Just click the link next to our book, the image of our book itself, or the links we provided in the sentence above!

So…how else can I prepare for the SIFT?

To help you prepare for your SIFT test, we have developed a list of 35 test taking tips that have been shown to be very helpful for students of all ages and backgrounds when taking standardized tests. They cover everything. from what to do the night before the big day, to what to eat for breakfast, to thoughts on how to handle your caffeine to tips you can use during the actual exam.

Our first set of tips focus on what you can do the night before to help you prepare for the day of your SIFT exam.

1. Study hard for the SIFT with our SIFT practice test in the days before the exam but take it easy the night before and do something relaxing rather than studying and cramming. This will help decrease anxiety, allow you to get a better night’s sleep, and be more mentally fresh during the big exam. Watch a light-hearted movie, read a favorite book, or take a walk, for example.

2. Pack your bag or lay out your essentials the night before. Make sure to include at least two forms of ID, your admission ticket or confirmation, pencils, a high protein, easy to eat snack, bottled water, and any necessary medications. You will be less stressed the morning of, and less likely to forget anything important.

3. Map out your route to the test center the night before. If you are driving, take traffic into account, especially if you are driving during rush hour.  If you really want to be thorough you can visit where the exam is going to be beforehand, so you know exactly where you are going the day of the test. Use your phone or the internet to check for traffic updates before leaving, in case you need to take an alternate route.

4. Spend the hour before bed avoiding television, your computer, cell phone, or social media. The bright screens and overload of data can keep your brain buzzing come bedtime.

Once you’ve taken all the necessary steps you can to be prepared for exam day, our next group of tips will help you concentrate on how to get your best night’s sleep, which is critical to being sharp and alert during your SIFT exam.

5. Make sure you give yourself your usual amount of sleep, preferably at least 7-8 hours. You may find you need even more sleep. Pay attention to how much you sleep in the days before the exam, and how many hours it takes for you to feel refreshed. This will allow you to be as sharp as possible during the SIFT test and make fewer simple mistakes.

6. Set your alarm early enough that you have plenty of time to have a well-balanced breakfast and avoid rushing in the morning to get ready. Rushing tends to get your sympathetic nervous system going and you risk being mentally fatigued by the time you start taking your SIFT.

7. Don’t use sedatives like Benadryl or NyQuil to fall asleep. These medications often remain in your body long after you have taken them, meaning you will still be drowsy during the exam and potentially up to 24 hours after taking them.

8. With all the extra adrenaline flowing through your bloodstream the night before a big test, it is not uncommon to feel more anxiety than usual. Focus on thinking positive thoughts, which will decrease this anxiety, help you relax and fall asleep. One way to stay positive is to imagine a happy or fun story or scene. If you have a negative thought or find yourself returning to the exam, acknowledge this thought and let it “drift away” while you continue to fixate on the story or images you have in your mind until you finally fall asleep.

Now that you’re ready to get a full night’s sleep, here are some great tips to help you get through the morning and those critical hours before the big exam.

9. Don't forget to take any vitamins or medications you would usually take in the mornings before you leave for the test center. It is important that you keep your body – and schedule – as normal as possible to ensure you are calm and collected come test-taking time.

10. Dress in loose, comfortable clothes and wear layers. Also, wear comfortable and breathable shoes. Although you will be seated, you don't want tight, restrictive clothing to serve as a distraction. Also consider wearing natural fabrics such as cotton, which help wick away body moisture and let the skin “breathe.”

11. Many testing locations keep their air conditioner on high. You want to remember to bring a sweater or jacket in case the test center is too cold, as you never know how hot or cold the testing location could be. Remember, while you can always adjust for heat by removing layers, if you’re cold, you’re cold.  

12. Eat a breakfast with protein, fiber and good fats, such as eggs, avocado, oatmeal, whole-grain toast, berries, or nuts - all of which keep you full longer and your brain healthy. A breakfast burrito with a whole grain-tortilla, eggs, beans, spinach and salsa would be an ideal and delicious example. While whole grains can be a great part of a balanced meal, make sure to avoid a breakfast high in simple carbs such as yogurt (Greek yogurt is an exception, because of its high protein content), cereal, or high sugar fruits such as bananas, which can cause your blood sugar to rise and then crash during the exam. This crash can lead to mistakes towards the end of the exam, and once you crash, you might tend to really want the exam to be over, meaning you will be less thorough than you normally would be in your best state of mind.

13. Use caffeine as you normally would, and as sparingly as possible. Coffee, energy drinks, tea, chocolate and many soft drinks all contain caffeine. Therefore, be smart about what you put into your body. Just as with high carb or high sugar drinks and foods, many people tend to crash 3 to 4 hours after ingesting caffeinated products. Some products, such as coffee, also increase an individual’s need to use the restroom, something you want to avoid when you’re in the middle of a timed test like the SIFT. Carefully consider how caffeinated products affect you, and how long your test is before you decide to consume caffeinated products. However, if you are a habitual coffee drinker, for example, you want to consider the cons of avoiding caffeine. In a coffee drinker’s case, taking your exam without any caffeine could result in you not being in your peak mental state, and your score could seriously suffer.

14. Bring an energizing snack to leave in your bag that doesn’t require refrigeration and isn’t messy or difficult to eat. Some good examples include protein bars or almonds. Although stress from the test may tempt you, don't rely on sweets with fast carbohydrates from a vending machine at the test center. Remember, foods like these will cause you to crash and lose focus during your exam. Bring water, not sugary soda or sports drinks. The only time you should consider using fast carbs is when you know you only have 30-45 minutes left and you need a quick boost of energy to power through it. Keep in mind, however, that many exams do not permit eating during testing, so keep into consideration when your break times are, how long they are, and at what point during the test they occur.

15. If you find that you have extra time and have made flashcards or a “cheat sheet” while studying, go through the high yield subjects, as well as ones you might be struggling with, before the SIFT. Reviewing these subjects will help store them in your short-term memory and you will be more likely to retrieve them during the test. Once you feel as if you know an answer, remove that card from the deck or cross off that section so you can concentrate on the remaining difficult subjects. If a friend or family member is around, consider asking them to help you by acting as the quizzer.

16. Consider asking a friend or family member to take you to the testing location so you can continue to review your materials, not stress about transportation, and receive the extra moral support they can provide. Don’t wait until the morning of to ask, however, and have a backup plan prepared in case your ride falls through.

17. Aim to get to the test center at least 15-30 minutes early. This gives you time to adjust for several negative scenarios, such as bad traffic, a train, getting lost, lack of parking, or running into issues with your registration, for example.

18. Bring at least two pens and two pencils with good erasers, a calculator with new batteries and any other resources that your instructor allows you to take into the exam room. Make sure you clear any materials you are bringing in with the instructor first – you don’t want to be removed from the exam or have your exam forfeited because you broke an easy to avoid rule.

19. Bring a watch to the test so that you can better pace yourself. In the days leading up to the SIFT, consider using the watch to help time yourself so you grow accustomed to the amount of time it takes you to answer a question – as well as the amount of time you can realistically spend on a problem. If you use a digital watch, make sure it is permitted in the testing room.

20. Consider packing helpful healthcare products you might need in the case of an emergency, such as pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Remember that even if you don't think you need them, you are taking a long test and are likely to feel stressed, even if you are well prepared. This stress can result in a tension headache or tense muscles that may be distracting during the exam.

21. If you can't study or review your materials because you're at the testing location, waiting for the exam to begin, or simply because of nerves, try meditating or focusing on your breathing. Going into the exam feeling calm and collected will help you pace yourself and remember important information.

22. Even if you don’t feel like it, use the restroom before entering the exam room. You don't want to waste time worrying about your bodily needs during the test. Furthermore, you can splash water on your face to help perk yourself up.

Once you’re ready for the big moment – exam time itself – you’re going to need to stay focused and choose your answers quickly and wisely. Our final exam tips cover what you can do while you are taking the SIFT test itself to raise your score.

23. Multiple studies have shown that individuals work harder and do better work when they’re slightly cold. While you don’t want to be uncomfortably cold – remember, always bring a jacket, just in case – being slightly cold will keep you alert and awake. If you find yourself growing warm, take off your jacket or other layers to get to that optimal temperature.

24. Don't pay attention to others around you. Don’t worry if someone seems to be going through the test much faster or slower than you. If someone around you is being loud or disruptive, asked to be moved or see if there are noise-cancelling headphones or other options available for you to use.

25. Go with your gut when choosing an answer. Statistically, the answer that comes to mind first is often the right one. This is assuming you studied the material, of course, which we hope you have done if you read through one of our books!

26. For true or false questions: if you genuinely don't know the answer, mark it true. In most tests, there are typically more true answers than false answers.

27. For multiple choice questions, read ALL the answer choices before marking an answer, even if you think you know the answer when you come across it. You may find your original “right” answer isn’t necessarily the best option.

28. Look for key words: in multiple choice exams, particularly those that require you to read through a text, the questions typically contain key words. These key words can help the test taker choose the correct answer or confuse you if you don’t recognize them. Common keywords are: most, during, after, initially, and first. Be sure you identify them before you read the available answers. Identifying the key words makes a huge difference in your chances of passing the SIFT.

29. Narrow answers down by using the process of elimination: after you understand the question, read each answer. If you don’t know the answer right away, use the process of elimination to narrow down the answer choices. It is easy to identify at least one answer that isn’t correct. Continue to narrow down the choices before choosing the answer you believe best fits the question. By following this process, you increase your chances of selecting the correct answer. If the exam is on physical paper, you can put an “X” next to the incorrect answers to help your brain separate right and wrong answers. If your exam is on a computer and scratch paper is permitted, consider writing out the letters or numbers associated with the answer choices, such as A, B, C, or D, and then cross them off manually to ensure you select the correct answer.

30. Don't stay on a problem that you are stuck on, especially when time is a factor. Mark it, skip it and come back to it later once you’ve finished all the easier problems. Not only will this prevent you from wasting time, you may also find that you are able to approach the problem differently after some time away from it. If you are still stuck, return to: 1) Using the process of elimination, and 2) Going with your gut to choose your final answer.

31. If wrong answers are penalized, consider skipping over them unless you feel relatively sure you might have the right answer. There is no point in wasting additional time on a question that will negatively impact your score.

32. Consider taking a mini-break if you are feeling overwhelmed. Put down your pencil, close your eyes, and take two or three deep, slow breaths. If you are permitted a certain amount of break time, go wash your face, drink some water, or do a quick powerwalk through a hall or open space to get your blood flowing again.

33. If you have time left when you are finished, look over your test. Make sure that you have answered all the questions. Remember, your first answer is probably the correct answer, so only change an answer if you know for a fact that you misread or misinterpreted the question.

34. If you manually bubbled in answers, make sure that any wrong answers are fully erased and that your bubbles are dark, neat and full. Whether on a computer or on paper, take this opportunity to make sure that your personal information on the exam is correct and neatly printed. Sometimes the little things, such as an out of place bubble, have the potential to negatively impact your score.

35. Don't worry if others finish before or after you. Go at your own pace and focus on the test in front of you.

We hope that these test-taking tips will help you do your best on exam day. For tips specific to the SIFT test, make sure you carefully read through our study guide on your exam. Our books include sidebars with helpful tips and facts relevant to your test. You’ll also want to read through your exam creator’s website to make sure that you bring everything necessary for your exam and study all relevant material. Finally, continue to check out our website, triviumtestprep.com for updated study materials!

Just a note:

USAREC was not involved in the creation or production of this product, is not in any way affiliated with Trivium Test Prep, and does not sponsor or endorse this product.