TSA Test Preparation - X-Ray & English Skills Practice Tests

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What Is the TSA Test?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) assessment is also called the TSA Computer-Based Test (TSA CBT) and Screener Assessment Battery (SAB) and it comprises of two tests:

  1. The famous Screener Object Recognition Test (or X-Ray test), which asks test-takers to locate specific items in luggage, such as guns, bottles, drugs, shoes, or electronics.
  2. The Screener English Test, which asks you to answer questions on Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Written Communication.

The exam to become a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) is the same as the TSA test. Since the careers in Transportation Security Administration include security officers, it is most likely that you will need to take the TSA exam.

What Questions to Expect on the TSA CBT Test?

The TSA X-RAY Test

The TSA Screener Object Recognition Test (ORT), simply known as the X-ray test, evaluates how well you can spot suspicious items through X-ray screening.

You will be presented with images of luggage that have gone through an X-Ray machine. You will be given only a few seconds to view the luggage and quickly find the item you have been instructed to identify.

The types of items you will be asked to locate in the luggage include forbidden objects (knives, guns, etc.) as well as everyday items (toys, pens, kitchen utensils, and more). When you take this section of the test, there will be only two possible answers for each question: a bag either does or does not contain a designated item.

Correct answers will earn you points, but points will not be deducted for incorrect answers. Under time pressure, many test-takers force themselves to identify the given item, even if it's not really there, which causes them to lose precious points.

If you cannot find a designated item in an X-Ray Image, we advise that you assume it does not appear in the image.

For example, see if you can identify shoes/sandals in this X-Ray luggage picture:

TSA CBT X-Ray Sample Image

Want to try more TSA X-Ray sample questions or get your feet wet with a sample test? Visit our complete guide for the TSA test.

The TSA Screener English Test

The TSA Screener English Test (also known as the English proficiency test or the TSA writing skills test) examines your language and grammar skills and consists of three subtests. These include the:

TSA Reading Comprehension Test

This part of the TSA test evaluates your English language abilities, reading aptitude, and speed-reading skills. You will be provided with written passages, each of which will be followed by multiple-choice questions. 

Sample question:
Though 27 countries, including Britain, France, the Soviet Union, Germany and Italy, signed a Non-Intervention pact in September 1936, the war did soon take on an international element. Despite signing the pact, the Soviet Union did provide military assistance to the Republicans, and the Nationalist rebels were similarly supported by Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. Britain and France remained theoretically neutral, though in practice Britain was more neutral to the Nationalists than it was to the Republicans.

The Nationalists were supported by:

A. Britain

B. Italy and Germany

C. Germany and the Soviet Union

D. France

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is B. Italy and Germany

The passage states that "the Nationalist rebels were similarly supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy."

TSA Vocabulary Test

This part of the TSA assessment evaluates your vocabulary knowledge, spelling capabilities when recognizing words that are spelled incorrectly and correctly, aptitude when finding two words with opposite meanings (antonyms), and ability to identify two words with the same meaning (synonyms). 

Sample question:
Select the word that is spelled incorrectly

A. Judgement

B. Permenant

C. Dialogue

D. Adjacent

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is B.

The correct spelling should be "Permanent" and not "Permenant"

Written Communication Test

This part of the TSA exam measures your ability to choose the sentence that presents the provided information in the best way, as well as how well you organize sentences into paragraphs and make restatement choices. 

You will also be scored based on how efficiently you organize ideas in a logical manner, and how you can recognize correct and incorrect punctuation and capitalization. Additionally, you will be assessed based on your English grammar, sentence completion, and proper use of syntax skills.

Sample question:
Select the sentence that represents the best example of English grammar.

A. Researchers have developed new headphones that block out extra noise while enhancing sound quality.

B. We excepted the award from the committee with honor and dignity.

C. He bought designer racing shoes since his running next week's marathon.

D. A trip is needed in order for the factory to assure, that the product will be distributed in a timely manner.

Answer & Explanation

Answer A demonstrates correct use of tense.

Answer B is wrong - it should be "accepted" and not "excepted".

Answer C is wrong - it should be "he's" and not "his".

Answer D is wrong - the comma is used incorrectly.

TSA Test Preparation

You may be asking why it’s so important to practice for the TSA exam beforehand. The answer is simple. Acquiring an accurate and high-quality TSA practice test can help you gain in-depth, precise, and reliable resources.

By practicing for each step of the TSA assessment process, you will gain the confidence needed to succeed!

Our TSA computer-based test practice includes:

  • TSA diagnostic test: This diagnostic test will help save you time by focusing on your studying. It is recommended to take this test before continuing to the rest of the pack.
  • Writing Skills Assessment: preparation pack includes 47 drills to help you improve your vocabulary, writing, and grammar skills for this section.
  • X-Ray Test: Our preparation pack consists of 14 practice tests to help prepare you for this section. Our test gives you 15 seconds to answer each of the questions and over 30 seconds to view the objects. The real TSA X-Ray exam will give you approximately 15 seconds per question.
  • Study guide: Elaborates on the different methods for analyzing X-ray images.


Yulia Pratt, USA
Verified Reviewer
"I applied for the TSA position and I got an invitation for the computer test. I went online and typed on google "the TSA test" and the website JobTestPrep.com came up. I read some of the reviews and decided to purchase the TSA Test Prep. I learned a lot from that test. I took the test the next day, and guess what? I passed thanks to this test prep! The test prep is really good, it has exactly what I had to do during the test. I highly recommend this website for anyone looking for a job or trying to pass a test. It's really worth the money. It helped me, and I'm sure it will help you too!"


The TSA Hiring Process

To apply for the TSA exam, you must be a U.S. citizen, be at least 18 years old, and possess a high school diploma. The TSA screener test measures your skills in common object recognition, screening awareness, and customer service.

TSA's hiring process involves six steps:

  • Computer-based exam
  • TSA color vision exam
  • Interview
  • Drug screen
  • Medical evaluation
  • Extensive background investigation

TSA Interview Questions and Answers

The TSA interview takes place in order to get to know you better and determine if your requirements, personality, goals, and disposition all fit the role you are applying for.

Examples of TSA interview questions and how you can answer them:

Question: What security experience do you have?
Answer: If you have any experience in security, now is the time to share where you previously worked, what your job title was, and discuss your everyday responsibilities. If not, be open about the fact that you are new to the field, yet you are a fast learner and you know that you have what it takes.

Question: Why should we hire you?
Answer: To give a clear and impressive answer to this question, you should take some time before the interview to think about your positive traits and abilities which set you apart. Make sure they are congruent with what the TSA is looking for.


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