What Type Of Questions Are On the TSA CBT Test?

By  //  July 29, 2020

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Can you picture yourself as the next security officer, manager, inspector, or marshal working for The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)?

Can you picture yourself as the next security officer, manager, inspector, or marshal working for The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)? 

This is a highly competitive field so you’ll want to bring your A-game if you are going to successfully land your dream job. Putting your best foot forward means coming well prepared and knowing what types of questions are on the TSA CBT test. 

On this page, we’ll see why it’s so important to prepare for the TSA CBT test, look at the content of the TSA X-Ray Test, and see what’s included in the TSA Writing Skills Assessment Test.

About TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) oversees the security of the traveling public in the United States of America. To work for TSA, candidates need to take the TSA CBT test.  

Many people fail the TSA computer-based test (TSA CBT test), so it’s very important to familiarize yourself with the types of questions on the test and practice before you sit the real thing. 

The TSA CBT test includes two sections: the first section tests your ability to interpret X-ray images this is known as the Screener Object Recognition Test. The second section assesses your English writing skills and is called the Screener English Test.

The X-ray part of the TSA CBT test is particularly demanding and that’s why it is highly recommended that candidates prepare well before test day.   

What Questions Are on The TSA CBD X-Ray Test?

The X-ray section of the test is the more challenging part of the TSA test, mainly because this test is highly job-specific.

The X-ray section of the test is the more challenging part of the TSA test, mainly because this test is highly job-specific.

On the X-ray test, you’ll be presented with images of luggage that have passed through the X-ray machine. The target objects will be banned items including, bottles, weapons, drugs, shoes, and electronics.  

You’ll be given 30 seconds to examine these objects before the test begins. Then, you’ll be given 15 sections to study the X-ray images of passenger luggage bags to see if the dangerous items are in the x-ray.

The images can be complex, as items can be turned in various directions and/or can overlap. This means you’ll need to mentally turn them around to check if they are harmful. 

When you see an X-ray image of luggage, you’ll need to choose whether to alarm, pass, or hold a bag, based on its contents. If you choose ‘alarm’ you have signaled that the luggage has a harmful item in it and police intervention is needed.

If you ‘hold’ an item you have signaled that there is a forbidden item and intervention is needed from a TSO officer and subsequent screening is required, including physical search or use of Explosive Trace Technology (ETD). 

Only the right responses will earn you points. Since there are no points deducted if you are unsure, it is advisable to take an educated guess rather than skip the question.

As noted, many people fail this section of the TSA CBD test. This may be due to the fact that many people are unfamiliar with X-ray images of luggage.

It is recommended that you take a practice test before you take the ‘real thing’. This way you can learn what the X-ray images look like and practice deciphering them and identifying harmful items. 

What Questions Are On The TSA CBD Writing Skills Assessment?

The TSA Writing Skills Assessment Test is a multiple-choice test. You will need to complete this test within a fixed time period.

The TSA Writing Skills Assessment Test is a multiple-choice test. You will need to complete this test within a fixed time period.

The section of the TSA CBD test measures your grasp of the basic principles of English grammar, including syntax, sentence structure, word usage, and paragraph structure.

The TSA CBT writing skills test features questions in three areas: vocabulary, written communication and reading comprehension. In the reading comprehension section, each question contains a short paragraph followed by a multiple-choice question. 

You should aim to answer every question as, as in the X-ray section, only correct answers are marked. Take note that for all questions that there is an option D answer which reads “no correction is needed” and this is a legitimate answer. 

For many applications, the basic principles of English grammar may be somewhat unpracticed. That’s why many candidates would benefit from taking a TSA writing skills assessment practice test, and prep TSA CBT test course.    

Summary

Human operators have the ultimate word as to whether or not someone can get on a plane. That’s why it’s so important to have well trained and proficient X-ray image interpretation experts.

The X-ray tests help the TSA employ people with the right skills. Show TSA that you are one of these people. Give it all you’ve got on test day by preparing well for the TSA CBT test.

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