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vipermaverickk

Those of you who have retaken the TBAS: how much did it affect your PCSM?

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Hey everyone,

I am looking at options to increase my PCSM. I am flying as much as I can to build hours and am trying to get my score up that way, but the highest I can get it to with 201 hours is 87. Although that’s a decent number, I am striving to get it in the 90’s, as I am dead set on fighters. 

I recently retook the AFOQT, nearly doubled my my pilot score, and more than tripled my PCSM. While that’s great, my PCSM with my current flight time is sitting at a 67. Aside from continuning to build hours, my best option at this point, I believe, is to retake the TBAS. 

My question is for those who have retaken the TBAS. How much of an impact did retaking the test have on your PCSM? I know this will vary depending on each individual’s performance, but I’d really like to get some idea about what to expect from a well-performed retake. 

Responses are welcome from everyone, I appreciate any input!

 

 

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1 hour ago, GDAL said:

Did you get all the orientation questions correct?

It’s been awhile since I took it, but if my memory serves me correctly, absolutely not. Most of what I remember about my first attempt is that I did very poorly. Of course, no individual TBAS score is provided, so I can only speculate. 

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I recall the first portion of the test (orientation questions) gives you instant feedback for each question. All of those questions are (or should be) freebies. I don't have specific feedback for your question since I didn't retake any tests, but I think you should retake the TBAS after studying the online flash cards.

Edited by GDAL

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I have a 92 Pilot score. My PCSM went from a 67 to a 75 at 12 flight hours after retaking the TBAS. It’s now an 80 with 21 flight hours. My 201+ hour bracket went from 91 to 97.

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23 minutes ago, mb1685 said:

I have a 92 Pilot score. My PCSM went from a 67 to a 75 at 12 flight hours after retaking the TBAS. It’s now an 80 with 21 flight hours. My 201+ hour bracket went from 91 to 97.

This is extremely helpful, thank you. Your numbers identical to mine, I have the exact same pilot score (92) and PCSM (67). Would you mind sharing your speculative PCSM scores in the other hour brackets? I’d like to get an idea for my possible future scores. 

Thanks again.

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4 hours ago, vipermaverickk said:

This is extremely helpful, thank you. Your numbers identical to mine, I have the exact same pilot score (92) and PCSM (67). Would you mind sharing your speculative PCSM scores in the other hour brackets? I’d like to get an idea for my possible future scores. 

Thanks again.

No problem! Just sent you a PM with more info.

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On 10/28/2017 at 9:43 AM, vipermaverickk said:

Aside from continuning to build hours, my best option at this point, I believe, is to retake the TBAS.

In fact it is your only other option. Beware though, there is no guarantee that you will do better on the TBAS the second time. I know people who have done worse, as evidenced by their PCSM scores (for different levels of hours) going down.

The way I see it you have two options:

Option 1 is the TBAS. The pro is that it is free and quick, you've already seen it once so you can likely do better, you know of some resources you can use to prepare, etc. However, the cons are that this is your last shot, that your score could go down, and that there are some sections of the test that you really can't prepare for. 

Option 2 is flying. The pro is that there is no risk, in other words your score can only go up and in fact you know exactly how much it will go up for a given number of hours. The cons are that it is slow, expensive, and there are diminishing returns. (When I say no risk I mean strictly in the context of the PCSM, there are obvious other risks, costs, and opportunity costs associated with flying). 

There used to be a third option (retake the AFOQT). You've already executed that option which was smart. Now you need to decide whether or not you want to go with Option 2 and Option 1 or just Option 2, since you should definitely do the risk-free Option 2. You said your hours were 67, that's pretty good, so the 81 is certainly attainable and 101 might be too. 

My additional two cents. For most people 201+ hours is not financially feasible / would take way too long. Another option (lets call it option 4) you have is to strongly reconsider your 'dead set on fighters' mentality. While fighters are a fantastic goal and represent an incredible element of the Air Force mission set they are just a piece of the pie and by no means the only cool piece of pie. Ask yourself why you want fighters and if you would be happy flying something else. Ultimately you need to consider the needs of the Air Force.. which might not be for you to be in a single seater and you need to ask yourself if you're okay with that. If you're not okay with the needs of the Air Force creeping into and in front of your wants, well then you need to reconsider the Air Force in the first place.  A well-balanced blend of these options will get you in an AF cockpit. 

Edited by goddard15
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Thank you for taking the time to write out such an elaborate and well-thought out response. Seeing the options laid out by someone else helps me understand and organize them better in my head. 

On 10/30/2017 at 3:32 PM, goddard15 said:

Beware though, there is no guarantee that you will do better on the TBAS the second time. I know people who have done worse, as evidenced by their PCSM scores (for different levels of hours) going down.

I'm aware of the risks. Thank you for the heads up, I will be well-prepared for the retake.

On 10/30/2017 at 3:32 PM, goddard15 said:

There used to be a third option (retake the AFOQT). You've already executed that option which was smart. Now you need to decide whether or not you want to go with Option 2 and Option 1 or just Option 2, since you should definitely do the risk-free Option 2. You said your hours were 67, that's pretty good, so the 81 is certainly attainable and 101 might be too. 

Thank you. Although, it's my PCSM that's a 67, not my total hours. My actual flight time is around 30 hours. I can raise my PCSM to as high as 87 if I miraculously get up to the 201+ bracket, but acquiring that many hours is not on my short-term agenda.

On 10/30/2017 at 3:32 PM, goddard15 said:

Another option (lets call it option 4) you have is to strongly reconsider your 'dead set on fighters' mentality. 

I sincerely wish I could. I have genuinely tried to convince myself by switching my mentality many, many times, but I'm afraid I'm just too determined. I will admit, however, this is excellent advice, and I do receive it earnestly.

On 10/30/2017 at 3:32 PM, goddard15 said:

While fighters are a fantastic goal and represent an incredible element of the Air Force mission set they are just a piece of the pie and by no means the only cool piece of pie. Ask yourself why you want fighters and if you would be happy flying something else. 

Absolutely. And I have. I've deeply asked and have answered that question to myself dozens of times over the years. I have weighed and considered alternatives, both in the Air Force and in the civilian sector, and again, I just cannot satisfy such a specific lifelong dream through any other means. Despite my stubbornness, I hope you will understand that I graciously appreciate your response and advice. Everything you said is correct, and it's reassuring to know that the options that are available to me are good ones. Thanks again.

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I went from 73 to 89 in the <80hrs or whatever section after retaking the TBAS. During that time period I had accumulated a little flight time and increased my GPA at school, but only by a bit.  I think I just did a ton better after learning from the first one.

Edited by extender10
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@vipermaverickk

What was your original pilot score?  Mine is a 59 - going to be re-taking the AFOQT in January and I'm wondering how wide of a margin you scored on your 2nd attempt to triple your PCSM (Which is awesome btw.)

I also just took the TBAS last Thursday for the first time.

Without detailing the test - in addition to the flashcards, you could replicate most of the test at home (excluding the stick and rudder exercise) to practice on your own before re-taking.  Just my .02

 

 

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1 hour ago, UPTapplicant2017 said:

@vipermaverickk

What was your original pilot score?  Mine is a 59 - going to be re-taking the AFOQT in January and I'm wondering how wide of a margin you scored on your 2nd attempt to triple your PCSM (Which is awesome btw.)

My original pilot score from my first AFOQT attempt was a 48.

 

1 hour ago, UPTapplicant2017 said:

@vipermaverickk

Without detailing the test - in addition to the flashcards, you could replicate most of the test at home (excluding the stick and rudder exercise) to practice on your own before re-taking.  Just my .02

Based on what I remember from my first take, I agree. I’m definitely going to prepare myself for the retake with as many resources as I can use. 

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7 hours ago, UPTapplicant2017 said:

Mine is a 59 - going to be re-taking the AFOQT in January and I'm wondering how wide of a margin you scored on your 2nd attempt to triple your PCSM (Which is awesome btw.)

I improved my AFOQT pilot score from a 71 to a 99 and it improved my PCSM from a 36 to a 62. The small improvement on the PCSM even with a good AFOQT pilot score is reflective of have done really poorly on the TBAS. I have two AFOQT study books I'd be happy to send you if you are interested. PM me. 

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I’ve been going back and forth on if I should retake the AFOQT or the TBAS first.  I think I’ll need to take both so I’ll do the TBAS first, bought some pedals and flash cards.  Didn’t study for either last time because I didn’t want rated and got: Pilot:49, PCSM:23 (47 w/41 hours), and I should be around 61 hours by Jan.

How much and often did you study for the AFOQT, Goddard?

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21 hours ago, Hopeful_guy said:

I’ve been going back and forth on if I should retake the AFOQT or the TBAS first.  I think I’ll need to take both so I’ll do the TBAS first, bought some pedals and flash cards.  Didn’t study for either last time because I didn’t want rated and got: Pilot:49, PCSM:23 (47 w/41 hours), and I should be around 61 hours by Jan.

How much and often did you study for the AFOQT, Goddard?

For the TBAS, not enough. For the AFOQT, multiple hours a week for two or three months. I took every practice test I could find but I only studied the pilot categories. 

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Original PCSM (49 Pilot): 23

30hours and TBAS retake: 62 (est. 77 when PPL complete)

Studying pretty hard for those four Pilot sections of the AFOQT, need a decent bump to feel a little better and hopefully break 90 PCSM. 

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Can confirm, studying the AFOQT study guides (Barron’s/Peterson’s or AFPCs) for a week and absolutely hammering the 4 sections that matter can create a huge jump in scores.  Pilot score went from 49 to 98, resulting in a PCSM of 99.  Looks like AFOQT retake improvement drives higher scores than TBAS. 

Just hope it’s enough for the AD board!

Edited by Hopeful_guy
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My first time around with the TBAS, my PCSM was 52 and 201+ hours score was 87. After retaking, my PCSM is 68 and 201+ hours score is 92.

I studied my ass off for the TBAS. Planning on retaking the AFOQT as well.

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Re-taking AFOQT Feb 1st.  I'll make sure to post when I get an update in about a month.

Current PCSM 63 and Pilot Score is 59 NAV 33.  I've also crossed the threshold of 100 flight hours and will be getting that added to my PCSM as well for an estimated extra 4 points (I'll take it.)

Crushing the books as we speak.

Cheers.

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17 minutes ago, UPTapplicant2017 said:

Re-taking AFOQT Feb 1st.  I'll make sure to post when I get an update in about a month.

Current PCSM 63 and Pilot Score is 59 NAV 33.  I've also crossed the threshold of 100 flight hours and will be getting that added to my PCSM as well for an estimated extra 4 points (I'll take it.)

Crushing the books as we speak.

Cheers.

Just to give you some inspiration as to what a better AFOQT pilot score and TBAS can do, I got an 81 on the pilot portion of my first test. With that and my flight hours in the 21-40 bracket, I had a PCSM of 65. After studying my ass off, I took the AFOQT a second time and scored a 98 in the pilot section while still in the same bracket for flight hours. With my score going from 81 to 98, it raised by PCSM from 65 to 77. So, 17 higher points on my AFOQT pilot section equated to an additional 12 points in the PCSM calculation.  Now I doubt that this calculation is linear but it does give you a glimpse into what is possible if you do really well on your retake. 

After bumping my PCSM to 77, I then retook the TBAS and raised my PCSM to 83 while still in the 21-40 flight hours bracket. Since then, I've gotten my PPL and my PCSM sits at 87 (41.3 hours) and 98 if you're looking at the 201+ column.

I hope this helps. Good luck with the studying and let me know if you have any questions. 

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Thank you for the motivation @John3806! Studying has been my second full time job since I got the chance to visit a unit I'm applying to a couple weeks ago. I'm confident I can score in the high 80s to 90s which will make for a yyuuugggeeee jump in points hopefully.  

 

Edited by UPTapplicant2017

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On ‎11‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 3:55 AM, goddard15 said:

I improved my AFOQT pilot score from a 71 to a 99 and it improved my PCSM from a 36 to a 62. The small improvement on the PCSM even with a good AFOQT pilot score is reflective of have done really poorly on the TBAS. I have two AFOQT study books I'd be happy to send you if you are interested. PM me. 

which two AFOQT study books did you get? I have one and I am wondering about buying another in hopes of having more practice tests available. Thanks!

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20 hours ago, CharlieHotel47 said:

which two AFOQT study books did you get? I have one and I am wondering about buying another in hopes of having more practice tests available. Thanks!

https://www.amazon.com/AFOQT-Study-Guide-2018-Qualifying/dp/1628454776/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516820418&sr=8-1&keywords=afoqt 

https://www.amazon.com/AFOQT-Practice-Test-Book-Qualifying/dp/1635301491/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1516820418&sr=8-3&keywords=afoqt

I used these two. The first one I purchased because when you look at it on Amazon you can click the 'look inside' button and scroll through a good amount of the book and get a feel for the amount of actual info they have on the pilot knowledge section. The second one I got for practice tests, be warned that some of the questions have incorrect answers in the back but that is only for 2 or 3 and luckily the questions they have the wrong answer for are pretty easy to catch. There is a website where I paid like 10 bucks for 3 pdfs of tests that I don't recommend. 

Edited by goddard15

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