Defense Language Aptitude Battery: 20 Important Facts you need to Know

Defense Language Aptitude Battery: 20 Important Facts you need to Know.
The Defense Language Aptitude Battery measures a military candidate’s potential for learning a foreign language.

Defense Language Aptitude Battery: 20 Important Facts you need to Know

The Defense Language Aptitude Battery or DLAB is an assessment used by the United States Department of Defense to measure a candidate’s potential for learning a foreign language and so determine who may go for training as a military linguist.

This test comprises 126 multiple-choice questions and is scored out of a possible 164 points. It also contains one visual section and five audio sections.

The Defense Language Aptitude Battery was totally web-based as of 2009. It doesn’t attempt to assess an individual’s fluency in a given language, but rather to determine their ability to learn a language.

The Defense Language Aptitude Test is designed for officers looking to either join the Olmsted Scholar Program or Foreign Area Officer Program.

The recommended grade for this assessment is 130 or above, although the required grade is 105.

As determined by the Defense Language Institute, the languages are divided into tiers based on their difficulty level for a native English speaker.

Defense Language Aptitude Battery: 20 Important Facts you need to Know

Here are some important facts about the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) test that you need to know:

  1. What is the Defense Language Aptitude Battery?

The Defense Language Aptitude Battery is a standardized government test that evaluates how well a candidate can learn a foreign language.

The test is approximately two hours in length and is used by the U.S. military to find people who have a high potential for becoming fluent in a foreign language.

The Defense Language Aptitude Battery is a test used by the United States Department of Defense to know if you qualify to study and train for one of the available roles.

  1. How does the Defense Language Aptitude Battery testing process work?

The Defense Language Aptitude Battery is open for service members of the U.S. military. Even the spouse of a service member can also take the exam to enroll in the Defense Language Institute with their partner.

Applicants must apply to take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery exam at a military testing center, but the test is fully taken online.

The DLAB, which takes approximately two hours to complete, contains 126 multiple-choice questions. Candidates who have successfully completed the test can expect to receive their scores within 2-3 business days.

The military branch usually uploads the scores to an online portal that candidates can check at their convenience.

Defense Language Aptitude Battery scores do not expire; for this reason, a passing score should relate to your whole military career. Candidates who don’t reach the passing score can retake the test after a period of 6 months.

  1. The two main sections of the Defense Language Aptitude Battery

There are different questions on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery concerning word structure and pronunciation. The test has two main sections known as the Audio section and the Visual section.

  1. What is the Audio section of the Defense Language Aptitude Battery all about?

The audio section of the Defense Language Aptitude Battery comprises five parts. The first part contains words’ stress patterns that students are required to identify.

When narrating this section, you are required to pronounce four words distinctly to recognize words with a unique stress pattern, and you can indicate this difference by selecting the corresponding multiple-choice bubble.

The student is presented with made-up grammar rules by the remaining parts of the audio section. It adds more grammar rules for the student to remember and implement as the test advances. These rules include ideas such as how to get across the possession of objects.

  1. What is the Visual section of the Defense Language Aptitude Battery all about?

The visual section has only one part and the rules you learned in the audio section are no longer applicable.

In this section of the test, you will be presented with words that label images and will be required to study them.

In order to find rules and patterns, you have to study these images and use these rules to determine what other images on the test mean. The images often relate back to the ones provided by the rules.

  1. How do you study for the Defense Language Aptitude Battery?

These few tips here will help you to study for the Defense Language Aptitude Battery:

  • Learn English grammar

Because the Defense Language Aptitude Battery measures a candidate’s potential rather than their current knowledge, studying for the exam may seem challenging.

By studying English grammar rules, you may improve your chances of achieving a passing score. You need to review chapters of a higher-level grammar textbook, study other online resources, and watch online videos.

The different parts of speech need to be understood, including how they work together. In addition, you may become familiar with the subject-verb-object sentence structure.

  • Become exposed to a foreign language

You may not need to know any foreign languages before you take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery, but there may be a need to become exposed to one at least.

For instance, watching TV shows and movies with Spanish audio or captions will help you if you want to study Spanish for your military career.

Have a discussion with people you know in Spanish and think about reading news articles and poetry in Spanish. Getting exposed to these languages will make you know that other languages don’t always use the same sentence structure as English does.

  • Get used to the sounds

Not only does the Defense Language Aptitude Battery require you to recognize written words, but the test also mandates that you recognize differences in sound.

Preparing for this part may require that you identify stress and voice out patterns in words. Furthermore, for you to break down words based on their pronunciation you need to understand where words have syllable breaks.

  • Utilize practice tests and make a review of study materials

If you can spend a little amount of money on a study guide that focuses on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery, you will see how you can better understand the test’s layout.

There are examples of questions you may see on the real test you will also find on study materials and practice tests. Practice tests will help you gain confidence in answering the kinds of questions on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery.

  1. Develop your listening skills for the Defense Language Aptitude Battery

There is an audio part of the Defense Language Aptitude Battery where you are required to listen carefully. You can benefit from developing your listening skills as this assessment doesn’t repeat questions.

You may choose to listen to jazz music to improve your listening skills for this assessment and detect an instruction to follow.

Furthermore, you may also sharpen your listening skills for the Defense Language Aptitude Battery by listening to people’s conversations and concentrating on their pitches rather than the words they utter.

The modified training is designed to help you become familiar with making a choice of sounds, which is a skill known to be assessed by the Defense Language Aptitude Battery.

  1. What is the passing score for the Defense Language Aptitude Battery?

With a score of 95, you have actually passed the Defense Language Aptitude Battery. The highest a candidate can score on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery is 164.

Depending on what language an individual wants to learn or what languages are in demand, they may need to achieve a higher score than the minimum passing score.

  1. What are the categories of the languages you may find during your Defense Language Aptitude Battery

Depending on how difficult it is to study for a native English speaker, each language falls into a specific category.

There are four categories on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery, including:

  • Category I: Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Italian
  • Category II: German and Indonesian
  • Category III: Croatian/Serbian, Turkish, Russian, Dari Persian, Hebrew, Hindi, Iranian Persian, Punjabi, Urdu, Uzbek, Thai, and Tagalog.
  • Category IV: Egyptian Arabic, Levantine Arabic, Iraqi Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Pashto, and Modern Standard Arabic.

While 95 is the passing score for Category I language, 100, 105, and 110 are the required scores for Category II, Category III, and Category IV respectively. The Marines, for instance, accept scores of 90 for Category I and Category II languages.

  1. What are the scores of the Defense Language Aptitude Battery used for?

The Defense Language Aptitude Battery test scores are used at the end of the assessment to determine the eligibility status of the service member for the language training.

Your aim of taking the Defense Language Aptitude Battery exam could be to get a job that particularly requires language training, such as a linguist or cryptographer, or merely to fulfill a requirement such as Olmsted scholarship or Special Forces.

This is applicable to AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code used by Air Force), Rating (used by Navy and Coast Guard), and MOS (used by Army and Marines).

Defense Language Aptitude Battery scores are used for selection and placement at the Defense Language Institute (DLI), while either the ALAT or the MLAT is usually used by the government intelligence agencies for selection and placement.

  1. What language do you receive payment for in the military?

The Defense Language Aptitude Battery, DLAB, is an assessment utilized by the United States Department of Defense to measure an individual’s potential to learn a foreign language and thus decide who may go for training as a military linguist.

Korean, Chinese-Mandarin, and Russian are authorized to receive FLPB for enduring languages because that’s what they are regarded to be (enduring languages).

  1. What is the meaning of Defense Language Aptitude Battery 666?

Codes 666 and 999 are used to express the test was taken according to what Google indicates as exactly the true meaning.

  1. Is the Defense Language Aptitude Battery difficult?

The Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) is an assessment that was developed to measure an individual’s language-learning ability.

This assessment isn’t what you can study in the traditional way, and it’s neither easy nor difficult.

  1. Where do I need to take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery?

If you are seeking entry into a military branch, a recruiter can guide you on taking applicable tests to be eligible for a linguist job.

To qualify for a guaranteed job, you have to take the tests and receive your scores before leaving for the entrance physical exam at a Military Entrance Processing Station.

The military personnel section can schedule these exams locally for those in the service that wish to retrain as a linguist, which is usually done at a proctored testing facility on-base so test-takers can be monitored and have access to the necessary materials.

  1. What is the difference between the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) and the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT)?

The purposes that the DLAB and DLPT serve are completely different. While DLAB assesses an individual’s ability to learn foreign languages, the DLPT, on the other hand, assesses an individual’s proficiency in a specific foreign language.

The DLPT is a military equivalent of CEFR (European languages), JLPT (Japanese), HSK (Chinese), and more.

The US Department of Defense generally administers the defense language tests to native English-speaking military personnel.

Nevertheless, other agencies and countries occasionally use the tests as well for diverse purposes because of their unique attributes.

  1. The benefits of taking the Defense Language Aptitude Battery

The key benefit of taking the Defense Language Aptitude Battery is to qualify for a specific job. You must either prove you are skillful in a specific language or are able to learn a foreign language, depending on the position desired.

You are required to demonstrate your abilities before attending military linguist schools because of their difficulty.

People that achieve high scores in a foreign language may not be allowed to attend Defense Language Institute courses. But they may rather proceed directly to the technical training portion where they’ll learn specific duties such as how to operate applicable equipment.

Many of the students that are accepted are required to take at least several weeks or months of immersive language training at a DLI center to make sure they are 100% prepared for their pending jobs.

  1. Does the Defense Language Aptitude Battery have a time limit?

The Defense Language Aptitude Battery has no time limit as you may review and examine your answers at any time. You should try to answer all the questions to get the best score.

You can make the best guess if you are unsure of the accurate answer as there is no punishment for making a wrong guess.

  1. The Defense Language Aptitude Battery passbook

By taking practice exams in the subjects you need to study, you can use the Defense Language Aptitude Battery passbook to prepare for your test.

There are hundreds of questions and answers you can find in the areas that will likely be covered in your forthcoming exam.

These questions could come in the form of word meaning, spelling, understanding and interpreting written material, foreign language spelling and meaning, reading comprehension, writing skills, and other relevant areas.

  1. What you should know about the Defense Language Aptitude Battery

Timing is everything on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery. Ensure you have a test scheduled for you before going to basic training if you want to take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery.

It’s important to have a discussion with a recruiter about the Defense Language Aptitude Battery as early as possible to become familiar with the program, to research on which forms to fill out, whom to schedule testing with, and more.

  1. Who can take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery?

You are qualified to take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery as long as you are a service member in good standing or a spouse of a service member in good standing.

Moreover, as long as the Defense Language Aptitude Battery hasn’t been less than six months since the last time you took it, you are eligible to take the exam as many times as you want.

Conclusion

Studying for the Defense Language Aptitude Battery in a traditional way is not easy. The test isn’t designed to assess current knowledge but language-learning potential.

There is no way to create a traditional study guide since the testing involves gibberish language.

However, you will have a great advantage in studying the grammatical rules that apply to each specific section of the test being aware of what to anticipate.

In this test, you will get to know what a selection of words or what a portion of a word signifies.

You will be asked to form a specific word from the samples given.

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