Pilot Candidate Selection Method
Test of Basic Aviation Skills (PCSM/TBAS)
TBAS Information

Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS)

The Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS) is a computerized psychomotor, spatial ability, and multi-tasking test battery. It is used as a tool for the selection of United States Air Force pilot and RPA pilot candidates. TBAS scores are combined with the candidate's Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) Pilot composite and flying hours to produce a Pilot Candidate Selection Method (PCSM) score. The PCSM score provides a measure of a candidate's aptitude for pilot and RPA pilot training. This PCSM score is provided to pilot selection board along with other "whole-person concept" information to make decisions concerning pilot candidate selection.

Complete the TBAS Candidate Worksheet, and bring it with you on the day of the test. You should also bring a valid form of ID, your Social Security card, your current college transcript, and your logbook if you have any flying experience. The TBAS test will be mentally challenging, and it is recommended that you get a good night's sleep before the test. If you experience some condition that is genuinely stressful, or if you are too ill/tired to take the TBAS, you will need to reschedule for another time. There is no penalty for rescheduling.

When you are ready to begin the test you will be seated at the TBAS station and asked to enter the data from your completed Candidate Worksheet into the TBAS for use in processing and tracking your test scores. The test administrator will then read a standard instruction briefing to you. Detailed instructions for each of the nine subtests will appear on the computer screen. Take all the time you need to make sure you understand these instructions. You will not be penalized for time spent on instructions.

The TBAS consists of subtests that measure psychomotor skills, spatial ability, and multi-tasking aptitude. The test takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. After you have completed the test, the test administrator will send the raw data to a central scoring facility. Provided you have already taken the AFOQT, you should be able to check your PCSM score via the Internet within 1-2 days after we receive your TBAS test. Please check with your Test Control Officer (TCO) as to when they will send the TBAS test.

It is very important that you do not discuss the contents of the test with anyone other than the test administrator. If you do discuss the test with anyone else you will be held responsible for violating a legal regulation, Air Force Instruction 36-2605, Air Force Military Personnel Testing System. You will also be disqualified from consideration for Air Force pilot training.



Directional Orientation Test
Measures spatial orientation abilities: The participant must determine a UAV’s position relative to a target.  The test simultaneously presents a "tracker map” which shows the location and heading of the UAV; and a forward field of view, as seen through a fixed, forward pointing camera of a UAV, which shows a single building surrounded by four parking lots. The task is to click on the parking lot that a computer generated voice instructs.  There are 48 questions.


Horizontal Tracking Test
Participants use rudder pedals to keep a box over an airplane as it moves horizontally along the bottom of the screen.  The airplane moves at a constant speed and changes direction when it “hits” the side of the screen or if a participant successfully targets it for multiple seconds. The task lasts three minutes and the level of difficulty (speed of the airplane) increases as the task progresses. 


Airplane Tracking Test
Participants use the joystick to keep the gun sight on the airplane as it moves at a constant rate. The airplane randomly changes direction when it hits the side of the screen or if a participant successfully targets it for multiple seconds. 


Airplane and Horizontal Tracking Test
This test requires you to perform two previously tested tasks simultaneously.  First, you track an airplane moving along a horizontal axis as you did in the Horizontal Tracking Test.  Second, you track an airplane moving in two dimensions as you did in the Airplane Tracking Test.


Multi-Tasking Test
This test requires you to perform four cognitive tasks simultaneously over multiple trials: memorization, arithmetic, visual monitoring, and listening. Prior to multi-tasking, you will be given an opportunity to practice each task. First, you will be presented with a written code of letters to memorize; after a delay, you will identify if a particular letter was included in the code. Second, you will perform basic arithmetic computations. Third, you will monitor a gauge to identify when the gauge needs to be reset. Fourth, you will periodically change the channel(1,2,3,or 4) based on auditory directions for your designated call sign.


Back To Top