manarkia

Clanker
Have my MB coming up soon - the shortened 2 1/3 day affair.

Could a PO who has recently gone on one of these shortened MB's kindly provide a diary for one of these. i.e. what events were held on which day, in which order.

Any notes on how the experience went compared to what a full MB would have been like? For example:
  • How was the experience of the panel interview format?
  • Was it a challenge social distancing on the group tasks (command/leaderless)?

And, to confirm, the only things cut for this shortened MB format are the
  1. Opening and
  2. closing races,
  3. and the Group Discussion/Self-intro, (i.e. the fun bits)
and the 3 interviews now becoming 1 panel interview? Any other cut/addition?

Thank you in advance.
 
I would also appreciate any info on this.

From what my CSM told me I was under the impression that it is only the following that has been removed:
- Opening race
- Closing Race
- Formal Dinner
The following is amended:
- Interviews down from 3 to 1 (possibly in front of a panel rather than 1 interviewer)

I have also heard other rumours of things being cut or changed but I don't want to spread misinformation.
 
Absolutely no help whatsoever i'm afraid, but will watch with interest!

Are you guys under the impression that this MB format will be standard for a while, ie at least until the end of year/ vaccine era, or that it's all very temporary? What sort of rough date are you all booked in for?

Cheers and good luck with it all.
 

manarkia

Clanker
Absolutely no help whatsoever i'm afraid, but will watch with interest!

Are you guys under the impression that this MB format will be standard for a while, ie at least until the end of year/ vaccine era, or that it's all very temporary? What sort of rough date are you all booked in for?

Cheers and good luck with it all.

Normal full sized boards are to resume in Nov.
 
Have my MB coming up soon - the shortened 2 1/3 day affair.

Could a PO who has recently gone on one of these shortened MB's kindly provide a diary for one of these. i.e. what events were held on which day, in which order.

Any notes on how the experience went compared to what a full MB would have been like? For example:
  • How was the experience of the panel interview format?
  • Was it a challenge social distancing on the group tasks (command/leaderless)?

And, to confirm, the only things cut for this shortened MB format are the
  1. Opening and
  2. closing races,
  3. and the Group Discussion/Self-intro, (i.e. the fun bits)
and the 3 interviews now becoming 1 panel interview? Any other cut/addition?

Thank you in advance.

Have you had your MB yet mankaria? If so are you able to shed any more light. Thanks in advance
 

manarkia

Clanker
Hi Manarkia,

Just to let you know I have successfully passed AOSB Main Board.

I will complete my write up on the course and post it this evening.

Great news! Congrats - maybe I'll see you in the Jan intake if I make it too.

Yup, diary would be super helpful - thank you.
 
Last edited:

Kalu19

Clanker
Covid-shortened course layout.
This write up is a diary of my time at AOSB Main Board. Any examples used were not real questions used in our assessments and are purely for example purposes.

Day 1
Morning

First up, admin. You are given a brief, asked to provide your education certificates and identification, asked to fill out your medical questionnaire and to order your lunch. Your bags and valuables will be locked away at this point.

The morning of the first day is your computer testing, in this order:

  • Memory - shapes, letters and numbers 'click blue diamonds unless there is a yellow square, all numbers with a 3 or a factor of 8 and the letter furthest in the alphabet' - that is an example and not the sequence I was given.
  • 15FQ - 200 questions based on your interests, personality and temperament.
  • Verbal - 40 questions in 15 minutes
  • Numerical - 36 questions in 30 minutes
  • Abstract - 70 questions in 12 minutes.
Afternoon

Lunch - a sandwich or salad you ordered in your AM briefing.

General, military and current affairs knowledge tests.

General knowledge - vast, do not be disheartened if you do not know an awful lot of the questions. Stay composed and focus on the ones you do know.

Military knowledge-- Should be straight forward for you, if you have made full use of the army website.

Current affairs - Read the news like your life depends on it. Download the Al Jazeera app which breaks down the news based on each Continent.

Then it's time to write an essay. They give you 5 topics to chose from and you must write between 1 and 1.5 sides of the sheet they give you. Keep it structured A solid introduction stating what you're writing about and the conclusion you wish to come to. I then made 2 points to back up my argument and then a strong conclusion. All of the topics will be able to be linked to current affairs for your arguments.

You will then be taken to your accommodation, collecting your bags from the store room on the way.

Then it's time for dinner - eat well and chat to others. Find out their topic choices, and remember their back topic choices for the group discussion. Someone in our group was asked to pick a different topic twice and luckily had remembered somebody else's back up, which saved him sitting there saying 'I don't know'.

The last thing of the day is your Plan Ex Brief. Even if you've hammered these at home, listen up and listen hard. Ask questions if you do not understand anything. You are not being assessed in the brief so there are no stupid questions.

That's you done for the day. Go to the pub and don't dwell on anything that didn't go well. Brush yourself off, have a couple of pints then go to bed. I would advise against last minute cramming as anything you don't know at this point isn't going to do much for you bar stress you out.

Day 2
Morning

Plan Ex - I'm not going to sugar coat it for anyone, this was brutal. They are not expecting you to solve all the problems within the text, they are looking for you to understand the thought process and stick to their method. I crashed and burned and only got 1 Coa and quickly made it into my plan. I drew a comprehensive sketch map with all equipment and people clearly marked where they are, prioritised my aims and analysed the factors.

Do not beat yourself up if you feel like you failed. Have confidence on what you have written as you will be interrogated on it next.

Your team go into a room and discuss your plans. If you can, come up with a workable team plan, otherwise stick to your own when it comes to the questioning. Stick to your guns. They want to see how confident you are and if you will buckle under pressure. There are 3 officers in the room, only focus on the CO. The map may have moved to disorientate you. They will ask you to explain your plan and cast doubt on everything you say. Be confident and say it with conviction. When they ask you if you completed all your aims, do not hesitate.

You then move onto leaderless tasks. Put your points across, but do not be overly-dominant. Make sure you have timekeepers and try all suggestions, trying and failing is quicker than coming to a number of compromises. Establish a proven route then take the burden with you. Its easier than establishing the route while carrying it.

Afternoon
Lecturette - a 5 minute lecture on 1 of 5 topics they give you from your CV. Simple enough, you are given time to plan it out and to hold your notes.

Interviews - in the current format, you have 2. We had 1 with the president and 1 with the education officer. They were very laid back, and in the education interview you are given 2 questions, 1 basic mental arithmetic and 1 SDT.

Day 3

MSFT - the bleep test, just as Briefing.

Command tasks - you get a couple of minutes to assess the course. You then have 8 minutes to brief your team and attempt to complete the objective. I personally recommend keeping your brief to 1 minute and then 7 minutes tackling it. Nominate 2 time keepers and since you can't all be doing it because of COVID, you'll have a nominated 2IC to move your aids. The remaining members of the team will move their numbers blocks to where you want them like a game of chess.

Then the final task, the outdoor obstacle course. Again, just like Briefing. Throw yourself at it full throttle, they want to see passion and aggression.



I hope this helps anyone attending this condensed course. It may be shorter in terms of time, but it is just as rewarding and tiring as the normal version.



My suggestions -

Sounds cliché, but enjoy it.
If something goes wrong, brush it off. Don't let one thing throw the rest of your assessment.
Talk to your team in down-time. How are they feeling? What are their backgrounds? What topics are they choosing for discussions? What are their regiment choices? You aren't competing against them. A strong team gives you a better chance.
Don't cram last minute. Enjoy the process and enjoy the moments you have between the stress.

Good luck, and I hope to see you in the factory.
 
Hi Manarkia,

Just to let you know I have successfully passed AOSB Main Board.

I will complete my write up on the course and post it this evening.
Well done mate - fantastic news for you. Are all the September places taken and you start in January? Just trying to be realistic in my mind on when I might be looking at.......
cheers
 

Kalu19

Clanker
Well done mate - fantastic news for you. Are all the September places taken and you start in January? Just trying to be realistic in my mind on when I might be looking at.......
cheers
Thank you. I have yet to get through to my CSM. I tried to ring her on Friday but she seems to have left the business, so I have emailed her replacement. As far as I'm aware the next intake was full but you can go onto some sort of 'reserve' list, but do not quote me on that. Have you attended main board yet?
 

manarkia

Clanker
I had my MB last week, a similar COVID-abridged board. I can add some things to the wonderful diary above (whose advice you should take):
  • The order of tasks daily will depend on your board - there are two ‘boards’ at any one of these Main Boards – so for e.g. if you are Board A you might have MAP tests before lunch and Board B will do GK/MK/CA and Essay before lunch then switch over. This might be important to some of us who like to fast for the MAP tests to keep a clear mind. (The day-to-day order will not change; it is as above).
  • You have plenty of time between tasks to refresh/go to bathroom. Its not very hectic – there is a lot of sitting around.
  • GK/MK/CA tests are MCQ’s done on paper
Tips:
  • Wake early – eat well! You will get really good dinner and cooked brekkie options. The tuna sandwich at lunch is a winner! Also take some snacks with you as the whole experience is taxing and gets you very hungry. Chat with the NCO’s and the support staff – they will take good care of you.
  • If you’re going to the local as a group (which I would recommend, plenty of time for 1 pint and a good sleep too), don’t be ***** – observe social distancing and be polite – remember, you are PO’s representing the Army.
  • Group Discussion is the first thing on the 2nd day – don’t just talk for the sake of talking – candidates at MB are usually of a very high calibre so keep the discussion high calibre too. Make logical valid arguments addressing the question at hand, towards an end.
  • Re the PLANEX, I agree with above advice – they will overload you with information – keep your solution as simple as possible. Follow the applied logic you are taught and get 1 workable COA and make into your plan, then if time, get some more rough COA’s in. Re the PLANEX grilling – don’t cave!
  • Lecturette – the point of this is to see how confident you are presenting. It is much easier if you keep this light hearted and interesting.
  • Interviews – x2 – one with VP and another with Edu advisor. Former is chill, latter may grill you hard if your education record is not up to scratch. Be prepared for this with solid answers – they want to see if you will be able to cope with the academic components at RMAS. Take your time with the mental arithmetic and SDT questions - but don’t worry if you get these wrong, you will be given a chance to try again.
  • Leaderless tasks are a practice run for the Leader tasks – when you are Leader be commanding, be precise, you don’t have to finish the task but you might have to explain a possible solution to the DS after. When you are task assistant move with purpose! During Covid because only one of your group will be allowed to touch the materials this will get very confusing as to who is supposed to be where – factor in this complexity – conceptualize the shortest simplest way to the end.
  • If you do worse than you expected in something, forget and move on – don’t put the commission on a pedestal, failure is a part of life.
  • Go full pelt on the obstacle course, you will fall and look silly but keep moving as fast as you can – if you’re not still coughing with an angry pair of lungs the next day you haven’t given it a proper go.
  • Enjoy the 2.5 days – they really are very fun – my syndicate didn’t want to leave. Get to know your group and be open with banter – this will help you in between tasks to ease nerves and build synergy for group tasks.
  • And remember – all you have to do is meet the minimum standards – 7/7 of my syndicate made it, and I’m pretty sure the pass rate across my board was above 80%.


The only things different from a regular MB are:
  • Opening and Closing races
  • Formal Dinner
 
Not a bad summation BUT leaderless tasks are definitely NOT a practice run for the command tasks, and shouldn’t be treated as such. Board members are looking at different attributes on both.
 

manarkia

Clanker
A very informative read! I would just like to ask, are the fitness tests literally just the bleep test, or are there any situps/ pushups involved?
Just the warmup of 8.7 bleep. At Briefing you also do Med ball throw (4kg ball for min. 3m) and Mid thigh pull (min. of 76kg equiv.) - but these two didn't happen at MB.

No more pushups/situps at all anymore. The new RFT(E) is just bleep/2km, Med ball throw and Mid thigh pull.

To be frank the phys at either B or MB should not at all be a worry to anybody who regularly trains, but that being said the number of people who crashed out at 6/7 on the beep at B....
 

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