Failed MB 1st time but passed 2nd time round?

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by duckyduck, Feb 15, 2011.

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  1. Gents and Gentesses,

    I was just wondering how many people here failed MB first time but passed it 2nd time round? I did MB a few years back when I was 19 and although getting a much welcomed Cat1 on briefing I seemed to balls up MB big time. Not sure what everyone else's MB debrief report was like but mine was pretty brutal. It was a massive blow and ever since has obviously made me question whether I'm Officer material. Would be reassuring to hear if a fair number of others failed 1st time but then went onto blitz it 2nd time round?

  2. Apparently the pass rate first time is now about 50-55% and second timers are around the 80% mark. This is mainly because only those who are committed go for round 2. I know plenty of great officers who failed first time so don't be put off. The big thing is whether you were invited back at the end of your report or just told to jog on.
  3. It's all down to:
    1. Will to win, and
    2. A clinical analysis of every sentence in your report.

    2 Will give you a clear picture of where you are today and by extension a clear picture of where you need to be.
    So your plan should start from what they say about me today, and end with what I want them to say about me , while the gap in between is filled with the, eg, new experiences, harder work, which will achieve the end.

    Cat 1s sometimes crash and burn, Cat 3s have ended up with SoH ( for what that's worth)
    I don't expect there's ever been an entry that didn't include some successful second attempt(ers )

    Best of luck whatever you decide
    Old Rat
  4. Was in exactly the same boat as yourself duckyduck - with the added bonus of being 27 years 'old' - when I buggered-up my Main Board the first time (and this after getting a Cat 3 at the Briefing). The debriefing letter didn't spare me, but I knew during the Main Board that I was ill-prepared and mentally I wasn't at the races.

    My approach afterwards was to ruthlessly deconstruct my abject performance, look at where I went wrong, and why, and then step-by-step prepare myself over the course of several months for the next attempt. I took the approach that the criteria and requirements as laid down for Main Board are known and straightforward, and therefore I prepared myself methodically for each individual test and repeatedly tested and re-tested my preparations. Put simply, the Army is looking for those whose potential matches the requirements for admission to the RMAS. Along with knowing what is being looked for, I also sought to familiarise myself with what is not being looked for, in order to avoid such pitfalls.

    Along with a step-by-step preparation for each of the Main Board tests, I also sought to immerse myself fully in the mindset and outlook of a subaltern; in this I was helped by my father and a former RGR officer, but I also read as widely as I could - in particular, I found the McAuslan books by George MacDonald Fraser and John Masters's two volumes of autobiography useful. Additionally, with the recent raft of books by junior officers recounting their service in Iraq and Afghanistan (Patrick Hennessey and Patrick Bury), you are spoilt for choice.

    At its most basic, your second attempt will come down to how you answer the 'how much do you want it question?' If yes, then it will come down to what you're prepared to do.
  5. hi Duckyduck, failed mainboard first time round- took 6 months out to work on key areas and blitzed it second time round
  6. In the same boat mate, recently failed first attempt (by what appears a fine margin). I received a very positive debrief that has encouraged me to go again, and I know exactly what to do.

    It really is a kick in the teeth receiving that letter, especially when good mates head off to Sandbags on the intake you were aiming for, but it demonstrates true humility, courage and determination to get up and have another go.

    One chap in my group that passed was a second timer, and as said above, many people pass second time, just look at your debrief and address the weaknesses. Crack on.
  7. Failed first time, passed second time and currently strongly in the top third in my platoon.

    I think it boiled down to a lack of preparation first time round and preparing properly second time.

    Reflect on your performance and be brutally honest with your own failings. It is through introspection that you can address the issue. If you are determined and prepare then you stand a good chance (statistically speaking). You also know the format and what is coming which helps immensely. That said, a good friend of mine who was JUO in his UOTC failed twice. It is not for everyone.

    Good luck.
  8. I was in Stripe's group and passed by what seems an equally fine margin, if the report / comment from my sponsor is anything to go by ... so passing alone, or passing first time, is not without its criticisms, and there still may be a lot to take on board.

    The Brigadier was at pains to point out, in his final address before we left Westbury, that a good friend of his, also a Brigadier, was a second-time pass, and it obviously hasn't hindered his career! So, if you want it, you'll go for it, and Westbury knows this too. You'll also be a lot more prepared, and ready for the format of the board.
  9. How much easier is it to pass MB 2nd time?
  10. Easier? It shouldn't be any easier, but you will know what to expect and should know what you didn't do right the first time. If you approach the second board armed with that knowledge (remembering to maintain your standards in the areas NOT criticised...) then you should pass.

    I got a Cat 3 on my pre-RCB and fretted like mad that the main board would be a flop, depsite my preparation in the areas highlighted. I passed and when being interviewed by my then CO of UOTC, he said he ahdn't expected me to pass...he even opened his speech with commiserations! He was a bit of a c*ck though in my humble opinion!

    What I'm trying to say is that you should always prepare for any test/interview/board as much as you can. The positive of failing first time (if there can be one) is that you can prepare better for the second attempt and barring any major personality change since round one, or concentrating too hard on the areas to improve, to the detriment of the other areas, you should be fine.
  11. Sorry, when I said easier I meant did people the 2nd time round have more confidence about it and did they feel it went better?

    I need to wait for my report to come through so I know were I went wrong. It's annoying as the place I feel I went wrong is were i was strongest on my briefing- taking command and getting my voice heard. I just could not seem to do it at this MB.
  12. Taking command and having your voice heard can be translated as shouting over everybody else and not leading but suppressing...
  13. I was told at Briefing that I did well with it. I find the problem is the fine line between getting your voice heard and being over bearing. You have to get it just right or it can go horribly wrong.

    Can anyone who has passed 2nd time let me know their thoughts on how their 2nd attempt went. (PM me please.)
  14. I was advised in my ACA debrief that joining the TA is a good idea whilst waiting for the next main board. Westbury rang today and set a date for late July for my next go.

    It doesn't seem like a long time to join the TA for the self benefit of passing AOSB (though I would be in until at least January), has anyone got any thoughts on this, or done anything similar?
  15. Yes, I achieved a 2Q at Briefing, as I fall short on one of my qualifications.

    With the exam in May, and MB out of the question until I get the grade, I went down to the local TA unit. However, they advised that whilst I was in the Regular Army’s system as a PO, I could not be processed in the T.A. Also, I was advised that even with a year till the intake I hope to make, there isn’t a lot I could do with the TA in that time anyway.