New Zealand Defence Force Test

How to Prepare for New Zealand Defence Force Test?

As for any country’s military division, joining the New Zealand Defence Force brings with it a huge amount of responsibility, dedication, and commitment. Because of this, it is essential that potential recruits possess the necessary skills and character traits to be the ideal member possible.

Unsurprisingly, the recruitment process for military positions can be rigorous and may require some considerable preparation on the part of the recruit. All Defence Force recruits will be required to sit the NZDF Recruitment Test, the results of which will determine which position is offered.

The tests will also affect your personal preferences and which department you might prefer to serve within. Once your chosen or most suitable department has been assigned, you will be required to undertake further tests to assess your potential ability within that particular work environment.

New Zealand Defence Force Test

What Does the NZDF Recruitment Test Entail?

There are seven sections within the overall NZDF test. You may not be required to sit all of the sections depending upon your intended job role – only those which are relevant. The sections which you may encounter are detailed below:

Numerical and Verbal Reasoning Tests

Numerical and verbal reasoning tests are useful tools in determining your competency for a chosen role. Making sure that you have really invested time to prepare for these tests will not go unnoticed by your recruiter.

It will demonstrate not only your competency, but also your commitment to your chosen career. As with all elements of the recruitment process, failure at this stage could mean the end of your application journey.

Numerical reasoning tests – These will assess your ability to analyse and interpret data questions presented in the form of tables, graphs and charts. You will need to demonstrate your ability to draw reasonable and logical conclusions from the given information.

A numerical reasoning test may also be used to provide insight into the attention to detail that you are able to give to a variety of work scenarios.

You will be given the opportunity to analyse the relationships between various numbers, for example, and then decide how you would fill a gap in the sequence. Other questions could include the interpretation of data, tables, graphs and patterns.

These questions are designed to evaluate your critical thinking skills as opposed to your basic mathematical knowledge of the four operations, understanding each value regardless of how it may be represented.

Verbal reasoning tests – These are designed to evaluate your potential based on previous work experiences but also your ability to understand a piece of text and to draw out and present your conclusions based on your understanding. You are likely to be tasked with finding and matching words that have similar meanings; synonyms.

For example, data, particulars, statistics, figures, etc. You’ll be given one word in full and then just three letters of another word with a similar meaning. It will be your job to correctly identify the missing word and spell it accurately. Verbal reasoning tests can increase in difficulty depending on the role for which you have applied.

Basic Mathematics Tests

As its name suggests, this test is designed purely to assess your skills and knowledge in basic mathematics and particularly with regard to the four basic mathematical operations; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

The test is administered in a multiple choice style with a possible four answers to each given question. It will be your job to identify which of the answers is correct for the specified problem. It is worth remembering that these tests, being designed to test your skill and knowledge, will also be designed to pose answers that may trip you up.

They may offer two answers that are very similar to each other, for example. In order not to be taken in by these deliberate distractions, it is therefore very important that you are adequately prepared for the test, having done your revision and practice tests diligently.

It is also a good idea to write down all of your calculations as a means of checking and avoiding careless mistakes or oversights.

Electrical and Mechanical Reasoning Tests

Mechanical and electrical aptitude tests are commonly administered for engineering and technical positions within the emergency services and the army. If your chosen division is within either of these two disciplines, then it is likely that you will face one or either of these tests.

Mechanical reasoning – The tests themselves are designed to measure your ability to understand and apply mechanical concepts and principles in order to find the solution to a given problem.

The tests are usually administered in a multiple choice format with strict time limits, and therefore it is essential that you are well prepared and familiar with the likely format and content of your upcoming tests.

In some cases, you will have no more than 40 seconds to complete each question and being well-practised will allow you to answer efficiently and accurately. In the case of mechanical reasoning, there is unlikely to be verbal or mathematical reasoning involved, although some variations do exist.

Electrical reasoning – Within the electrical aptitude test, there will be mathematical and reading comprehension style questions. Typically there are 22 questions in the test, and you will be given 15 minutes to answer the multiple choice style format.

You’ll be asked to fill in blanks from a choice of four possible answers to answer the basic electrical questions. The questions will cover a range of topics, including switches, batteries and fuses. In some cases, there may be images that you will need to interpret or decipher.

Sample questions:

  • What circuits are typically used in homes?
  • Can direct current change direction?
  • What three things determine the resistance of a conductor?

As you can see from the example questions given, it is crucial that you make adequate preparations for your aptitude tests in order to gain the best possible score. Undertaking practice tests and revising your basic electrical knowledge will give you an advantage and help you to avoid any unpleasant surprises or vital gaps in your knowledge.


Depending on your chosen role, you may be asked to take a further mathematics test. This will be more complex in nature than the mathematical reasoning and basic mathematics tests covering the topics of Algebra and Trigonometry. You will not be allowed to use a calculator for this test.

Therefore, once again, preparation and practice are vital if you are to be able to approach the test with confidence and the best possible chance of success.

Clerical Tests

For this category of tests, you will be asked to complete four different tasks that involve a single list of words. You will be required to check the information pertaining to the following:

  • Classifying the information and deciding which parts are more important than others
  • Being able to code the given information so that it may be used for future reference at a later date
  • Being able to file the given information in alphabetical order

Testing for Aircrew

If you have chosen to apply to the Aircrew division of the NZDF, then you will be eligible for further stringent testing. As a member of the Aircrew, you will hold one of the most responsible positions in the Defence Force. As such, it is crucial that you have the right knowledge, skills and character traits for the role. 

You will need to think and act quickly under pressure. You will need to react in a calm and logical manner regardless of the challenges, and you will need high-level cognitive skills as well as good communication and people skills.

In order to make sure that you have what it takes, then the NZDF will ask you to take part in these additional tests:

  • Maths reasoning – In this set of tests, you will be assessed on your understanding of a range of physics-related concepts involving time, speed and distance.
  • Instrument comprehension – When flying an aircraft, it is no surprise that you will face a range of complicated dials, meters and instruments. In this test, you will be assessed on your ability to interpret the information displayed on the various instruments as well as your understanding of different parts of the aircraft. You will be required to answer what they are and what they do or what they are showing.

Do I Need to Prepare for My NZDF Aptitude Tests?

New Zealand Defence Force Test

It is a long-accepted adage that ‘practice makes perfect,’ and the subject of your NZDF tests will be no exception. Competition for your chosen role is likely to be fierce, and you will be competing against other skilled and knowledgeable candidates who will be as keen to secure their chosen career as you are.

Making sure you are well-rehearsed and practised for your tests will give you an advantage in the following ways:

Refresh Your Knowledge

Some of the test areas will rely on logical concepts and knowledge that you may have learned in school. Concepts such as numerical, verbal, and physical will rely heavily on logic and learned concepts. Some of these things you may remember well, whilst others may be a little sketchy.

Revising how to multiply decimals, for example, or making sure that you understand the principles and laws of gravity and motion will stand you in good stead and avoid frustration and head-scratching in a test situation.

Use Practice Materials

Quite simply, the more you practise, the faster your response times will be – it’s literally no more complicated than that. As you practise, you’ll become familiarised with question formats, and you’ll remember what strategies work for you and those that don’t work so well.

In addition to that, you’ll start to get a feeling for the types of answers that your examiner may be looking for. At the end of the day, practice will help you to answer the questions not just efficiently but also accurately.

The resources offered by Job Test Prep can help you to ensure that you are well prepared through a wide range of practice tests and comprehensive assessments suited to your chosen discipline.

Being well-prepared will mean that you are able to showcase your skills and abilities, presenting yourself in the best possible light and taking you a step closer to securing your dream career.

Gain Confidence

A lack of confidence can be the biggest enemy in test situations. It can unsettle you and make you doubt your knowledge. Inadequate practice will mean that you enter the exam with less confidence than necessary.

This, in turn, could significantly affect your result in a negative way. Repetition and practice can help you to enter the test with confidence and trust in your capabilities. If we do something often enough, it almost becomes a habit. This can very much limit the time you spend second guessing or doubting your answers.

In Conclusion

The use of psychometric and ability aptitude tests can provide a very useful tool in helping recruiters to sift through large numbers of candidates and to make important and sound decisions about appropriate placements in order to recruit only the best. 

There are a variety of positions and job profiles within the NZDF, as in any armed force, and it is important that specific skill sets are matched between roles and recruits. Aptitude tests can, in short, help recruiters make wiser and more informed decisions. 

Written by Karen Stanley

​​Karen is a former teacher of 20 years and ten times published author. She writes content for educational organisations and businesses, nationally and internationally. She coaches new and budding writers through to publication and is passionate about creativity; she runs creative writing workshops in schools and fostering agencies.