GCSEs, Commissions and a very confused young man!

Hi there,

Just after a bit of advice really..

I want the Army. I'm positive civvy street is a road i need to get off asap. I want to try and join as an Officer ideally however my maths grade isn't up to scratch (grade D, largely down to the fact that we had no maths teacher at school for 5 months because she kept breaking down in tears 8O). I submitted my application form with my results on hoping they would be easy going due to my other GCSE and A level results but to be honest they're bordering on average too.. B's and C's. Not to be. So here's what i would love to know because im getting mixed signals and a feeling of being pissed about by both the Army and RAF.. what level through Learn Direct Numeracy do i need? 2 or 3?

The RAF are adamant that i need level 3 but this is probably beyond me as its testing at A level maths. The ACIO doesn't seem to know at the moment and advised me not to waste either his or my time until i improve my grade.. we left it that but i'm assuming he means GCSE qualification. This is not ideal as it would mean starting a course in Sept. and having see out a full school term. Thats an absolute last resort because i just want join up as soon as i can.

I don't want to join the RAF anymore, so they're out of the equation. What do i need do maths wise to be recommended for RMAS?

Also, if i joined as a private soldier, what are the chances of getting a commission later on in my career? A commission is not the be-all and end-all of my potential army career, its just something i want to achieve as a measure of personal success.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
Depends what you want to do. Unless you've got a relevant technical degree, the engineers won't have you. On the other hand, something like 180 UCAS points (I think that's two Ds and an E or somethinglike that) will be enough to be a Marine officer or to join an inf regiment.

And if you want to be an officer, be definite; no careers officer will recommend some bloke who answers "Dunno, thought it'd be quite cool" when asked why he wants to be a leader of men.
To be considered for officer entry you will require 180 UCAS Tariff points at AS/A level (or equivalent), which must include 2 A levels (or equivalent)

In addition all candidates will require a minimum of 35 ALIS points at GCSE or 34 ALIS points at Scottish Standard Grades (or equivalent) where:

GCSE Grades
A* = 8 points
A = 7
B = 6
C = 5

SCE Standard Grades
1 = 7 points
2 = 6
3 = 5

Candidates will still require at least GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English language, mathematics and either a science of foreign language.
Thanks for the speedy replies guys. In response, i've got 220 UCAS points, and 48 ALIS points. It's just this grade D GCSE maths that's holding me back!

I was looking at Inf or Royal Engineers.
Well, straight off the bat, the Royal Engineers don't give a damn about whether you have grade C GCSE in Maths or not. If you've been accepted to Sandhurst, and while there you've shown you're of sufficient calibre to be a sapper (no easy task, mind you! :p), then trust me, you'll be brought up to scratch on the troop commanders' course.

So the question is, how to get to Sandhurst? Probably better dealt with via PM rather than here, but:

1. Get a Maths GCSE at A*-C. Plenty of colleges will do courses, even at part-time level.
2. Join in the ranks, prove yourself there and apply for a commission. You'll spend a LOT of time in training, and possibly not be approved for a commission. But if you are, you'll be very well equipped for Sandhurst.
3. Demonstrate some experience that means the Army is prepared to overlook at D in GCSE Maths - whether that's in civvy management, leadership or who-the-hell-knows-what-those-Westbury-guys are looking for anyway.

Personally, I'd go for #1 - but it's a more fluid system than it comes across on the internet, and you're best off speaking to your ACA(O).

Feel free to PM if you have any questions.

I hope you sort it out and do what you want to do. I am hoping to become an Officer, I have my AOSB briefing in Sept/Oct.

Having qualifications isn’t very thing, I have 9 Cs and 2 Bs which = 57 ALIS points, however, I think it has to be in your top 7 subjects, which means I have 37 ALIS points (just enough). Whats very important to the Army (for Officers) is leadership skills, life experiences and your general approach on things.

I am still finishing off my A Levels, which are not going to be too amazing, (maybe BCC or even CCC), but I will compensate for that with my leadership skills and life experiences (I hope!)

What ever happens, good luck mate!


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