Psychometric Recruit Test Preparation and Review

Hi All

This is my first post so be nice!

Like so many people on this forum and others I was looking for as much info as possible about the Recruit Test. I found some useful stuff but I thought when I do the test I'll post something to help others. Well I did the test today so here is my review of it and how best to prep for it.

I bought none of the paid for services or books, so can't review these. Some other posters have had good results from these materials so they maybe good but I didn't use them.

Sites that contain good revision materials are:

Mechanical Comprehension for ASVAB Power Practice Problems |
Mechanical comprehension tests - what you need to know
Printable Flashcard on ASTB Mechanical Comprehension Test: Free Flash cards

The first site here was really brilliant for Mechanical stuff. I have no mechanical understanding so this was brilliant revision and I got it sorted based on the principles set out in the questions and brilliant answers and workings out. If you swot up and learn some of these principles you'll be sorted for on the day.

In true HM Forces style I turned up 15 mins before my scheduled start time, waited 90 mins (despite a few friendly "I'm still here"s) before a grumpy officer wondered why I was there. Thankfully I had all my paperwork so the grumpy style was swapped for a more apologetic tone.

He allowed me to sit the RT by myself. I was taken in to a test room on my own and was read out some standard gumpf about how to approach the test. Was disconcerting watching him watch me fill in the answers. You get a few practice questions at the beginning which do not count towards the score which they give you the answer for. This to check you understand. I literally had him watch my answers and I was thinking if I'm wrong he's going to know!

The test then began and the key point about the test is its FAST!!! you must revise based on answering questions quickly otherwise you'll be stuffed. You could probably get 100% if you had time (and a calculator) so do practice the various revision guides based on the clock. The booklet they give you I practiced doing the 11 available questions (including 3 practice questions) in about 3 minutes. If you don't train to be fast you'll be struggling as like I say the questions are not overly difficult.

What freaked me out is that the officer/ invigilator had a stop watch that I could not see, and there was no clock in the room so I really did not have a clue where I was in the timing. So again work FAST. To be honest its the mental equivalent of the PJFT - which can be summarised - I'm told as run as fast as you possibly can.

You all know the key sections but the areas I'd swot up on are:
  • Mental addition, multiplication, subtraction and division
  • Practice stuff with shapes and visual bits
  • Basic maths principles (just to remind yourself) i.e Standard From, Significant Numbers, Rounding
  • Mechanical stuff (the links above covered it all for me) like levers, pulley, springs, ramps, fulcrum. The questions are basic so just revise the basic principles of these.
  • The english comprehension stuff frankly is hard to revise as if you were shit at this stuff at school you're going to struggle now. However all is not lost because you just need to read stuff really carefully. If you begin to read a broadsheet newspaper and look up words you don't recognise you'll probably make up for a bad educational experience.
For me I was dreading the mechanical bit as there is a lot of chatter online about this being solid. I am rubbish at Mechancial Stuff as my subject areas at school and later university was law so I left these principles behind at 15. However due to swotting the above I'm fairly sure I got a very high score on this part of the RT because none of the questions caused me to scratch my head.

On completion of all parts of the tests I was shown back to the foyer for about 10 minutes whereupon I was asked to rejoin the officer. He told me I'd passed. He was in much more jovial mood now so we had a bit of friendly banter. I tried to get my scores out of him but he said all that he could say was that I had done really well with a good score.

They will arrange for my interview in July 2013.

If this was helpful please say, if you want more info - without me actually telling you the questions! - post here and I'll try to help.
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War Hero
Good post

More detail on this subject here:

Ninja_Stoker said:
The Royal Navy Psychometric Test (Download)is 4 part multiple choice, 30 questions in each section & you should aim to get a minimum of 50% correct in each of the 4 sections to be assured of a good pass & to leave viable job options in the Navy, should you not make the grade in another branch. If you score less than ten out of 30 in the English or maths sections, it's an automatic fail for any job. The questions aren't hard, but you need to work fast. If you fail it's 12 months for a re-sit, so beware falling at the first hurdle. The booklet is available free,from your AFCO.

The test sections are as follows: Reasoning 9 mins, Literacy 9 mins, Numeracy 16 mins, Mechanical Comprehension 10 mins. Thirty questions in each section. In total 120 questions in 44 minutes.

For Officers, minimum scores have been introduced (01/08/2011 update) in both the the Reasoning & Mechanical Comprehension sections, together with increases in the minimum Literacy & Numeracy scores. For Officer you need to aim for 75% correct in each section & again, the Mechanical Comprehension section is tripping-up a fair few applicants.

You get a free practice test booklet from the AFCO which is an excellent guide to what to expect. The questions are drawn directly from all three versions of the Recruiting Test with only the numerical values changed.
The Practice booklet is only valid if you follow the instructions to the letter & practice against the clock. Those who fail the recruiting test frequently bemoan that the example booklet was "nothing like the real test" - it's exactly like the real test if you follow the instructions.

Online tests are of limited value as it's a paper & pencil test, however a lot of people say the Brain Training games on a DS helped them.

Free Online Psychometric Tests can be found if you are prepared to look. You should go through the test as fast as you can to simulate the real thing.

A good example of online tests can be found at:Civil Service online test which offers a simulated Naval entry test. To my mind it's probably the most representative of the online tests available, albeit online rather than paper & pencil.
A good book to maybe borrow from a library (harder than the test, but good for practice- IF you feel you need it) is IQ & Psychometric Testing by Phillip Carter another one, believe it or not is the Verbal, Non-Verbal & mathematics sections of11+ Mixed Papers. It sounds mad but the questions are virtually identical- again it's the timescales that make it difficult. You only have 9 minutes to complete 30 questions in the verbal section, same again in the non-verbal & 16 minutes for the 30 maths questions. Sounds easy- try it!
The generic: Practice-Tests-Armed-Forces(ISBN: 9780340926550)is reasonable in my opinion, but possibly a little easier than the real thing. The Ultimate Psychometric Test Bookis another reasonable example to borrow from your nearest library. Not particularly a fan myself, but others recommend the How2Become series: How To Join The Royal Navy | How 2 Become
Other sites:
Sample Tets – UK Civil Service and Royal Navy Probably the most representative. (Select Language to enter into test pages) Mechanical Reasoning - Practice Test 1.pdf - Free, Practice ASVAB (AFQT) Exam (Click "Begin Exam")
Psychometric Success - Free Practice Aptitude Tests
SHL Direct
Practice Psychometric Tests, Free Numerical & Verbal Tests, Career & Online Personality Questionnaires & Situational Judgement Tests | 2013 Scroll down, there are dozens of links.
Finance Jobs UK: Investment Banking Jobs, IT Jobs in Finance & Accounting Recruitment in UK Numerical Tests
Aptitude Tests – Psychometric Measures – Personality Tests
Interview tips: Psychometric tests | to practice aptitude tests
Kenexa | Assessments Click on "Test" tab
The overiding advice, is these example tests need not cost you a penny, so don't be suckered into buying something you can borrow or download for nothing.

Some feedback and useful advice from a fellow (RM) applicant:
JustMe said:
Passed my psychometric today lads! I know it's eff all in comparison with all you way down the application process, but I suppose everyone was there once!
Firstly, (this will sound like boasting, but it's actually the opposite), I got straight As and A*s at GCSE, and the same at A level, and found it difficult. So don't think an academic background will allow you to sail through it. Secondly, don't make the mistake of thinking the Mechanical Comprehension is extremely basic, intuitive stuff. For example, if you look at the first example in the booklet given to you by your AFCO, the one which asks which line would pull the boat over easier (or an approximation of that), the test doesn't consist of 30 questions as intuitively easy as that. Most of them do take some thinking, so ensure you revise appropriately.
I'd also say don't underestimate the maths, again, it's not 30 questions such as 'what's half of 30', 'what's 10% of 100', there's some that take some working out (i.e. not all mental arithmetic).
With the English section, I really don't know what to advice as I didn't seem to struggle on it. If you don't recognise the words that come up, hazard an educated guess. Speak the sentence through in your head a couple of times and just gage which one 'feels' right when spoken. By doing this you should be able to certainly rule out at least one (often 2, sometimes even 3) of the 4 choices available, so you can narrow your field of guessing.
I suppose other than that, when you have a minute r maybe 30 seconds left (there's a clock on the wall, I also wore a digital watch), then any that you haven't gave an answer for, read quickly again and hazard your best guess. If your mind's literally blank, tick one at random, but make sure you do tick one as you got a one in 4 or 5 chance of gaining a mark!
I also used some of the links posted, as well as a fair bit of the BBC Bitesize Science and Maths. Obviously after initially looking at the AFCO booklet, I made sure I could confidently tackle rounding of to decimal places, and rounding off to significant figures, as well as long multiplication, long subtraction, and timesing and dividing fractions.
For Mechanical Comprehension in particular, I found these websites to be extremely good revision tools: Mechanical Comprehension for ASVAB Power Practice Problems | Education.comMechanical comprehension tests - what you need to knowPrintable Flashcard on ASTB Mechanical Comprehension Test: Free Flash cards
You get 16 minutes for the Maths section. Which I found was more than enough. I had time to do every single one, then go back over every single one and fully work it out again to derive the same/or a different answer,.. but I'd say none of the Maths was past a C grade GCSE level, and that whilst some questions I knew the answer as I was reading them, some I put a '?' next to and had a go at the end, and some I knew I could do, but left until the end to do easier/quicker/ones which didn't require full on pencil working out ones first. So for example in the booklet, I would have just left '44 x 28' to the end (knowing I could do it but not immediately in my head), and completed, for example, '1/2 x 1/5' and 'If x = 15 and y = 70, then y - x =' immediately as those can be done in literally about 4 or 5 seconds each. That's how I managed to leave myself considerable time at the end to make sure I didn't eff up on the longer ones, instead of just flapping because I couldn't do every single question immediately in my head.
I had 2 weeks to wait for my test, but rang and put it back a couple more weeks to give myself time to revise. Though I'm glad I did this, as I ended up passing with enough for officer, in retrospect it probably wasn't essential.
...oh and to anticipate the question - there was 8 of us, one who I spoke to after failed, and I don't know about the rest. And to anticipate another question, I wore casual clothing (smart polo, dark jeans, desert boots), as did 4 others, and 3 wore suits/shirts/trousers etc.
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Lantern Swinger
Maybe a big bumper thread like the AIB and HMS Raleigh threads should be made for the RT , been seeing a lot of RT threads.... good post though.
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I've got my test this coming Tuesday and this has been helpful especially the with the links for the mechanical comprehension this whole site's been great.

Just one question regarding the mechanical comprehension section, How complicated are the questions about pulleys and levers? Are they similar to the examples I'm coming across or shall I expect something more challenging come the day?
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I will give you one tip as I done my test around 3 month ago and I have since passed all stages. Waiting for pda now. Tip: the revision book you have been given does not give you questions which are on the same level. Im not saying its hard because its not. Im saying the book is piss easy!

It's never a failure. It's always a lesson


This post was really helpful guys!! I have my test next week I'm so scared I've been revising like mad! I'm okay on all apart from maths im so dyslexic at maths! can anyone give me a idea on any of the questions? I've learnt fast ways to do long multiplication addition and subtraction I understand decimal places and significant numbers is there anything else I really should work on? Thank you! X


Lantern Swinger
Speed find faster ways to do it and it is easy the maths just GCSE level. I couldn't believe how many people with degrees where saying the maths was hard I have a C at GCSE maths and thought it was the easiest part. The one i was worried about is the English one had to take quite allot of educated guess on some of the words meaning hahaha.


I know what you mean I'm guessing since people sat there gcses they have forgotten how to do maths? And that's like me I'm just re learning the best I can its really hard but I hope it works!

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War Hero
I couldn't believe how many people with degrees where saying the maths was hard I have a C at GCSE maths and thought it was the easiest part.

surely it depends what their degree is in? Even if in maths it tends to lack mental arithematic anyway lol. Use brain training on the ds if you have it, half of the battle is learning to answer questions quickly with confidence. The questions asked are not particularly tricky, it is the time constraint and the demand to answer them speedily thats the main problem imo. Just prepare, relax, answer what you can and go back to the ones you are unsure of at the end if you have time.


Lantern Swinger
Yeh but they need to be cleaver to get there lol I suppose it does I think people over think things in these sycometric test lol I do every thing realy simply in my head like take decimal points out lol


Yeh but they need to be cleaver to get there lol I suppose it does I think people over think things in these sycometric test lol I do every thing realy simply in my head like take decimal points out lol

You're also very creative with your spelling

It's never a failure. It's always a lesson


War Hero
Yeh but they need to be cleaver to get there lol

Haha not really, also being intelligent in one subject doesnt mean you are master of all; school is harder than uni in some ways as you actually have to learn and learn loads of subjects similtaniously. Uni is learning how to research, quote and present/articulate ideas etc in a number of degrees (obvious exceptions)- not neccessarily to do with being brainy. The trick sometimes with tests like the RT is to not get worked up about it, normal to be worried as it affects your future career etc, but going in all jittery and on the verge of touching cloth ain't good. Prepare and look at it as an example to show off how hard you have worked rather than looking at it as a trap looking to trip you up. At the end of the day if you have prepared adequately then if you are capable you will get the required score and if not then ya wont.