Hints and tips for AIB

I passed AIB before Christmas last year, found this site really helpful.

One of my old school friends is preparing for an AIB and asked for some help I told him to look at this site.
I then decided I should put something back in (everything I told him over the phone)
So here it is:

Tips for preparing (Apologies if you've already thought of this most of it is common sense)

1. Any Questions ask your ACLO

2. Buy the Navy News (or pick it up free from the AFCO when you are asking your ACLO those questions!). I know some of the puns are dreadful but the inside front page is great for knowing what the Navy is up to, and what ships are where.

3. Buy the bleep test cd Clicky Practice it.

4. Buy the Royal Navy Handbook excellent bedside reading Clicky

5. Try to arrange a visit to a relevant section on a Navy station/ship. I phoned up the PR Officer at Culdrose and got a visit to 750 Sqn and a free flight too!! This sounds good in the interview at AIB and will also help you to have a better idea of your training pipeline as you can talk to people that are doing it! Navy days are ALWAYS worth a visit I went to Plymouth and it was a fantastic day out! My girlfriend enjoyed it and she has no real Navy interest/experience so drag your family along too!

6. Read these forums, before you ask any questions hit the search button type in what you want to know (e.g., "AIB" read all the posts to see if your question has been answered, if it hasn’t ask. But please check your spelling and don’t ask stupid questions e.g. "will I get to do underwater knife fighting?" You'll only get the P1$$ taken out of you! Another AIB Thread here :Clicky

7. Learn what Ships/Aircraft the Navy has and what they do. Learn how to recognise them. I made crib sheets with each ships role, weapons systems and names of current ships. I also put several pictures of the ships on each sheet and labelled the clues I used to tell them apart (location of harpoon/radomes/shape of hull). I also donated a copy of them all to the CO of the local Sea Cadet unit, not only were they happy to have it, but they also had some tips on Ship recognition.

8. Memorise everything on the Q101 (the form you send of with your leadership/teamwork experience etc). Easiest way to do this is to photocopy it before you send it! Keep the photocopy post the original! Also have in mind 1 or 2 examples of teamwork/leadership etc so you can elaborate in the interview, write these down also.

9. You already have Crib sheets on the Ships/Aircraft. Now make one up on Current Operations. Don’t forget all the business as usual Navy affairs. The Navy doesn’t just live in Iraq/Afghanistan, learn about Drug Patrols, fishery protection (not too much just so when asked what else the navy do you have some idea!)

10. Research your chosen career path (in my case Aircrew) e.g., what happens once you pass AIB e.g.. BRNC, Basic Observer Course etc. Learn what each of these phases involves they will question you on it (they asked me anyway!) The info is on the handouts from AFCO, and easily found on the Royal Navy website Clicky

11. Practice writing short essays use any old english textbooks/bitesize revision to refresh on how to write essays (you get about 1.5 pages A4 at AIB). Standard questions are "Are I.D. Cards necessary?", "Should Britain maintain a Nuclear Deterrent"
12. Don't worry it isn’t that hard! If you would like a copy of my crib sheets send me a pm

What happens and what to do when you're there!

Don't be late! Get there on time!

1700hrs - tour of AIB followed by briefing and issue of trainers and overalls as well as water bottle and kit bag

1830 - Dinner - must wear full suit for every meal everyday, order off menu, loads of choice mmmmmm (avoid the soup I spilt some on my suit which I had for my interview and looked a bit of a moppet!) Chat over dinner, don’t eat in silence be SOCIABLE IT WONT HURT! Everyone else is likely as nervous as you are. A Senior rating will eat with you chat to him too, he/she (for ease of typing I’m going to assume he, sexist I know but these forums aren't known for the PCness!) has been in the Navy, and he's probably seen lots of candidates, chat to him he can give types or at least spin some great dits!

After dinner free time - go to the pub! It’s a must unless u18.
Don’t forget to peg out! And don't forget your pass to get back in!
The Pub is a time where you can relax and get to know your syndicate, talk to everyone but focus on your particular team, I believe we were the best bonded team and we all passed bar one who was very young and told he needed a little more life experience (He said he'd definitely be back!)

2300 - Shore leave expires, lights out


0615 - Wake up tune!

0645- 0715 breakfast

0725 - Muster in restroom

0745 - Testing begins
The pack you are sent has some excellent practice questions although somewhat easier then the real thing! Some of the questions are similar to I.Q test stuff. Once you get the pack you'll know what to practice

1145 - Practice planning exercise - Doesn’t really prepare you for the question barrage and the practice is far too simple. Gives you an idea though, just uses the imagination.

1345 - PLT practice - good fun, listen in because there are techniques you MUST use, you might get wet depending on if the staff want to make you all jump in! We were told to run through into the room and duck are heads into the pool as we all looked sleepy for the testing phase and the fact we'd just had a nice lunch! Revise your techniques in the evening before the pub (with team). The techniques are on posters in the candidate’s room and each cabin. Read them when you are bored/before you go to bed.

1530 - MSFT (bleep test) you have a short 5-10 min warm up by PTI. The hall is so slippery that you land on the line and slip about 6 inches on each turn, no exaggeration! The staff says you can expect to get a level lower than your usual (I guess they take it into account). I was told it is used to measure motivation and is not a pass or fail, best advice is give it your all run till you puke! We were told that they will be more impressed by someone fat who runs till they puke but only gets level 9.1 then some fit guy who stops at level 12 because he thinks he’s done enough, when he knows he could get to level 14.

1630 - Jog back to AIB (5mins)

1830 - Dinner

Go to the pub again have a wind down and really work on becoming a good team.
2300 - Leave expires, lights out


0615 - Call The Hands

0645 - 0715 Breakfast

0725 gather in restroom in overalls ad trainers boards 1 & 2 for PLTs. board 3 suits for planning ex

PLTs - right the time to shine, all the problems are really simple, you will easily make a solution in your 15min silent planning time. Leaderless task, each member try to say part of the plan, let each member have a crack. Speak up to maximum volume without shouting. Don’t take control but don’t say anything, be really CAMP! I mean it support everyone with encouraging comments! Follow the rules! Use the Techniques you were shown you've had nearly 24 hours ton learn them and they are for your own safety! Its one big game so play up to it. Leader task - same as above but really don’t get to involved get to a position where you can be in the middle of the team if possible. Group hugs at the end! No really!

Planning ex - by far the most pressured task. Get soo much bloody information, make notes quickly as possible. The officer will call you in and present a problem. You will have about 7mins to come up with a plan in front of the board. I was told that I started to chair the planning which was good, don’t try to take control though, and just try to get a group consensus on the plan/aims. One person presents the aims, one person presents the plan. Then the questioning begins, it is timed on each person, about 5-6mins I think but seems like weeks. The SDT are really easy figures but then they add them to times events happened, again easy, but a lot to remember. Keep switched on because at any time you could be questioned! If she presents a better plan take it! She might propose a worse one though!
Finally you will leave and be called back in one by one to present your final plan, 2mins with just the map. Deviate from the group plan if you wish, or not, we had both on our team and all passed.

0915 approx - boards 1 & 2 got to AIB to do Planning ex. board 3 to PLT

1030 approx - board 3 to AIB Boards 1 &2 complete planning ex

1100 approx - Interviews conducted - 25- 30 mins, each board member talks to you for about 8-10 mins. I mean talks, it is very relaxed. They focus on all the things that are in the Q101 application form, they touch on naval knowledge too.
The Interviews are actually quite good fun! When asked why I had chosen Observer over pilot I quoted what an observer in training at 750 had said he called pilots "Taxi Drivers" and said that the Observer was the one "in control of the aircraft the pilot steers it" to which the Lt Cdr who asked the question said "You do realise the Captain is a Pilot?". I look across and see the wings on his sleeve. "Yes sir, I do". Lt Cdr replies "That’s O.K. I'm an Observer lets carry on." Later on in the interview the Captain asks "We may offer pilot rather then Observer, how would you feel about being a taxi driver" Touché!
In my debrief report my ACLO said that in the notes about the interview it said "Appropriate use of humour", so I guess they saw the funny side!

1330 approx - Results and debrief - only takes about 5 mins then you report straight to reception, if unsuccessful a taxi will be rang, if successful fill out some forms and go straight to medical. Yes all sweaty and smelly ha-ha!

Medicals – Can’t say too much on this as I failed my medical for Aircrew (eyesight let me down, so I'm joining as AEO (I have a degree in Aero Eng)



Pete- Hope this helps

Apologies for the plagiarism to Blimy - I copied,pasted and Edited your write up on AIB (Well! it was a bloody good write up!)

MODS--Would it be possible to have this as a sticky like the Raleigh Hints and Tips thread? Please feel to merge it with another AIB thread/correct my bad grammar if needed


andym said:
Just for your info,its "Call the Hands" not reveille,thats what the Brahn jobs have!

BTW, for some unknowen reason, at AIB they do play the Bugle/ reveille and not the monotonous 'call the hands'


hi, i appreciate that you sent this over a year ago so it is more of a hit in hope reply. could you send me a copy of your crib sheet (if you still have it) please? i have done one myself and just want to compare to make sure i have missed nothing off.

it would be gratefully recieved and please email it to: [email protected]



Hi, again i appreciate that you posted this thread over a year ago but i would find it really useful if i could compare your crib notes with my own.

If that would be possible could you please e-mail me at [email protected]

Thank you.