The Defense Language Aptitude Battery Test, or also known as DLAB, is a military administered language exam that focuses on measuring a person’s ability to learn a language.
It is a required test for any military person who is looking to attend a Defense Language school such as Defense Language Institute (DLI) and is required for certain military communities in the application process. For more information on who needs to take the DLAB, check out our article about the requirements to take the test and find out when or how you can sign up: click here.
The DLAB test is comprised of 124 questions that are broken up into two parts: Listening and Reading. Unlike most tests, it is very difficult to study for. Most people on the internet say it is impossible. However, after talking to multiple test takers, we compiled their thoughts and recommendations and wrote an article all about how you can study for the DLAB.
Your DLAB score not only dictate whether or not you can attend a Language school, but will also decide what language you can enroll in. Because some languages are harder than others (such as French compared to Chinese), it requires a higher score to allow for you to enroll in Chinese than French. To see a complete breakdown of the scores and their meanings, click here.
By most people’s standards, the DLAB is one of the hardest tests they have ever taken. Many people fail it the first time or don’t get the required score that they were hoping for. This is not because they aren’t capable but because they didn’t prepare. Don’t worry about that. Read our articles and check out our resources and we promise you will get a much better score.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: If for some reason you do not get the score you wanted, don’t fret, you can take it again in 6 months. On top of that, you can take it as many times as you want and only your best score will be submitted for your application process (for those communities who require it like Foreign Area Officer Program, Crypto, etc) and any failing score will not be looked down upon.