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Top 3rd at Sandhurst - How to get there.

#1
I was unsure whether to put this into the Officer Recruiting thread or not, but decided to put it in here since there may be a few who were in the top 3rd of their Pl in Sandhurst.

This is perhaps a question with a very obvious answer... Try your hardest. Other than that though, does anyone have any top tips for coming in the top 3rd at Sandhurst? As it seems it is still an important step to joining any teeth arms. Basically, what can an aspiring infantry officer do to prepare?

Thanks for your replies
 
#2
Get yourself fit enough to do anything that will be required, so that it is not an issue or ever questioned.
Start slowly - pace yourself, it is a reasonably long course, try to achieve a balance where you are not seen as to pushy whilst at the same time not being seen as hiding.
Be prepared to listen and not to question.
Be positive and proactive.
Help others less capable.
Enjoy, Relax and smile - and finally if you are right or wrong - STAND STILL!
 
#4
Basically a bit of a lie put about as a recruiting tool. Every capbadge at Sandhurst, (even the really bone ones) will tell you that you need to be top third to get in. The question that has always puzzled me is where do the other two thirds go? If Im being honest, being in the top third definately helps you get the capbadge you choose but there are no capbadges that will only consider the top third. How you do on visits and if your chosen capbadge like you personally are far more important.

Sorry that doesnt seem too helpful but the long and the short of it is try hard at everything but dont become a thrusting loser bent on achieving the sword of honour or winning the binos at PCD and you'll probably be ok.

This may provoke outrage from some of the 'elite' regiments represented on ARRSE, however its a fact. We all know some complete incompetents who have entered the combat arms, as well as good lads who have joined CS and CSS.

Hope that helps
 
#5
Thanks for the replies thus far (bar stabtoreg). The idea of trying to find a balance is definitely a useful one and not just going hell for leather at everything, because as you say, it is a long course.

Also, I'm aware the term is bandied about quite alot. But when I've asked Regimental recruiters what they are looking for, they do mention the top 3rd, so it certainly seems like something to aim for. Even if they don't always apply it as a rule.
 
#6
Having just seen a friend go from bottom 3rd to top 3rd with no change in effort, I would suggest there has to be an element of "DS Awareness". Whilst we would love to maintain there is utter impartiality amongst your Staff, plain human nature indicates otherwise. Find out, quickly, what your Pl Cdr (and Sgt) is/isn't interested in, and make sure that you are good at that stuff. If you're Pl Cdr is a phys-loving beast, but doesn't really care so much about the absolute tidiness of your cupboards, make sure you work at the former and not at the latter. It's obvious, but I know lots of people who don't really twig on!

Whilst I know a little about the Army, I'm not sure how much this point could be widened out to "potential Regiment watching" - does Regiment A prefer it if you represent RMAS at Sport or come top of your exams? Does Regiment B want it's Young Officers to be the most intellectual instead of press-up master of the universe? I would suggest that Fam visits and discrete questioning of current YOs in the Regiment you wish to join might give you a good idea (as would their Regt Journals and/or websites).

Full-on "DS Watching" (i.e. you only work hard when the DS are watching) may also be a way to achieve the Top 3rd, but be prepared to be hated by your Pl mates.
 
#7
Are people officially ranked as such - apart from the obvious 'cadet ranks' such as JUO & SOU et al?

I'd be interested to find them out if they are available for public consumption.
 
#8
The phrase I would use: Do everything to the best standard you can and work as hard as you can.

My first reply was because I think it essentially a selfish question. Do you want to be the best officer you can be and do a job that you are good at and are suited to? Or do you want to try and gain an advantage by playing the system?

If you get into the infantry by working hard and having the aptitude then that's great. If you 'bluff' your way into it by faking attributes then it is only the soldiers that suffer ultimately.

I may be wrong but there seems to be a lot of 'training for the test' on here lately rather than training for the job.
 
#9
Training for the test has always been an issue in the Army, just as long questions from thrusters make lectures go on fifteen minutes longer than the speaker or his course-mates want!
 
#10
I certainly intend to be the best officer I can be. But to do that I initially need to get into an infantry regiment. I don't intend to "play the system" either. Alfred The Great was very helpful, but I won't be "DS watching", partly because I don't want to play the system and also because I suspect they would ping such a thing quite quickly. I'm just looking at how I should be preparing, not at the best way to suck up to the C/Sgt.
 
#11
I was also told the top 1/3 bollo**s. I am pretty certain I never came anywhere near the top 1/3 but still managed to have no real dramas at cap badge selection time.

Most of the Regt'l Corps selection committees are very aware that being a good infantier and good at RMAS does not always mean good in a unit.
 
#14
Be the fittest in your Pl, that will ensure a place at the top. We had a couple of characters in our Pl that were genuine bottom feeders but very fit that did well...worked for me anyway!!
 
#18
Isn't the top third thing bandied about to mean that those who achieve this most significant of positions can pretty much pick their capbadge?

Work hard, help the rest and don't act like a cnut. Don't DS watch, you peers WILL hate you but more to the point the DS WILL spot it.
 
#20
Those people who strive to be in the top third tend to make it, provided that they have the innate ability, but in doing so alienate themselves from their contemporaries.

My advice would be: work hard, support your peers (particularly when they are in command appointments) and be "a good bloke". You also need to perform academically and physically which hinges on effort (before and during the course) and raw ability.

Ultimately, when you get to Sandhurst, you will see a fairly diverse group that makes up your intake. Some will be "better" and others "less good," despite all having passed the AOSB. There will always be the naturally gifted individuals who are very bright, extremely fit and make it all look easy, who you would love to hate if they weren't such good blokes. These are the truly top draw and will naturally find their way into the top third along with those who are moderately capable and are prepared to work hard.
 

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