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Recent Selection experience


I recently completed Selection and prior to going I read as much as I could on these boards to keep me informed and would say that both the write ups on Glencourse and Lichfield are good sources of information for a blow by blow breakdown of your stay.

Below I’ve highlighted a few key points where you’ll be assessed:

1/First evening icebreaker.
You’re split into pairs and given five minutes to find a few things about each other before presenting it to the rest of the group. Really simple just make sure you remember what they told you.

2/Next morning medical.
Nothing you can do here but follow instruction and hope they don’t find anything. One guy had been deferred previously due to potential heart murmur. Taken him six months to work through NHS system to prove he was fine. Annoying but it is what it is.

Although you can do something about BMI, no higher than 28 or lower than 18 (I think?). If you’re clearly out of range work on it now.

3/Cognitive testing – done in parallel with medical.
What was BARB. You’ll have received a practise version prior to attending Selection, exactly the same! This is one area you should practise prior to attending. It is a mixture of accuracy and speed. Learn the rules off by heart so you’re not wasting time during session trying to figure out what to do. One guy missed his chosen trade by a few marks, if he’d practised more he may not have failed.

Ditto Technical Selection Test (TST) is required for a number of technical trades (REME, RE, etc). My reserve unit gave me a practise paper so I could relearn a lot of GCSE level maths I hadn’t done for over a decade. Also gives you an opportunity to practise working within time constraints (so many guys were guessing questions because they’d wasted time on earlier questions). The paper isn’t particularly difficult but again practise will make it much easier on the day.

  • When planning the activity with your team, say something; even if it’s only minor say it! If you can’t think of anything at least repeat and recap what has been proposed and then add something about complying with the rules. YOU MUST LOOK ENGAGED.
  • During the activity make sure you’re helping pass planks, offering to climb things. It doesn’t mean you try and be the hero to do it all but you are looking enthusiastic.
  • NEVER BE QUIET. Cheer your team on, make noise and be encouraging. Do NOT moan or complain but always be positive. Say things like ‘stay calm and concentrate’. It’s an obvious trope but you aren’t here to reinvent the wheel you just need to be involved and supportive.

7/Career discussion (interview).
Suited and smartly dressed. Mine was really easy, as I’d passed everything else they were solely concerned with me cracking on and getting to Alpha. However, one guy did fail because he forgot what basic training involved (he was going for regulars). If you are going for reserves make sure you know what’s involved in Phase 1 (Alpha and Bravo), your CDRILS and annual commitment (27 days).

Finally be polite and respectful to Staff and you’ll find them generally helpful and instructive. They want to give you an introduction into Army life (so do not tolerate ignoring instructions/being rude) but ultimately want you to pass. I enjoyed my time and came away with an ‘A’ grade. Feel free to DM me any questions.

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