How tough are the verbal speed/distance/time questions?


I passed my briefing last November with a cat 2(6 months) for poor agility.

At my first interview with a recruitment officer, he fired a number of speed/distance/time questions at me which I was simply unable to answer. I attained a B in Maths at GCSE, but at 24 and having studied politics had not been near the subject in years.

I did some work before my briefing and attained 'above average' scores on my MAP tests, which hopefully reflects some improvement in my maths. No verbal test of s/d/t was made.

I have my Main Board in late August and am aware that as well as an essential skill for my planning exercise, s/d/t questions are likely to be fired at me mid-interview by the Officers.

My plan is to do s/d/t questions for some time each day on Speed Distance Time | OASC: RAF Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre - adding in one of my test planning exercises every few days from the beginning of August until MB.

I am currently attaining 80-100% each time I run through the s/d/t questions, but with an average of around 30 seconds per question currently. Some are very quick, but a few stump me, taking considerably longer than average. Naturally I expect improvement.

My question is, what level of s/d/t questions are fired verbally?

For example:

1) What speed covers 16 miles in 48 mins?
- No drama here. Common factor is 4, so 16/4 = 4 and 48/4 = 12. This gives me a ratio of 4:12, which is also 2:6 or 20:60 - therefore 20 minutes.

2) At 195 mph, how long does it take to travel 26 miles?
- This is a pen and paper job for me, surely?!

Are the verbal questions going to be like 1) and limited to friendly, easily divisible numbers? Am I right to suggest that questions like 2) would be above most people's non-paper ability?

I'm trying to do these all in my head as much as possible, but there are always a couple that I have to get my pen and paper out for - hence I'm a little worried!
Speed Distance Time | OASC: RAF Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre

2) At 195 mph, how long does it take to travel 26 miles?
- This is a pen and paper job for me, surely?!
First up, stop bobbing that you can't do RAF Aircrew tests - pilots are special... don't you know. Ask you recruiter if these are representitive of AOSB.

Second there is always an "in" to these things, like your conversion factor of 4 - in this case to covert to how far 195 mph gives you in miles per minute 3 x 60=180 with 15 (or 0.25 of 60 left over), So 3.25 miles per minute which goes into 26 8 times.
It's not too bad. I passed a few weeks ago. All numbers I experienced are easily divisable and if you are getting 80% you should be fine. Critically they are assessing your thinking under out for supprise sdt questions in the interviews and I would recommend verbally communicating your workings out during the planning ex (this stops them interupting you and give you some time without looking gormless).

(PS the test start easy and get harder. I finished 2 of the 3 but not many finish all 3 sets...don't worry)

They aren't that tough, the key is more just keeping cool under the pressure of someone throwing the calculations at you while you are stood at the front of the group in the planex.

Probably the best way to practice is to get a patient friend to sit there for 5 minutes a few times a week and throw various different S/D/T calculations at you until you find it really simple.

You don't want to end up like a guy in my syndicate who failed his first main board for fluffing the plan-ex and then 2nd time around with us he got out to the front and then just froze when asked a simple question, despite the answer having been mentioned several times already. I spoke to him after we got results and he seemed to think it was that which cost him.


well, my interview question was 42 miles at 10mph, how long?

and the planex ones weren't much harder than that. you don't need to be matilda to figure them out.

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