Focus on GCSEs ?

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by rickterscale, Mar 19, 2010.

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 all,

    Was wondering if anyone can help cos im getting a bit worried now.

    i really want to join army as a communication systems engineer as soon as possible really. Im 30 coming 31 in june and have GCSEs which are 15 years old now. I wasnt really into maths when i was at school and didnt really or want to get it either. Even saying that i got a grade D anyway which was the highest i could of got for the stage i was on.

    The criteria for the job i want is a C in maths,English and Science, i have all except maths.

    Today i done my barb test and scored 59 which i was told was good enough, but the questioned the maths GCSE.
    Six months ago i passed my CCNA which in my opinion wipes the floor with a GCSE. When i presented that to them they said it will make no difference and the only way i can get on is by doing a level 2 maths test there.

    Why do these recruiting people love the GCSEs so much, i understand if youve just left school then its most likely all you have got but not an adult surely.

    and the maddest thing is they advertise the cisco qualification as something you can achieve by joining the army which i already have.

    Anyway sorry for going on to much but whats my chances of getting in on the course i want with what i got ?

    oh and fitness is not an issue as ive always kept myself fit and healthy.
  2. Over 21 for the purpose of uni and UCAS, you are a mature student. If you do very well on BARB test, your GCSE before that CSE before that GCE results were irrelevant, you have proven your aptitude with the BARB test.
  3. BARB equates more to intelligence/learnability factoring rather than knowledge, so no - the BARB didn't prove his aptitude.
    As he pointed out, he will do the basic maths/literacy testing (which tends to be done simultaneously with the BARB) that will show if he's more on par with A - C equivalency GCSE maths.

    Thirdly, to the man himself, your recruiter should be the centre of your world on what gets you through and doesn't. This is not the place to be questioning him/her. If you want to ask the question of your chances, front it to him/her.
  4. Learnability???????????? I think I called it aptitude.
  5. hi thanks for the replies

    roadster280 as much as i hate to say but i think you have it spot on to some extent i suppose. I am already preparing for my GCSE maths just in case.

    A GCSE maths doesnt make you even begin to understand how any comms system work.
    A CCNA at least gets you to understand how basic comms between computers , routers and switches work.

    But hey im gonna do it anyway cos i really want to join army if they dont like ill stay a civvie :(

  6. If they don't let you join as an engineer, take anything and retrade when you get to Blandford. You're background will help your cause. Lack of knowledge on the Recruiters side MAY be part of the problem
  7. hi,
    I have got no GCSE quals but have been doing what I can to get enough to get in the signals, I have level 2 C&G maths an english and E.C.D.L level 2 is that good enough?
  8. All qualifications "rank" on the national qualifications and certification framework, so you can match them up to meet the criteria. Level 2 C&G is the same level as GCSE A* to C and is therefore a direct substitute. By the same criteria, surely ECDL level 2 is basically the same as a GCSE in ICT in terms of entry criteria.

    Anyone able to confirm / knacker this theory?
  9. Yer Thats about right
  10. I'm currently a phase 2 solider undertaking the CSE course.

    I joined May'09 at the ripe old age of 26. I was in a similar position but didn't have a GCSE grade 'C' in English. I did however have 'A' Maths and 'BB' Science, along with maths, physics, and chemistry A levels.

    You can still join by way of a shading reference, which the recruiting office can obtain if they feel it is a strong case. At least 3 people on my course joined this way. The competition for places within the CSE trade and overall the army is getting tougher all the time.

    Now I'm on the course we have started a Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme inwhich I've been told my GSCE/A Level Quals mean nothing as they are over 5 years old! So now I have to complete Key skills Level 2 in maths and english!!!
  11. That's barking mad. If that was true then virtually the entire army would need to re-sit those quals. We all brought our quals in from home. My O levels from 1984-ish, for example. I reckon whoever decided that is completely mistaken.
  12. If that is what the system wants play the game, a successful A level MAth student should be able to pass his gcse in one lunch hour.
  13. hi all,
    just thought id let you know whats happened since my last post some time ago.

    i done my pre-selection and passed that with flying colours( run 9.30mins, icebreaker was easy talk for 3-5mins, teamtasks passed).

    then i had my maths and english tests where i got level 2 on both( 2 questions wrong on both) and my 2nd interview.

    After all this my recruiter still said i didnt qualify for my chosen jobs (cse and electronic warfare systems op). He then phone someone from the sigs and ask them if i could be shaded. They asked him how ive been getting on and all my results mainly the maths test i did and because ive passed that with level 2 and that i fix and repair computers in my spare time helped. they said yes i would qualify for shading.

    so what a result and now i qualify for every job in the sigs.

    but i think it really does matter what your recruiter knows about your chosen field and how they portray you. Bieng older hasnt been a problem probably more helpfull as most of the recruiters are older and liked the fact i beat most of the youngsters coming through their doors and dont walk with a chip on my shoulders.

    come on adsc and the younsters there as it makes it more of a competition which spurs me even more and gets the best out of me.

    hope this helps anyone else with the same worries and probs with me.

    my main choices are now
    electronics warfare system op.
    comms sys eng.
    comms sys op.
  14. My tuppence:

    If you like making brews, go for CS Op.

    If you like paperwork, go CS Eng.

    If you like getting dirty, go EW Sys Op.

    In all seriousness though, CS Eng is probably the best route for you, as the trade has less and less to do with traditional "teching" now, and is more to do with IS systems. There's also a chance you'll get to play with Cisco kit, amongst many other things.