Just failed my psychometric test :(

Am new to the forum and really keen to join the navy. In fact, it is all I've ever really wanted to do and have been anticipating applying to join for years. Went into the psychometric feeling pretty confident and had prepared for it using various websites. I did great with mechanical comprehension, verbal reasoning, and general reasoning, but the numeracy section murdered me and therefore I didn't pass. I'm really devastated about this as I just expected to scrape it at least.

I have never been very good working out maths questions without a calculator and 30 secs a question just wasn't enough for me :( I have a C at GCSE Maths but I just found this a different ball game entirely. I only managed to have a go at 16 questions and suddenly the time was up!

The guy I spoke to at the AFCO after the test said I would need to retake it in 12 months and recommended I do night courses in maths. However, apparently I could potentially sit it again in 6 months if I can prove I have attended such a course. The thing is, I'm just not that confident such a course will really help me.

I was wondering if anyone on this forum might be able to offer me some advice or pointers about ways they managed the maths sections? How about any books you may have got hold of that helped you? Like I say, it is just the maths part that is my weakness and apparently I blitzed every other section!

Thanks everyone.
Not so much a pointer, but what i found helpful was working on my mental maths, so when multiplying and dividing i knew the answer straight away. Just work on anything that is going to save you any time.

For my revision, all i used was the bbc bitsize revision website.

As for taking a course to allow you to take the RT test quicker, you may aswell even if you don't think it will make any difference. It will still allow you to retake the test quicker.

Also if waiting isn't something you want you could possibly think about a different job, if there was any available with your score.


Lantern Swinger
Hey tickymondo , don't beat yourself up over it. I failed on the Maths just over 6 months ago. I didn't feel good about it I can tell you. However I've been doing Maths in night school ever since, and I passed the test Tuesday gone, with a score high enough to go for CT (I think you need a high score for this job). So keep at it, it worked for me. Good luck!
I wasn't told of anything so I guess there wasn't anything else available. I think you need 50% in each section regardless of what you apply to do. 6-12 months is a long wait! I'm unemployed at the moment too which doesn't help matters lol.

I will check out the bitesize pages. Hadn't thought of that. I will just try everything I guess.
Try and find mental maths exercises in every day life, calculate bills in restaurants and supermarkets and, if you manage that before you're asked to pay, calculate how it would divide up between different numbers of people.

Don't feel too down, maths isn't easy for everyone but with practice you should be able to achieve the required level.

Incidentally, what were you applying for?
tuts said:
Hey tickymondo , don't beat yourself up over it. I failed on the Maths just over 6 months ago. I didn't feel good about it I can tell you. However I've been doing Maths in night school ever since, and I passed the test Tuesday gone, with a score high enough to go for CT (I think you need a high score for this job). So keep at it, it worked for me. Good luck!
Cheers Tuts! Was there any one particular thing they taught you at night school that really helped you out?
tickymondo said:
SRT1 said:
Incidentally, what were you applying for?

Personnel Logistician (Submariner) as 1st choice, Comms Technician as 2nd.
Good luck with the retake when it happens, when I took my aptitude test for the first time there was a guy there who had horribly failed on his first attempt and, though we didn't get told our exact score, he met the required standard for both his choices.

I'm going in as a Medical Assistant (Submariner) so I might see you at some point.


Lantern Swinger
When I first sat the test I was shocked at how much I didn't know, and how slow I was. I'm quite old, so it's a long time since school. It wasn't so much of what I didn't know though, compared to how fast my brain cell was acutaly working. Just going to college and practicing Maths started to work the part of my brain I wasn't used to using. So what SRT1 is sayings right. It's like anything, if you keep at it, you'll only get better and faster. I was more nervous doing the re-sit, because I remembered how crap I felt the first time round. If your not working, but this 6 months to good use by going to college, and maybe getting more qualifications. I've been doing computers as well since, and I've also gained my English & Maths qualification. So failing the first time round has only worked out better for me. Don't let it get you down, it can only get better. Fingers crossed!
I would also focus alot on practising against the clock. Time was the thing that most worried me, so i did alot of work against the clock and like i said before the quick mental maths.

When i sat the RT i finished every section before the time finished and had time to check over every answer.

Speed is the key!


Lantern Swinger
Dont beat yourself up about it, you should do the cource and the teaching staff should help you out as much as they can, chin up and be confident that next time you will pass

I know that you will be disappointed, but don't be put off - as tuts demonstrates, candidates can slip up on one section but return to sit the RT again at a later date and do it successfully. That could be you, too.

I think that a plan of action is called for.

If I were you, I would find out where my local college of further education is and give them a call today. Ask them if there is a maths course just beginning which is suitable for you; if necessary, ask to speak directly to a Tutor. As you are out of work, the course should be free. You might be just in time to get in on the start of term.

There is also the Learn Direct scheme, where learning is done on an e-learning basis - have a look at this:


It's also worth calling in on your local JobCentre today and telling them that you need to do this maths course in order to take up employment. A good JobCentre Advisor should know of the perfect course. Actually, that could be your first port of call of the day. Pop down there after breakfast and ask them what is available. If they don't have anything they can fix you up with, then call the local college.

On the jobs front, I was wondering if it might be useful to ask at the JobCentre whether any of the local retailers are recruiting at the moment. I suggest retail because firstly, a store such as Tesco would be able to offer shifts which would fit in with your new maths course. Secondly, you could do mental arithmetic as you are doing your job e.g. "a case of forty tins at 17p a tin comes to" ..... or "20% reduction on the cost of a bottle of wine @ £4 is .....". Thirdly they are all gearing up for Christmas and need extra staff - I know that my local Tesco gets its tree up sometime in October.

I know that retail might not appeal to you but it will put cash in your pocket while you are working on joining the Navy.

Read through this thread too - there are good suggestions for books and websites which will help you with the RT. Ask at your library for the books.


Let me know how you get on.


Lantern Swinger
I'm sorry to hear that. 12 months is a long time. If I were you I would get a Maths tutor, maybe once a week?
When I did my psychometric test (last week) I found that practicing speed/distance/time and long multipication/division/subtraction/adding helped nicely.

All the best


Lantern Swinger
try this:


spoken out loud, then get ur mum to crack u across the back of the neck with a wooden ruler when u get one wrong.

The above formula can be adapted for any number you like by simply transposing the "2" for the number of interest

The army BARB test?! lol A 10 year old kid wouldn't have any problems passing that. The BARB test has no time limit. It's the easiest of the armed forces written tests.

Personally, I think the Royal Navy is the hardest to pass.

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