Australian Defence Forces

The ADF (Australian Defence Forces) Test – Ultimate Study Guide

Last Updated on April 10, 2022

If working for the ADF is the career you have set your heart on, then you will have to complete some tests before you are considered suitable for a position.

The initial step to joining the ADF is taking psychometric tests that will assess your suitability for a position in the defence forces.

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Following on the tests, the position you get may not necessarily be the one you applied for. Some positions demand higher results in the tests than others, so a less than stellar performance may see you being offered a job but not the one you had your heart set on.

However, good preparation for the tests can help you reach the results you need.

Read on for further information about the ADF assessments and the resources that will help you prepare for them.

What are the ADF tests?

The ADF tests are the psychometric tests given to candidates applying to jobs at the Australian Defence Force as part of the application process. The tests can include numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, general ability and mathematical ability.

How do I prepare for the ADF testing?

To ace the tests, first of all, you need to get information on the precise tests you will be doing and then work on sample tests modelled on the real exams. This requires using the services of a job test preparation company.

For this, we recommend using Job Test Prep, a company with a solid reputation for helping job applicants prepare for pre-employment tests.

Using their services, you will get the accurate information you need as well as a test prep pack containing sample tests modelled on the real ones. The pack gives you detailed explanations for questions and answers and a system for checking your scores as you complete the tests.

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What is on the ADF test?

Different posts may require you to take different tests, but for your first round of testing, you can expect to do:

  1. A general ability test
  2. A mathematical ability test

If your performance in these tests is good, you will be free to apply for further positions in the ADF and be asked to take tests for those positions.

Mathematical Ability Test

This is a challenging test and you are expected to do 27 questions in 20 minutes, averaging 44 seconds per question.

You can expect some or all of the following types of questions:

  • Mental Arithmetic
  • Number Sequences
  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Word Test Problems

How to prepare for the mathematical ability test?

To prepare for these, you need to brush up on your mathematical skills and learn to apply those skills to the test.

To see how your mathematical ability measures up, try the following free sample numerical reasoning test.

Do the test within the time allowed and check your scores when finished. While doing the test, you probably discovered that having mathematical ability is not sufficient to get the scores you need.

You need to marry your mathematical knowledge to the question and do so at speed, a task that throws most test-takers.

However, regular practice on tests of this type will ensure:

  • You become familiar with the style of questioning
  • You train yourself to complete the test in time
  • You can measure your progress from test to test

And more importantly, as you become familiar with doing the tests, you become more confident, which means you make fewer mistakes of the type that being stressed leads to.

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General Ability Test

This test lasts for 30 minutes, during which you have to do 75 questions.

You will be tested on:

  • Abstract Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Numerical Reasoning

Abstract Reasoning

This test assesses how quickly you can identify patterns, logical rules and trends in patterns and shapes.

You can expect to be presented with a series of shapes and patterns in this multiple-choice test. You will have to identify the pattern or rule the shapes are following and then decide what shape should go in a box marked with a question mark.

Looking at your answers, the ADF will be able to decide how quickly you can deal with new information and how strategic your thinking is. They will also get a picture of your ability to analyse visual information and of your intelligence level.

Verbal Reasoning

Here the ADF is assessing your ability to understand and analyse written information. The results will also show how well you think and if you can solve problems.

You can expect to be presented with a short written passage followed by a statement or statements. Based on the information in the passage, you must decide if statements are 1True 2 False or 3 Cannot Say, i.e. not enough information has been given.

You need to show you can analyse something rather than jumping in with an answer.

To hone your skills in this area, practise on sample reading tests. Practice will teach you how to pinpoint relevant information quickly.

It will also teach you to avoid the trap of going outside the information given in the passage. Even if the information given is blatantly incorrect, that is the information you have to base your answers on.

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Numerical Reasoning

The numerical reasoning test assesses your ability to handle numbers quickly and accurately. You need arithmetical skills to carry out calculations, as well as needing the skills to read graphs and tables of data.

The numerical reasoning test is not just a test of your abilities with figures. It is also a test of your ability to give correct answers while working under time pressure, a skill you may be required to use when working with the ADF.

Working on sample tests will hone your skills in answering the questions and will also train you to work within the time given for the test.

Doing your preparation

Use your sample papers as the backbone of your preparation. As you prepare:

  • Always check your scores
  • Pinpoint areas that are giving you difficulty and devote more time to them
  • Keep an eye on your timing

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Approach the tests with the confidence of knowing you have done the work and can ace this.

If you are applying to the ADF, you will find all the resources that can help you get that job here.

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Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.

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