Free TSA CBT Practice Test [X-ray & English] With Full Answers
Arbel TSA CBT Test Expert

This sample test was created by Arbel, the TSA CBT expert at JobTestPrep.

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The TSA CBT test is divided into two parts: X-ray object recognition test and an English Skills test.

Let's start with the section that most candidates are nervous about - the TSA X-ray test.

Free TSA CBT X-Ray Practice Test

On the TSA X-Ray test section, you'll need to quickly decide whether you identify a given object or not, based on the question's instructions.

These objects may include forbidden items such as knives and other weapons, as well as everyday items, like toys, kitchenware, electronics, etc. Note that you'll have 15 seconds per question on the real test.

Toys, Pens, Keys, and Shoes

Can you identify a toy in the X-ray image?

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Toy


Yes, there's a toy in this X-ray scan.

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Toy Answer1

A toy is a general term. In this bag, there is a toy truck.

The truck is entirely organic; thus, it appears orange, making it very hard to identify. There are no specific ways of identifying this item other than knowing it in advance.

If you are asked to identify a unique item, like the toy truck in this question, focus on its outlines to learn what it looks like.

Avoid memorizing its colors as they may change from one question to the next since toys can be made from different materials and have different densities.


Can you identify a pen in the X-ray image?

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Pen


There's a pen in the scan. It appears green as it's made of plastic.

TSA X-Ray Practice Answer Pen


Can you identify a key in the X-ray image? 

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Key


There’s no key in this scan.


Can you identify a shoe in the X-ray image?

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Shoe


A shoe appears in the x-ray, the sole appears bright green as it is made of dense rubber and the top part appears light green as it is made out of leather.

TSA X-Ray Practice Answer Shoe


Tips for practicing luggage scanning

Search the items using a method to make sure you don't miss anything. Try scanning the bags in snake-like movements or dividing the suitcase into four parts and searching each one separately. Don’t forget to examine the outlines of the luggage for items that might be hidden there.


Water Bottles, Kitchen, and Working Tools

Can you identify a water bottle in the X-ray image?

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Water Bottle


There’s no water bottle in this X-ray scan.


Can you identify a kitchen tool in the X-ray image?

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Kitchen Tool


A ladle appears in the X-ray scan. The handle appears orange as it is made of wood. Its bowl appears blue as it is made of metal.

TSA X-Ray Practice Answer Kitchen Tool


Can you identify a working tool in the X-ray?

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Working Tool


There's no working tool in this x-ray scan.


How to analyze X-rays using color density

X-Ray machines present images that are colored based on the density of the scanned items. The denser the material, the darker it will appear.

Blue represents dense materials, such as metal, hard (dense) plastics, and different parts of weaponry.

Green represents less dense materials such as plastics and alloys (less dense metals).

Orange represents the least dense material, which is mostly biological material.

Note that although most guns, knives and grenades are made of metal, they might come in different densities, thus appearing in the TSA exam as green or even orange!


Watches, Electronics, and Flashlights

Can you identify a watch in the X-ray image?

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Watch


There's a watch in this scan:

TSA X-Ray Practice Answer Watch


Can you identify an electronic device in the X-ray image?

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Electronics


There's no electronic item in this X-ray scan.


Electronic items usually share the following traits:

  • A plug: pay attention to the different kinds of plugs (EU, US, AU, UK)
  • Colors: Many electronic items have a plastic wrap and inside of it are metal parts. The density of the metal parts shows as green or blue, so you can notice the chips, batteries, wires and other metallic components inside the electronic object.


Can you identify a flashlight in the X-ray image?

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Flashlight


There's no flashlight in this X-ray scan.


What to do if you're running out of time:

  • When the required item is not found and the time is about to end, assume that the item does not appear in the image. 
  • Under tight time constraints, it is common to mistake ordinary objects for targeted objects. Therefore, you should only mark 'Yes' if you actually see the targeted object.


Can you identify a knife in the X-ray image?

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Knife


Yes, there's a utility knife in this X-ray scan.

TSA X-Ray Practice Answer Knife

Utility knives may appear open or closed. In this question, the knife is closed. The blade and its other tools are visible inside of it.

Remember, if a shape has different colors, trying to understand them separately may help you identify the knife inside.


Important note about knives:

On the actual TSA Computer Based Test, you'll need to identify different kinds of knives, from large knives to utility knives, sharp nail filers, and even scissors.


Can you identify a gun in the X-ray image?

TSA X-Ray Practice Question Gun


There's no gun in this X-ray scan.


Tips for identifying guns in an X-ray image interpretation test

Guns come in different sizes, types and colors. Most of the types share the same distinctive features which can allow you to identify them on an X-Ray scan:

  1. Slide: It is usually the densest part of the gun, and therefore it usually has the darkest color.
  2. Trigger: It maybe hidden in some angles, while in other X-Ray scans it may become a distinctive feature which is crucial to identifying the gun.
  3. Grip: This is the part which is used to hold the gun. It includes a space designated for a magazine.


Can you identify a grenade in the X-ray?

TSA X-ray Practice Question Grenade


Yes, there's a grenade in this X-ray scan.

TSA X-ray Practice Question Answer Grenade

When identifying an object that may be a grenade, look for the prominent features a grenade has – the lever and safety pin. The grenade in this question is masked using a tablet.

The grenade appears black because of the increased density of the grenade and the tablet together. Its lever, however, is sticking out and indicates its location.


Don't rely solely on the grenade's color

Usually, the body of the grenade appears in green or blue. However, it is better to learn to identify its parts rather than relying on the colors, as they may appear different in other X-Ray machines.


Additional Tips for the X-Ray Questions

  • Some States may use X-Ray images with different colors or black and white colors. The principles of X-Ray image scanning, however, stay the same: scan the bag as you practiced and search for the distinctive features of the items you are looking for. In black and white images, denser materials (metal) will appear in darker colors, while organic (less dense) material will appear brighter.
  • On the actual test, you may encounter everyday items that you haven't seen before in your practice sessions. This should not alarm you. Scanning an X-Ray image is a skill, and practicing is the way to master it. Every item given in the exam will be shown in a preview before the questions. Learn the item’s traits and use them to locate them in each question, as you practiced.
  • Although the preview before the questions is helpful, do not look for the exact item that was shown on it when you see the actual question. The preview is only an example, and the question itself will likely contain an item from the same category (shoes, for instance), but from a different kind or a different angle.


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Free TSA CBT English Practice Test

The TSA screener English test (also known as the TSA Writing Skills Assessment) is a multiple choice test that includes three topics: Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Written Communication.

Reading Comprehension

Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow.

A growing body of research suggests that the regular, high-level use of more than one language may actually improve early brain development. According to several different studies, command of two or more languages aggrandizes the ability to focus in the face of distraction, decide between competing alternatives, and disregard irrelevant information. These essential skills are grouped together, known in brain terms as ‘executive function’ and research suggests they develop ahead of time in bilingual children. While no one has yet identified the exact mechanism by which bilingualism boosts brain development, the advantage likely stems from the bilingual’s need to continually select the right language for a given situation.

#1 The research suggests that ‘executive function’ increases with the number of languages mastered.

  1. True on the basis of the passage.
  2. False on the basis of the passage.
  3. Not possible to say if the statement is true or false on the basis of the passage.


The correct answer is (3).

The passage mentions differences expected in ‘executive functions’ of the brain between children who have command of a single language and children who have mastered more than one.

However, it cannot be inferred that this effect continues as the number of languages continues to grow. For instance, it is not clear whether the difference in executive functions is also present between children who have command of two languages and children who have command of more than two languages.

#2 Which one of the following provides the best summary of the main point of the passage?

  1. It’s recommended to know more than one language.
  2. Bilingualism has significant advantages.
  3. Bilinguals have difficulties selecting the right language
  4. Bilingualism contributes to the development of ‘executive functions’.


The correct answer is (4).

The passage introduces two main themes: bilingualism and ‘executive functions’, emphasizing how the two are connected. The only distracter that offers an insight into this connection is D.

All three remaining distracters focus either on bilingualism or ‘executive functions’, failing to acknowledge the essence of the passage.


Tips for Reading Comprehension questions

  • Read the questions before the passage. This will help you understand what you should be looking for in the text.
  • Choose the easiest questions first. For example a question asking what a word means in the given context or a question asking how two statements are related.
  • Don’t try to assume anything outside of the text. Everything you need to answer each question can be found within the passages themselves. Disregard any answer that is not supported by the text.
  • For 'True/False/Cannot Say' questions, if you are having trouble answering any question, the most likely answer will be 'cannot say'.



Pecuniary most nearly means

  1. Affection
  2. Scant
  3. Unique
  4. Monetary


The correct answer is (4).

Pecuniary is related to money or banking, and means financial or monetary, as suggested by option 4.


IMPERIOUS is the opposite of...

  1. Arrogant
  2. Moody
  3. Subservient
  4. Quiet
  5. Stormy


The correct answer is (3).

Imperious means "domineering in a haughty manner; dictatorial; overbearing," so the antonym is subservient. Arrogant is a similar word but not a synonym. Quiet and stormy are not related.

Therefore, the correct answer is subservient.


Tips for Synonym and Antonyms Questions:

  • Eliminate at least two answer choices that are synonyms or close to each other. If they have close meaning, it means that they're not the correct answer.
  • Watch for the suffix and prefix of words to help you understand the meaning of a word. For example, the prefix "de" means "reverse" or "change" (declassify, demotivate, etc.), and the prefixes il/im/in/ir mean "not" (illegal, insecure, etc.).
  • In Antonym questions, eliminate words based on their positive or negative meanings. If the given word is positive, you can quickly eliminate all the answers that have a positive connotation and vice versa.


Written Communication (Fault Finding)

Identify which type of error appears in the sentence below:

Mrs. Qualitrix's meeting, has been postponed, due to a doctor's appointment.

  1. Grammar
  2. Spelling
  3. Punctuation and capitalization
  4. None of the above


The correct answer is (3) - punctuation and capitalization.

According to the English language's punctuation and capitalization rules, a comma should never separate the subject and the verb. The correct way to write the sentence - "Mrs. Qualitrix's meeting has been postponed due to a doctor's appointment" without any commas.


Identify which type of error appears in the sentence below:

The heat of the desert affected the traveler greatly, and he regretted not leaving with the professor whom had offered him a ride to the city.

  1. Grammar
  2. Spelling
  3. Punctuation and capitalization
  4. None of the above


The correct answer is (1).

According to the English language's grammar rules, 'whom' should be applied when the noun refers to objects rather than the sentence's subject.

If you can replace the word with "she" or "he," use "who." if you can replace it with "her" or "him," use "whom." In this part of the sentence – "the professor… had offered him a ride" – the professor is the subject, and the traveler is the object.


To become better at fault finding, get to know these common grammar mistakes:

  • No commas or unnecessary commas: adding a comma where it's inappropriate or forgetting to add a comma where needed.
  • Pronoun disagreement: for example - "Every TSA agent must wear their own badge."
  • Mistakes in apostrophe usage
  • Sentence fragments, which are sentences without a subject and a verb.
  • No clear antecedent. For example - "The TSO found the passenger's Swiss knife, and he was surprised."
  • Mixing up spellings, such as you're/your, to/too, there/their, etc.
  • Capitalization mistakes


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About the Author:

Arbel is JobTestPrep's TSA CBT exam specialist. He has over 15 years' experience working as a psychometric test instructor and has led JobTestPrep's efforts to provide thousands of TSA test-takers with the most accurate online prep possible since 2017. You can contact him at

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