British Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB) Briefing Aptitude Tests Online Preparation – 2023

Aptitude Written Exams

What Is the Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB)?

The Army Officer Selection Board is apart of the recruitment process for the British Army. All recruits are required to attend the AOSB at least once.

The AOSB takes about six days to complete. There is a practice round called the briefing that vets candidates prior to the main board to minimize the candidate pool. The AOSB has been screening candidates since World War II. Psychologists created this event to include a variety of exercises and assessments designed to see if the candidate exhibits the traits necessary to be a member of the British Army.


What to Expect at the AOSB Briefing?

The AOSB briefing is a measure taken to decrease the high volume of candidates. The briefing is essentially a condensed version of the main board that consists of similar exercises and activities.

The AOSB briefing is two days long. At the end of the briefing, candidates will receive one of four categories. These categories indicate if the candidate is moving on to the main board. The categories are:

  • Category One: Accepted
  • Category Two: Delay three to twenty-four months. Used for younger candidates.
  • Category Three: Unlikely to pass the main board but can proceed if they wish.
  • Category Four: Denied but can appeal if they believe they can pass the main board.


What to Expect at the AOSB Main Board?

The main board, in contrast, is twice as long as the briefing. Some of the exercises at the main board are kept confidential so that the recruiters are sure they are seeing the candidate’s raw abilities.

Recruits are split into teams of six to eight. They are assigned a team leader, usually an officer, to preside over the group’s progress and activities. About three groups will perform in front of the board at the same time. This includes physical exercises, hypothetical scenarios, obstacle courses, an essay on morality, and a group discussion. There are also a handful of activities that are done individually. The independent exercises are interviews and assessments.

These aptitdue tests are one of the most important parts of the AOSB main board. There are three in total that serve to evaluate the recruit’s mental capacity and general intelligence. The results will help the British Army decide which role is suitable for the candidate. The assessments include the following:

  • Abstract Reasoning
    The abstract reasoning test is a non-verbal assessment aimed at appraising the candidate’s critical thinking skills. The test informs the board of the candidate’s ability to identify patterns and draw conclusions from arbitrary observations. Test takers will be presented with two groups of shapes. They must compare the groups for similarities and differences. Then, five shapes will appear on the screen and the test taker must sort the shapes into group A, group B, or neither. There are seventy total questions on the abstract reasoning section. Additionally, the test taker will only have twelve minutes to answer every question.
  • Numerical Reasoning
    The numerical reasoning exam is a thirty-six question, multiple-choice assessment. The results of the numerical reasoning test give the British Army insight into the recruit’s mathematical capacity and their ability to interpret data. The test taker will be provided with a table or graph of data that they must analyze. Following the numerical figures will be a handful of follow-up questions, each with five answer choices. The recruit is given fifteen minutes to complete this assessment.
  • Verbal Reasoning
    The verbal reasoning exam gauges the recruit’s capacity for understanding novel information and applying it to situations or tasks. The results are indicative of the recruit’s ability to follow instructions and communicate effectively. The test taker will be presented with a brief passage discussing either an entirely random topic or a subject relevant to the British Army and their specialization. After the passage, there will be a handful of statements. The test taker must mark these statements as “True”, “False”, or “Cannot Say” in relation to their connection to the passage. There are forty total questions that must be answered in fifteen minutes. The candidate should be prepared to read ten passages.


How to Prepare for the AOSB Assessments?

The AOSB assessments may seem troubling at first glance. The tests cover a lot of information in a very short amount of time. It is easy for recruits to become frustrated or to lose steam, especially because they have to answer almost one-hundred and fifty questions and maintain their attention for about forty-five minutes.

If you are nervous about these assessments, practice tests are a great way to build your confidence. You can take either short or full-length versions of these assessments. Online practice tests are popular because they replicate the authentic testing conditions. You will get the chance to practice answer and working through the problems under the pressure of the time limit so that when you sit down for the tests at the AOSB main board, the time constraints won’t seem so stressful anymore. One of the most attractive benefits of online practice tests is the chance to see your final score. Your scores on these practice tests indicate how well you might do on the British Army’s tests. Your score also serves as an outline for how much more preparation you should do. If you find yourself below the benchmark, running through a few more practice tests can be just what you need to put yourself over the edge.

If the content and type of questions are more troublesome to you than the time limits, then sample questions might be a good method of preparation for you. Sample questions slow down the thought process, so you can put all your efforts toward the accuracy of your answer. Eventually, when you become comfortable with the material, you can speed up your problem-solving approach and graduate to practice tests. Additionally, sample questions can be a great warm-up before you sit down for the test.

Past recruits cannot stress the importance of dedicating enough time toward preparing for the AOSB board. As long as you are getting exercise, running through practice tests, and preparing for the interview questions, you should be in pretty good shape. Best of luck!