Some help.


I'm due to undertake my Main Board imminently and obviously I'm reading up on current affairs and such. Although I have a few problem areas I'd like to discuss and possibly gain some advice and help on using the following:

Decent websites
General usuer replies
Publications etc...

The areas of concern are as follows:

Essays-Does anyone know a good portal for various essay questions that are likely to come up, and/or a portal that will help me to structure my essays in a reasonable way?

Written tests- Gen knowledge, service knowledge etc... Does anyone have a decent website for this? Does anyone know how indepth it will be for example would it be: What is a platoon? OR something as detailed as what is the effective range of a SA80 or Javelin? Is it multiple choice?

Command tasks- Does anyone have a decent method of approaching these?

Lecturette- Do you get a reasonable amount of time to prepare? Say in excess of 15 mins?

Obviously I'm trawling the forum for previous posts and also the world wide web, but I thought I'd be concise on my problems as hopefully the answers benefit both myself and others.

As an aside a great website for speed distance time calculations is the RAF OSAC website: SPEED/DIST/TIME (just click on, "Take the test." And it works indefinately with new calculations if you keep doing it)




Service Knowledge
I've written about this pretty recently in reply to someone else asking a similar question. The knowledge isn't too deep, its basic information, for example which regiment/corps would you associate the Challenger II with? The RA, the R Sigs, the RLC or the RAC? As far as revision goes, all the information you need is on the Army MOD website, or if you feel like it, buy this book. Just spend a couple of hours in the evening looking through, finding out basic information. You're more likely to be asked what a Javelin is than the effective range.

Again, this has been covered, but I'm feeling nice. Just read up on current affairs from a good quality newspaper and have an opinion on everything. It doesn't matter how whack that opinion is, so long as you can back it up with reasoning. Give more attention to how the essay is written, concise well-structured and balanced arguments with good reasoning and evaluation is what they're looking for. You shouldn't need a "portal for various essay questions", just go off on a rant about headlines and then play devils advocate to balance said rant.

Command Tasks
As with every test, ask yourself what they're looking for. The only advice I can really give is the same as in the debate - don't be too quiet, but don't dominate either (leaderless CTs). Completing the CT is a bonus, just be able to formulate a plan and listen up to the rules of the CT carefully. For the lead CTs, you'll have 5 minutes to look at the obstacle, just remember all the techniques you learnt in the briefing and don't be afraid to listen to people's ideas. In a good group, you'll all respect each other enough to help out in subtle ways.

5 minutes to prepare beforehand. That's plenty of time to write down your whole talk into bulletpoints.

That's all the advice I can generate from my experience of Main Board. The most important advice is to bond with your group, having a good group behind you laughing at you crap jokes in the lecturette and recognising if you haven't had any input in the command task is priceless. Enjoy it too, I had a great time!


the_usual is right re the service knowledge stuff.

As for essays, the structure should be:

1. A brief introduction outlining what you think the main issues in the subject are.

2. The main body. Detailed discussion of the issues you have outlined in your introduction.

3. The conclusions that you draw from your discussion in '2'.

A good way to remember this is: "Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em; tell 'em; tell 'em what you've told 'em".

You need to have a broad familiarity with current affairs issues, and you'll get this from reading at least one decent quality newspaper every day (Times, Telegraph and Guardian - the Independent's for poofs); from reading a good quality weekly current affairs magazine (The Economist, the Spectator, the New Statesman); from listening to serious news coverage on the radio (Radio 4; maybe Radio 5 Live); and from watching good TV news/Newsnight etc. Don't just read the right-wing press: make a serious effort to read and understand opposing viewpoints as well; the army doesn't just want Telegraph reading clones.

The lecturette should be in a similar format to your essay but the purpose of it is to see whether you can express yourself verbally clearly, relevantly and logically. Practise so that you don't drone or gabble, and work from notes rather than a script so that you aren't just reading it out.

Command tasks. Listen carefully to the briefing; examine the problem from every angle; work out your plan; brief your group and ensure that everyone understands what their part in it is; position yourself so that you can see what everyone is doing; offer encouragement and advice as appropriate; if it appears to be going to ratshit, be prepared to quickly reassess and change your plan. Don't lose your rag with members of your group, no matter how spastic they are; congratulate them when they achieve each phase of your plan.
Does anyone know if at the main board we are reminded of the various rules we were taught during the command tasks at the briefing, for example the fulcrum rule? If not, does anyone have a quick run-down of these to jog my memory?



Poobah85 said:
Does anyone know if at the main board we are reminded of the various rules we were taught during the command tasks at the briefing, for example the fulcrum rule? If not, does anyone have a quick run-down of these to jog my memory?


Don't worry , they won't let you forget :D !

Group leader to one guy in our group who seemed desperate to try and explore every bizarre new way of breaking the fulcrum rule:

"What rule have you just broken number 23? That's right back behind the start?"

"What rule have you just broken AGAIN number 23? Aaaaand back behind the start?"

"What RULE have you just broken YET AGAIN number 23???? Behind the start!"

To looks of pure contempt from the Para Lt. Col watching from the sidelines :D

Seriously though, I'm pretty sure they made sure it was clear at the start the rules, i.e. fulcrum, burdens stopping etc.
following on from the last post, when I did RCB at the end of the briefing we were shown the various knots and fulcrums etc on the bars and low obstacles next to the hard standing where beep test was conducted.

Pan , I have some plan-exs if you want them, pm me with a civ div email address. Just out of sheer curiosity, were you in an otc gun troop?
The top tip is be yourself. if you try and walt it up by being a jolly old fellow then they will see straight through it. The DS at Westbury get lots of PO's through the gate every week and they can spot a bluffer a mile off.

Essay, like he said...tell em wheat your going to tell em blah works
Command tasks ....I love em, first thing to do on these is nominate your time keeper, brief your plan and dont let others talk you out of it UNLESS your plan has gone to rats.

Interviews...DONT BLUFF. The DS will quiz you on your CV, make sure you read it thoroughly and look for potential questions and prepare some form of structured answer.

Dont let the Toffs put you off your stride, i know people that have done RCB (showing my age there) after me and they have expressed concern that they didnt fit in with the HooRay Henry's. dont worry about it its not like that.

DO NOT DS WATCH.....they hate it.

when you fcuk up take a breath regroup and crack on with your new plan.

disclaimer: i did this along time ago when officer selection was natural selection, so any of this may be out of date.

Good luck

Dont switch off from the moment you go through the gates until you leave.

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