Just passed my aptitude test

Good Afternoon,

I've just returned from the AFCO having passed my aptitude test. I thought it best to write a few tips from my experience to benefit others.

1) The test was harder than the booklet distributed by the AFCO. I highly recommend purchasing some aptitude test practice papers from WH Smith etc.
2) Dress well, most of the other candidates came in wearing jeans and looking generally scruffy.
3) Arrive about 15mins before the allocated time, read the Navy News or other literature whilst waiting.
4) Definately practice against the clock. I managed to complete all my questions within the set time, but only just.
5) Relax, ask all the necessary questions before the test. They will go through it but don't be afraid to ask.
6) Read the question properly. One chap mentioned to me after the test that he thought he got 5 questions wrong for misinterpretting the question.

Hope this helps those at a similar stage to myself.
I'll try to write something similar once i've sat my interview.


Lantern Swinger
Good advice =]
I compelty agree on the dress thing
People who wore jeans when I took mine looked like it was just a breif decision to take join haha

Pinstripe trousers and green shirts are the way forward ladies! =]
I just aced my aptitude test as well!

Word of warning - the maths in the test is harder than the practise book. I actually really enjoyed it though...... :thumright:
Well done ajmarshall. Good result and nice of you to post your top tips from your experience for others to work off.

Good luck with the interview. It's worth it when you get in.

Well done. I thought the hardest thing about the test was being up against the clock too. Maths isn't my best subject and I found it was taking me far too long just to work out one answer. You don't get long for each answer.

Good advice!
snapdragon said:
Well done. I thought the hardest thing about the test was being up against the clock too. Maths isn't my best subject and I found it was taking me far too long just to work out one answer. You don't get long for each answer.

Good advice!
That is very true, I only managed to complete just over half of the maths ones and when they announced there was 30 seconds left I just had to guess the last 5 or so questions.
Chelmsford, Essex. I thought the maths was ok. Practise on some Sudoko's or something similar to get your brain in the right mode. What branch are you aiming for Stefan?
fly_past said:
Remember though Raleigh is just the start and the "real Navy" is not Raleigh!
congrats pal

i love it at Collingwood where the submariners are walking about the place calling everybody skimmer, when they've only been in around 15 weeks

makes me giggle
Thanks for all the messages, much appreciated! I applying for Warfare Officer (Submariner). I've been studying my training path, and i've only got to go to HMS Collingwood for the Junior Warfare Officer's course. Do I train there to be a Submariner aswell? The info says HMS Raleigh. Just looking to clear things up.
I recently took the test; I underestimated the time allowed and ran out on the first section but by speeding up on the other sections I managed to give myself a few seconds to skip back to the first section at the end of each and answer a few questions, by the end I had answered all but two, thought this might be helpful for anyone taking theirs soon.
I took mine this morning and got a really good result, despite a poor background in mathematics. My two pennies:

1) If you have a thimble sized bladder like me, take a piss before the test starts. I was in real discomfort by the Mechanical section - not an aid to concentration!

2) The questions don't go from easy to hard to harder - they're random. So getting stuck on a hard one early on could mean missing some really easy ones later in the test.

3) Maths - I would revise addition, multiplication, subtraction and division (of whole numbers, decimals and fractions). Also plane geometry - concepts like area, perimeter and whatnot. Expect questions to mix things up a little - perhaps asking you to deduce things from the given area of a shape, instead of just asking you for the area. There were also some basic questions involving a couple of variables, i.e. x and y substituted for actual numbers.

4) Mechanical - a fun section! I would study gears (toothed and belt drives), pulleys, compass directions, tools, simple electronics, gear ratios, some basic facts about various construction materials, and the behaviour of different parts of spinning objects (wheels, rotors etc...)

I used these web sites:


I ended up buying the Mechanical and Numerical reasoning tests from that last site, because of my overall weakness in maths and because I didn't study any Mechanically orientated subjects at secondary or tertiary level. I found them useful but your mileage may vary according to your strengths, weaknesses, educational background and how long it has been since said education (a long time in my case).

This doesn't cover everything but I hope it helps someone build up a mental picture of what is expected of you.


Lantern Swinger
Took mine last week too and did well, I think Omelette sums it up quite well so won't go into too much detail.

Like many other people I personally found the maths part the trickiest of the four, this is mainly with having to calculate the sums knowing the clock is against you and as most of us know a rushed answer results in a wrong outcome.

An easy way I found to get round this was to look at the 4 answers given, very often they were quite varied and used elimination on occasions.

I probably found the mechanical easiest and most fun to do (Engineering at uni helped no end).

If you start to struggle or panic on a question then skip it, as there could be easy marks going to waste with the latter questions (obviously go back and have another shot if you have time, or even just hazard a guess if you have seconds left, don't leave anything blank whatever you do.

Similar threads

Latest Threads