AOSB Briefing.

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by conornm, May 30, 2012.

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  1. Hello all,

    Sorry if this is in the wrong place but I just wanted to add my experiences and advice for all those preparing to attend AOSB briefing. I received some very good advice in regards of what to expect but also some conflicting advice as to some of the finer details.

    The first day begins, after some presentations, with the MAP test. There are some examples of these which can be found on the army website. The actual tests are much more difficult, especially the Numerical reasoning test. In the given time for the tests I only managed to complete the Verbal Reasoning test. These tests are do-able but just be aware of your time management. Don’t panic if you think you did badly, my entire group felt they performed poorly here.

    The groups are then sent to individual rooms for the introduction and the current affairs discussion. The introduction is quite straight forward, talk for two minutes on yourself. I had prepared this at home and timed myself and it was roughly two minutes long. Just be aware that you will tend to talk faster while presenting and you may run out of things to say. I was told in my debriefing interview that I hesitated towards the end introduction which I should try and avoid. The current affairs discussion is also quite straight forward, they pick two or three topics for you to discuss, then each member of the group is asked for a topic and one of these is selected for discussion. If you have valid points make sure to add them but try not to cut anyone off or interrupt anyone, this is often difficult if you in a group of strong candidates. In preparation for this I had been reading the economist and some daily newspapers. I was told my depth of knowledge was good but I needed a broader range of current affairs knowledge. I live in Ireland so I don’t have access to English newspapers and I think this showed.

    Next is the Plan-Ex tutorial, Listen very closely to the officer giving the tutorial and take as many notes as possible. The Plan-Ex’s are very long and difficult and the procedure they give is a very good one. What they are looking for here is a good level of deductive reasoning, common sense and a workable plan. I think here a simple plan done well is better than a complicated one done badly. When the tutorial is finished each person must complete an individual Plan-Ex. Go through the procedure here step by step and again be aware of time management. We were advised here that it is better to have each part 75% completed rather than have one part 100% completed and the rest left blank.

    Individual Interviews are held then. Some questions I received in mine were:
    What rank would you be on leaving Sandhurst?
    How many men would you command?
    What are the day to day duties of a young officer?
    What makes a good officer?
    They also asked some questions from the CV form. Nothing too difficult here although I was told I was poor at keeping eye contact.

    Day two begins with the MSFT. I absolutely think this is the most important part of the two days. If you fail here it not only shows lack of fitness but also lack of preparation and ultimately lack of commitment. Don’t underestimate how much more difficult it is when wearing the overalls. It was about 20 degrees when I was completing mine so that added some extra difficulty. I would highly recommend practising the Bleep test before attending. There is a free app on the android store called “Bleep Fitness Test” which I used for my preparation. This test is not best effort; it is stopped at level 10.2.

    Next comes the obstacle course. There are five obstacles:

    Hurdles – These are approx 1meter high and there are two of them. Before I went I heard some people had difficulty with them so I set up one in my garden and practised it until I had the technique sorted. I think the general consensus is that the best technique is to jump them with both legs tucked in by your chest rather than attempting to hurdle them like running track hurdles.

    Long Jump – I didn’t make this on any of my three attempts. The rest of my group managed it fine but I found it very difficult and landed about six inches sort each time. I would definitely advise practising this at home.

    Steps – This consists of three horizontal bars which increase in height, you must walk up them while carrying a very light log. This is very easy and I can’t see anyone struggling with this, just remember to put the log back where you found it when you have completed the obstacle.

    Wall – I would estimate that the wall is about seven or eight feet high. I would recommend doing some pull-ups as practise for this. I struggled getting any grip on the surface of the wall with my feet so ended up just dragging myself over it using purely upper body strength.

    Rope Swing – You have to climb on top of a platform about 3 feet high, jump and grab a rope and then release the rope at the right moment and land without hitting a horizontal rope which is about 3 feet high and approx the same distance from the rope on one side as the platform is on the other. Again nothing very difficult here, just jump hard and aim to grasp the rope quite high and you should sail through it.
    You only have to go around the obstacle course once and you get three chances at each obstacle. It is timed so really go for it.

    There are some tutorials next about knots and cantilevers, make sure to really listen and take on board what you are told. You must then complete 2 command tasks using what you have just learned. These are quite straight forward but just remember they really stress to you before you start to try the simplest solution first before going on to the more complicated ones. They will often throw in some extra equipment for you to use but remember you don’t have to use it all. Again here it is better to do something simple well than something complicated badly. Try and add valid points in the planning before the tasks, don’t be loud or add points for the sake of being heard.

    There is a final presentation then and after comes the debriefing interview where you are given your results. Use this opportunity to ask any questions you may have. I received a cat two with a three month delay in order to work on my agility.

    A few other notes:
    The NCO’s seem quite intimidating to begin with but after a few hours they can offer some really useful advice and ask them any question you may have or any details you are unsure of and they will do their best to help you.

    Make sure to shave each day, a member of my group was told off in his debrief interview for looking scruffy, seems quite obvious but don’t underestimate the small details. Hands go behind your back, not in your pockets, on your hips or folded.

    The briefing is quite difficult and if you feel that you have done badly on some of the tasks don’t dwell on them move on to the next one with a clear head and give it your all. I think on the whole people tend to go to briefing feeling quite confident and the purpose of the briefing is not only for them to assess you but also for you to have a good think about whether the army is really for you. Most people I talked to felt that it hadn’t gone as well as they had hoped.

    Remember they have been assessing candidates in Westbury for a long time and the people there are extremely good at their jobs and if you have what it takes they will see it and you will pass, but don’t take this as to mean you don’t need to prepare. This forum is a goldmine of information.

    If you have any other questions feel free to ask, I'm no expert but I’ll try my best to help.

    Good Luck and remember to enjoy your time in Westbury.
    • Like Like x 9
  2. Thanks for this. This is one of the most helpful threads on the forum. I was wondering, were you asked any SDT questions during the interview? I am really struggling to get to grips with SDT do you have any tips/ would you be able to write down how you go about working them out in your head?

    Thanks for all your help.
  3. I wasn't asked any SDT questions in the interview but we were asked during the plan-ex tutorial. This is a handy website for practising them Speed, Distance, Time . The way i work them out is i change everything to fractions, say if you where asked:

    What speed covers 11 miles in 1 hour and 6 mins?
    6 mins is 1/10 of an hour, 1 hour is 10/10 so altogether that is 11/10,
    So then you divide by the top and multiply by the bottom,
    11 miles divided by 11 = 1, 1 x 10 = 10 so the answer is 10 mph.

    At 16 mph, how long does it take to travel 36 miles?
    36 divided by 16 = 2 hours with 4 miles left over
    To do 4 miles at 16 miles per hour takes 4/16 = 1/4 of an hour so 15mins
    Answer = 2 hours 15mins

    At 15 mph, how long does it take to travel 11 miles?
    Because 11 is less than 15 you know its going to be less than 1 hour so 15/11
    Divide by the top multiply by the bottom
    60 mins divided by 15 = 4 and multiplied by 11 = 44 mins

    What speed covers 25 miles in 20 mins?
    20 mins is 1/3 of an hour
    Divide by the top multiply by the bottom
    So 25 divided by 1 and multiplied by 3 = 75
    Answer is 75 mph

    There are loads of different ways of going about these, this is just the easiest way i find of doing them. Like most things, with these practise makes perfect. I found it quite difficult to come up with answers when put on the spot during the briefing and i will definitely be practising more before Main Board.
  4. Thanks Conornm thats a real help. Would you mind applying that method to a slightly more difficult question as I am struggling to apply it to this? Thanks for all your help, it's much appreciated.

    At 16 mph, how far do you travel in 2 hours and 15 mins?
  5. Break it down in to parts.

    Each hour you will travel 16 miles and so the 2 hours will equate to 32miles in total. You then need to work out how much 15mins is in relation to an hour - the answer being that it is 25%/one quarter. This allows you to then add one quarter of 16 to the 32miles.

    16/4 = 4 and thus the final answer is: You will travel 36miles if you travel at 16mph for 2 hours and 15mins.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ahh I see it now! Thanks.. getting there slowly but surely, going to try and memorise as many fractions of an hour that I can to solve them quickly.

  7. Thanks for posting this, really very helpful. I've got my briefing next week and have started preparing my 2min talk etc, does it literally need to just be about yourself, or should I be stating army knowledge and reason for wanting to be an officer at this point?

  8. If you are being serious then maybe you should be looking at a different career.
  9. Thanks, really helpful.
  10. Regarding the introduction I just talked about myself, what I did in university, my hobbies etc, then at the end I mentioned what corps I wanted to join. Just remember you talk faster when under pressure so try prepare a 3 min intro so you don't run out of things to say.
  11. I passed my ACA Interview yesterday so this thread is a massive help.

    I thank you.

    3 months prep to get me there is going to be fun!

    Reading through that the Plannex part of the Briefing still sticks out to me as something i'm really going to have to work on. It's just a shame there's not many practice copies out there apart from Winter Aid.
  12. To be honest it will be very difficult to prepare fully for the plan-ex section as you are only told the proper technique for it there and then. The prep i would do is loads of speed time distance and mental arithmetic. When you get in there just use your common sense and try to follow their technique as best you can. Also bring a watch with you, i didnt have one struggled to get the last section done at all when we were told we had five minutes left.
  13. TheGuv - any tips on the ACA interview? I have mine on the 24th. Thanks.
  14. Be confident and be yourself, really. Don't panic, it's essentially to check you're not a complete idiot and prepare you for briefing.
  15. There really is no need to work on the planex for briefing, you're taught what to do there and if you do winter aid you're just wasting one you could use to prepare for main board. As said above, follow the technique you're taught - follow every single rule you're taught, don't make stuff up and you'll be alright. The maths for the planex is very straight forward too.