How to Prepare for UK Border Force Online Test
Becoming a Border Force Officer in the UK is a very respected and rewarding profession that ensures that passengers and UK citizens are safe. But, the hiring process for a Border Force Officer or Assistant Officer is lengthy and demanding.
This article will explain the hiring process for UK Border Force Officers in detail. For each section of the hiring process, we will also point you to the best online library for practice materials. With this help, you will be able to practice your knowledge, behavioural tendencies, and verbal communication skills.
Table of Contents
Requirements to Become a Border Force Officer
If you want to become a Border Force officer, there are some basic requirements that you need to fulfil:
- A UK national with a valid identification document as proposed by the Civil Service Nationality Rules
- Living in the UK for the past five years
- At least 18 years of age
- Have a declaration of any possible health issues and have a medical examination
- Can undergo a complete security and background check
- Have a full UK driving licence
If you fulfil these basic requirements for a Border Force officer, then you can move to the more complex requirements for the job position:
- Have at least 2 A-levels at grade E or above
- Have relevant skills and experience in security, regulatory or investigatory work
Even though it’s not a required part of the application, if you want to get a job as a Border Force officer, it’s helpful to have learned subjects like criminology, psychology, law or public services as part of your educational process.
If you don’t have these requirements, you can also start as a Border Force assistant officer and work towards becoming an officer.
Ultimately, you can also begin as a Border Force apprentice and learn your way up to becoming an officer. You’ll need GCSEs in English and maths to get employed as a Border Force Apprentice.
The requirements you need to fulfil to get a job at Border Force vary and depend on the nature of the job position, location, or special-skills work. To know what is expected from a candidate, it’s best to carefully read the job advert and understand the requirements in detail.
How Do I Become a Border Force Officer UK?
The first step of becoming a Border Force officer in the UK is to find a job advert whose basic requirements you fulfil. From there, you can start the process of filling up an online application and including yourself in the recruitment process.
The following sections will explain the Border Force officer recruitment process in detail. You can familiarise yourself with each step and the requirements you would need to pass to get to the next process step.
The online application is the first step toward getting employed in the UK Border Force (UKBF). Once you find a job advert you like, ensure you possess the basic requirements for the position. If you don’t, you might be wasting your time in vain.
The Online application is the same for both Border Force Officers and Border Force Assistant Officers. In the application, you need to state some basic information, such as ID, address, schooling and academic background, and previous work experience related to the job.
You might also be asked some competency questions you need to answer using your experience. You will also be able to state your preferred job location, especially if there is a vacancy for numerous sites about the same job title.
When the application is made, you will receive a confirmation email and an invite to undergo the video shift or the Behaviour-based assessment.
As part of the initial Online Application, you would also need to pass two Aptitude (Cognitive) Tests. They are not very hard, but they are time-restricted and need you to quickly move through questions without spending too much time on one answer.
Aptitude Assessment for UKBF Assistant Officers
If you applied for a UKBF Assistant Officer, you would be required to show your abilities in a Verbal test and Checking Test.
- In the Border Force Assistant Officer Verbal Test, the reasoning test will measure your language knowledge and usage through multiple-choice questions. The test questions will be in connection to the job as a Border Force Officer. You need to read passages and understand information, use and paraphrase segments, determine the proper usage of words or their synonyms etc. You will have 8 minutes to read excerpts with up to three paragraphs and answer around 16 questions.
- The Checking test for Border Force Assistant Officer will measure your speed and accuracy when you search for and find errors or mistakes in numerical data or written materials. You would need to show your orientation to details, pace, accuracy, and concentration by answering 16 questions in under 10 minutes.
If you want to practice this skill alone, we recommend using the help of Job Test Prep and their Error Checking Test preparation.
Aptitude Assessment for UKFB Officers
If you apply for a position as a UKBF Officer, you need to finish two tests – The Verbal test and the Numerical test.
For the Border Force Officer Verbal Test, you need to showcase your knowledge and understanding of the English language and writing.
You will be given 12 minutes to answer 24 questions with a multiple-choice answer structure. Similarly, as with the Assistant Officer Verbal test, you will need to read passages made of up to three paragraphs and answer the questions, which will be connected to the job position.
The Numerical test for the UKBF officers will measure the candidates’ abilities to calculate and use mathematical operations in their job. The questions will include ration, percentages and the four basic functions. You would need to answer 24 questions in 12 minutes.
If you want to practice your Cognitive skills, you can do so with the Job Test Prep practice tests for Border Force Officers and Assistant Officers.
Behavioural-Based Assessment (BBA)
The UKBF Behavior-based test is done in the form of game-based tests that measure your natural abilities and tendencies to solve problems and react to various situations.
You can complete the UKBF Behavior test online with the help of a smartphone, a laptop, desktop computer or a tablet. It should take around 45 minutes to be finished.
Depending on the job position you apply for, you might take different behavioural assessments. Nonetheless, they will present you with scenarios you are likely to encounter as part of your working hours. It will be your job to tell the most natural way for you to act in these scenarios.
Behavioural-based Assessments are used to assess if your natural tendencies align with the characteristics that a Border Force Officer should have.
After you submit the online application, you may be asked to do the UKBF Video Sift test. The Video Sift is used to shortlist the applicants most suitable for the job.
The sift should take around half an hour to complete, and in it, you will be asked a series of questions. You need to make a video recording of yourself answering those questions on the platform itself.
The questions on the Video Sift will be regarding the job position and the daily tasks you would perform as part of the job.
There will be two types of question formats:
- Questions with multiple-choice answers where you need to give the correct answer from the ones given;
- Questions with raking answers where you need to rank all the answers from most appropriate to least appropriate, or the other way around.
The point of the Video Sift is to evaluate your natural abilities to find your way around this kind of job position. You have a total of seven days to finish the Video Sift from the time you received your email, or you can be expelled from the interview process.
If you want to practice for the Video Sift beforehand, we recommend the help of Job Test Prep, the most extensive online library for practice materials. With their Civil Service Initial Sift Situational Test Practice materials, you can have five different Situational tests, with study guides, score reports and helpful tutorials for improvement.
Online Assessment Center (OAC)
If you successfully pass all of our previously mentioned stages, the Online assessment centre is the last stop before you get the job you applied for. Before doing the Online Assessment, make sure that you have
- A laptop or a desktop (no mobiles are allowed)
- Good internet speed
- A quiet area where you won’t be disturbed
- A working camera that shows your upper body
- The Zoom platform where the assessment will be held, and
- Chrome or Firefox as a search engine
During the OAC, you will participate in different activities demonstrating your strengths and abilities, including an interview and a comprehension test.
Comprehension And Written Test
The comprehension test will display a scenario where you need to explain how you would react if it happened to you. You need to be able to analyse a lot of information fast because there is a lot to sort through.
In your response, you must justify your conclusion and why you think it is the best one. The Comprehension test can be given to you in a written form, as a role play with an actor or verbally.
To ensure success on the written test, we recommend you rehearse written scenarios in advance because this type of exercise might be challenging, and there are time limits.
The interviewer will give you six competencies to choose from in the Competency Interview. Then you need to share two examples from your personal experience where you portrayed two of those competencies. The STAR Method is the best way to arrange your answers in the interview.
To learn more about the STAR Method, visit Job Test Prep’s thorough guide on the subject.
If you want to practice Online Assessments, we recommend using the help of Job Test Prep and their Assessment Center practice bundle.
Vetting Checks and Contract
If you pass all of the previously mentioned parts of the employment process, the last thing to do is the vetting checks. You would need to prove your identity, residency and ability to work. All the required documents would need to be provided within 24 hours from receiving the request, so you would need to act fast.
Border Force representatives might also conduct background, criminal record, medical and employment history checks.
If everything goes well, you’ve reached the end of the Border Force employment process. If you get hired for the position, you will receive a training course, mentoring, and a level 3 Personal Safety Training (PST) course.
If you don’t get employed immediately, Border Force retains the right to put you on their Reserve list for up to 12 months, where your application and details will be kept in case a job position opens.
Once you finish the interview process, you need to stay on the lookout for any follow-up emails or possible calls for an in-person meeting on the job site.
What Is Border Force Officer in the UK?
Border Force Officers are part of the Home Office and are in charge of immigration and customs checks at seaports, rails and airports around the UK.
Border Force ensures that their customs are protected from smuggling, fraud, terrorism, organised crime, human trafficking or any other kind of illegal trade (like endangered animal species, tobacco or narcotics.)
As part of Law Enforcement, Border Force officers are at the frontline, ensuring that the United Kingdom borders are safe and secure at all times. Depending on the position, their work might include patrolling railways, coastlines, or airports and checking people and luggage to detect any underlying risks or illegal objects.
Another part of Border Force Officers will include interviewing and questioning any suspicious passengers and conducting thorough baggage, vehicle or cargo search. If something is detected, it’s the Border Force Officers’ task to alert security services and law enforcement, retain gathered information and evidence and help investigators in their further case building with everything they’ve discovered.
What Does Border Force Officer in the UK Do?
Border Force officers in the UK have numerous tasks, including:
- Check passports and travel documents for all passengers arriving at sea, air or rail ports and borders
- Search for and detect any prohibited goods or illegal substances brought to the country
- Inspect passengers’ reasons and plans for visiting the UK
- Search people, luggage, cargo, freight and car vehicles for any prohibited items such as drugs, cash, tobacco, endangered animals etc
- Know, follow and enforce rules and regulations for customs
- Correspondence with and reports to similar concerning organisations like police, National Crime Agency, HM Revenue and Customs, UK Visas and Immigration and the like.
Depending on the job location and the nature of the job position, tasks of a Border Force officer might also include:
- Work with sniffer dogs
- Patrolling coastlines
- Give evidence and testify in court
- Work on particular areas like organised crime, human trafficking or terrorism fight
- Frequent change of work locations and cites, sometimes even overseas
- Managing and collaborating with Border Force assistant officers or other Border Control employees
To become a Border Force Officer or Assistant Officer, you need to undergo a lengthy and thorough employment process. In it, you would be required to show your knowledge of the English language and Math, but also your natural behavioural tendencies.
The best way to ensure that you’ll get hired as a UK Border Force Officer is to read their requirements carefully and to use the help of Job Test Prep as the most extensive library with practice materials for UK Border Force Officers.
Written by Victoria Todorovska
Victoria (or Viki) is a Freelance Writer, Psychologist, and Gestalt Therapy Consultant. With years of experience in higher education as well as counselling others, she is well-placed to offer expert advice on guiding others up the career ladder.
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Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.