RN Sixth Form Scholarship - My experience and FAQs

As someone who's been awarded one of the Scholarship awards for this year, I thought it'd be a good idea to give an overview of the award and what the application process entails. I know from my own experiences and chatting to others that information on the award is scarce and it may be helpful to answer a few of the most common questions both myself and others seem to have had.

Disclaimer: This is a post about my experiences only, your ACLO is always the go-to source for the most up to date information.

For a bit of context, I was successful for Pilot and will be joining BRNC in the September 2016 entry. A-Level wise, I'm doing Biology, Eng Lit and History and I dropped Physics last year.

When to apply
My advice would be as early as possible. You want the tough bits like FATs (if required) and AIB to be out of the way before you get close to any exams or coursework deadlines you may have. I started my application in January 2014 and my final confirmation letter arrived only two days ago, but that was due to medical compilations and so is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to time-frames. That being said the whole process will take at least a year, so starting your application in Year 11 is the best course of action should you want everything complete before your A2s.

How to apply
The method of application is the exact same as that as a regular Officer candidate. Pop into your local AFCO and get the ball rolling asap.

How much do I get?
If successful, you will be awarded £1500 to support you during your last year. Then, should you take up your reserved place at Dartmouth, another £1500 bonus is awarded.

What grades do I need?
You need 2 A-Levels (or equiv) at at least grade C, so no slacking if you're successful! On another note, as many have said on here already, do what you enjoy not what you expect the Navy to like.

If I'm successful at AIB, am I guaranteed the Scholarship?
Nope, success at AIB does not mean automatic awarding of the Scholarship. At my AIB, there seemed to be 3 answers people received. Firstly was that you where successful at AIB and hopeful for selection for Scholarship, successful at AIB but likely not to be awarded the Scholarship however still eligible for regular BRNC application and unsuccessful a AIB and feedback as to why. However, the final decision is made by a selection board within a week where the requirements of the service (e.g how many Warfare Officers, Pilots etc they need and want to award scholarships to) are considered as well as overall performance.

Selection Process
The selection process is the exact same as that of any other Officer applicant and you are expected to attain the same required standards for tests such as the RT, FATs and AIB. Be under no illusion that because you are 16-18 allowances will be made, they will not. Instead, they are looking for a maturity beyond your years as one day you might have to be in command and gain the respect of those who are much older and more experienced than you.

However, I genuinely believe that those who are still in school have a good advantage over those who aren't. I won't go into detail about each indivdual test, rather mention what I used and did while in School to aid me.

RT- Essentially an 11+ on steroids. The Physics side of things is GCSE-level (circuits etc) and any maths and English elements can be covered by practice papers (given in other threads). Don't be afraid to ask your teachers for help, as many will be more that happy to guide you through the same methods they give to those doing entrance exams.

FATs (Aircrew only)- A nice excuse to go on your PS or Xbox. There's a plethora of stuff on here regarding FATs but using your console while doing mental maths and SDT is what I found to be most beneficial. School-wise, your school should have plenty of mental maths exams and SDT worksheets they're able to give.

AIB- The big one! The NCS scheme is a massive help should you be given the opportunity to take part. It contains plenty of leadership tasks similar to those found in the AIB and helps you get to grips with working with people the same age as you, DO IT! Likewise with D of E, sports teams, voluntary schemes and any sort of School Council you may have. Don't waste these opportunities as post 6th form/College experiences like that are much more difficult (and costly) to take part in. Never think you've done enough!

I'd like to hope that's covered most initial questions you may have had and given a better idea into what the Scholarship is all about. To have the reassurance that the career you've worked so hard for is waiting for you a couple of months down the line make exams that bit more bearable! If anyone has any questions feel free to comment or send me a DM, or if any of the info is out of date feel free to correct me. But for now, I'm going to enjoy my summer!

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