The Ultimate AOSB Guide 2022 [Sample Questions Inside]
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1. What is the AOSB?

The Army Officer Selection Board is the British Army officer admissions test. It includes psychometric tests, group discussions, in-person interviews, as well as fitness and leadership tasks. Those who prove themselves on the AOSB aptitude test go to officer training in The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS).

The psychometric tests specifically include numerical, verbal, and abstract reasoning, as well as a personality test. These assessments are computer-based and administered under strict time constraints. The test is taken under serious time pressure, so preparation is key.

The AOSB is split into two parts: 

        • AOSB Briefing - 2 days of physical and psychometric tests, as well as group discussion
        • AOSB Main Board - 3.5 days of demanding mental, physical and leadership tasks

Note: Both Briefing and Main Board act as selection processes, and as an admissions test for officers. If you are unable to prove your skills during your time at Westbury, you may be unable to continue indefinitely. If a military career is a path you have set forth for yourself, you must prepare for both your physical and intellectual assessments several weeks in advance.

 

Is the AOSB Psychometric Test hard?

The short answer is - yes. The AOSB Briefing pass rate is 37%, and many great potential officers were rejected due to insufficient preparation for the mental tests.

There is a unique style of questions in the psychometric section, which require realistic practice. Beyond that, the tests' limited time means you have to answer each question fast due to the time pressure.

For this purpose, the best option is to use AOSB practice tests that simulate the real experience, level and test format.

 

How Can JobTestPrep Help You to Pass the AOSB Psychometric Test? 

        • Realistic questions, time allowance and test format, just like the real thing
        • In our full PrepPack, you'll find a practice test for every AOSB psychometric question category so you'll be well-prepared
        • Accurate MAT test questions with tips
        • A full section on the personality test!

 

 


2. AOSB Psychometric Tests - Sample Questions

Proving your intellectual ability is crucial during the Army Officer selection process as it can predict your success while in the military.

You can improve your psychometric test scores and reduce stress through practice. The PrepPack has the most realistic practice tests for this section you can find!

Give the following sample questions a try before looking at the provided answer explanations. 

The catch is that on the real test, you only have about 20 seconds for each question.

 

AOSB Numerical Reasoning Test 

Number of questions: 36

Types of questions: Tables & graphs, word problems

Time Limit: 15 minutes

In this section, you are given five answer options to choose from for each question. You may not use a calculator during the test, as basic mathematical knowledge & ability is one of the abilities the assessors are on the lookout for. Therefore, you must work quickly to ensure that you answer all questions promptly.

Sample Question - 20 Seconds

Sample question - numerical

Click to answer, and read the explanation for the correct answer.

 

2003
2004
2005
2006
Cannot Say
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The answer to this question is 4.


In this question we need to find the year in which the number of men swimmers equals half the total number of swimmers. We can use the data we calculated on question 1. In the year 2006 there were 120 swimmers all together and 60 of them (which is half) were men.
Note: To answer this question one can make an estimation by looking at the numbers. If one group equals half the sum of all the groups, then the sum of the two remaining groups also equals half the sum of the swimmers. We need to find a year in which the men column equals the sum of the other two columns.

 

The AOSB PrepPack lets you practice a variety of numerical reasoning questions just like the AOSB's - so on the day of the test, you won't be surprised by anything.

 

AOSB Verbal Reasoning Test

Number of questions: 40

Time Limit: 15 minutes

During this section, you will read short passages along with four statements related to the text. Your task is to decide if the statement is true, false or impossible to tell based on the information in the text. Careful reading is imperative here, as you need to fully understand the text.

Sample Question 

Read the passage to choose the correct answer.

A day of national mourning is a day marked by mourning and memorial activities observed among the majority of a country's populace. Most are designated by that nation's government. Sociologists claim that national mourning is both a symbolic political gesture as well as a meaningful expression of grief. On the one hand, predetermined mourning days reflect and create a national community, united in a feeling of grief. On the other hand, mostly in mourning days instigated by the people, such as on the day of Princess Diana’s funeral, they reflect a spontaneous bout of pure grief manifested in the closing of shops and banks, cancellation of sports, theatre and cinema showings. Although the fervour of the mourning can differ dramatically from one country to another, there is no doubt that a day of collective grief is extremely good for national unity.

Different countries manifest national mourning in different memorial activities.

Click to answer, and read the explanation for the correct answer. 

 

True
False
Cannot Say
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The answer is Cannot Say

Although the passage describes two types of mourning days (predetermined and spontaneous) it does not elaborate on the different ways they are expressed in different countries. Notice that the word "fervour" does not mean activities.

 

Being able to communicate well verbally, non-verbally and via text is essential for military life.  The purpose of a verbal reasoning test is to assess these vital skills.

 

AOSB Abstract Reasoning Test

Number of questions: 70

Time limit: 12 minutes

This portion of the test contains 70 questions and is 12 minutes in length.
Each question presents two sets of shapes, Set A and Set B. Your first task is to determine how the shapes in each set are related.
You are then given five further shapes and must determine if they belong in Set A, Set B or neither.

Sample Question

Sample question - abstract

The following test shape belongs to:

Sample question - abstract

 Click to answer, and read the explanation for the correct answer. 

 

Set A
Set B
Neither
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The answer is Set B

Set A: The number of triangles is always equal to the number of hearts. The rest of the shapes appear randomly; they are a diversion.
Set B: There is always a star and a circle within a circle ("bullseye") in opposite corners. The rest of the shapes appear randomly; they are a diversion.
The test shape matched the criteria of set B, since there a star and a "bullseye" are found in opposite corners.

 

Tip: There are many tricks to solving abstract reasoning questions quickly. By practising, you will be able to train your brain in pinpointing both the patterns and differences between each set of images you are presented. This will not only help you beat the clock but also increase your probability of success.

The AOSB psychometric test PrepPack has a full section for abstract reasoning test questions - to help you master this question type.

3. AOSB Main Board Personality Test

Number of questions: 200

Time Limit: 30 to 40 minutes

The AOSB personality test determines to which degree your traits influence your daily behaviour. Be sure to keep your responses consistent as the test can detect inconsistencies and differences between responses.

Sample Question

Please indicate to which extent you agree or disagree with the following statement:

Sample Question - Personality

What's the right answer?

You may be thinking: "there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers here''. Although this may be technically true, certain responses can hurt your overall profile as the army wants officers who can keep their calm in extreme situations.

 Tip: It is wise to adapt your answers to the job you are applying for during a personality test. The Personality Tests Guide found in this pack includes everything you need to know about how personality tests work and how you should go about answering each question.

Keep in mind that parts of your personality (e.g. your leadership and teamwork skills) will be on display and evaluated throughout the AOSB selection process. Not only during this written assessment, but also your group exercises, outdoor tasks, and interviews.

The PrepPack has a full section on personality tests - use it to learn how they work and what the army's looking for in an officer.

 

4. AOSB Main Board Memory & Attention Test (MAT)

Types of questions: Following instructions and procedures

Time Limit: 20 Minutes

In this test, you are presented with a series of either matrices (grids) or letters. You must memorize the order in which they are shown to answer a follow-up question.

 

Try answering- How many letters were shown between P and R?

 

1
2
3
4
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The letters shown are P, B, L, F, R, C.

B, L, F are shown between P-R: three letters in total.

 

The purpose of this assessment is to see how quickly and accurately you can memorize and apply guidelines and procedures. During this test, the number and complexity of instructions increases. Your MAT results detail a pattern of responses that make up your performance profile. Your score is based on the following criteria:

        • Speed of working – How much time did it take you to complete the test?
        • Memory – How often did you need to refer to the current set of test instructions?
        • Accuracy – How many test screens did you complete correctly by following the current instructions?

The PrepPack has full memory practice tests accurate to the MAT. So practice and make sure you're prepared for this section as well! 

 

5. FAQ

What is the AOSB Selection Process?

The AOSB selection process includes mental and physical assessments used to evaluate a variety of traits deemed necessary for officers.

These traits include your intelligence, fitness (stamina, agility, upper body strength, etc.), as well as your problem-solving, leadership, and teamwork skills. Here is a general breakdown of what you can expect during your time at Westbury:

 

AOSB Briefing Overview

The initial briefing lasts over 24 hours and includes the following:

  • Welcome Address
  • Introduction to AOSB – Here you will be split into teams and receive information about Briefing and Main Board.

Tip: Have an icebreaker at the ready – e.g. be prepared to talk about your hobbies, interests (outside of the military), family, etc.

  • Group Exercise – You and your assigned group will discuss many current event topics chosen by the board. Be up to date in both UK and worldwide military affairs. Being aware of what’s going on in the world allows you to bring something of substance to the discussion during this exercise.

Tip: Keep up to date with current affairs using BBC news, newspaper websites, and magazines. For military affairs, use the UK Defence Journal.

  • Psychometric Assessments – These tests give the selection board an idea of how you work out complex problems, analyze, and understand data – all of which are essential traits for most military roles. These tests include:
  1. Numerical Reasoning
  2. Verbal Reasoning
  3. Abstract Reasoning
  • Planning Exercise (AKA Planex) – You are given 15 minutes to read a scenario brief. From there, you are tasked with agreeing upon a solution with your group. The purpose of this task is to assess your communication, leadership, and teamwork abilities.
  • Obstacle Course – The obstacle course is made up of many elements, including hurdles and a long jump. You must get through as many obstacles as you can within the time limit.
  • Command/Leaderless Tasks – These tasks will be held outdoors and are used to assess your leadership and teamwork abilities. Each task will either have a clearly defined leader (command) or none at all (leaderless). The point of these tasks is to show initiative and help your fellow group mates reach a collective goal.
  • Fitness Tests – The minimum requirements of the AOSB fitness tests are:
    • Reach 8.7 on a bleep test
    • Throw a 4kg medicine ball 3.1 metres from a seated position
    • Lift 76kg in a mid-thigh pull
  • Interview with Team Leader – In your initial interview you are generally asked about your motivation for wanting to become an army officer, your understanding of what an officer does, and plans if you pass or fail.

Tip: Make sure the interviewer knows becoming an officer was your decision. If you say you were convinced to try by someone else, you may be disqualified.

Your AOSB Briefing result will be discussed during a brief final interview which will cover the strengths and weaknesses you exhibited. Once this interview is completed, you will find out which category you receive based on your performance.

AOSB Briefing Performance Categories:

Category 1

You have been deemed worthy of proceeding to Main Board and may do so as soon as possible.

Category 2

You show promise but must improve on areas not deemed suitable for attending Main Board. You will be given the option to delay attending for 3-24 months in order to improve before returning.

Category 3

The board has deemed you unlikely to pass Main Board due to low performance during briefing. However, You will still have the option to continue to Main Board if you wish to attend.

Category 4

The board has deemed you unsuitable to continue to Main Board due to a number of factors including the inability to apply your intellect or personality issues. You can try to appeal this decision if you feel that your performance was not representative of your capabilities during your time at briefing.

 

AOSB Main Board Overview

If you have passed the initial briefing, you will receive an invitation to attend Main Board. Main Board lasts 3 ½ days and consists of many of the activities you participated in while on Brief, albeit, with a few exceptions:

  • Personality Test: This assessment measures your interpersonal skills, i.e. how you interact with others.
  • Essay: Your team leader will present your group with 5 or more topics to write about regarding current events or broader political, social, or economic questions. This part of the assessment centre tests your sentence structure, English level, spelling, neatness, etc. It also tests whether you can offer a set, clear and concise argument.
  • Military Knowledge/Current Affairs Test: Brush up on your knowledge of military equipment, command hierarchy, etc. as well as current events within the UK and the rest of the world.
  • Lecturette: You will prepare to give a 5-minute talk and take questions from the group.
  • Additional Interviews
  • Team Dinner

Remember: You get only two attempts to pass the Main Board and a minimum of 8 months must pass between these attempts. As such, preparing for each assessment gives you a better chance of passing the AOSB selection process and moving on to officer training at Sandhurst.

What happens if I fail the AOSB?

You will only have one chance to complete the AOSB Briefing and two chances to complete the AOSB Main Board. Depending on your AOSB Briefing performance category, you may be able to try again within a set period or appeal for a second chance, however.

What is the AOSB pass rate?

Based on data from the Ministry of Defence, the average AOSB Briefing category 1 pass rate is 37%, and the AOSB Main Board average pass rate is 57%.

The data is based on recruitment years 2014-2018:

What to bring to the AOSB?

Digital watch with stopwatch function- incredibly useful for planning exercises (Planex) and command tasks.

Notepad and pen- For the same reasons and the watch, and to write whatever you might need to remember. Bring a spare pen!

Washing (and shaving) kit- note that men are expected to be cleanly shaven on both days.

Spare shirts- 2 additional plain white shirts will serve you as alternatives in case you start to sweat.

IDs- Bring your passport, and driver's license if you have one.

What to wear to the AOSB?

Bring both a plain civilian suit and tie and PT clothes including trainers so you can present yourself well and partake in the physical activities comfortably.

Can I become a British officer from the Commonwealth?

Enlistment to the British Army has been open to the Commonwealth since 2018. However, The British Army does not currently accept applications from the Commonwealth due to COVID-19.

 

 

 

 

 

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