Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Taking the ASTB

So I took the ASTB today at 1. I was incredibly nervous over the entire thing, and got a massive lump in my throat when the test started. That soon went away when I got into test-taking mode. The hardest part of the test was the time limit: some of the sections had more time than was needed, while others I needed more time to finish the questions and double check my work.
I didn't think a whole lot about where the testing center was going to be, but it was practically in the center of the office. While I was taking the test, I could hear a lieutenant through the walls next door having a conversation with someone over the phone: "So! I hear you want to join the Navy! Yeah...uh huh...well, perhaps you can explain this hit-and-run. I've got it right here on your police records! Well...You need to explain it in full detail! Fire hydrant? So it was your friends? They lied, huh? Guilty. The judge didn't believe you? Police didn't either, huh. Well. I'll see what I can do, but I won't make any promises."
After I finished, I got my scores back immediately and the secretary saw them and told me, "So, you want to be a pilot, huh?" "No sir, NFO" "Well, you've got the scores for it. You did good." When I was leaving, I figured the score I got out of 100 instead of the 9 point grading scale that the Flight Officer Flight Aptitude Rating uses, and I wasn't thrilled with the result: 78. Driving back through traffic, I debated whether I should retake the ASTB or just take the Officer Aptitude Rating. The only problem with retaking the OAR or ASTB is that there's a lifetime limit of three tests, but the Navy doesn't accept your best test scores. They only accept the most recent test scores. But, I remembered my selection officer giving me information that I read through which detailed the actual distribution of grades for the different ratings. I was floored when I found out that my Academic Qualification Rating and Flight Officer Flight Aptitude Rating were at the upper end of the bell curve and that only 7.2% of the people who took the test scored higher than I did.
Sometimes it's heartwarming to know I'm not such a screw up.
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