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TSA Object Recognition Test (ORT) & Computer Based Test (CBT) Online Preparation & Free Sample Questions – 2024

Pre-Employment Tests

What Is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)?

TSA stands for transportation security administration. They are a United States government agency created in 2001. TSA is tasked with the safety and security of people travelling in, out, and around the country. TSA employs over fifty thousand people who screen almost two million travelers every day.


What Is TSA’s Hiring Process?

TSA utilizes a handful of tools to screen potential TSA agents. These tools will evaluate the applicant’s aptitude, diligence, and emotional intelligence. The results of these screenings will inform the administration of the applicant’s ability to dutifully carry out the responsibilities of the job. Each applicant must pass five different stages. These stages include:

  • Application
  • Computer Based Test
  • Color Vision Test
  • Interview
  • Medical Evaluation & Background Check


Application Process

The TSA application requires basic information from job seekers. Work experience, education, and other relevant credentials are necessary for the application. TSA also includes a handful of questions concerning the applicant’s background and personal life. There may also be inquiries about people skills and the ability to stand for long hours.

Job seekers should be honest and straightforward on their application because the information given is verified during the last stage of the interview process.


Computer Based Test (CBT)

The computer-based test is the second stage of TSA’s selection process. Applicants will receive this test after they have submitted their application. The CBT is sent to the applicant via email with instructions to complete the assessment within a week.

This test contains two sections which make up the bulk of TSA agent’s responsibilities. These sections are English fluency and the object recognition test, or ORT. Below are more details on TSA’s CBT.

  • English Skills
    The TSA written skills test appraises three areas: vocabulary, reading comprehension, and written correspondence. The vocabulary section focuses on synonyms, antonyms, and spelling. The questions concern interchanging words, incorrect spellings of commonly mistaken words, and proper usage of words like there, they’re, and their. The reading comprehension section presents a passage that must be analyzed for main ideas and certain details. Following the passage will be a statement that the test taker must compare to four to five answer choices. The test taker should choose the answer that accurately finishes the statement. Finally, there is the written correspondence section. This section analyzes grammar skills, ability to structure sentences, and delivery of information. The test taker will receive short instructions such as “Choose the statement that makes the most sense” or “Which sentence uses the best grammar?”. Then, they must read and choose from multiple answer choices.
  • Object Recognition Test (ORT)
    The object recognition test revolves around assessing x-ray images for contraband and other restricted items. This section is structured like a true or false test. The image will pop up on the screen and the test taker is given a brief amount of time to choose whether the item listed in the instructions is or isn’t in the bag. These items may be sharp objects, aerosol cans, or weapons. The answer options include “Contains Object” or “Does Not Contain Object”.


Color Vision Test

The TSA color vision test ensures that the applicant can distinguish between a variety of colors, saturations, and hues. This test is typically administered in person before the interview.

During this assessment, candidates must sit twenty inches away from the materials. They will have three minutes to complete this assessment. Throughout this time, the candidate will be given a reference cap along with fifteen similar caps. The candidate must pick the cap that most closely resembles the cap before it.

After the assessment, the administrator will flip over the caps to reveal the numbers on them and begin grading the candidate’s performance. If the candidate fails the first attempt, they will be asked to immediately retake the assessment. Each candidate is only given two chances to pass the color vision test for TSA.



The interview is mostly concerned with the candidate’s behavior and personality. The questions will be competency-based. This means that the interviewer will ask questions about the candidate’s past experiences and behavior in order to predict how they may act in the future. The answers to these questions let the interviewer know how well the candidate would fit in with the work environment.

Common TSA interview questions include:

  • Tell us about a time when you had to deal with an irate customer. How did you handle this?
  • Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  • Why are you interested in TSA?
  • If (celebrity name) came to your ticket stand and stated that they didn’t have their ID, but you knew who they were what would you do?
  • Tell us about a time when you had to multitask during a project. How did this affect the outcome of the project?


Medical Evaluation & Background Check

The medical evaluation, background check, and drug test are the last part of TSA’s interview process. The candidate must meet particular requirements in terms of their criminal record and fitness for the job.

The fitness for the job includes being able to stand for long hours and lift heavy items on occasion. Candidates must also prove that they have no illicit drugs in their system.


How to Prepare for TSA’s Online Assessments?

TSA’s computer-based test is a tricky part of the selection process. Many candidates find themselves flustered between the content and time limits. TSA also cuts upwards of twenty-five percent of candidates during this stage of the hiring process because their scores do not meet the predetermined benchmarks.

If you feel nervous about the TSA computer-based test, then you may benefit from some preparation. A common way of preparing for this test is by using online practice tests. The online practice tests provide you with an authentic testing experience. This allows you to get comfortable with the questions and structure of the assessment. Online practice tests especially come in handy for the object recognition test. Here, you get the opportunity to practice identifying items that may be difficult to spot the first time around.

The color vision test may also require some preparation. There are tons of resources online that are set up similarly to the TSA color vision test. These resources include videos and simulations that will help you differentiate between the shades and hues that will be present on the actual assessment.


TSA Jobs Interview Tips

The interview for the position of TSO is scored and takes place with a panel of two or more staff members. Candidates will begin by answering six standardized questions. The answers to these questions will be graded in relation to TSA’s seven competencies.

The candidate must demonstrate or exhibit three or more of these traits to be marked as successful during the interview. Some of the standard interview questions are:

  • Tell us about a time you worked in a team. How did you contribute? Was your team successful at completing the task at hand?
  • What is your leadership style?
  • Tell us about a time a coworker or friend did something unethical. What did you do?

Make sure to demonstrate integrity and honesty. These two qualities are graded separately and emphasized immensely during the interview.

TSA favors candidates who are calm, confident and collected. Review the agency’s competencies and practice for the assessments. Remember to put your best foot forward when meeting with the staff members. Best of luck!


TSA Sample Questions

  1. Which of the following sentences uses the correct form of there?
    1. There dogs were barking all night.
    2. They’re seems to be a mistake in this report.
    3. There are five cookies in the cookie jar.
    4. There failing the social studies class.
  2. Which of the following words are spelt incorrectly?
    1. Seperation
    2. Definitely
    3. Imitate
    4. Decoration
  3. The office building is set to sixty degrees Fahrenheit. Sally finds it difficult to work in this temperature, but her boss Susan feels that the cold air keeps her employees energized. Sally’s coworker Barbara recently filed a complaint against Susan because of the temperature in the office. Sally does not know if she should file a complaint against Susan but believes that this is the only way to get Susan to turn up the temperature.

    Barbara works better in the cold.

    1. True
    2. False
    3. Insufficient Information



  1. C
  2. A
  3. C