Main Board Q&A

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by southernfairy, Apr 24, 2009.

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  1. Ive got my main board coming up later this summer, and i have a few questions. First off, with the personal presentations i hear you pick one of four topics from your application form to talk about, do the assesors pick obvious ones you can prepare for in advance or will they pick a random unforseen to throw you off course? any tips on the personal presentations other than this? also i have a navy application in its early stages as a fallback if the army doesnt want me, will the main board assesors think that looks like im not commited to the army?
  2. Dont worry about the presentations, I think you get to pick one from five topics, all of which will be related to your CV in some way or another. You get 15 mins to prepare as well so its not tough, would be much better imho to have to do it straight off.

    As for the Navy app, Id doubt that they'd know about so if your worried dont tell them. If they ask just say something along the lines of 'joining the armed services being your main ineterest so I might consider that as an option'.
  3. nice one. do you have any idea how likely it is that the regiment you most want will take you after sandhurst, or is the answer 'it depends' like the answer to every other question anyone has ever asked the army? also silly question but i have to let myself know what im getting myself into, assuming i get the sept/jan entry ill be doing the job about 15 months after that, by that time is afghanistan expected to be any different than it is at the moment, and if it isnt can i expect with certainly that people will be trying to kill me.
    nb no smartarse trolls saying yes your own men will
  4. Right the presentation is nothing to worry about at all by far the easiest part of the board, its towards the end you should know your group so it's easy.

    Your sponsor has no obligation and where you end up depends almost entirely on how well you do at Sandhurst, you will struggle to get into an infantry regiment if you are in the bottom third for example. If you've done some visits they may play in your favour but theres no guarantee.

    Afghanistan will still be a hot/dusty cold/rainy country inhabited by a myriad selection of tribes. It almost certainly will be a hostile place in 15 months time, most predicitions are looking at 10 years minimum. This you should know for the current affairs section of the board. Whether people are trying to kill you or not? Thats a bit of an immature question really, there is no way of telling but if you look at the world today I'd say if Afghanistan magically goes quiet you'llhave muslim jihadists, Hard line Irish republicans and your own men.

  5. and if you are in the lower third, what kind of regiment or corps will you likely end up in? which bits are the dregs of the army?
  6. You would do well to carefully consider your terminology. Anyone who passes AOSB and then gets through Sandhurst (neither of which you have managed yet) has achieved something worthwhile which a large percentage of the population wouldn't be able to. Most Corps and Regts have good and bad soldiers and officers. The previous answer about bottom third and the infantry won't touch you is not true - not all of the infantry Regts are 'elite' whatever some of them may like to think. You only have to look at some of the Inf officers on ICSC or ACSC to realise that they too have their share of nuggets.

    However, since you asked (IMHO) it would have to be AGC (both SPS & RMP) and probably a large chunk of the RLC ! :p
  7. Really don't panic about the questions - they are quite precise but all centred around your CV. You can't really gen up for it other than making sure you haven't lied on your CV.

    Also with the bottom third thing, it's just an inter-platoon thing so you know where you are performance wise. When you come to RSB, IIRC they just write a report on you as your place in the platoon is irrelevant to the RSB purely because you could be bottom third in a platoon full of keen beans who are all outstanding, yet in another platoon in your Coy you would be middle third based on performance because you are better than a lot of their guys. It really does go on your platoon make up at the end of the day.
  8. ok, thanks. my friend gave me the good advice to have a set of about 10-15 questions to jot down and just ''answer'' them when you're giving the speech. questions like, what was the best/worst bit, what did you learn, an amusing anecdote. it seems like sensible advice
  9. If I might be so bold,SF, I thought I’d piggy back your thread instead of starting a new one…

    I thought I’d put a short post together to re-iterate some oft uttered words of wisdom about AOSB.

    In no particular order…

    Fitness. DO IT!!! This is the one area you are in complete control of. We were stopped when we achieved the requisite standard but I recommend you train to do more than that. And ensure you train properly; you will get shafted if your press ups or sit ups aren’t done properly. Make sure you can do your mile and a half. It’s really pathetic to see a P.O being sent home on the first day because they haven’t bothered their arrse to get into shape. If you can’t pass the test YOU WILL get sent home; I counted three. It’s no excuse saying “oh but I can do a mile and a half run and the press ups and sit ups, but I can’t do them back to back.” You know the format of the tests so train accordingly. (I recommend training for the MSFT by running your mile and a half in deep snow wearing diving boots and a sweat suit, followed immediately by doing 44 properly formed press ups with weight on your shoulders and 50 sit ups facing into a very high wind)We did our tests in sport kit, sans coveralls, although this might have been because it was mightily warm, I’m not sure if it’s the norm.
    Don’t forget that this isn’t the only physical test. If your upper body strength isn’t up to scratch you will struggle on the command tasks and the individual obstacle course. Remember, it’s all well and good being strong but you’ll need some stamina too. The individual obstacle course is done after 2 days of command tasks and it’s no good reserving your energy in one so you can put in a good performance on the other. You need to throw yourself with gusto into each element of AOSB.
    If you take nothing else away from this post, please remember this. Bother your arrse to train, and to do it properly. Put some thought into your programme and don’t leave it until the last minute. You know the fitness standards but any reasonably intelligent person should be able to see that just scraping through won’t cut it. To quote a fellow arrser, “It’s a BIG tick in a BIG box.”

    Current Affairs This will crop up now and then! Soon after you arrive you will do an essay on a topical subject and you do the discussions the following morning. Make sure your writing is legible; you have a concise set of objective arguments taking into account the different points of view that your chosen topic throws up and put in your own conclusion/thoughts at the end. Don’t introduce any new arguments or points in the conclusion and pay attention to your spulling, pun-ctuation! and gramatically and you’ll do fine. You have to write about a page and a half, which isn’t that much really so don’t go off on one mid way through and use up all your paper space! Make sure you have a broad knowledge of current affairs but also make sure you have an opinion about what’s going on too. The “current affairs” on here is an excellent resource and all of the decent papers have a thoughts/comment/opinion” section so have a browse. In the discussions make sure you listen and keep track of what’s being said. When someone is making a point don’t shout them down. If you have no knowledge about a topic then don’t be afraid to not say a lot; better to be silent and thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt. The discussion will soon move on and if you’ve prepared adequately you’ll know something about the new topic. Don’t be afraid to disagree with other points of view, but don’t be a c*nt about it either. It might be a good idea to go into the bar the night before and make sure that everyone in your syndicate has got a different topic to introduce and that everyone in the group can talk about it. If someone intends to raise a subject you know nothing about then now is a good time for you to gen up.

    The interviews follow the discussions. Be prepared for a bit of a wait between them. I used this time to chill out and get to know my syndicate better. Some people used the time to prepare their interview answers and I’m fairly sure someone used this time to go for a w*nk…It’s all good.

    Computerised tests Current affairs, general knowledge and military knowledge. The Military stuff is all pretty basic and can be prepared for by looking at the army website. Check out NATO and the UN and their respective member states/HQ’s etc and keep your eye on the news about who’s winning the sporting titles and celebrity awards etc and you’ll be ok. The general knowledge stuff can in no way be prepared for!

    Outdoor stuff. The fun stuff! If you have an idea then make it known; it might just be the one that solves the problem. If a good idea doesn’t work first time be determined; don’t be afraid to try it again.
    Come up with a whole plan. Don’t get caught up working out every eventuality about how to get up onto the first platform or over the first gap. Work together and try things out. The worst that can happen is that you get sent back to the start line, but you don’t have the time to do a risk assessment on everything! Remember, it’s easier to step/jump across a gap than it is to get a cantilever going so be a bit bold. It’s not exactly putting your body on the line but be prepared to pick up a few knocks and scrapes and look for the simple solutions. Pay attention to the rules of the obstacle and make sure you know about the sodding fulcrum rule!
    The opening race is good fun, and although you don’t win any extra blow jobs for winning it’s a good boost for morale if you don’t come last…apparently :( The closing race is your final chance to shine so make the most of it and throw yourself into it. Again, pay attention to the rules of each obstacle and look for the simple solutions. Treat the burden properly or you will get shafted by your group leader and loose time. Although you don’t win any extra blow jobs for winning it is a good way to finish the board, especially if you don’t come last this time!

    In short, keep things simple, be bold, be fleet of foot, be vocal and be determined.

    Individual Obstacles This is another fitness test. It’s done after the command tasks so you’ll need some stamina unless you jack out on your group before hand. It’s only three minutes though so just go for it. I chose a route through these that split up the upper body obstacles and the others but it’s entirely up to you how you tackle this part of the board.

    The only thing you need to know about this is if you haven’t barfed a lung up after you’ve finished you’ve not worked hard enough!

    Plan Ex Easily the thing that struck the most fear into the hearts of the syndicate. You don’t have to be a genius to do these but you do need to be able to use the proper process in order to reach a decent solution. You need to trust the process to whittle out a workable plan because there is too much information to immediately see one. I’ve seen some practise ones where a plan is immediately obvious, but trust me – this will not be the case at AOSB.Don’t let this phase you though, pay attention to the refresher session you will have the night before the actual plan ex and you’ll do fine. Remember to draw out a little sketch map and annotate it as you go along. Identify your aims (essential and desired) and prioritise them accordingly. Identify any factors (Personnel, medical, transport, comms, threats, ground etc) and your deductions based on the good old “so what?” i.e Bill has been trampled by a falling unicorn. [so what?] He’ll probably need medical aid within 48 hours [so what?] he’ll need to get to the hospital at X,Y or Z within 48 hours [so what?] There’s a killer badger near X and it gets dark in ten minutes.
    From your factors and deductions you should see emerge a few courses of action. i.e. f*ck Bill, he’s done for. Use his carcass in an elaborate prank.
    You’ll have to come up with at least three really, to show you’ve properly appreciated the problem. Look at each one and see which one a) achieves the most aims you’ve identified, b) is safe, c) meets any time constraints, and d) is realistic. The best one then needs writing up properly with detailed timings etc. Seeing as how it’s not great literature and you should already have all the information you need, 5-8 minutes is ample time to do this.
    Don’t panic, don’t invent resources and read the narrative properly and you should be fine. Now comes the fun bit, coming up with a group solution and then facing a grilling about it! All you can really do to prepare for this is make sure you are confident with your mental arithmetic. Use the same process in your group as you did on your own. I.e. find out and agree on the aims, look at the factors, look at different CoA and then decide on the best one. The grilling is actually a good talking point for later on in the bar, so just bend over, grab your ankles and enjoy it! Much hilarity can be gleaned from the crap maths that will come out under duress!

    Lecturette These are done pretty late on in the board so you’ll know your syndicate pretty well by this point. Chances are you’ll already have talked about your lecturette topic without realising it. As long as you haven’t told porkies on your CV this aspect of the board should be no cause for concern. You talk for 3-5 minutes which really isn’t that long. If you’re sweating about this then jut practise in front of a mirror and gauge how many bullet points you need to make up the required time. Humour is allowed, but keep it clean and try to have some sort of structure to your talk. Try to contain any ridiculous mannerisms you may have and don’t talk at your clipboard with your notes on. (Which you are allowed to take up with you)

    The dinner Don’t get w*nkered and miss the final race.

    Medical Wear good pants.

    That’s pretty much it. It’s quite an enjoyable few days and by far the best job interview you’ll ever do. Take it seriously and give everything your all. If you arrse something up, forget it and move onto the next task. If you should stumble, it’s your ability to bounce back that will impress. Bear in mind that you WILL be under pressure so expect it. Don’t let it get to you and keep your focus on the task in hand.
    The food’s quite good, the beds are quite narrow, the showers are warm and there’s ample toilet paper.

    Oh yes, and beware if you go in the end shower next to room 14. If the door to the shower room is opened fully it locks against the handle of the end cubicle, thereby trapping the occupant. Depending on which side of the cubicle door you are, this can either be exceptionally funny or most distressing.

    If anyone has any questions / notices any glaring omissions / thinks I should make any amendments etc feel free to get in touch.

  10. Father Gundolph that is an absolutly fantastic post!
  11. Seconded. Emphatically.
  12. the quality of arrse posts is undoubtably varied, some are excellent but that has to be by far the most informative and concise. sir, you are a true officer and a gentleman!
    and of course thank you, thats a lot of effort to take and i appreciate it
  13. I have wondered if you are more likely to be placed into certain regiments/corps (or rather they are short listed for you) based on age, for example do older types (26-29) have RE, REME or RLC suggested to them, while younger applicants (18-24) have the more physically demanding regiments suggested?

    I'm sure you could prove yourself robust enough to get by/surpass the standards in a physically active regiment, but I was wondering if it's a challenge to prove so.
  14. Was wondering if anyone could say how long you get between the push ups, sit ups and the beep test at main board? I can do all three exercises but just want to make sure I can do them in close proximity
  15. You pair up to do the push ups and sit ups. If you do your push ups/sit ups first you will get about 2 mins 30 secs rest before you have to do your next test. (2 mins while your partner does his push ups/sit ups and then 30 secs to get into position for the next test :wink: )

    You then wait for everyone to finish, outside for a quick water break and then straight into the bleep test. So, to answer your question, roughly 3-5 mins.