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About TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) holds authority over the security of the travelling public in the United States. To become a TSA employee, candidates are required to take the TSA computer-based test (TSA CBT test). This assessment includes two sections; one which assesses your ability to read X-Ray images (the Screener Object Recognition Test), and one which measures your English writing skills (the Screener English Test).



Our free TSA practice test and sample questions gives you a boost by offering X-Ray images which you can use to answer related questions and reading & writing drills.

TSA CBT Diagnostic Test Teaser:

The TSA test is split up into two separate sections, the X-Ray and writing skills tests.


1. TSA X-Ray Image Test

This test is also known as the screener object recognition test (ORT) which assesses your ability to locate suspicious items on an X-Ray screen. The specific items you may need to find in the luggage include guns, drugs, shoes, bottles, or electronics. 

What type of questions to expect?

You will be asked to find various types of weapons buried in luggage that has passed through an X-Ray machine. To accurately discern the weapon it is important to be familiar with the parts of different weaponry and understand how the colors of the X-Ray image can help you identify it.

TSA X-Ray Sample Questions

In the following X-Ray examples, you will be asked to identify different types of weapons found in X-Ray pictures of luggage. The following images are examples of how guns and knives may appear. In the following questions you will be asked to determine if one of them appears in the images that follow.

TSA Exam Example

X-Ray Sample Question 1

TSA Xray Sample Question

Please select one correct answer:

Answer & Explanation

In this question there is a gun with a full magazine inserted. The handle of the bag is used to cover its barrel which appears dark blue–black since it is metallic. The grip appears blue and has bullets inside. The cases of the bullets appear brighter than the tips.

TSA X-Ray Sample 1 Answer

Tip: Guns may appear at various angles. Therefore, focus on the outline of each item and try to visualize how the item will appear at different angles.

X-Ray Sample Question 2

TSA Exam Xray Preparation

Please select one correct answer:

Answer & Explanation

In this question there is a kitchen knife. Its blade can appear in different shades of blue, and it is attached to a handle which is usually made from organic materials (such as plastic) and therefore appears orange.

TSA X-Ray Sample 2 Answer

Tip: Keep in mind ceramic knives may appear green. Therefore, you ought to familiarize yourself with the outlines of an item more than with its colors.

Try our free sample test to get more TSA CBT drills >>


2. TSA Writing Skills Test

The Screener English Test, or the English proficiency test, is used to evaluate your grammatical capabilities and language skills.

Three sub tests included in this section: reading comprehension, vocabulary and written communication test.

What type of questions to expect?

This Vocabulary question is based on antonyms. Below you will be given a word and asked to find the opposite word from among several options:

TSA Writing Skills Sample Question 1

IMPERIOUS is the opposite of...

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is (C) subservient.

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.


In the following Written Communication question, you will be provided with a sentence and asked to fill in the blanks. The twist is that you will be provided with a list of word pairs, some will be appropriate for the blanks but with spelling errors, while other pairs will not be the correct at all.

TSA Writing Skills Sample Question 2

By ________ the fossil remains of animals, paleontologists can learn much about their ________.

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is (B).

By examining the fossil remains of animals, palaeontologists can learn much about their appearance.


In the following Reading Comprehension question, you will be provided with a paragraph and asked to answer a question about it. Choose the correct answer.

TSA Writing Skills Sample Question 3

There's little wonder Russians are toasting oil: These are boom times. Global oil prices have increased tenfold since 1998, and Russia has pulled ahead of Saudi Arabia as the world's top crude oil producer. The Kremlin's budget now overflows with funds for new schools, roads, and national defense projects, and Moscow's nouveau riche are plunking down millions of dollars for mansion-scale "dachas."

The Russians now produce crude oil because:

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is (C).

According to the passage: "There's little wonder Russians are toasting oil: These are boom times. Global oil prices have increased tenfold since 1998." Russia has been producing oil as the prices rise.

Try our free sample test to get more TSA CBT drills >>

TSA Test Tips:

Regardless of what position you are applying for, make sure to bring your A-game if you want to achieve a high score on the TSA computer-based test. Check out our TSA test advice below to help you prepare for the TSA exam:

  1. Read the instructions carefully before answering questions.
  2. Answer every question, since there is no penalty for wrong answers.
  3. Scanning an X-Ray picture is not a skill you were born with. Therefore, in order to succeed it is essential to practice.
  4. Under time pressure, it is normal to mistake a permitted and a prohibited item in an X-Ray picture for one another, which may cause you to mark a wrong answer choice. It is thus important to gain confidence so you can identify items both quickly and accurately.
  5. Getting familiar with objects that may appear in the X-Ray exam beforehand has a huge impact. It will make finding them much easier!
  6. Get our full TSA PrepPack™ for comprehensive preparation including drills and a comprehensive study guide.


What does the TSA recruitment process include?

Answer: The TSA hiring process consists of six steps; taking the computer-based exam, color vision test, an in-person interview, a drug screening test, and background and medical investigation. 

Question: How is the TSA X-Ray image test scored?


The applicants' scores are divided into three categories:

  1. Best Qualified
  2. Highly Qualified
  3. Qualified

Applicants who scored "Best Qualified" have the highest chance of getting a job offer.

How to Practice with Our TSA Test Prep

Our TSA online TSA study guide and practice tests are specially designed to provide you with step-by-step drills and answer explanations. If you are interested in a specific TSA test, such as the TSA CBT test, TSA English Proficiency, and the TSA Image Interpretation tests, our comprehensive TSA PrepPacks™ include all the preparation materials you need to succeed!


Please note that our practice tests are more compatible with desktops rather than mobile phones, therefore, we highly recommend practicing from your computer in order to simulate the real test.


Customer Recommendation
Yulia Pratt, USA
Verified Reviewer
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