Just passed AOSB Main Board. Army Officer Selection help


I have just passed my main board, and took my briefing a month ago too, so if anyone has any questions or would like any advice/tips please message away.

Best wishes,
They were certainly no harder.

Make sure you practice all three of them as much as possible and you'll be fine. It is essential you practice under time pressure also, as it is the lack of time where most will slip up.

Make sure your revision is targeted to pass the test only i.e Type 1 abstract questions; True, False, Can't Tell verbal questions; only the necessary maths that often comes up in MAP numerical tests.

Tips for abstract.

People say you can't practice for this and you can either do it or you can't - this is not true. Practice as much as you can, and learn to read the likely patterns that tend to exist when you see particular categories. Look up 'The Impression Technique'. Get your head into a UKCAT med book and look through youtube videos also.

Tips for verbal.

The fundamental strategy you should employ involves six simple steps:

1. Read the statement/question
2. Skim the passage for key words and phrases relating to this
3. Read the sentence(s) containing the key words, as well as those before and after 4. Continue scanning the passage for further occurrences of the key words
5. If found again, repeat step 3
6. Select an answer based on this ‘targeted’ reading

Tips for numerical

The below areas will be covered. Get some practice in. If you're on point with your numerical, you will be laughing, as it will be a breeze.

Review your basics: multiplying, division, mulitples, prime numbers, averages. Make sure your are fast at working out the basics on paper.

Fractions and decimals



Ratios and proportions

Data interpreptation

Word problems
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Hey mate,

Congrats on the pass. I've got Main Board coming up soon.

What preperation did you find was best, e.g. how many Plan Ex's did you practice before hand? How in depth was your service knowledge prep?

What prep was a waste of time? (if any)

How easy did you find the topics for the lecturette?

Appreciate any and all advice, cheers in advance

I would focus most of your efforts on the below areas:

Practice Speed Distance Time.

Being comfortable on your SDT will help you no end in your planning excercise and your plan ex questioning. It will also help you in one interview where you are thrown a SDT question and a SDT question may also pop up in your numerical reasoning test.

Practice for MAP tests.

Revise for your numerical, abstract and verbal. Practice will help you with your timings and how to ‘pass’ the test. I found looking up how to pass the UKCAT tests very useful. I also left a little more detail on these above.

Planning exercise.

I did about 15 beforehand. They really did vary on their usefulness though. Get the planning exercise help book and also search around on forums such as arrse for extra planning exercises. If you have sponsorship i’d also ask that regiment if they can send you any also.
I would just go thorough as many as you can, always under time pressure and always following the technique you were shown to use at briefing. You’ll be given a touch up tutorial the day before on Main Board, make sure you are alert and listening throughout.
The important thing to remember with the plan ex is that there is always way too much information for you to deal with. They’re testing whether you can sift through that and find the critical information for the scenario. Go through it once to give yourself a better idea on the general scenario and then again in more detail and highlight to ensure you’ve got the picture before you begin to formulate your COA’s.

Just practice, practice, practice.

I have posted a couple of planning exercises below

Keep on your current affairs.

Subscribe to bloomberg, reuters email newsletters. Watch newsnight, 2200 BBC news, The Andrew Marr show. Read the Week or economist. You are not grilled on current affairs but I would reccommend having a good idea of what is happening in the world. The group discussion is usually more focussed on moral issues, but someone else’s topic may be current affairs based. The written essay will be on current affairs and so you will be in a good position for thatand also yu’ll be laughing during the current affairs test.

Service knowledge.
Have a good idea basic grounding on brief history, structure, regiments, ranks, past deployments, current deployments, future deployments, equipment, role of the army. Hopefully you should be interested in this kind of stuff anyway!

I didn’t go made with this but I still went there comfortable. The army website is a great tool, as is wikipedia, armedforces co.uk.


Harder to practice I know, but just make sure you are ready and happy to stand up and talk infront of a group, telling someone what to do without being either too quiet or seeming like arrogant.

In general I looked at each assessment and prepped for them all. But obviously there are some areas which will be a little unknown e.g the command tasks. You will obviously not know what tasks you will be presented with, but you can identify the ways in which you should conduct yourself thoughout them.


Do not worry too much about the lecturette. It goes so very quickly and by the time you do it you will know your group well enough to be confident in front of them.

My advice is identify 5 topics on your C.V that stand out from the rest of it i.e your travelling, do you have a unique interest, sporting achievement. It will be the thinks that stand out that you will probably be choosing from and so maybe have a think about how you can present them to the group.
You should know the topics fairly well already considering they are on your C.V.

Hope that helps.


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