Royal Navy & RAF Recruitment Tests FAQ

Here we address some questions we regularly get asked about the Royal Navy and RAF recruitment tests.

Frequently asked questions about the Royal Navy and RAF recruitment tests:

What are the differences between the Royal Air Force aptitude test and the Royal Navy recruitment Test?

The RAF and the Royal Navy actually share many of the same tests, including numerical skills, verbal reasoning, electrical comprehension and mechanical comprehension. However, both have additional tests beyond this:

RAF tests include:

  • A spatial abilities test - This test is necessary for pilots flying fast and at high altitudes to recognise objects.
  • A work rate test - Members of the air crew have to be faster than everybody else because their job requires them to perform their responsibilities as quickly as possible.
  • A memory test - Pilots, medics, gunners, and nearly every member of the Royal Air Force (RAF) need to remember a lot of new information.
  • Numerical tests - On an aircraft, you are working with numbers and hard calculus. In order to understand aircraft and the plethora of procedures you will be going through, you must understand mathematics. The RAF uses numerical tests to ascertain your ability to read graphs and tables, also a necessity for working with high-tech equipment and reading statistics effectively.
  • Verbal reasoning tests - The verbal reasoning tests for the RAF are designed to test your ability to spot finer details. They present large passages and follow up with tricky questions that require a keen eye for detail.

Royal Navy:

  • The Royal Navy has more verbal reasoning tests. Working on a ship or in an amphibious unit makes verbal communication vital for effective teamwork. You need to be able to understand requests, orders and verbal reports.
  • The Royal Navy uses inductive reasoning tests. These tests measure your ability to spot familiarities without being told how they are related. The Royal Navy's numerical testing is geared more towards sequences and a flow of patterns, designed to help a recruit establish routine and even spot subtle oddities.
  • The verbal tests for the Royal Navy are designed to test your ability to spot the differences between the relationships of certain words and sentences. This is done via various antonyms, synonyms and odd one outs.

Read more about the Royal Navy and Royal Marines selection process on their website.

Is the Royal Navy recruitment test hard?

The Royal Navy recruitment test is a challenge. However research shows that practising before the test gives you a much better chance at doing well on it. Preparation is key. Learn more about the Royal Navy recruitment process.

Does the Royal Navy recruitment test scores affect what career path I am given?

Yes. The Navy will decide what jobs are suitable for you based on your scores, and scores are not linear. If you get a low score in one field and a high score in another, you will be presented with different career paths. People who score highly at everything get more options than people who score highly in some areas but not others.

Is there a single passing grade on the Royal Air Force aptitude tests?

Different RAF careers require different passing grades. The RAF has not released the thresholds it requires for passing its tests. However, you can logically decide which test would make the most sense to practice for based on what skills are required for the role you want. An officer will need apt verbal reasoning skills to communicate with their team members quickly and efficiently. A mechanic will need skills in mechanical reasoning, physics, mathematics and similar disciplines. Learn more about the Royal Air Force aptitude test.

How should I prepare for the RAF aptitude test & Royal Navy recruitment test?

  • Sell yourself – Think of the things you have done in the past like work, hobbies, and other activities, and describe them as proof of your abilities like leadership skills, adventurousness, and active participation.
  • In-depth research – They expect you to have in-depth knowledge about current affairs, the military, the RAF, OASC, ICP, officer training, specialist training and the job itself. You must research these in detail. During the interview, be concise and accurate. This gives you a step-up on the competition, and if you don't prepare you will be unlikely to progress further.
  • Train – You need to score well on the Bleep Test (Pass mark is 9.1 for RAF, and 11 for Royal Navy, but aim for 3 above this score). This means that you need to go out running on a regular basis.
  • Don't pretend – Don't pretend to be something you are not. They'll likely be able to spot it, and you'll fail for it. It is a myth that you need to exaggerate your positive qualities. If you have the qualities they are looking for, you'll pass.
  • Be confident – If you pass, you'll be working with tough, strong willed and smart people. You need a lot of confidence to keep up with with the high level people you will be working with.
  • Practise your maths – The problem solving exercises and aptitude tests require a strong ability to perform mental arithmetic quickly.
  • Be a leader – Take any opportunity to put yourself into a position of responsibility, making decisions and motivating others.
  • PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE - Even when you think you've done enough, prepare some more. Do not underestimate the difficulty of the selection process.

Do I need to take more tests for submariner service?

There are no extra recruitment tests. However, good engineering skills and good mechanical skills are an advantage, and we recommend brushing up on your physics as well.

What is the difference between the submariners and surface fleet?

Submariners earn £14,145 per year during the training process and upon completion, their pay packages get upgraded to £17,515 (the same as all Royal Navy recruits). However, upon completion, submariners are given a £5000 completion bonus, plus a daily addition to their basic pay of between £12.12 - £26.66 an hour, plus an extra £5.24 an hour per day at sea, and an additional Nuclear Propulsion supplement of between £2.42 - £20.60 an hour.