Understanding how your score will be tallied is an important part of the preparation process. It’s not enough just to get by, you need to surpass competing applicants or all that hard work will be for nothing.
The TSA uses a Computer Based CBT Test to quickly figure out which applicants will be moving forward in the process, and who will be going home.
And between those who are moving forward, they will better be able to prioritize candidates for hiring. You want to ensure that you get as high on the list as possible.
This guide will help you better understand and prepare for everything you need to know about CBT scoring.
Ensure you pass the TSA Test with a high score and avoid waiting for 6 months to retake the test
Ensure that you don’t delay your career as a TSA agent and take a look at this TSA CBT preparation guide.
As mentioned above, it’s important you do well on this test to proceed in the TSA hiring process. However, we warn you that this test is not easy and only has a 32% pass rate.
That’s why TSA uses this test to quickly see who can be moved to the next round. But don’t let the pass rate scare you- with this guide and the practice tests, we are confident you will pass the CBT and continue your way through the hiring process.
Let’s get into the categorization system TSA uses to place candidates after receiving their test results. Each candidate that passes the test will be placed into one of three categories:
Qualified: Being put into this category means you met the minimum qualifications to pass. Unfortunately, just because you passed, being placed into this category isn’t exactly where you want to be.
Being placed in this category means you will move forward in the application process, but will only be selected for a job offer after people in the below two categories are already offered available positions.
Highly Qualified: This category is a bit better, but people are still only offered a position after applicants who are placed in the first category are offered positions.
Best Qualified: This is the category you want to be placed into! Do your absolute best on the test and prepare as much as you can to get into this category.
Applicants placed in this category are selected first when a job offer opens up. Since people in this category are selected first, they also have a great chance of being selected for the job/location they want!
Some candidates placed in the ‘qualified’ or ‘highly qualified’ categories have to wait several months or even two years to be offered a job.
Again, I want to emphasize the importance of preparing for and doing well on this test so you can land your dream role and not have to wait forever to get it!
The scoring is a little different on this exam than most tests you’re probably used to. This test only tallies up your correct answers.
So, if you get an answer incorrect, there is no penalty against your score.
There are even some portions of the test that are multiple-choice, so for those sections, you might as well take your best guess and hope you get the right answer for an additional point. If you get it wrong, there is no penalty at all.
The most important thing to note is to make sure you answer each and every question. Even if you don’t know the answer, it’s okay to guess.
You have a better chance of getting a higher score if you answer it right compared to leaving it blank and guaranteeing yourself no additional points.
You will receive the results fairly quickly, as the test is easy to score since it’s electronic.
Usually, applicants receive an email within 30 minutes after completing their test. Just remember, if you pass, don’t take that as a job offer.
The TSA hiring process is a lengthy process, so remain focused throughout the rest of the steps. But, if you do pass, congratulations! You’ll be moved on to the next step!
If you don’t end up passing the test, you are able to try again. However, the second time is your final chance to pass. You also have to wait six months until you’re able to apply for any TSO position again.
Try your best on the first test so you don’t have to worry about this! The process is long enough without having to go back and start from the application stage!
We’re confident that if you prepare yourself for this test, and take the practice test mentioned above, you will do just fine! We hope this guide helped you out and want to wish you the best of luck in your TSA hiring process journey!
If you don’t score as high as you would’ve liked, you may be interested in trying to retake the test to try and do better or to place in a higher category.
Unfortunately, TSA does not let you retake the test to try and score higher.
The best thing you can do is make sure you are prepared and do everything you can to prep for the CBT test.
Check out the video below to learn the best tips for passing the TSA CBT and how to score high enough to get placed into the “best qualified” category.