Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hi guys,

    I have my main board in two weeks time. I feel pretty ready for it, preparation has been hard and I've tried my best and I'm pretty sure my levels of fitness are more than adequate. As for sdt, current affairs etc, well I've looked over it and I've prepared myself. Am I wrong here in not feeling too nervous? I mean I have nerves, of course but people seem to be pouring over so much here- press up height, exact composition of the assault course etc etc. Am I right in thinking some people are paying too much attention to small dramas and flapping a little or have I not prepared enough? I'm of the thinking that plenty of people have passed without coming on here and if your good enough all these little tidbits are lovely and nice, but not essential. I want to be an Army Officer, and potential leaders either are or they are not, so while obviously prepare, ultimately its up to what I do at the Board. Am I being naive here, because I'm pretty chilled out but then I come on here and start getting a little worried about small things people are picking up on. If I poured over everything I'm going to do over the four days I'll go insane. What do we think chaps?
  2. PBW

    PBW Swinger

    I was very much in your situation prior to my main board - I took the opinion that I was happy with the preparation I had done and, regardless of how much detail some people here went into, I would just give every activity my all and approach each one with a clean slate, a smile and as much enthusiasm as I could muster. Also a friendly warning - at the end of each day I felt certain I had failed even though I in general have a very positive outlook on life! My guess is that they like to see how resilient you are and how much you want it amongst other things...
  3. Be yourself. If you're confident, use it. If you're dramatically nervous, use it. Only the DSs on the Board know what they're looking for and it may vary person-to-person. The important thing is that you are satisfied with the overall outcome - that is, you feel that you've shown yourself to your best light and you are satisfied that they have seen it.

    Plenty of people have passed without looking at ARRSE. But then again, plenty of people have passed who have looked at ARRSE too. Some people need to study everything in depth before they do something, others need only a brief induction before they crack on. It sounds like you have your head screwed on, so make sure you:

    1) Listen to everyone (You WILL be asked questions)
    2) Separate times when you listen, times when you think and times when you act. Make sure you give 100% focus to each event
    3) Remember that this is what you want to do and have worked hard to do
    4) Be honest about yourself and be there for everyone else

    Good luck and see you at Sandhurst

    PBW, when are you going in?
  4. Everyone prepares for these things (job interviews, exams etc) in different ways. Do what works for you!

    Everyone who goes to main board has been to briefing, when hopefully you will have been given the run down of your performance by your group leader and perhaps a more detailed de-brief from your ACA. They will probably have highlighted any areas they thought you could do with working on.

    If you've covered those, and the basic SDT/Fitness/Current affairs stuff you should be fine!
  5. It has been a few years, but for what its worth you may want to think about the following:

    Be prepared for a little internal flutter when you get quizzed on your planning (most people flap a bit, the trick is to only do it on the inside). Just stay calm and justify your thought process, they aren't (most of the time) telling you are a mong but simply inducing a bit of pressure.

    Don't just read current affairs in the papers, try to read magazines such as The Economist it often offers a different slant (ie: analysis that straightforward reporting sometimes lacks).

    Make sure you contribute to the discussion but remember 2 or 3 well thought out, well articulated comments are better than a truck load of uninformed waffle, keep your comments on thread.

    Don't ask c@ntish question to other candidates in an attempt to make your self look good.

    Dinner is not assessed but consider this, by human nature if you think someone is a grade A knob it is difficult to give them the benefit of the doubt, if they come across as a decent sort it is much easier.

    Good luck, pop back and let us know how you got on.
  6. ..............................
  7. davidflies

    davidflies War Hero Book Reviewer

    It was the same in my time (1959) - it was said that "they watch how you handle your knife and fork" and "which way do you hold the soup spoon" - a total load of old rubbish. What they will notice is if you eat with your fingers however! But your bearing at all times will be watched very carefully, especially the way you handle yourself when you are under pressure (from yourself or external events) and how you fit in on group tasks. If the group leader is in a mess "suggest" he might do so and so - quietly. Don't push to the front and take over - offer help as quietly and effectively as possible - this WILL be noticed and make a very good impression. Remember you are being assessed for a place at RMAS not as a competitor. Remember also the oldest adage: "brain in gear before putting mouth in motion."
  8. I am aware the DS do not attend (this may have changed), the point I am making (perhaps poorly) is that some of these people will be in your Platoon, Company at RMAS and some people arrive there with a "I remember that cnut from RCB (as was)/AOSB MB".

    You don't want to start there with that reputation, so yes you need to push yourself at AOSB and this might include disagreeing with members of your group but by being a good egg they will just take it as part of the game and not personally.

    Edited to add: So perhaps I should have said Dinner is not assessed by the DS, but by human nature you are assessing one another and you will (if successful) bump into some of these guys again.
  9. Just keep it under control at the dinner and if you feel like getting shit faced with your syndicate you can always escape to Westbury and sample some of the lovely local cider with the warm locals....

  10. I see what you mean now, fair enough.
  11. I've just got back today from my MB so will try and give a fresh answer. We had only 15 in our group due to one no show and sharing the MB with some medics and physio's. By Friday we were down to 12.

    I was in exactly the same boat as you though. I felt I had prepared enough. The day before MB I had done 3 planexs then another the night before we done it. I felt so confident yet missed a critical timing and got the day wrong. Being under pressure can untie even the most confident of people. By the time you get to presenting your plan, you know it is wrong, can't lie and end up looking like an idiot when you know you know the answer now but it isn't what your paperwork says.

    I would say that is the least of you worries anyway. The 110 questions on current affairs, science, tech, geography, art and literature will certainly challenge most. I done well in areas I thought I knew little about and poor in ones I thought I knew. Then having what you think is a perfectly written essay ripped apart for 3 spelling mistake and being told that unless you have A grades in everything then your results are pretty crap.

    There is only so much you can prepare for, the rest is just who you are. You can be intelligent and think you have everything but if they don't think you will fit in then you won't make it.

    Being picked to be the one who has an additional interview, this time with the brigadier will certainly keep you on your toes. I was glad of the chance for more interview time because I felt I had been torn apart then due to the tight times, had little left to argue my case.

    Enjoy it, I know I did and if I don't make it at least I tried. Also, I was the second oldest at the board, 28, but still beat a lot of people on the individual assault course so at least I'm not getting too rusty and made me feel great. Something to take away with me anyway.

    Edit to add: In my opinion it's a shame that some of the social time isn't assessed as it does truely show peoples characters and we had a few that I know I would never like to work with and would hate to be a soldier with them in command.
  12. What a load of tosh. Having spent the best part of a year reading stuff like this on ARRSE I thought I would be thoroughly ripped to pieces at AOSB, infact I delayed my MB once because I thought I wasn't ready! Am I what they are looking for? Am I intelligent enough? Am I fit enough?

    I got back from westbury a couple of weeks ago and can honestly say I loved every second, I have since been told I was the strongest in my group. Sitting in Redwood Lodge on the morning of the first day I thought I was going to die from nerves, could not stop shaking, was sick etc. Looking back it was probably due to what everyone else has said on here!

    As for your grades, I am going to Sandhurst with GCSE's and a BTEC Diploma under my belt...the Education Officer knew why I never went to uni and went no further with it.

    To any candidates due to go to Westbury- RELAX, be confident, try to enjoy it and SMILE!
  13. Isn't hindsight such a great thing! Still floating on the confidence cloud are we?

    But seriously, I think the best way to approach the whole thing is with a pinch of fatalism, if its meant to be it will happen if not then it was not meant to be. All the preparation in the world cannot change who you are. One guy on our board was a engineer of some kind but for the life of him could not solve the simplest sdt calculation in front of the DS yet he probably was the strongest at maths in our group.....
  14. I don't understand why what I said was a load of tosh?

    Edit to add. Some people had easy interviews, other people said they were ripped to pieces. Trust me, I was sitting outside and you could hear it. Secondly, I had myself ripped into in one of the interviews so have first hand experience. It sounds like you had it easy. For that you should be thankful.

    In regards to your grades, it depends what you were aiming for. For the REME you need a degree, so everyone is in a different boat.

    As said before, I done pretty well but the letter today in the post said that I had been unsuccessful. Tbh, it has only been the young ones that have been passed out of our group and some of those failed the individual assault course to boot.
  15. Xoums, as you know I was a jibbering wreck pre AOSB, constantly asking for advice, everything was a drama. But whilst I was there I seriously thought, "is this what I got so worked up about?!"

    As for getting an easy ride- My team won the opening and closing race, I went last in the Planex debrief so knew the scenario inside out. Luck, easy ride? maybe

    All I am saying is nobody else in my group was a member of ARRSE and they where not half as nervous as me, they had not done as much preparation and yet all but one member passed.