The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a government agency that oversees the security of transportation systems within and connecting to the United States. In reaction to the September 11 attacks, the TSA was created to help improve airport security procedures and Air travel security as a whole.

TSA hires individuals to serve in a variety of roles, such as transportation security officers, transportation security specialists, and other technical and administrative positions. TSA also offers student internships and fellowships for college students seeking to gain aviation experience. Additionally, TSA offers career paths for veterans interested in serving our nation’s transportation systems. With a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, TSA offers competitive salaries, generous benefits, and supports employees in exploring their professional potential.


What is TSA CBT?

In order to join TSA, candidates must first pass the TSA Computer-Based Test (TSA CBT). The TSA CBT tests an individual’s knowledge of airport safety and security issues, such as passenger screening procedures, aviation security regulations, and operations. The test consists of multiple-choice questions from various subject areas and requires applicants to demonstrate their understanding of TSA procedures.

Who is the TSA CBT Test for?

The CBT test is mainly designed for candidates applying for the role of Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) and Transportation Security Specialists (TSSs). The test is also open to individuals looking to apply for other positions in the agency.

TSA expects applicants to demonstrate a mastery of the knowledge and skills related to their job role. Candidates must be able to answer questions about security regulations and procedures. Additionally, candidates are expected to possess strong problem-solving skills.

What skills are being evaluated?

The TSA CBT evaluates a candidate’s knowledge of the following topics:

  • Airport security regulations
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) procedures
  • Aviation industry operations
  • Passenger screening and inspection protocols
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Customer service
  • Interpersonal communication and team-building skills

Parts Of The TSA CBT Test

The TSA CBT Test contains 160 multiple-choice questions on a variety of topics, including aviation security, customer service, problem-solving, decision-making, and communication. The test is administered by a professional in a controlled environment and takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete.

The test is divided into two sections:

The TSA’s English Language (Written Skills) Assessment

The TSA Language (written skills) assessment gauges your understanding of written English and if you have the ability to read, write, and comprehend it. The test comprises multiple-choice questions that examine comprehension, grammar, writing style, and organization.

Structure of the TSA Written Skills Assessment

This test consists of 60 questions, which are further divided into three sections.

  • Vocabulary – English vocabulary questions are designed to test your different language comprehension levels. They can seem more complicated than they actually are because you may be asked to replace synonyms or antonyms in a sentence or spell words correctly.
  • Reading Comprehension – The questions in this category will test your understanding of English by presenting you with a paragraph, followed by a multiple-choice question with four optional answers. The paragraphs will vary in length and complexity. You should take approximately one and a half minutes to answer each question.
  • Writing communication – The last category contains a variety of different types of exercises. This section tests your writing communication skills with grammar, spelling, and punctuation–all essential if you want a position that asks you to write reports or analyze written data. Furthermore, this part gauges your general understanding of the English language.

The Intent of the TSA English Language (Written Skills) Assessment

The TSA English Language (Written Skills) assessment is designed to evaluate your ability to read and comprehend written material and your writing skill. Beyond this, it also assesses your general understanding and use of the English language.

Importance of the TSA Written Skills Assessment

This test is essential for all TSOs who will have to rely on their written communication skills when communicating with travelers and other personnel.

How Difficult is the TSA Written Skills Assessment?

The English Language (Written Skills) assessment is a relatively easy task. However, candidates should prepare and practice for the test to ensure they understand the material and can answer questions accurately.

Tips for scoring better in the TSA Written Skills Assessment

By taking more advanced preparation courses, applicants can better understand the topics covered on the test.

Additionally, reading comprehension books and English-language textbooks can also be beneficial in helping candidates prepare for the TSA Written Skills Assessment.

TSA Object Recognition (X-Ray) Test

The TSA Object Recognition (X-Ray) Test evaluates your understanding of how to properly use x-ray machines in accordance with TSA regulations and procedures. The TSA X-Ray Test’s image recognition section shows how well you identify banned items in x-ray images. There are questions about how to operate baggage scanners and X-Ray machines. You will be given several x-ray images and must identify any dangerous items or illegal substances in the pictures.

Structure of the TSA Object Recognition (X-Ray) Test

There are 100 multiple-choice questions on the TSA Object Recognition (X-Ray) Test, which must be completed in approximately 30 minutes. The test has three sections:

  • Machine knowledge – This section will test your understanding of the TSA’s protocols, policies, and procedures for operating X-Ray machines.
  • Image Recognition or (ORT) – This section will test whether you can identify items that are not allowed on x-ray images.
  • TSA Operations – This section will test your understanding of TSA operations, including baggage scanning procedures.

The Intent of the TSA Object Recognition (X-Ray) Test

The TSA Object Recognition (X-Ray) Test is designed to evaluate the knowledge and skills of candidates for TSO positions. This includes their ability to operate X-Ray machines properly, identify prohibited items in luggage and x-ray images, as well as understand TSA policies and procedures.

Importance of the TSA Object Recognition (X-Ray) Test

The TSA Object Recognition (X-Ray) Test is integral to the TSO selection process. The test will help determine whether or not candidates have the knowledge and skills necessary to safely operate X-Ray machines, identify prohibited items, and follow all regulations and procedures.

How Difficult is the TSA Object Recognition (X-Ray) Test?

The TSA Object Recognition (X-Ray) Test is a challenging exam. However, with adequate preparation and practice, candidates should be able to pass the test.

Tips for scoring better in the TSA Object Recognition (X-Ray) Test

Before taking the test, candidates should read up on the TSA’s regulations and procedures related to X-Ray machines. Additionally, online resources allow applicants to practice recognizing items on x-ray images. The more familiar you are with the material, the better your chances of success on the TSA X-Ray Test.