British Army

Mastering British Army Officer Recruitment: A Complete Preperation Guide

Considering whether to apply to a role in the British Army as either an officer or a soldier? It is a challenging process, but worth it to launch a career in the military. Getting your first role in the army opens up opportunities you might never have dreamed of.

But what is the recruitment process like? And how do you pass? Is there preparation you can do?

Take the British Army Recruitment Practice Test to improve your score.

To land a role in the British army, you need to pass all their eligibility checks.

If eligible, you can submit your application, which will be reviewed to check your suitability. A careers briefing will follow to fill you in on information about working for the army and the best role for someone in your position.

With the preliminaries out of the way, you will receive an invite to spend two days at the Army Development and Selection Centre (ADSC). Here you will take tests and assessments followed by an interview.

This article will dig into the whole recruitment process in detail. We will aim to answer common questions and take you step by step through all you need to do to make it through the British Army recruitment process.

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The recruitment process for British Army Officers

The selection process for officers (AOSB) goes through the following stages:


Submit your application for review. You will need to complete a medical questionnaire and preliminary interview with a candidate support manager. Here you will need to answer questions about your physical fitness, achievements, and interests. You may also need to fill some forms in at your GP. At this point, the candidate support manager will confirm if you are eligible.


This one-day event introduces you to what you can expect from working for the army. As well as being given information and doing physical tests, you may need to take psychometric tests to measure your cognitive abilities and get your personality profile.

Main Board

If you perform well at the briefing, you will be invited to the Main Board — a three-day residential period of testing and where your suitability for an army role will be assessed.

Days at the Main Board are divided into slots for the different tests.

Day 1: You will take psychometric tests evaluating your cognitive abilities and building your personality profile.

You will also do a written test on current affairs, general knowledge and military knowledge, and you will need to write an essay.

Day 2: You will see you tested on conceptual problem solving and taking part in a group discussion.

You usually also have to give a 5-minute talk and take questions from the group.

Interview: The interviewer will ask why you have chosen a career in the army and talk about your education and work experiences on Day 2.

Day 3: You will spend this day engaged in physical and outdoor activities allowing the army to assess your physical strengths.

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Can I prepare for the British Army tests?

Preparing for any job test is essential. You need to find out the format of the tests and become familiar with the style of questioning before doing the actual tests.

To ensure you prepare properly, it is best to use the services of a company experienced in preparing applicants for pre-employment testing.

For this, we recommend using Job Test Prep. You can rely on them for accurate information and test preparation materials.

You will get a British Army test prep pack with sample test papers modelled on the actual exam. It also includes systems to monitor your progress as you work from test to test and detailed explanations of questions and answers.

To get an idea of the type of tests they provide you with, try your hand at a free sample Army Cognitive Test.

The British Army aptitude tests

You will need to take the British Army Recruit Battery (BARB), also known as the British Army Cognitive Test (ACT). This is a 45-minute test with 200 questions.

From your answers on this test, the army will be given your trainability score, allowing them to decide which roles are open to you. The higher your score is the more roles you will be considered for so doing well in this test increases your chances of a job with the British Army.

You will be under time pressure when doing the test as you will need to do each question in approximately 10 seconds.

You will be tested on the following five sections:

  • Orientation
  • Error detection
  • Numeracy
  • Verbal Skills
  • Deductive Reasoning

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What are the different British Army aptitude tests?

Here are the different tests you may need to take.

Numeracy and Literacy Tests

These are not mandatory if you have high GCSE grades.

If you have to take them, you can expect tests in reading comprehension and writing in the literacy test and questions on basic arithmetic and geometry in the numeracy test.

Try the following free sample tests in numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning to get started on practising for these.

Deductive Reasoning

Try the following deductive reasoning question:

1. Phone call before email.
2. Letter after phone call.

You are shown two facts and then must answer a question based on them.
The answer needs to be according to the logic the two facts dictate.
Which is first, the phone call or the email letter?

Technical Selection Test

If you have applied for a technical job, you must to do a Technical Selection Test. This test is also subject to time limits, and you will have to answer 55 questions in 45 minutes.

All questions on the test are mathematical, and you will have to work with the information provided on graphs and tables. A calculator is allowed for the test.

As you will be working under time pressure, honing your mathematical skills beforehand is essential to do calculations while racing against the clock.

Try the following questions from a Technical Selection Test.

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1. The GreatBooks book store is growing very fast. Every month its profit is 12% more than the previous months’ profit. In January, the store made $20500. Which of the following is closest to the store’s profit, in dollars, in May?

Answers *

2. Factorise 3x²+10x+4x²-336-24x

Answers *

Tips to prepare for the British Army assessments

Use your sample papers as the backbone of your preparation. This will ensure:

  • You are becoming more familiar with the real tests in every preparation session
  • You can check your scores and monitor your progress
  • You quickly identify areas you are having difficulty with and deal with them immediately
  • You are training yourself to work within the time limits of the tests

If you are applying to the British Army, you will find all the resources you need to ace the pre-employment assessments 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.