Free TSA Practice Test: English and X-Ray Sample Questions

Table of Contents

This page includes Free TSA practice test questions and answers, that will help you prepare for the TSA Computer-Based Test (TSA CBT).

It covers the following topics:

  • English Vocabulary – 4 questions.
  • Written Communication – 4 Questions.
  • Reading Comprehension – 4 Questions.
  • Object Recognition(X-Ray)- 4 Questions.
  • Test FAQs.

With concise and accurate preparation, you, too, can pass the test and move forward in the recruitment process.

Want to get a real taster of the test? Try out this free TSA CBT practice test >>

However, it’s important to remember that failing to pass will result in a six-month waiting period before you can apply to retake it.

To avoid that pitfall, keep reading!

TSA CBT English Test

The English test, also called the Writing Skills Assessment and English Test will examine your vocabulary, reading comprehension, and written communication.

TSA Vocabulary Questions

1. Which of the following is spelled correctly?

A. expirience.
B. experients.
C. experience.
D. expirence.

The correct answer is experience is derived from the Latin word “experientia.”

💡The TSA CBT, is a 2 ½ hour test comprised of two parts.

The first part is a Writing Skills and English Assessment Test consisting of 60 multiple-choice questions.

2. Which of the following is spelled correctly?

A. Wednesday
B. Wensday.
C. Wansdey.
D. Wedansday.

The correct answer is Wednesday. The name is descended from Old English Wōdnesdæg and Middle English Wednesdei, ‘day of Woden’, a reference to the Anglo-Saxon religion.

💡 Scoring high almost guarantees you enter the “Best Qualified” category, which ensures you’ll be one of the first to get a job offer

3. The putrid odor in the apartment was so strong that we almost gagged.
Which of the following is the meaning of “putrid” as used in the sentence above?

A. Pleasant.
B. Disgusting.
C. Tolerable.
D. Strange.


The correct answer is disgusting. Putrid means “having the odor of decaying flesh.”

Even if you did not know the definition of “putrid,” you could figure out what it means from the sentence.

“Putrid” must mean something unpleasant because we almost gagged because of it. “Pleasant,” “tolerable,” and “strange” are illogical in this context.

💡This test aims to ascertain whether you can speak, read, and write English fluently.

You will need to be comfortable with the basics of the English language and master punctuation and capitalization, spelling, and grammar errors.

4. Based on an analysis of word structure, the “penultimate” letter of the English alphabet is:

A. A.
B. B.
C. Y.
D. Z.

The correct answer is Y. The word derives from the Latin word paene (almost) and ultimus (last or final). The “almost final” letter of the alphabet is Y.

💡Make sure you are studying vocabulary questions appropriate for your skill level.

Practicing questions that are two easy or two hard will cause you to waste valuable preparation time.

For that, you need accurate and detailed preparation with a wide variety of exercises that will also match the difficulty level of the real test.

TSA Written Communication Questions

5. The following sentence contains an error of some kind. Please identify it.

The intoxicated truck driver claimed that he was driving within the speed limit but he failed to mention that his license was invalid.

A. Grammar.
B. Spelling.
C. Punctuation.
D. Capitalization.
E. No error found.

The correct answer is Punctuation before the word “but” a comma is needed to link the two independent clauses together.

💡In conjunction exercises, one or more words are used to connect two phrases, or clauses that are grammatically equal.

In the last case, it is used with a comma before it.

6. The following sentence contains an error of some kind. Please identify it.

In the Kampar district, the police officer told my friend Jody, who is from California, and I it was illegal to drive after 2 AM. Even if no alcohol was consumed.

A. Grammar.
B. Spelling.
C. Punctuation.
D. Capitalization.
E. No error found.

The correct answer is grammar. The pronoun “I” has only one usage: that of a subject pronoun. In this case, the police officer appears as the subject of the sentence, which makes the other pronouns in the sentence objects.

💡A Passive voice is a sentence in which the object, rather than the subject,
performs the action. Ex: Active: ‘Brenda bought a bike.’

Passive: ‘A bike was bought (by Brenda).’ JobTestPrep’s Preparation offers two detailed guides on grammatical terms which can help you perfect your written communication skills.

7. The following sentence contains an error of some kind. Please identify it.

The store is accepting beer bottles, just put them in the box outside.

A. Grammar.
B. Spelling.
C. Punctuation.
D. Capitalization.
E. No error found.

The correct answer is grammar. Rather than using a comma, use a semicolon after bottles to separate two independent clauses.

💡Comma splice is an error that involves the use of a comma instead of a conjunction, a period, or a semi-colon to connect two independent clauses.

8. The following sentence contains an error of some kind. Please identify it.

The gray eagle flew across the bridge, happily enjoying the quiet wind.

A. Grammar.
B. Spelling.
C. Punctuation.
D. Capitalization.
E. No error found.

The correct answer is punctuation. The sentence is incorrect because the comma following the phrase “happily enjoying” is redundant.

💡Use every opportunity you have to practice your writing, including writing emails and texts or even getting out a piece of paper and writing something in the appropriate grammatical form, and then measure your improvement against practice questions taken from the real test.

TSA Reading Comprehension Questions

9. Read the following passage and then answer the question.

A new law ensures that trafficked people are treated as victims of crime, not as illegal immigrants.

They must be properly assessed and provided with safe accommodation, benefits, and healthcare.

There are also requirements about breathing space for recovery and, if appropriate, witness protection in criminal

It is better to use public money for investment in victim support than for payment of compensation for official incompetence and mistreatment.

This law also strengthens police cooperation to align offenses and penalties.

So as to enhance the prospects of putting behind bars the criminals who run the modern-day slave trade.

Under the new law, which of the following is provided to victims of trafficking?

A.  In case of a threat, protection is provided.
B.  Contribution in cash.
C.  Costs associated with the accommodation are reduced.
D. The payment of compensation.


The correct answer is ‘In case of a threat, protection is provided’.

According to the passage, trafficking victims are entitled, in accordance with the new law, “if appropriate, [to] witness protection in criminal proceedings.”

In other words, they will remain safe under a witness protection program.
Answers (B), (C), and (D) are completely absent from the passage.

💡Reading comprehension will be tested by giving you passages to read, followed by multiple-choice questions of easy, medium, and hard difficulty levels.

10. Read the following passage and than answer the question.

To survive and thrive in an era of the digital onslaught of e-books, bookstores of the future should celebrate the book in all its forms: rare, second-hand, digital, self-printed, and so on.

Digital and hybrid readers should have the option of buying e-books in-store, and novice authors should have access to self-printing book machines.

The latter idea has been slower to take off in Britain but in America,
bookstores are finding it to be an important source of revenue.

In response to the growing number of self-published authors seeking shelf space, US bookstores have established programs enabling them to sell their books.

The programs clearly define their requirements and streamline the consignment process.

Profitable programs range from a no-questions-asked spot in a store’s consignment section to an elaborate, tiered event option,
including signings, readings, and publicity.

A. Passage B suggests a strategy for winning the battle against the appearance of e-books.

B. Passage A discusses ways bookstores should respond to ebook competition.

C. Passage B discusses how bookstores should deal with electronic book competition.

D. Passage A advocates appreciating the book in all its forms.

The correct answer is ‘Passage B suggests a strategy for winning the battle against the appearance of e-books.’

As we look at the distractors, we may realize that we must understand the main points as well as their differences and similarities.

The first passage focuses on methods for surviving the competition with e-books, so distracter B is appropriate.

Also, distracter D appears in the first passage, so it’s a correct distracter.

In the second passage, we learn about how US bookstores are dealing successfully with self-publishing authors.

Note that the focus of this passage is not fighting the war against e-books – distracter C is also valid, and so it comes down to distracter A.

💡In each question, you will have 90 seconds to read a short passage approximately 100 words long and provide a response to a multiple-choice question associated with the text.

The key to success is to apply tactics that will help you answer these questions quickly, which requires practice.

11. Read the following passage and then answer the question.

Eighteen months after the application is first filed, the Patent Office publishes the invention.

A further payment for an examination stage must be made within 6 months of the publication if the inventor wants to continue, having considered the Examiner’s search report.

The Examiner will then consider all the details of the application and decide whether to grant a patent or not.

If the patent is granted, there will be no more to pay until annual renewal fees are required from the end of the fourth year after the date of filing.

At what stage will the application be considered?

A. As soon as the patent is granted.
B. Upon publication of the invention.
C. When renewal fees are required to be paid again.
D. As soon as the stage payment has been examined.


As stated in the passage, “The Examiner will then consider all the details of the application and decide whether to grant a patent or not.”

The next step is: “A further payment, for an examination stage, must be made within 6 months of the publication” – Hence, the application will not be considered until the examination is paid for.

💡Speed-reading, attention to detail, and English proficiency are the primary assessment goals.

12. Read the following passage and then answer the question.

Consulting actuaries work with and advise high-level executives, especially in financial services, on matters of risk management and healthcare domains.

Actuaries having exhaustive knowledge of the insurance, pension, investment, or employee-benefits fields and can rise to administrative and executive positions in their companies.

Actuaries with decision-making capability progress to management positions in areas of advertising, marketing, accounting, underwriting, and data processing. (Taken from Investopedia).

Which areas can actuaries not be promoted to?

A. Advertising.
B. Insurance.
C. Accounting.
D. Underwriting.

The correct answer is Insurance. The passage notes that “actuaries … progress to management positions in areas of advertising, marketing, accounting, underwriting and data processing.” The only field not mentioned in this list is insurance.

💡Reading the questions first and then the paragraph is an age-old trick you should use when answering reading comprehension questions.

Reading the passage will be easier since you’ll know what you’re looking for. To find more prep tips Click here

TSA CBT X-Ray Test Questions

The X-Ray section is 25 minutes long and includes six sections, with 18 images each, totaling 100 questions. Here are some practice questions that will help you get started.

13. Is there a toy in the following scan?

Free TSA Practice Test
Free TSA Practice Test

A. Yes.
B. No.

There is a toy truck in the scan.

X-Ray answer 13

💡The test will present a significant learning curve because it relies on your ability to make quick decisions.

14. Can you see a pen in the following scan?


A. Yes.

In the scan, there is a pen. Due to its plastic composition, it appears green.

TSA X-Ray Answer 14

💡The X-ray assessment, where you scan images for dangerous and everyday objects, consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.

Note that you’ll have 15 seconds per question, so quick thinking is essential.

The only way to develop quick thinking is to practice questions similar to those on the actual test.

15. Can you spot a key in the following scan?

TSA X-Ray Question 15

A. Yes.
B. No.

This scan does not contain a key.

💡Understanding the different characteristics of dangerous objects the TSA asks you to learn (guns, knives, nail files, grenades, and hammers) is critical to be successful in this part of the test.

16. Can you find a shoe in the following scan?

TSA X-Ray Question 16

A. Yes.
B. No.


The shoe appears in the x-ray, its sole is green due to being constructed from dense rubber, and the top is light green due to being made from leather.

TSA X-Ray Answer 16

💡Part of the preparation for the test will require you to know the different densities of different materials (wood, metal, ceramic) and their corresponding colors when X-rayed.

TSA CBT Test Results

Table with TSA test results


How Do I Practice for The Tsa X-Ray Exam?

You will have to become skilled at quickly scanning an image (having memorized object shapes and the colors of different materials) and identifying what objects are present. 

A key part of the preparation is to familiarize yourself with everyday objects that people might pack so that you may become very literate in analyzing X-rays; this process is called object recognition.

These objects could include kitchen items like spoons, ladles, watches, jewelry, laptops, phones, battery chargers, shoes, and flashlights.

Is The TSA Test Difficult?

The English writing and skills assessment portion is set at a high-school difficulty level, testing elemental English language composition.

Therefore, properly studying this portion of the test should be easier than identifying X-rays.

However, the X-ray portion of the test demands regular exercises and practice to learn how to identify everything from dangerous to normal everyday objects.

Because the test is timed coupled with the large volume of X-ray images you must identify, you are in for a challenge.

However, the more you study the easier this will be for you! Because wrong answers are not counted against you, it is best to try and answer every question, regardless of confidence level.

Where Can I Take the TSA CBT Test?

Your recruiter should provide you with the closest testing location to you.

TSA Practice PDF Book Guide & Practice Tests

If you are a prospective TSO or someone who needs to specialize in airport security, know that 30% pass the TSA Computer-Based Test the first time.

The JobTestPrep PDF guide aims to help you understand how the real test is formatted, provides an introductory study guide, and encourages you to study for both parts of the exam using the PrePpack.

The PDF is intended for use in tandem with the pack.

The JobTestPrep pack will include the following:

  • A diagnostic test to help you focus your studies.
  • Test prep drills for both the X-ray and English sections.
  • Additional materials intended to help you prepare.

The PDF will provide preliminary information to help strengthen your object-recognition skills by going over dangerous objects such as guns, grenades, knives, and everyday objects.

In addition, the introductory study guide includes the different shapes and corresponding X-ray colors objects can take.

The English section of this TSA practice PDF will describe the three English skills you should expect to see tested and what to focus on to brush up on these skills.

These skills include reading comprehension, vocabulary, and written communication. In addition, the pack has English language drills to help ensure your success!

💡Ensure you pass the TSA Test with a high score and avoid waiting for 6 months to retake the test