Help/advice on Planning Exercise

I am off to attend the AOSB Briefing in about 2 weeks, however I am still stuggling with the mental arithmatic part of the course (Speed=Distance/Time).

It is not that I can't do it, I am just quite slow at doing it...maths was dropped after GCSE, and I have stuck to the literary subjects...hence my concern!

Would I fail the briefing if I am slow at mental arithmatic? any advice on how to get better? IMHO I don't think that I should be failed if I am slow at maths, but if that is the case then I better carry on hard graft!


There is no planning exercise 'test' on briefing. They instead take you through the process to prepare you for main board. At this stage it is the MATs that will give you a pass or a fail. There isn't a great deal you can do to prepare for these, save for study the pamphlet they post to you. This is where you stand in danger of being binned.
They don't grill you at briefing, so don't fret. But speed isn't necessarily the issue - getting it right in an adequate amount of time is very important. Practice and you'll be fine, mate.
Don't know how precise you want to be, but may be easier to divide by ten and work in 6 minute slots (6 minute = 1/10th of an hour)

Travel at 4 mph, 6 min = 0.4 miles, 12 min =0.8 miles,
Travel at 15 kph, 6 min = 1.5 km, 12 min = 1.5 x 2 = 3km, etc

However, there will be a lot of families and parents sweating on your ability to give quick, accurate and timely results to these calculations. Take all the time you need during pre-planning (you should be so lucky), but come the day, you need to get it right before the decision loop rolls over you and yours.
Get your mates to ask you speed/distance/time questions randomly.
Just practice. And don't feel pressured if they do ask you; think about it then answer. They asked me a s/d/t question as I was about to walk out of the door following an interview; i gave a completely divvi answer but still got a Cat 1.
Don't worry too much about it, just practice. If everything else is up to scratch, you'll be fine. Oh, and if you're writing it down, just remember that you always give speed in miles/hour (or x distance in y time), so ther's only one way round your little triangle can go:

[align=center] distance
speed time[/align]

Cover up the one you're wanting; then if the other two are next to each other, you multiply; if they're above each other, divide the top by the bottom.
Don't forget to convert units appropriately (eg m/km)

Have fun and good luck!
As a bit of reassurance I completely mucked up my mental arithmatic to the point that the interviewer had to walk be through it step by step so very embarrassing and was partly down to nerves but they still gave me a Cat 1 but its definitely worth getting up to standard before you go
Sarastro said:
re: Mental Arithmatic

Random SDT problem generator, good for brushing up on mental calculations. Also, a lot of the problems there are harder than AOSB stuff, being RAF and thus involving larger numbers, so if you can do those, you can do AOSB.
What times should I be looking to achieve on this test - is an instantaneous solution required to dst sums you're asked in the exercise, or are X? seconds of thinking time 'allowed' before the board are chivvying you for your solution to a particularly crunchy sum?

I'm currently getting an average time of 9-12 secs when I do this test.
Remember to use decimal time and convert as required.
Think of the inverted triangle for dist/speed/time

Speed x Time
My mental arithmetic wasn't exactly excellent either, but I still got a pass.

One of the most important things is to stay calm, not flap and take in what's being said.

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