SIFT Test (Meaning, Sections, How-to-pass)


Just like college aspirants take SAT or ACT, Dental school aspirants take DAT, and Medical school aspirants take MCAT, SIFT test is a test taken by candidates aspiring to pursue a career in the Army Aviation.

This test is one of the numerous criteria used to select people accepted into the Army Aviation in the United States.

SIFT test is a very specialised assessment that evaluates a candidate’s knowledge in several aspects of professional flight operations. Hence, if you aspire to join Army Aviation, you must be thoroughly grounded in the syllabus of SIFT test.

This article will discuss the syllabus of SIFT test, important things to note about this test and some tips for excelling in SIFT test.

What is SIFT Test?

SIFT test, which means Selection Instrument for Flight Training test, is a specialised test that measures the flight knowledge of people aspiring to pursue a career in Army Aviation.

This test assesses the abilities of prospective pilots in different areas by evaluating their basic proficiencies, mental abilities, mandatory screening, inclinations, and situational decisions in real scenarios.

The Selection Instrument for Flight Training test is just one of the numerous testing phases an aspiring pilot must overcome before being licensed to undertake Army Aviation operations in the United States.

Sections of the SIFT Test

The Selection Instrument for Flight Training test is an assessment that evaluates the abilities of aspiring Army Aviation pilots in 7 areas. Hence, take note of the following if you are aspiring to write a SIFT test.

Spatial Apperception:

The Spatial Apperception section provides 25 questions that measure your understanding of how cockpit sights tally with the position of flight in a 3D space.

In other words, it evaluates your capabilities to decide the altitude and bearing of a flight by glancing past the windshield of the cockpit and considering the usual perspective and topography.

Army Aviation Information Test (AAIT):

This sub-test examines your knowledge of the fundamentals of Helicopter flight operations and evaluates your understanding of Rotary-wing aircraft components and controls, Aerodynamics and performance, General category, and Rotary-wing maneuvers and performance. 

Math skills:

This sub-test evaluates your proficiency in mathematical relationships and principles. However, SIFT examiners prohibit calculators in the Math skills section. 

Reading Comprehension:

The Reading Comprehension section tests your English Language comprehension abilities by requesting answers following some passages.

This section offers 20 questions that must be completed in 30 minutes. It is one of the toughest sections of the SIFT test.

Hidden Figures:

In the Hidden Figures sub-test, you will be required to recognise shapes in multifaceted optical surroundings.

This section aims to develop your landmark recognition abilities to help you find targets, hazards and make flight navigations. Moreover, this sub-section offers fifty questions that must be completed at the rate of 0.6 sec/question. 

Simple Drawings:

The Simple Drawings section of the Selection Instrument for Flight Training test is a speed and accuracy assessment.

In this test, you will be required to recognise a different shape from a collection of shapes, and you must complete up to 100 different classes of shapes in less than a second for each group. This test adopts the negative marking format.

Mechanical Comprehension:

The mechanical comprehension sub-section evaluates your knowledge of college-level physics and electrical and mechanical theories. 

Read more: GATE Test (Meaning, Requirements, Application, Passing tips)

Important tips to note about the SIFT Test:

  • Exam pattern:

The Selection Instrument for Flight Training test is a Computer-Based Test (CBT).

  • Attempt limit:

You can only take SIFT test twice in your lifetime, and you must wait for six months after the first test before taking the second and final test. However, the second attempt will only be available if you notched a score below the minimum qualifying score.

  • Maximum score:

The maximum score that can be attained from a SIFT test is 80.

  • The passing score:

The passing score for the SIFT test is 40.

  • A good score:

A score of 60 and above is considered a good score in SIFT test.

  • Application: 

If you are already in the military and you wish to apply for SIFT, contact the local servicing education centre for arrangements. 

  • SIFT test locations:

SIFT tests can only be taken at three locations; Post-Servicing Education Centres, the Military Entrance Procession Stations (MEPS), and ROTC Programs/ Military Academies.

  • Duration:

SIFT test lasts for a minimum of two hours only.

  • Test hall admission documents:

Before you are granted access to any SIFT test halls, you must present a Photographic identification and evidence of your Social Security Number.

  • Prohibited items:

Bags, calculators, and electronic devices are not allowed into the test halls.

  • Paper and Pencil:

Please take a pen and blank paper with you for the examination, unlike the items listed above.

How to pass the SIFT Test:

Know the structure of the test:

The Selection Instrument for Flight Training test is a Computer-Based Test (CBT) that measures candidates’ abilities in 7 different areas.

Moreover, each sub-test contains a certain number of questions that must be completed at a particular time. Hence, check for more important details to help you prepare effectively.

Cover the entire syllabus:

Although sub-tests like Army Aviation Information Test (AAIT) and Spatial Apperception are tests that bother around professional flight knowledge, boost your knowledge in these subtests and study the topics in other sections extensively and intensively.

Use the study materials:

Several SIFT study materials are available online and offline. These study materials summarise the sub-test topics into a form that is easier to read and comprehend. Hence, find these materials and study them effectively.

Take practice tests:

Peterson’s test prep is one of the many standardised online SIFT practice tests that you can use to study well.

Apart from the fact that practise tests help you recognise your gaps in knowledge, doing several practice tests under different timed settings will boost your speed and accuracy. 

Don’t have preferences:

Don’t focus your studies on the Simple Drawing section because it is easier than the other sections.

Having a preference sub-test will affect your performance as bad results in other tests can severely affect your score.

Read the study guides:

 A study guide is always provided together with the test syllabus. Hence, read it comprehensively to be guided appropriately.

Identify your weaknesses:

Identify your weaknesses and work on them before the test to boost your chances of earning good grades in a SIFT test.

When you study regularly and do some practice tests, you will identify subject areas that are difficult for you. Hence, invest more time to study these areas. 

Hire a tutor:

If you are struggling with some mathematics concepts or some physics principles, hire the services of a professional tutor to nurture you in these areas.

Hiring a tutor is a step that can significantly boost your chances of attaining a good score of 60.

Play video games:

Video games like Call of Duty and “Find it” are amazing games that boost your creative abilities.

Simple Drawing and Hidden Figures are sub-tests that require speed, accuracy, great observation skills, and instant reaction, and these Video games will improve your abilities.

Moreover, Apache Air Assault will boost your flight knowledge.

Attend all the classes:

If you are still pursuing a major in an aviation-related field and have not joined the military yet, attend all professional classes now.

You still can and pay raft attention in every class as most questions in the SIFT test are not drawn from practical examples discussed in class.


SIFT test, which means Selection Instrument for Flight Training test, is an assessment that evaluates the abilities of prospective pilots in different areas.

SIFT test is a specialised assessment that requires intensive studies and mastery of several areas. This article contains the syllabus of the test and some helpful preparation tips.

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

Share this Information.

Editor’s Recommendations:

You May Also Like