TSA Practice Test (All Versions)

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TSA Test Update!

From October 2022, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has altered the selection procedure for the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) post at several airports, while maintaining the previous “legacy” process (XRAY and English skills) at all other airports.

The new assessments will eventually be extended to all airports, replacing the legacy process. However, the selection process you encounter presently depends on the testing location. iPREP’s course now includes a study guide and simulations to cover the new assessment.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Test is a cornerstone in the process of becoming a Transportation Security Officer (TSO), a role critical to the safety and security of travelers across the United States. Designed to assess a candidate’s readiness for the complex challenges of airport security, the TSA Test evaluates a range of essential skills through two distinct versions: the “legacy” format and the newly introduced TSA/TSO Assessment Battery (TAB).

Understanding the Test’s Purpose

At its core, the TSA Test aims to measure a candidate’s aptitude in areas vital to national security roles. These include the ability to interpret X-ray images for prohibited items, make quick and accurate decisions under pressure, and communicate effectively in English. The legacy version of the test focuses predominantly on X-ray object recognition and English language proficiency, reflecting the day-to-day responsibilities of a TSO.

The Test Formats

  • Legacy Format: A comprehensive evaluation comprising the Screener Object Recognition Test (X-ray test) and the Screener English Test. This version typically spans approximately 2.5 hours, challenging candidates to identify threats in X-ray images and demonstrate their command of the English language.
  • TSA/TSO Assessment Battery (TAB): Introduced to align with evolving security needs, TAB includes three innovative sections: Trail Making (connect-the-dots), Image Recognition Speed Run, and 2D to 3D Image Mapping. Depending on performance, the test duration ranges from 20 to 40 minutes, offering a dynamic assessment of a candidate’s spatial awareness, quick recognition abilities, and adaptability to new challenges.

The introduction of TAB, set to eventually replace the legacy format across all testing locations, underscores the TSA’s commitment to employing cutting-edge evaluation methods. By preparing for both versions of the TSA Test, candidates ensure they are well-equipped to meet the demands of a TSO role, safeguarding the nation’s transportation systems with vigilance and expertise.

Test Versions

The Legacy Test (aka X-ray)

The legacy version of the test focuses predominantly on X-ray object recognition and English language proficiency, reflecting the day-to-day responsibilities of a TSO. As a prospective TSA officer, your ability to accurately and swiftly identify harmful and harmless objects is paramount. This skill is not only essential for your role but is also a significant part of the TSA Computer-Based Test (CBT), specifically the Screener Object Recognition Test.

This test assesses your ability to interpret X-ray images, a common task for TSA officers. To excel in this test, you’ll need to master several techniques that will aid in your object identification process. These techniques include understanding object colors, recognizing object shapes and sizes, and dealing with overlapping objects.

  1. Object Colors: In X-ray images, different materials are represented by different colors based on their composition and density. Organic materials, such as food, leather, or explosives, often appear as orange. Metals, which are denser, appear blue or green. Lighter materials like plastics, ceramics, or precious stones can appear in shades of black, gray, or sometimes green. By understanding these color codes, you can quickly identify the material composition of an object and determine if it’s potentially harmful.
  2. Object Shapes and Sizes: The shape and size of an object can provide crucial clues about its identity. For instance, a knife will have a distinctive shape, regardless of its orientation. Similarly, a gun will have a recognizable outline, whether it’s viewed from the side, top, or any angle. Familiarize yourself with the shapes and sizes of common prohibited items to enhance your object recognition skills. Remember, harmful objects can come in all sizes, so don’t dismiss something just because it’s small.
  3. Overlapping Objects: This is one of the trickier aspects of X-ray image interpretation. When objects overlap, their shapes and colors can blend, making identification more challenging. However, you can use the color and shape techniques mentioned above to piece together what each object might be. Look for distinctive features or parts of objects that aren’t obscured. Practice is key here; the more images you review, the better you’ll become at identifying objects, even when they overlap.
Key Techniques for Object Identification in the TSA CBT Test
TechniqueDescriptionApplication
Object ColorsDifferent materials are represented by different colors in X-ray images based on their composition and density.Understand the color codes to quickly identify the material composition of an object and determine if it’s potentially harmful.
Object Shapes and SizesThe shape and size of an object can provide crucial clues about its identity.Familiarize yourself with the shapes and sizes of common prohibited items to enhance your object recognition skills.
Overlapping ObjectsWhen objects overlap, their shapes and colors can blend, making identification more challenging.Look for distinctive features or parts of objects that aren’t obscured. The more images you review, the better you’ll become at identifying objects, even when they overlap.
Key Techniques for Object Identification in the TSA CBT Test. Source: iPREP
Blue (Dense Objects).
Source: iPREP
Green (Medium Density Objects).
Source: iPREP
Orange (Low Density Objects).
Source: iPREP

By mastering these techniques, you’ll be well-prepared to identify harmful and harmless objects in overlapping scenarios, ensuring the safety and security of travelers.

The TSA/TSO Assessment Battery (TAB) (aka 2D-3D)

The TSA/TSO Assessment Battery (TAB) represents a significant advancement in the evaluation of potential Transportation Security Officers (TSOs), focusing on the crucial skills needed in the fast-paced and technology-driven environment of airport security. Unlike its predecessor, TAB is designed to assess cognitive abilities, quick decision-making, and adaptability through three distinct sections:

  1. Trail Making (Connect-the-Dots): This innovative section tests a candidate’s problem-solving abilities and their capacity to logically and visually connect information. It measures cognitive flexibility and visual-motor tracking, challenging candidates to quickly link sequences or patterns under time constraints. This task mirrors the real-world necessity of piecing together disparate pieces of information to form a coherent security assessment.
  2. Image Recognition Speed Run: In this section, candidates are assessed on their ability to rapidly recognize and identify objects within images. It simulates the critical task of spotting potential threats in X-ray images, a staple in airport security screening processes. This part of the test emphasizes the importance of keen observation skills and the ability to make swift, accurate judgments, reflecting the high-stakes nature of a TSO’s responsibilities.
  3. 2D to 3D Image Mapping: This component uniquely evaluates spatial awareness and the understanding of how two-dimensional images translate into three-dimensional objects. Such a skill is vital for the effective interpretation of X-ray scans, enabling officers to accurately identify and assess potential threats concealed in luggage or on passengers. It tests a candidate’s capacity to visualize and mentally manipulate objects, a key skill in navigating the complexities of airport security.

Each section of TAB is meticulously crafted to align with the critical competencies required of today’s TSOs, ensuring candidates are not only adept at traditional security procedures but are also prepared to meet the challenges posed by modern threats and evolving technology.

Preparation Strategies

Preparing for the TSA Test, whether you’re facing the legacy version or the new TSA/TSO Assessment Battery (TAB), requires a strategic approach to study and practice. Your success hinges not only on understanding the content but also on mastering the skills and techniques needed to navigate the test efficiently. Here’s how you can gear up for the challenge, ensuring you’re ready to demonstrate your potential as a future Transportation Security Officer.

  1. Understand the Test Format and Sections: Begin with a clear understanding of both the legacy and TAB formats. Knowing what to expect in each section allows you to focus your preparation effectively. Familiarize yourself with the types of questions and tasks you’ll encounter, especially the differences between the image interpretation skills required in the legacy version and the cognitive skills assessed in TAB.
  2. Develop a Study Schedule: Consistency is key. Allocate specific times for study and practice, ensuring you cover all test components. Balance your schedule to prevent burnout, mixing in easier study sessions with more intensive practice.
  3. Practice with Simulated Tests: Utilize practice tests that mimic the actual exam conditions. This not only helps you get accustomed to the test’s timing but also aids in applying theoretical knowledge in a practical, timed environment.
  4. Focus on Weak Areas: Identify your weaknesses early in your preparation. If spatial awareness or quick decision-making challenges you, dedicate more time to these areas. Tailoring your study to address these weaknesses can dramatically improve your performance.
  5. Enhance Your English Skills: For the legacy version, strong English language proficiency is essential. Engage in activities that improve your reading comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar. Regular reading, writing, and conversational practice can significantly benefit your test performance.
  6. Stay Physically and Mentally Fit: The stress of preparing for such an important test can be taxing. Incorporate regular physical activity and mindfulness practices into your routine to keep your mind and body sharp. Adequate rest, nutrition, and exercise can greatly affect your study efficacy and test performance.
  7. Review and Reflect: After each practice session, take time to review your answers, especially the incorrect ones. Understanding why you got an answer wrong is crucial to avoiding similar mistakes in the future. Reflection helps solidify learning and improves your problem-solving strategies.

“…they show you the xray image of an item and tell you what it is and you click on it in the next image when there’s other things with it… The worst trick they play during the CBT is the xray images only because they might change the angle of how it’s laying.”

Lucy_Starwind/reddit

Test Features

The TSA Tests, comprising both the legacy version and the new TSA/TSO Assessment Battery (TAB), are designed with specific features to evaluate the aptitude of candidates for the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) role. These tests assess various skills essential for ensuring the safety and security of travelers. Below, we delve into the main features of both tests, highlighting their unique purposes without encroaching on the technical specifics reserved for the following section.

Legacy TSA Test Features
  • Dual Component Structure: The legacy test is bifurcated into the X-ray Object Recognition Test and the English Language Proficiency Test. This structure directly mirrors the primary responsibilities of a TSO, focusing on the identification of prohibited items in baggage and effective communication.
  • Realistic Simulation: Through the use of X-ray imagery, the test simulates the actual challenges faced by TSOs, requiring candidates to quickly and accurately identify potential threats among everyday items.
  • Comprehensive Language Assessment: The English component evaluates candidates on their grammar, spelling, reading comprehension, and written communication skills, ensuring they can effectively interact with the public and colleagues.
TSA/TSO Assessment Battery (TAB) Features
  • Cognitive and Psychological Evaluation: TAB introduces a novel approach by incorporating tests that assess cognitive abilities, psychological readiness, and the potential for quick and effective problem-solving in high-pressure situations.
  • Dynamic Assessment Format: Unlike the static format of the legacy test, TAB includes sections like Trail Making, Image Recognition Speed Run, and 2D to 3D Image Mapping, which are designed to evaluate a candidate’s adaptability, spatial orientation, and decision-making speed.
  • Shorter Duration with Randomized Sections: The total duration of TAB ranges from 20 to 40 minutes, with sections presented in a randomized order to each candidate. This unpredictability adds an element of real-world challenge, mimicking the variable conditions under which TSOs operate.

Both versions of the TSA Test are tailored to identify individuals who not only possess the technical skills required for the role but also demonstrate the psychological resilience and cognitive flexibility crucial for adapting to the dynamic and sometimes stressful environment of transportation security. By focusing on a broad range of competencies, these tests ensure that candidates are well-rounded and prepared for the multifaceted responsibilities of a TSO.

Common names of the TSA Test

The TSA Computer-Based Test (CBT) is often referred to by several names, including:

  • TSO Assessment Battery (TAB)
  • TSA 2D-3D Test
  • TSA CBT
  • TSA Entrance Exam
  • TSA Precheck Test
  • TSA Screener Test
  • TSA X-ray Test
  • TSA English Proficiency Test
  • TSA Officer Exam
  • Transportation Security Officer (TSO) Exam

Transportation Security Officer (TSO)

Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) are employees of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security agency. They’re crucial for maintaining safety in U.S. transportation systems, especially in airports.

TSOs primarily handle passenger, baggage, and cargo screening to detect dangerous items such as weapons or explosives. They enforce TSA regulations, respond to security incidents, and provide information and assistance to travelers. The job requires intensive training in security protocols, equipment operation, threat identification, and emergency management. It’s physically and mentally demanding, necessitating high vigilance and interaction with many people daily.

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Technical Facts

The TSA Tests, including both the legacy format and the TSA/TSO Assessment Battery (TAB), are constructed with specific technical parameters designed to evaluate the suitability of candidates for Transportation Security Officer positions. These technical facts underscore the methodology, design, and logistical aspects of the assessments.

Legacy TSA Test Technical Facts
  • Duration and Questions: The legacy test typically takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete. It comprises around 100 questions for the X-ray Object Recognition Test and about 30 questions for the English Language Proficiency Test.
  • Scoring System: It utilizes a pass/fail scoring mechanism, where candidates must achieve a minimum standard in both components to succeed. The scoring criteria are benchmarked against predefined standards of competency required for TSA roles.
  • Test Administration: Conducted in authorized testing centers, the legacy test is computer-based, ensuring consistent test delivery and objective scoring of candidates’ responses.
TSA/TSO Assessment Battery (TAB) Technical Facts
  • Adaptive Testing Methodology: TAB uses an adaptive testing format, particularly in sections like the Image Recognition Speed Run, where the difficulty level of tasks can adjust based on the test taker’s performance.
  • Duration and Format: The TAB’s duration ranges from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the candidate’s responses and speed. This variability reflects the test’s design to measure efficiency and decision-making speed under pressure.
  • Section Randomization: The order of sections within TAB is randomized for each candidate, a feature intended to simulate the unpredictable scenarios TSOs might face and assess adaptability and quick thinking.
  • Pilot Phase Adjustments: Given that TAB is in a pilot or rollout phase, its components and scoring thresholds may be subject to adjustments. This flexibility allows the TSA to refine the test based on empirical data and evolving security needs.

Both the legacy TSA Test and TAB are administered electronically, ensuring a standardized testing environment across various locations. The emphasis on computer-based testing aligns with the technological competencies required in modern security roles, ensuring that candidates are tested in an environment reflective of their future job settings. These technical aspects provide a foundation for a fair, objective, and relevant assessment process, critical for identifying capable and adaptable security personnel for the TSA.

The DNXCT Test

The Digital National X-Ray Competency Test (DNXCT), administered by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the British International Freight Association (BIFA), is a critical certification for X-ray screeners in the aviation security industry. This test, which can take up to 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete, is designed to ensure that screeners meet the minimum performance standards required for their role.

The test has a pass mark of 80% and comes in three distinct versions, each tailored to a specific area of screening: cabin baggage, hold baggage, and air cargo and mail. It’s important to note that the DNXCT has replaced the older NXCT and is now the standard for X-ray screener certification in the UK.

  • What is DNXCT? The DNXCT is a standardized image interpretation test that serves as the final step in the national certification of X-ray/EDS screeners in the UK. It’s designed to ensure that screeners meet the minimum standards and to mitigate risks associated with human error in the aviation security screening process.
  • Test Environment: The DNXCT is a browser-based test that you’ll complete in a dedicated location, such as your workplace or a training facility. It’s important to note that the test must be supervised by a DNXCT test manager in person. Remote supervision or completion of the test is not allowed.
  • Types of Tests: The DNXCT platform offers seven different tests, each catering to different categories of X-ray/EDS screeners. This ensures that the certification process is tailored to the specific role you’ll be performing.
  • Who Needs Certification? If you’re involved in X-ray/EDS screening and make screening decisions, you’ll need to successfully complete the DNXCT as part of your certification. This applies to both screeners and supervisors. However, you can’t obtain certification speculatively; you must already be employed by an entity undertaking aviation security screening activities.

The DNXCT is not a training tool; it’s a pass/fail certification test designed to assess whether you meet the minimum standards as a screener. Approach it with seriousness and integrity, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a certified X-ray/EDS screener in the UK.

Other Organizations Using X-Ray Assessment Tests

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are only two of many security authorities and agencies that administer an X-Ray ORT as part of their hiring process. There are a number of government and private organizations that make hiring decisions based on their candidates’ performance in X-Ray object recognition tests, including:

  • The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA-ACTSA) contracts three security firms that operate at airports across Canada and requires all of them to include an X-Ray threat identification test to any person they wish to employ as a pre-boarding screening officer. These firms are:
    • GardaWorld Aviation Services in the Central Region and the Prairies Region
    • Securitas Transport Aviation Security in the Eastern Region
    • G4S Secure Solutions in the Pacific Region
  • ISS Australia – a leading security firm in Australia, which partnered with Kedlin Screening International (KSI) to administer the X-Ray Screener Test to its prospective employees
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) X-Ray Screening Test is administered by many of the 290 airline companies represented by this trade association. This online 25-minute x-ray image interpretation test has an 80% passing grade and is an important part of the training of security screeners in airports and cargo facilities.
Organizations that Use X Ray ORT
Organizations that Use X-Ray ORT. Source: iPREP

Positions Requiring an X-Ray ORT Test

Different agencies and organizations refer to the screener’s position in different names. If you are applying to any of these jobs, take into account that you will probably need to pass a pre-employment X-Ray recognition test as part of your recruitment process:

  • Pre-Board Screening Officer Test
  • Transportation Security Officer
  • Airport Security Officer (ASO) / Airport Security Screener
  • Cargo Screener / Security Screener / X-Ray Operator
  • Security Screener Officer / Package Screener
  • Aviation Screener
  • Security Xray Screening Specialist

Main X-Ray Competency Tests Used Today

There are a number of different x-ray tests being used. While some of the details may differ, if you are trying to prepare for any of the following tests, you can use the practice tests offered here for any of the following tests:

  • CASRA – Center for Adaptive Security Research and Applications in Switzerland – Which offers either the CASRA X-Ray ORT (Object Recognition Test), which is a gray-scale based images or CASRAX-Ray CAT (Competency Assessment Test), which is the full color version. 
  • Simulscan X-Ray CBT – Screening for aviation security and surveillance companies.
  • Kedlin Screening International (KSI) – X-Ray Screener assessment
  • VIA Project Aviation Security – Cabin Baggage Screening (CBS) and Hold Baggage Screening (HBS) tests.
  • Additional in-house x-ray tests – tests like those developed by the TSA.

In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into the results interpretation, frequently asked questions, and more. By understanding these technical facts and applying effective preparation strategies, you’ll be well-prepared to excel in the TSA CBT Test and your future role as a TSA officer.

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Results Scale and Interpretations

Understanding your TSA CBT Test results is crucial in assessing your readiness for the role of a TSA officer. Results from the TSA CBT test are available within a few minutes. You will receive points for each correct answer, while points will be deducted for each incorrect answer. The test results are comprehensive and provide a detailed evaluation of your skills and abilities. Here’s how to interpret the various components of the score report:

  • Pass/Fail Status: The TSA CBT Test uses a pass/fail scoring system. You must pass both sections – the Screener Object Recognition Test (SORT) and the Screener English Test (SET) – to move forward in the TSA hiring process. The test does not provide a numerical score; instead, candidates are simply notified whether they have passed or failed.
  • Scoring on the TSA CBT: Each section of the TSA CBT Test is scored separately. For the X-ray Test, you’ll need to identify prohibited or dangerous items in x-ray images of passenger luggage. The English Test assesses your basic English knowledge in three main ways – sentence correction, word meaning, and reading comprehension. There are no penalties for wrong answers, so it’s advisable to attempt all questions.
  • Performance Categories: If you pass the test, you will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Highly Qualified, or Qualified. These categories provide a more nuanced understanding of your performance. Candidates in the Best Qualified category have scored the highest and are most likely to be offered their choice of role and location.
  • Score Interpretation: While the TSA does not publicly share the passing score for the TSA CBT Test, the categorization into Best Qualified, Highly Qualified, and Qualified provides a clear indication of a candidate’s ability to perform the job role. The higher your category, the better your chances of progressing in the recruitment process.
Interpreting the TSA CBT Test Results

This table provides a detailed guide on how to interpret the TSA CBT Test results. Understanding your test results is crucial for assessing your readiness for the role of a TSA officer.

ComponentDescription
Pass/Fail StatusThe TSA CBT Test uses a pass/fail scoring system. Candidates are notified whether they have passed or failed.
Scoring on the TSA CBTEach section of the TSA CBT Test is scored separately. There are no penalties for wrong answers.
Performance CategoriesIf you pass the test, you will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Highly Qualified, or Qualified.
Score InterpretationThe categorization into Best Qualified, Highly Qualified, and Qualified provides a clear indication of a candidate’s ability to perform the job role.
Interpreting the TSA CBT Test Results. Source: iPREP

Your TSA CBT Test results can provide valuable insights into your readiness for the TSA role. A pass status indicates that you have the basic skills necessary for the job. However, if you fail the test, don’t be disheartened. Use this experience as a learning opportunity, identify areas for improvement, and focus on these areas as you prepare to retake the test.

TSA Portal Application Process Dashboard. Source: reddit

In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into the frequently asked questions about the TSA CBT Test, and provide tips to help you excel in the test.

“The image recognition section was the most challenging for me because I didn’t have any prior experience with x-rays. I found it helpful to practice with some of the online practice tests so that I could get used to seeing the different objects. I also found it helpful to read the instructions carefully and to take my time on each question.”

Source: TSA_CBT_Test_Taker5/reddit

TSA CBT Test FAQs

What is the TSA CBT Test?

The TSA Computer-Based Test (CBT) is a pre-employment screening test for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) job applicants. It assesses a candidate’s aptitude in areas such as image interpretation, critical thinking, and English language proficiency.

What skills does the TSA CBT Test measure?

The TSA CBT Test measures a candidate’s ability to identify potentially dangerous objects within X-ray images (Screener Object Recognition Test) and their English language proficiency (Screener English Test).

What is the format of the TSA Test?

There are two versions of the TSA Test. The legacy version includes the X-ray Object Recognition Test and an English Language Proficiency Test. The new TSA/TSO Assessment Battery (TAB) consists of three sections: Trail Making, Image Recognition Speed Run, and 2D to 3D Image Mapping, with a varying duration based on performance.

How is the TSA CBT Test scored?

The TSA CBT Test uses a pass/fail scoring system. Candidates must pass both sections to move forward in the TSA hiring process. If you pass, you will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Highly Qualified, or Qualified.

Can I retake the TSA CBT Test if I fail?

Yes, if a candidate fails the TSA CBT Test, they must wait six months before they can retake it.

How can I prepare for the TSA CBT Test?

Candidates can prepare for the TSA CBT Test by familiarizing themselves with the test format, reviewing TSA guidelines, practicing X-ray image interpretation, and improving their English language skills.

How long does the TSA CBT Test take?

The test typically takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete, but there is no official time limit.

What happens after I pass the TSA CBT Test?

After passing the TSA CBT Test, candidates may be invited to participate in additional stages of the TSA hiring process, including an interview, a physical abilities test, and a background check.

What role does the TSA CBT Test play in the TSA hiring process?

The TSA CBT Test is a crucial part of the TSA hiring process. It helps to identify candidates who have the basic skills necessary for the role of a TSA officer.

Is the TSA CBT Test the only assessment I’ll need to take to become a TSA officer?

No, the TSA CBT Test is just the first step in the TSA hiring process. Candidates who pass the test may also need to complete an interview, a physical abilities test, and a background check.

Is the test called TSA CBT or TSO CBT Test?

The test is commonly referred to as the TSA CBT Test, which stands for Transportation Security Administration Computer-Based Test. However, it’s also sometimes called the TSO CBT Test, with TSO standing for Transportation Security Officer, which is the specific role that the test is used to screen candidates for. Both terms refer to the same test and are used interchangeably.

TSA Test Tips

  1. Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes early. This will give you time to relax, familiarize yourself with the environment, and handle any last-minute issues that may arise.
  2. Read Instructions Carefully: Before you start answering questions, take a few moments to read the instructions for each section of the test. This will ensure you understand what’s expected and can help you avoid unnecessary mistakes.
  3. Manage Your Time Wisely: While the TSA CBT Test does not have a strict time limit, it’s still important to pace yourself. Don’t spend too much time on any one question. If you’re unsure of an answer, make your best guess and move on.
  4. Use Process of Elimination: For multiple-choice questions, if you’re unsure of the correct answer, try to eliminate the options you know are incorrect. This can increase your chances of selecting the correct answer.
  5. Stay Calm and Focused: It’s natural to feel nervous during a test, but try not to let your nerves get the best of you. Stay calm, take deep breaths, and focus on the task at hand. Remember, you’ve prepared for this, and you have the skills to succeed.
  6. Trust Your Instincts: Sometimes, your first instinct is correct. If you’re torn between two answers, go with your gut. Don’t second-guess yourself too much.
  7. Review Your Answers: If you have time at the end of the test, review your answers. Make sure you’ve answered all the questions and haven’t made any obvious mistakes.

Administration

  1. Test Location: The TSA CBT Test is administered at designated testing centers across the country. The specific location will be assigned to you when you schedule your test.
  2. Test Schedule: The test is typically scheduled after the initial application and background check. The exact date and time will be determined based on the availability of testing slots at your assigned location.
  3. Test Format: The TSA CBT Test is a computerized test consisting of multiple-choice questions. It is divided into two sections: the Screener Object Recognition Test (SORT) and the Screener English Test (SET).
  4. Test Materials: All necessary materials, including a computer and mouse, will be provided at the testing center. You are not allowed to bring personal items such as pens, paper, or electronic devices into the testing area.
  5. Cost: There is no cost to the applicant for taking the TSA CBT Test. The test is part of the TSA’s hiring process and is covered by the agency.
  6. Retake Policy: If you fail the TSA CBT Test, you must wait six months before you can retake it. This waiting period is designed to give candidates ample time to improve their skills and better prepare for the test.

Test Provider

The TSA CBT Test is administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Established in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the TSA is responsible for security in all modes of transportation across the United States. The agency’s primary mission is to prevent terrorist attacks and reduce the vulnerability of the U.S. transportation system to terrorism.

The TSA provides a range of services, including passenger and baggage screening at airports, security at rail and transit stations, and inspections of shipping cargo. The TSA CBT Test is one of the agency’s key tools for screening potential employees. It’s used nationwide and is a critical part of the TSA’s hiring process. Other notable services provided by the TSA include the TSA PreCheck program, which offers expedited security screening at airports, and the Federal Air Marshal Service, which deploys armed law enforcement officers on U.S. aircraft to enhance aviation security.

Information Sources

Disclaimer – All the information and prep materials on iPREP are genuine and were created for tutoring purposes. iPREP is not affiliated with the Transportation Security Administration, which is the owner of the TSA CBT Test.

TSA Test Update!

From October 2022, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has altered the selection procedure for the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) post at several airports, while maintaining the previous “legacy” process (XRAY and English skills) at all other airports.

The new assessments will eventually be extended to all airports, replacing the legacy process. However, the selection process you encounter presently depends on the testing location. iPREP’s course now includes a study guide and simulations to cover the new assessment.

The New TSA TAB Test

A.k.a. TSA/TSO Assessment Battery (TAB):
In this 2D 3D sample exercise, your goal is to find the pairs that match up.

2D-3D Question 1 of 2
Source: iPREP

Select the pairs that correspond:

  • 1-E & 3-C
  • 1-C & 2-B
  • 2-A & 3-D
  • 3-D & 2-B
  • 1-C & 3-A

The pairs 1-E and 3-C correctly correspond. Please find an animated illustration below.

Source: iPREP
2D-3D Question 2 of 2
Source: iPREP

Select the pairs that correspond:

  • 1-A & 4-C
  • 3-F & 2-B
  • 1-C & 2-G
  • 4-C & 3-G
  • 2-E & 4-A

The pairs 4-C and 3-G correctly correspond. Please find an animated illustration below.

Source: iPREP

The Legacy TSA CBT Test

A.k.a. TSA CBT Xray Test:

In this TSA CBT XRAY sample exercise, your goal is to recognize whether cameras or shoes are found in the following pieces of luggage.

Here are a few examples of cameras and shoes, as they appear through X-ray scanners. Study the examples and then move on to the sample items.

Cameras – The body of a camera is usually made of high-density plastic or alloys. Therefore, their body will be dark green or even blue.

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample

Shoes – Shoes are made of organic fabrics or very light plastic materials. They usually have an orange shade, which means that it might be quite difficult to recognize them among other objects. Try to locate metallic plates which are often inside the sole of the shoe.

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
Question 1 of 10

Is there a camera within the baggage? 

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
  • Yes
  • No

There is a camera within the baggage.

The camera was pulled out of the baggage in the image below. There is another electronic device in the baggage but it is not a camera.

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
Question 2 of 10

Is there a camera within the baggage? 

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
  • Yes
  • No

There isn’t a camera within the baggage.

The object at the left resembles a camera but it is a remote control of a quadcopter drone, which takes up most of the baggage.

Question 3 of 10

Is there a camera within the baggage? 

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
  • Yes
  • No

There is a camera within the baggage.

There are actually two cameras. These were pulled out of the baggage for demonstration purposes.

The other metallic (blue) devices that can be seen are a few keys, two AA batteries, and a few pullers of zippers.

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
Question 4 of 10

Is there a camera within the baggage? 

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
  • Yes
  • No

There isn’t a camera within the baggage.

While it seems similar to a camera, the blue object is in fact the motor of a vacuum cleaner. While the darker part may seem like the camera’s lens, the body of the camera cannot be found. The green-blue round object is the vacuum cleaner’s power cord.

Question 5 of 10

Is there a camera within the baggage?

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
  • Yes
  • No

There is a camera within the baggage.

While the gun draws most of one’s attention, there is also a camera within the baggage. It was pulled out of the baggage in the image below. In this case, the angle of the camera might make it a bit more difficult to notice.

The other darker (dense) objects are a smartphone, a spring, a vase, and a few cables. There are also some orange objects made of organic materials, which are probably clothes.

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
Question 6 of 10

Is there a pair of shoes within the baggage? 

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
  • Yes
  • No

There are shoes in the baggage.

The pair of shoes is marked with a red frame. You may also recognize a few spiral notebooks within the baggage.

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
Question 7 of 10

Is there a pair of shoes within the baggage? 

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
  • Yes
  • No

There are no shoes in the baggage.

Question 8 of 10

Is there a pair of shoes within the baggage? 

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
  • Yes
  • No

There are no shoes in the baggage.

There are several objects made of organic materials within the baggage (orange shade) but these are clothes rather than shoes. The main object in the center is a metal bottle with a screw cap (blue) filled with some fluid (hence the orange shade). At the bottom right there is also a wallet with a few coins.

Question 9 of 10

Is there a pair of shoes within the baggage? 

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
  • Yes
  • No

There are shoes in the baggage.

The pair of shoes is marked with a red frame. One may think that the cables at the right are also an outline of another pair of shoes; yet, this is not the case. If these were shoes, you could expect to see an orange color filling in the outline, as shoes are entirely made of organic materials or light plastic polymers (all with orange shades)

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
Question 10 of 10

Is there a pair of shoes within the baggage? 

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
  • Yes
  • No

There are shoes in the baggage.

There are actually two pairs of high-heeled shoes in the bag. These can be identified by the metal plates implanted inside the heels and all the way through the soles.

Free TSA CBT XRAY Test sample
TSA XRAY Test score distribution statistical analysis. Source: iPREP
TSA XRAY Test score distribution statistical analysis. Source: iPREP

Well done!

You have completed the Sample Questions section.

The complete iPREP course includes full test simulations with detailed explanations and study guides.

‘…TESTS THAT ACTUALLY HELP’

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Richard Rodgers

January 28, 2020 at 7:49 PM

About the course

Welcome to iPrep’s TSA Test Course

This course is tailored to enhance your skills and confidence for the upcoming TSA test, a crucial step in becoming a Transportation Security Officer. The course content aligns with both the TSA Computer-Based Test (CBT) and the Transportation Security Officer Assessment Battery (TAB). It also equips candidates for X-ray interpretation tests conducted by other entities than the TSA.

The course includes both theoretical lessons and practical sessions, offering:

  • Learning Lessons: These lessons demystify the techniques vital for excelling in the test. You’ll learn to interpret X-ray images of luggage, identify various materials, detect potential threats, and ignore irrelevant distractions.
  • X-ray Object Recognition Tests: You will engage in several timed tests, each focusing on recognizing a specific type of object within X-ray images. This simulates the real test environment, including the time constraints of the TSA CBT exam, preparing you for the pressure of the actual test day.
  • 2D-3D tests: You will engage in two timed tests, each focusing on matching 2D shapes to 3D shapes. This simulates the real test environment, including the time constraints of the TSA TAB exam.

20

Learning hours

44

Practice tests

756

Questions

30

Day access

By completing this course, you will gain a thorough understanding and comfort with both the X-ray object recognition test and the new TAB test (aka 2D-3D test). Familiarity with the test formats and content significantly enhances your ability to achieve a high score and improve your chances of success.

We wish you an enjoyable and productive learning experience!

Skills you will learn

X-Ray Interpretation

2D-3D Matching

Threat Identification

Writing Skills

Curriculum

  1. Course Introduction
  2. X-Ray Object Recognition Guide
    • Colors and Density
    • Shape and Size
    • Challenges of X-Ray Imaging Interpretation
  3. X-Ray Object Recognition Test Simulations
  4. The New TSA Assessment Test (aka 2D-3D)
  5. Bonus – Writing Skills Assessment Practice
  6. Course Conclusion

Customer Testimonial

I took my test today and few minutes late, I received an email saying that I pass. In order for you to pass the test, you have to be calm. Try not to stress it out….this course will definitely help. They will not show any of the pics u see on the course, but just knowing how to identify it help a lot. Iprep thanks a lot for this course.

Yvener Cooper

October 26, 2019 at 3:05 AM

Reviews

William N****

February 20, 2024 at 10:45 PM

This learning experience was a pleasant exeperience for me. The test package was well organized for manageable progression throughout the various categories.

Carl E*****

February 16, 2024 at 5:41 AM

This is the best test prep program and was well worth the investment. I have been out of school for 31 years so it was a needed expense for success with my chosen career path. I feel driven to pursue because I enjoy working with the traveling public.

Carl E*****

February 10, 2024 at 9:28 PM

Best iPREP course on the market which will save you time in the hiring process. I signed up for the additional 180 days to study the X-ray images to help be excel with my future TSA career. I feel driven to make a career change after 4-deployments and 20-years with the department of human services, Self Sufficiency Program.

Carl E*****

February 10, 2024 at 5:31 AM

Today I learned I passed my CBT test which I could never have done without the assistance of I prep. I have been out of school 31 years so I appreciate the advice of iPrep and say it was worth every penny, money well spent!

Carl E*****

February 7, 2024 at 3:54 PM

Great test prep, for limited time to prepare this is worth every penny. Many TSA tests are now the new assessment so Legacy is all but one happy memory

Steve G*****

January 27, 2024 at 7:43 PM

Should have more alternate tests. Otherwise no other complaints or suggestions. I like how there's courses than practice test and exam..Well worth it!

Zabihullha Z****

January 21, 2024 at 6:06 PM

This is a nice course so far, I knew nothing before taking this course but right now I am confident that I can pass the test.

Christine H***

December 11, 2023 at 2:56 PM

I've learned so much in what to look for, duties and responsibilities in taking this course! I'm nervous but this has made me feel so much better about my goals and knowing that I can achieve them. Thank you!

YUNLONG F*

November 13, 2023 at 5:50 AM

By studying this for X-ray related, I am more experienced as a screener and ready to be more confident in doing my daily job.

Ryan L**

August 18, 2023 at 7:58 PM

I'm delighted to share my experience with the practice course I recently acquired, just days prior to my CBT TSA exam. The impact it had on my preparation was profound and undeniable. I firmly believe that had I not availed myself of this invaluable resource, my success in the exam might have been in jeopardy. The components of the course that particularly stood out were the trail making exercises and image recognition challenges. These exercises, I found, were notably more intricate and demanding compared to those presented in the new TSA exam. This deliberate level of complexity served as a tremendous advantage. I acknowledge the intricacies inherent in 2D-3D image mapping, an aspect that often poses difficulties for many of us. Therefore, I respectfully propose that a heightened level of challenge be introduced to the course content, specifically in relation to this area of study. For instance, in lieu of presenting a mere selection of five numbers and five corresponding options, I advocate for an enhancement. By incorporating a range of five to six numbers, paired with letters spanning A to H, candidates could be offered a more comprehensive opportunity to navigate the complexities of 2D-3D image mapping. This approach would undoubtedly provide the examinee with a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. I humbly submit this suggestion with the utmost regard for the ongoing refinement of the practice course.