Aptitude tests? Practice papers?

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by snapdragon, Jun 12, 2006.

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  1. Sorry if this is in the wrong place.

    I didn't do too well on my practice papers- 100% on the English and reasoning, only two out of eight on the mechanical comp. (which i thought i'd done well on!) and maths. My maths has always been pretty bad unless i'm taking lessons, so i guess that's a case of dragging out the old GCSE text books. But mechanical comprehension? How can i improve on that? I know it mostly seemed like common sense, but i got most of it wrong anyway.

    So, can anyone suggest good practice books for the tests? Or websites?

    And can anyone give a vague idea of pass marks needed for different trades, or is it a case of which trades are most needing staff? If you apply for one trade and don't get enough marks, will you be offered another trade with lower marks needed? Do you need a certain percentage in each subject, or does your overall mark count? For example, if i got 100% on English and verbal reasoning and nothing in mechanical comp. and maths, does that count as an overall 50%?

    Lots of questions, appreciate any answers.

  2. Hi, my son recently went through the recruitment process so here's my twopenny worth.

    Go to Waterstones and buy some psychosometric practice books - they're in the business section. You can get different levels of difficulty but in my opinion it doesn't really matter. Basically it's like doing crosswords or suduko, the more you do the more your brain gets into that way of thinking. My son practiced for 12 weeks before his aptitude test, and it definitely made a big difference. On the day he found the navy test alot easier than the ones he'd practiced and got enough marks to have his choice of trades.

    Percentage wise all I know is that 50% minimum and that gets you in as a steward. Communications was one of the higher ones at 85% I think, the trade you get offered is definitely on aptitide percentages and not on recruitment shortages.

    100 percent in one section and 0 in another will definitely affect what you are offered. For instance, you cannot be rubbish at mechanical comp and expect to go in as an engineer. That said I did get the impression that good scores in english and maths sections were a fairly basic requirement and I know someone that scored 50% overall but still weren't offered anything coz their english and maths sections were too poor. If you apply for one branch and don't get enough marks you will be told what you can do based on your score. The AFCO have a list of waiting times for each of the jobs so they can tell you how long you would be likely to wait for enrolment for a particular job. Aircraft handlers were a ridiculous 2 years in our area (SW). Stores accountant was 7 months.

    Do remember tho that the aptitude test is only part of the process. You have an interview, fitness test, eyesight test and medical all to get through. You can score 95% in the aptitude but you could fail the interview because they think you've got the wrong attitude, or, like my son have crap eyesight and have your options severely limited on choice of trade.

    Sorry its a bit long winded, having lived and breathed this process over the last 6 months along with my 16 year old, its refreshing to pass it on to someone else!
  3. That's helpful, thanks!

    Maybe i excused my mechanics score by thinking that you have to be taught that kind of thing to know it. But that's what comprehensio's all about, showing potential to learn. I did actually have AET in my list of definite interests, so i think i need to work on that one! I had a look in WH Smith for some practice books (no other bookshop in that town), but it was useless. I'll definitely invest. Do you think a foundation level GCSE textbook is adequate for the test? I have one somewhere. I might even have my old college exercise books. I have enrolled at a college again to do GCSE maths (i did a numeracy course, pre-GCSE and p*ssed it). Of course, completing that depends on the wait for my trade to have vacancies i guess. Does the Navy allow you to study for a needed qualification while doing that job?
  4. If they are any thin like the test I did at AIB over 40 years ago both the maths and the mechanical test were as much tests of logic and observation. Certainly getting the brain attuned to the way of thinking required to do well wil be good.

    The other important thing is to make sure you understand each problem, you thought you did ok, but actually you didn't, that would indicate that you failed to understand the question. Remeber it will always be better to do 75% and get all right than do 100% and get 50% wrong. Speed of answering does not always get the best results.

    Above all when you do the test for real DON'T PANIC.

  5. Just out of interest, nowerdays do matelots have to do these aptitude tests only if they have poor qualifications? If someone wanted to be a Communicator and had 'A' levels or was a Graduate, could they not simply be deemed intellectually suitable? (I am assuming the person didn't want to go for a Commission).
  6. I think you would still have to do the aptitude tests, they look for different things from paper quals. I had to do them at my AIB so even pigs are not exempt.

  7. Did you really say that? Degrees are two a penny these days and when I was at Uni a lot of the graduates would be down right dangerous in the forces. Common sense style aptitude testing is a much better gauge.
  8. Good GCSE results will give you a NAMET score of 0:0, but it seems to me that GCSEs and A levels have been dumbed down so much these days that they're becoming useless. That's why Unis these days are wanting the actual % score not just the grade.

    Reminds me of that bit in 'Spinal Tap' where the guitarist is going on about how his amp goes up to 11 and the interviewer says why don't they renumber 11 as 10 and re-do all the numbers down. Seems like that's the way GCSEs have gone with A*. Why don't they just make A* an A and regrade accordingly?
  9. Where I studied the standards are still fairly high. Any grade lower than 50% is a FAIL, whereas in some universities this seems to be sufficient for a Distinction!!! I had to get 75% to get one of those!

    Thanks for tha answers anyway. Interesting. I quite fancy having a go at one out of curiosity - I wouldn't get away with pretending to be an interested teenager though, even if I were to try dying my hair brown - the wrinkles & expanding baldness would give my away! :lol: Do you know where I could get one from to try out?
  10. In my experience the aptitude tests are actually a far better way of really getting to gripes with abilility than todays GCSE's. My son is currently sitting GCSE's and I would say that the score on the aptitude is a much fairer reflection of his ability and natural aptitude than the GCSE results are likely to be.
  11. In that case I wouldn't be cleaver enough these days to be a Communicator. :( Well I joined initially as a Junior Seaman back in '59, perhaps I'd be up to being one of them? :lol:
  12. I think the reality is both have a value, you need the academic to show you can sit in a classroom and absorb enough of the stuff well enough to be able to regurgitate it later, simply because the navy will be trying to drum some of the stuff into the little blighters that way. On the other hand they are in the real world so the aptitude will help to show the abilities in that area which is going to be important both in absorbing hands on training and then using that training in the fleet.

  13. Something like that, yeah! For example, there was a question about bike gears, "which would be more suitable to use to get up a very steep hill?". I figured that first gear moves faster and would be the smallest gear. And the answers said it was the biggest gear- so i got that wrong. I thought bigger gears moved slower than smaller ones. So my knowledge was wrong with that, but i understood it with my warped knowledge ;) I think practice will definitely do me good.

    Thanks Shakey for the link.

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