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AIB Advice- The condensed version (Updated regularly)


War Hero
Officer selection, as well as 5 GCSE's A*-C (including Maths & English)
the minimum standard for entry is now 180 UCAS points, subject to certain constraints.

The revised minimum standard for non-graduate Officer entry to the Royal Navy & Royal Marines is 180 UCAS points from Fri 29 February 2008, subject to the constraints that:

a. the total must include at least two non-overlapping subject areas;
b. each subject must be allocated at least 45 UCAS points;
c. If unsure of overlapping subject areas AIB should be contacted.

The minimum for each subject will be increased from 40 to 45 UCAS points so the following will no longer acceptable:

a. A-Level Grade E;
b. AS-level Grade C;
c. Scottish Higher Grade D;
d. Scottish Intermediate – any grade.

The full UCAS points tariff, showing equivalent qualifications, is available at

Candidates offering BTEC Certificates and Diplomas, at level 3 and above, will now be accepted as satisfying the non-overlapping requirement, but the minimum acceptable standards for these qualifications are now as follows:

BTEC Certificate – Distinction, Merit
BTEC Diploma – Merit, Merit, Merit

The minimum standard for A levels remains 180 UCAS points, with at least two non-overlapping subjects. Other Level 3 qualifications will be dealt with under existing policy on a case by case basis.


War Hero
jrwlynch said:
lucy said:
....the Planning Exercise!

If it helps, I did mine last month and made it, so if I can get in it can't be that bad. All advice here is based only on own experience, so treat with proper caution: I may have got through despite my planning exercise, not because of it!

On the planning exercise, you'll get a written brief describing the situation you're being assessed on, and some time to go through it as individuals: then some extra problems will be briefed to you on top of the written scenario (e.g. one of your survey teams has crashed their vehicle, immobilised with two serious casualties) and you'll put together a plan as a group. One of you will be asked to describe your aims (i.e. what's most important that you need to do) and then someone else will be asked to summarise the plan: you'll each be asked whether you agree with it or not.

The N2 will then go into a quick-fire question round, a few minutes per person but with any wrong or missed answers immediately batted to another candidate, on scenario information, times & distances, constraints on your actions, et cetera. This may be where you realise you overlooked something really significant but inconspicuous...

After that, you get a few minutes of solo silent thought, before going back in individually to give a two-minute brief on "so what *are* you going to do?"

As someone else said, try to be balanced during the group planning stage: they need to hear you make useful contributions to give you marks, but they also want to see you listening to the others and taking in what's said. Stay positive but aim to get a coherent plan together. You will be asked whether you support the group plan: I'm not sure what happens when someone doesn't, but the working default for the Board is be honest.

Don't get worried when the N2 rips your plan to bits, hits you with lots of questions you don't know the answer to, and points out vital bits of information you completely overlooked: that happens to everyone, and you're being assessed on how you cope with it.

When you go back in to present your final plan as individuals, I believe they're looking for something that's got a chance of working, but takes the points already raised into consideration. If you stick with your original plan but adjust it to fix the issues you got called on, that seems to work (at least it did for me) - I'd imagine that you could also sack the original as a bad job and try something different, if they'd ripped so many bits off your first try that it wasn't fixable, but that's a lot of mental effort required.

I don't recall any cross-examination on that final stretch, just two minutes by the map with a pointer to describe the last draft of my plan.

I'd suggest starting the final brief with a fast restatement of your key aims - let them know what the plan's meant to achieve, then describe how you intend to do it.

Once you're actually doing it, it's an interesting challenge. If you're enjoying yourself you probably come across as more enthusiastic, which is hopefully a good thing. Be warned, though, that at least for ours the "example" planning exercise was a lot simpler than the real one even before they started throwing extra wrinkles into it.

In fact, trying to enjoy the Board and concentrating on each task as it comes up is probably the best advice I can give you: we were advised quite strongly not to try to post-mortem the various tests, either to think "that was rubbish, I've blown the whole Board, might as well give up now!" or "that was easy and I must have done really well..." Give each element your best shot, then forget about it and focus on the next task.

Hope this helps, wishing you luck, and hope you enjoy it.


War Hero
Craig_C said:
I am going in as a Warfare Officer Submariner

I had a great time at the AIB. The PLTs, Planning exercise and Interview were all brilliant. They were all pretty fun!

The Final Interview - When looking at the AIB info, do not take it word for word. In my interview it was really different to the stated version in your AIB manual. The N2 started off the questioning and not the Board Lieutenant. In the interview they were all smiling and laugh and were incredibly relaxed.

Questions I got asked were:

Why do you want to join the RN

Tell me about your chosen Career path?

What is your fav. Submarine and why?

What role will you play in a Submarine and what is a Casing Officer?

Can you go to the map and point out were Afganistan is?

What is happening there and should be stay or should we go?

There are 3 pictures on the wall, going from left to right please tell me what they are?

Why should we pass you for selection?

Tell me when you had to take a risk?

Did you complete the task properly and successfully?

When have you been part of a team and what role did you play?

Tell me about a time when you have been a leader?

Have you ever had any problems as a leader, if so how did you deal with these implications?

Finally, how have you found your stay at the AIB and would you like to add anything?

(I can't remember all the question but there were a lot of them)

The hardest bit of the AIB, hmmmm....

I found the Maths the hardest. It is hard math and you only have a short space of time in which to do it. The S/P/T is really simple in the Planning Exercise though!

Also, just to let you know. If you are going down to the AIB in September. You will now be doing the tests on a Computer. The three boards at the AIB this week had to do a trail run (this did not count towards our scores). The test was horrible. Your eyes go funny and to be honest we had, had enough of exams. Having done 4 hours of tests and then having to do a trial test really made you sleepy!

Navy Knowledge -

In my Interview the Navy knowledge was very basic and minimal.

The Navy Knowledge tests....

What is an SSN?

What ship is HMS Somerset?

What missile is used for Anti missile and Anti Air?

Where did Lord Nelson die?

What is the size of the Navy?

Where are melins based?

What is a NATO Operation (they gave 4 options)?

(they were just a few of the 35 question given)

Well... I hope that helps..

My main bit of advise is...

Go down there with a really positive attitude. Revise hard before had. Get your fitness up to at least 8.5 if you are a female. If you are male then aim to get at least 10 on the bleep test. The bleep test is really easy marks.

Have a good time down there.. try to relax and be confident when doing leadership and team building tasks. Also when in the gym doing the PLTs be loud and really over the top. Cheer each other on and point out the obvious when you are the leader. Make sure you tell everyone how to do everything..

e.g Don't forget to keep your thumbs in!! No1 don't forget to keep hold of the rope when letting go of the pole/spar


War Hero
fairy said:
....just to warn others who have theirs coming up, the Navy knowledge test is now 100 questions and covers EVERYTHING navy including questions on the RFA (was not expecting that!!) apart from that it is a really enjoyable experience, where I’m sure everyone learns lots about themselves!!


War Hero

The AIB will forthwith conduct the Psychometric and Service Knowledge testing for candidates using a computerised system, with a breakdown as follows:


Naval Service knowledge questions (80) and Defence Knowledge questions (20). Candidates will find that all the information required is freely available in the RN recruiting literature or the t'internet. Thorough study of the Official RN web-site and a good understanding of the down-loadable literature or hard copy literature available from your AFCO will provide most of the background information.

You will be given 25 minutes to complete the test which is in multiple choice format, your answers are marked as you progress. There will only be one correct answer for each question.


The psychometric testing will consist of the following elements :

o Verbal
o Numerical
o Abstract

Verbal Reasoning, 40 questions in 15 mins

Numerical Reasoning, 36 questions in 30 mins

Abstract Reasoning, 70 questions in 12 minutes.

(Abstract Reasoning test provide a measure of reasoning which is only minimally influenced by verbal aptitude and formal educational background.)

Scores from these three tests are combined into a combined Test Score out of 15.

The practice test booklets will be given to you after passing your Sift interview by your ACLO. As the booklets are Copyright, they cannot be reproduced here, but may subsequently become down-loadable from the official RN website.


War Hero
Defence spending in relation to overall government spending:



War Hero
benr22 said:
The computerised service knowledge test is the same for everyone on the day.

Our board had 2 potential ME officers, 1 Warfare and myself (warfare SM) ... we all had the same questions of which around there must have been at least 10 (out of 100) directly about the marines.

There was also quite a few questions on naval air squadrons, RFA and knowing the differences between various helicopters.

So, I came out of that pretty woried, as I had not learnt those things. I focused on ships, submarines, weapons and deployments.

Luckily I was able to redeem myself in my interview where you have to point out on a map (without the countries labelled) 2 or 3 places where the Navy is depolyed and talk about it, and talk about 3 of the ships on the wall that the board point out.


War Hero
krispy said:
I'd advise anyone with their board coming up to read, re-read and then re-re-read the AIB posts. I found the example interview questions particular helpful. They give a very good indication of the questions you will be asked. Read through the example Qs and think of answers you can give. You won't be asked them all but you will be prepared for most eventualities.

Quick mention about naval knowledge test. Regardless of the branch you are going for remember to brush up on RFA, FAA and RM. Don't just focus on ships/subs/weapons systems. There will always be Qs you are either not sure about or plain just dont know. I was asked the range of the RM's sniper rifle, which as I'm going for RN Warfare I hadn't looked at. Dont worry about these, move on to the next Q. There will be plenty of Qs you do know. Final personal niggle; one person on my board didnt know at which battle Nelson was killed. Damn basic knowledge! Make sure you know which battle and when (Trafalgar / 1805) if only to avoid looking like a numpty to the rest of your board.


War Hero
Lash_Monster said:
In light of you asking so nicely, after months of reading the site as a guest I've finally registered and wanted to pass my thanks to those keeping this behemoth of a thread going.

I sat my AIB last week, managed to pass and my board President told me I can be reasonably confident of a place in Dartmouth in April! Fingers crossed...

To share my experiences I would first and foremost say I had a great time and met some really nice people, not least 4 guys going for in service commissions who were a great help with chatting about finer details.

My application had been littered with delays from me taking a sabbatical post in my students' union after uni, to breaking my ankle and then traveling... Whilst I was incredibly frustrated at the time at how long my application process was (or rather, currently still is), in hindsight I now realise that it gave me plenty of time to become incredibly familiar with service knowledge literature; to recognise ships and their weapon systems as second nature, to know the past years operations by the back of my hand thanks to navy news and to know what ship is where right now and what they're up to. I also took the opportunity (perhaps a step too far but it helped my confidence) to read up on biographies and memoirs of famous leaders and watch the classic films like the Cruel Sea, Battle of the River Plate and In Which We Serve. I would thoroughly recommend 'Four Weeks in May' by David Hart-Dyke, captain of HMS Coventry in the Falklands and I also read up on Jackie Fisher, Andrew Cunningham, Bertram Ramsay and Sandy Woodward. In those additional four biographies/memoirs you get to read up on revolutions from the navy developing dreadnoughts and the end of sail, amphibious warfare and the recognition of the power and force projection of the (apparently not so WAFU) FAA and lastly being the commander of a large, modern task force. Hart-Dykes book is a pure gem if like me you want to go for warfare because it sets you in the heart of warfare operations and I feel like I could talk about many sections of a T42 destroyer and their roles without ever having set foot on one! If you have time, I'd thoroughly recommend this if not to help with your aspirations... I also got books like Jackspeak to try and grasp the lingo and specific navy humour! Lastly... After hanging around uni, doing a masters and being an injured rugby player I think it's safe to say fitness had gone out of the window and hit the proverbial so I got practicing shuttle and long distance running - do some bleep tests for the love of god! I think I'd have been distraught if that test let me down when it came to it!

To recap my time there:

Day 1, arrived almost two hours early because I couldn't trust the trains not to be cocked up and found that two other people had already checked in. Day 1 is just introducing you to AIB, settling into your cabins, meeting your boards and taking the opportunity to get any last minute panics out of the way. It was good to meet people from the other boards to share experiences on how we all prepared but having dinner and going to the cocked hat proved to be valuable time to meet your 'to be team members'. Had a couple of drinks and returned back to the cabin to finish off a book (but of course mob-related) and fell asleep in a surprisingly comfortable bed! N.B. I had (apparently false) illusions of the cocked hat to be some sort of classic, traditional pub stooped in naval heritage, probably candle lit but certainly draped with rare artifacts and ship parts. I even imagined it would probably have parts of famous ships embedded in the architecture such that perhaps the columns would have been masts, the bar made from old bulkheads and ships wheels somehow made into furniture or certainly be hung up on walls...

It wasn't. I have never been so amused but such a misconception and I think walking in to a vapour of vinegar, the musky odour of chip fat oil and seeing what I presume to be the after hours of the local youth club with improvised IDs at the bar will be a memory I'll take away with me forever! I had a quiet chuckle to myself but got on and enjoyed a few beers in the corner with my group.

Day 2, Up early for service knowledge tests. I actually really enjoyed this (in a very geeky way) and was confident in about 90% of my answers. We were all slightly abashed by the number of questions about the RFA, Marines and WAFUs so know your helicopters inside out: weapon systems, how to differentiate MK8, 7 and 3 lynx, which helicopters belong to which squadron, which helicopters complement which ships etc... Similarly with the Royals, know their training, bases and equipment... You also get history questions, questions pertaining the commonwealth, nato and UN - I think solely about membership. There are also some ambiguous questions such as 'What type of submarine is a Vanguard class? a. Trident, b. Polaris, c. Strategic, d. Coastal Surveillance. I picked c. but many went with A... who knows... I think they must have saved questions about the surface fleet for interviews... Of course it could just have been luck of the draw for which questions came out of the hat (though my cynical mind highly doubts that!).

Following this were the reasoning tests. Verbal and abstract reasoning aren't so hard if you practice, recognise trends (with regards to the latter) and keep a cool head but the maths questions were something else! I did Maths A level, deem myself to have pretty good mental maths and had done lots of speed distance time practices but this was a shocker! Our board came to a common consensus that this can only be to test you under real pressure (of finishing correctly and in time) and many people didn't get far into it. I managed to get through about 80% without guessing but ran out of time and due to rushing latter questions can't be too confident of a good score there...

After a little time to massage your swollen, throbbing head we got stuck into our essays. First point about these is that you do two sides and have 45 minutes. The space between lines in the paper is huge, the margins of a similar, wide berth fashion and they may as well have given you a felt tip pen to write with for how many words you can fit in. All questions are current affairs for which you are expected to draw an opinion. I dodged politics and questions relating to the monarchy as I was positive I'd make a stumble. I wrote about biofuels FYI and that I thought the government would be foolish to consider these the solution as an alternative fuel for transport. I wrote a quarter page introduction, 3 arguments against biofuels, one paragraph sympathising with them and a conclusion. I left after 15 minutes to watch the morning news.... What a coincidence that HMS Cumberland was all over it!

The rest of the day is spent doing the fitness test and preparing for the day after where you are told the big points are to be earned! Not much to be said really? Perhaps it might be worth saying that at lunch there was a shared anxiety as to what the correct eating strategy would be in preparation for the bleep test (!). I think the fact is that it's after about 3 hours of practice PLTs so I wouldn't worry too much about digesting those pussers potatoes with your tuna pasta bake... Oh yeah - side note - you'll order your food off a menu with veg, potatoes etc but I really wouldn't bother because it appeared that they just made up what they wanted to serve you regardless of what you asked for! I guess there is also a respite that if you feel you messed up any (or all?!) of this day you have the chance to put it behind you and really concentrate on the points tomorrow.

Day 2 evening was spent back in the pub making promises not to send some people across on the rope in fear of a dunking and how exactly it was you did that shuffle from a cantilever bridge on a truss to a pole hung up in ropes...... Well... It was briefly until general banter recommenced about someone not knowing when the Battle of Trafalgar was when asked in the service knowledge tests! (a heinous crime most of us agreed!)

Day 3. Up early again and the nerves around the breakfast table are notably more visible than ever before... I'd recommend to people that after/before brekkie you part pack yourself up because after PLTs you get 10 minutes to change from your PLT gear and overalls into a suit, pack up and clear your cabin and get your stuff down to the waiting room... With any spare time have a look at the map in the waiting/recreational room to firm up in your where exactly it is you're going to point to for Afghanistan and that the west indies are in fact off the east coast of the USA. This, and the map in the interview are both USA centric just to be sure you know east from west (or just be a pain in the ass?!). You also have plenty of opportunity to look at the techniques for the PLTS which are seemingly everywhere which may just be helpful to remind you just how many ways you can use your equipment.

My board started with PLTs. You get 15 minutes to look at a scenario and a challenge and you have to make a plan. Everybody drew out how they were going to make bridges etc but I just wrote down 5 or 6 bullet points as to what I wanted to do. When it would come to explaining my plan to other group members I figured this would be the easiest way to explain my plan in 30 seconds... It served me well and gave me plenty of time... After 15 minutes is up you go into the gym, meet the board (for the first time) and then are lined up for the first leaderless task. You are told that you will be assessed on three criteria: teamwork, communication and completing your objective (though they use different words). My board didn't complete a single task and the leaderless task (up first) was a complete shambles to say the least... At this point I'm now convinced one of our guys had given up and could have lost himself in a car park puddle - a real shame. Suffice to say he didn't pass. I'm sure it's a cliche but I'd stand by the simple advice - keep a loud clear voice; if you're the leader spell things out for how you want things done and make decisions quickly. If you're being led but see a problem or opportunity to improve a plan then suggest it (once) to the leader and get on with what they say. I think on a purely logistical level as a leader I would also put some thought into where you put yourself - this is not from a 'the leader never goes first into battle' point of view but purely so that you have good, clear vision as to what's going on and that you can adjust what your team mates are doing quickly and accurately. I really enjoyed the tasks despite having developed a throbbing heading (perhaps from the helmet or perhaps the pressure). Having played a lot of rugby I also think helped me here. I likened the situations to playing a match - you're comfortable of asking things of, and doing things for team mates and use some grit and (educated) determination to complete your tasks. I think this mindset helped me enjoy it rather than worry too...

After this was the quick change and pack (see note above) and off into the planning exercise. Again, this was pretty demanding actually. You're given a situation, told who your team are, told what equipment is at your disposal and given distances between places. You're told to make notes: first up, write down your aims. This is the most fundamental point of the planning exercise and despite how many 4x4's blow up, how far someones arm got lacerated and blown away by, how much a canal dries up or how quickly the sun will set and the threat of pirates attacking you increases by, you must still achieve your objective! I'd advise here to concentrate on the names of your teammates and what their experiences are - we got asked a multitude of questions on these which we could all only but blag our way through and hope for the best! When you make plans in front of your N2/Lieutenant make sure to refer to what time you start and finish each part of your plan (if only to try and ingrain them into your mind) - the N2 will literally grill you on this: "Number 1, what time did boat x blow up? and where was Mr. White? How long after the explosion would it take him to get back if he was traveling at 3mph? And so what time could he arrive? It's pretty intense... Keep your cool and keep one eye on the N2 and one eye on the map (to his/her side) as there's a lot of information on there to help you. FYI the speed distance time questions here weren't too hard and usually with good numbers... The hard part really is remember the time it takes for each event to happen and if this has further repercussions on your plan. We totally hashed up our original plans as we took a boat along a canal which is actually fact would have dried up after 1 hour so was no good... There are multiple solutions in the planning excercise so we all came up with contingency plans to try and alleviate the grilling when it came to it. Holes were still picked in our plan but we felt ok. After the exercise you all leave and come back individually to say if you agree with your original team plan and to summarise now what your new plan would be. Concentrate on keeping your objectives, reason and justify your plan and give notes to how you prioritise handling the situations (generally near-fatal injuries or meeting deadlines).

Once this is done you play a waiting game and hit up your interview. I again felt ok here because I'd thought ahead how to answer questions relating to what dangerous situations I'd been in, why I wanted to join the mob, could I kill someone, what teams I'd been in, what teams I'd led etc. My liaison officer actually prepared me very well for this and I'm grateful he gave me the time to discuss and scrutinise my answers before going... I keep meaning to send him my thanks somehow [any suggestions for not appearing like a sucker but genuinely meaning it?!]. I got asked to point out which the type 45 destroyer was and to name it's weapon systems and latterly to name what ship was in a picture (as it happened at T42) and again it's weapon systems. You're given the opportunity hear to say how much research you've done, the types of missiles fired, short or long distance? ASW or ASuW? What is the CIWS? And it gave me a feel good factor to talk at such ease.. I think I may have overstepped the mark because I was even able to recognise the liver bird in the ships badge on the T42 so confidently say that it was HMS Liverpool but by this point I was on a roll! I did however neglect to mention the recent drugs issue...

You then have lunch - where incidentally the WO1 Marine who had been rather officiously escorting us around on this last day all of sudden really lightened up and got chatty with us! - and a have long and painful wait before being called in to be told your results. Like I said, I had a great time there which was only made better by passing so now it's keep my fingers crossed for April and get cracking on that fitness properly!

If I could summarise my advice it's simple that chance favours the well prepared and keep calm and collected throughout. Don't try to be someone or something you're not.

My thanks again to the people here and apologies for such a long winded post!


War Hero
wannabe-atco said:
PTA - 2.4K run (MSFT level in brackets)

Male 11.13 (9.10)
Female 13.15 (7.03)

Male 11.38 (9.03)
Female 13.50 (6.07)

Male 12.05 (8.07)
Female 14.28 (6.02)

Male 12.34 (8.01)
Female 15.09 (5.05)

Male 13.02 (7.06)*
Female 15.52 (4.09)*

Male 13.34 (6.10)*
16.41 (4.04)*
* or Rockport walk

PTA graded in levels pass/good/v.good/excellent as times/levels improve. IIRC for 16-24 males a good is roughly 10.10mins on 2.4k and level 11.12 on the bleep tests but I will have to check that with my PTI tomorrow evening if anyone wants the specifics.

PTB – Press-ups, sit-ups & sprint (5x55m or 60m)

Up to 40 male - 23
40-45 male - 19
Up to 40 female - 17
40-45 male - 13

Up to 40 male - 39
40-45 male - 35
Up to 40 female - 29
40-45 female - 25

Up to 40 male - 59 seconds
40-45 female - 64 seconds
Up to 40 female - 72 seconds
40-45 female - 77 seconds


War Hero
jrwlynch said:
The "ship recognition" at my interview was limited to three nice pictures on the wall, all surface units: from memory a Type 23, Ocean and Daring. If I could get the class, role and main armament right, that seemed adequate. There might have been bonus marks for getting ships by hull number but I got by without: I wouldn't recommend trying to digest and memorise the entire "United Kingdom" section of Jane's Fighting Ships.

Just as important is getting hold of Navy News or similar and having at least an idea of where the RN is deployed at the moment and what the purpose of each deployment is; if you can put specific ships in the right area that won't hurt either. (You'll be asked to point out operating areas on a wall map - however, it's a bare map with no country outlines or names, so make sure your basic geography is okay)

There's a good piece in the latest Warfare Officer's Newsletter by the AIB's N2 lieutenant, who from the timing is likely to have been on my board: can't duplicate the whole article, but a few useful pointers from it:-

1. Preparation. Quite a few candidates let themselves down by poor preparation. Not so much a failure to gen up on Service knowledge, more often less tangible issues like an inability to give a good concise answer to "why do you want to join the Navy?" when put on the spot.

2. Competency-based interviewing. The final interview is tailored to be fair and effective: you won't be asked for hypothetical examples, you'll be asked for specific cases where you've exercised leadership, dealt with difficult subordinates, seen someone being harassed or bullied, and how you dealt with it. Think that through so you can describe them properly when you're hit with the question. Examples that end with "...and it didn't go very well, so I asked for some advice, and next time I think I'd..." seem to be acceptable - perfection would be nice, but showing you can spot and learn from your mistakes is also good. If you honestly can't think of an example (I'm lucky enough not to have seen someone being bullied, for example) then I'd suggest you say so rather than flailing around - let them move on to something else where you *can* show a good example.

3. Fairness. The AIB is set up and run to be scrupulously fair, assessing candidates entirely on the basis of their potential to succeed as commissioned officers (and to provide evidence to that point if necessary). It's been said many times and it's still worth repeating - give every part your best effort, don't try to second-guess or analyse your performance. The standard is high, but not impossibly so: they're looking for someone who will make a good mid-career lieutenant (or captain RM) rather than demanding every candidate be the next Nelson and/or Cunningham.

Best of luck with it - it's actually a good couple of days, though I daresay it looks best when filtered through the happy pink buzz of being told you've passed :)


War Hero
jrwlynch said:
Saying "relax!" probably won't help :)

More seriously, the next best thing to sailing through on a perfect performance, is picking up and recovering - especially on the PLTs and planning exercise. Do not get into a "that's it, I blew it, AIB failed" mindset - concentrate on recovering as much as you can if it starts to unravel. As an example, my PLT went horribly wrong halfway through, and all I could think of to do was to sound positive and confident while I binned half my plan, abandoned a lot of objectives and tried to salvage something from the mess.

And be sure that things will come apart a bit. The PLT seems straightforward when you look at the paper and come up with a plan - until your clever idea about swinging to the side to pick up the oil drum refuses to work. The planning exercise is *designed* to keep you on your toes, even to knock you onto your back foot, and to see how well you can keep your main objectives in mind and not get distracted but still assimilate a lot of information on the fly.

From experience I can tell you that once you've got started it's a lot easier- they keep you busy enough that you don't have too much time to brood. The only really tense part is the wait between your interview and being told your result... other than that, I was mostly concentrating on being in the right place at the right time in the right rig (which is not that hard to do, but things can be switched around at short notice; you need to pay attention to the staff, and be able to change, unpack and pack quickly)

Give it your best effort, look out for the other candidates, stay positive and you'll do well.


War Hero
Cpt_Black said:
For me, the difference between a T22 and T23 is fairly obvious - the helipad at the stern is the same size as the main deck in the T23 and lower in the T22. The T42 differs from the T23 with the reinforced deck - along the side of the gunwales (spelling?)
I've not moved on to minesweepers or RFA yet

dbzz said:
For differentiating between classes:

T22 and T23 as Cpt_Black said: the helipad is lower on a 22
T42 and T45: the big giveaway has to be the ginormous Sampson radar in the middle of the 45(that's the really tall prism with the big ball on top of it in case you were wondering :) )

HMS Ocean and Albion-class: Ocean is "all" flight deck (if that makes sense)
Ocean and Invincible-class: Absence of ski jump!

SSBN and SSN: The Sail on the SSBN is at one end, whereas it's (pretty much) central on the SSN

That's about it for obvious areas of confusion I can think of

HighFlyer said:
What I've got so far is the following:-

Type 42 - Bulb on top of Bridge and 4.5 at front
Type 23 - 4.5 at front with Box Launcher behind it
Type 22 - 4.5 at front
Carriers - Duh?
Hunt - Bridge close to the front
Sandown - Bridge further back

Lynx - camera on the front
Merlin - Fins for landing gear
Sea King - has the sonar balloon on the side
Harrier - IR camera on the front
Sea Harrier - No IR Camera
LPH - Irregular aft
LPD - Square aft
Survery Ship - Retractable Pylon
Antartic Patrol - well it's red

I just need some help identifying differant submarines

But with them is that all I need

AndyGrayland said:
For me it's the masts, then weapons systems.


Type 23 has 1 large and one small with the large one towards the bow.

The type 42 has the same, but the large one is towards the stern.

The 22 has two about the same size.

Type 45 - Sampson

If you do get a close up though the weapons are a big hint.

Type 42s - Seadart right behind the mark 8.

Type 23s - vertical seawolf and harpoon right behind the Mark 8.

Type 22s - Movable seawolf launcher and harpoon next to the forward mast.

You can tell the difference between the batch 2 and 3 42's by a large bulge running along each side of the batch 3s. This is because the extended length required a strengthened hull.

There are only batch 3 22s left.


If you get a really good close-up you can also use the CIWS to help name the carrier. Goalkeeper is Illustrious and Phalanx is Ark Royal.

Submarines: (assuming you can't tell the scale)

Vanguard - Unmistakable in my opinion - it's just so wide!

Astute - Has a dimple either side of the tower and a pointed (ish) bow.

Trafalgar/Swiftsure - These look very similar, the best way I have found to spot them is that the trafalgars' rudders are slightly higher than the vessel, whereas the swiftsures' are pretty much level.


Batch 1s have a 20mm gun, the Clyde has a 30mm and a helipad.


War Hero
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littleshinydemon said:
Tips for those going for their AIB

Naval Knowledge

The navy knowledge test covers an immense spectrum of topics surrounding not just the Navy and the Royal Marines, but the RFA, ministry of defence, history and also 'health' (we had a question about which war was Florence Nighting Gale in, amongst other 'health' related questions).

The navy knowledge itself, about ships etc. is not that hard, if you have been reading about the different weapons systems, the more prominent radars and roles of ships and aircraft, you should be able to do quite well. Knowing the names of ships and squadron numbers are also helpful, but there weren't lots of questions on these sorts of things.


This was always going to be my weakest area, and I was very surprised at the level of the maths. It wasn't particularly difficult (it has been a long time since doing maths at school, but I wouldn't say it was any higher than GCSE). There were no equations, no pythagoras, no angles. Basically it was all about using tables of data, graphs etc. to answer the questions which are all multiple choice, and focused mainly on percentages, fractions and ratios. There were some Speed Time Distance questions, and the numbers were not the easiest to work with, but no impossible. I would recommend Data Interpretation Practice Tests or Mental Arithmetic as being useful. The main problem is the shortage of time for this test.


This is where, according to my AFCO, most people fall down. I don't know how I did, but have had many years of experience writing reports and essays to tight time scales. In the essay they are not looking for factual knowledge, but your ability to structure an argument and get across a point. So make sure you take time to create a plan (you have plenty of time for that) and then keep it nice and simple - Point explanation example is what I usually use. Make sure your conclusion actually concludes something and doesn't just leave you sitting on the fence, or the reader unsure of what your actual point was.


This was, in my opinion, the easiest part of the whole week. Make sure you are loud, probably slightly 'camp' in your support of your team mates :D and that you keep you plan simple and clear for everyone to understand. Use lateral thinking, if something is in your way and you don't need it, and the mission statement has not specifically mentioned the object, just push it out the way.

Final point, don't panic! Don't allow yourself to freak out, if you get stuck, ask your team mates for suggestions.

Planning Exercise

Personally I found this the hardest section of the AIB. Main points are;

You are given 15 minutes to sit in silence to read your scenario, make sure you remember AS MUCH as possible of EVERYTHING. My problem was that I skimmed over certain sections of the scenario in the belief that they were irrelevant, however it is all brought up during the 'interrogation'.

When it comes to the group discussion, make sure you are as vocal and active in the construction of the plan as possible, and don't be afraid to make suggestions. My problem was I lost the thread of our plan from the start of the discussion because it was getting towards the end of the second day. I switched off for a second and it proved very detrimental my planning exercise.

Prior to the AIB, I was using the STD website that has already been posted on here, to practice. I was able to do the questions in an average of 8-10seconds per question in my head easily - at the AIB, when confronted in the interrogation section with STD, I completely lost it and couldn't even do the simplest of sums. My point is, don't just practice STD, practice having someone firing STD questions at you, and then adding your answer onto an existing time (for example, you don't just have to be able to do the STD, you then have to remember what the original time was that you started with, and add your answer on to this very quickly...and make sure you do it ALL in 24 HOUR CLOCK - the Lt. who is asking the questions doesn't like 12 hr clock :lol: ).

Other than that, the whole process goes very quickly and you rarely have a chance to worry.



ps. This is simply based on my own experience, so things may change, and will possibly be different for anyone else. Also I haven't recieved my debrief yet, so don't take it as gospel :D
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