Australian Defence Force (ADF) Aptitude Test, YOU Session, Recruitment Process Online Preparation – 2021

Aptitude Written Exams

What Is the Australian Defence Force’s Recruitment Process?

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has a rigorous recruitment process. They utilise about six different stages that assess whether or not the recruit is cut out for the army and what role best suits them. Recruits can expect the following stages during ADF’s selection process:

  • Application
  • YOU Session
  • Assessment Session
  • Officer Selection
  • Fitness Exam
  • Appointment Day

Application Process

Those interested in the Australian Defence Force can apply online or in-person at a Defence Force Recruiting Centre. The application will ask for personal and professional information such as work experience and level of education. There will also be questions about what kind of job the candidate is interested in within the army and other work preferences.

After the application has been submitted, the applicant will be asked to fill out a medical questionnaire and sign and read a handful of other necessary documents. Included in these documents are background information and instructions for the next stage of the recruitment process: the YOU session.

YOU Session

The YOU session stands for “Your Opportunities Unlimited”. Here, the recruit must bring a handful of documents including their ID, medical information, references, proof of citizenship, and a birth certificate among other things. The candidate will go to one of the ADF’s training offices and participate in a handful of assessments and meet with career coaches.

The assessments must be taken in person and calculators are not allowed. The results of the ADF assessments serve to outline what roles that the recruit is eligible for, whether or not they will proceed to the next stage, and their overall intelligence. The ADF assessments include the following:

  • General Ability
    The general ability test covers three sections: verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning. All of the questions on this test are timed and multiple-choice. The verbal reasoning section concerns the recruit’s ability to understand information and apply that information to certain tasks. The questions will cover grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension. The numerical reasoning section consists of mathematically based graphs, word problems, and number series. These questions will heavily use the four basic operations. These questions will heavily use the four basic operations as well as probability, ratios, and high school level algebra. Finally, there is the abstract reasoning section which is entirely made up of non-verbal questions. This means that rather than numbers or letters like with the previous sections, the abstract reasoning section utilises shapes to assess the test taker. The question will present the test taker with a series of shapes arranged in a pattern with one shape missing. The objective is to find the missing shape from five to seven answer choices. The results of this section inform the administrator of the recruit’s ability to identify patterns and draw conclusions from arbitrary information.
  • Mathematical Ability
    The mathematical ability test concerns high school level math. This includes geometry, algebra, and other subjects taught in math during years eleven and twelve. Recruits should study factoring, triangles, equations, exponents, and percentages. The questions are timed and multiple choice with five answer options per question. The test questions range from basic to difficult.

After the assessment, the recruit will meet with the career coach. The career coach asks questions about the recruit’s past, their personality, and their physical fitness. There will also be a handful of questions about leadership and teamwork skills or experience. The career coach will also provide a list of roles suitable to the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses that were outlined in the results of the assessments.

Assessment Session

The assessment session is the third stage of the recruitment process and involves a medical evaluation, a psychological evaluation and an interview.

The medical evaluation will assess the recruit’s balance, flexibility and strength. The examiner will also ask the recruit to perform specific tasks and exercises to ensure that the candidate is well enough to be successful in the ADF.

The psychological evaluation reviews the recruit’s background, personal history, family life, and more. The results will inform the ADF of how well the recruit would adjust to life in the army and life after the army. The evaluation will also give insight into the recruit’s values and how well they align with the values of the ADF.

Finally, the candidate will interview with members of the ADF. This interview should be approached similarly to any other interview. The candidate should dress nice and act professionally. The questions concern the candidate’s resume, knowledge of the ADF, background, and interest in ADF.

Officer Selection

The officer selection stage is only relevant to recruits interested in becoming officers who have also scored high enough on the aptitude test to be considered. During the officer selection test, there will be a panel interview, a presentation, a written activity, and a group activity.

The Officer Selection Board is looking for understanding, encouraging, and team-oriented leaders. The recruit must demonstrate motivation and willingness to learn.

Fitness Exam

The fitness exam is the easiest part of the entire recruitment process. The ADF is just interested in whether or not the recruit meets the minimum standards set by each branch. For example, women in the Navy must do six push-ups while women in the Army must do four.

The exercises included in the fitness exam are push-ups, sit-ups, and a shuttle run.

Appointment Day

Appointment Day, also known as assessment centre, is the final stage of the ADF recruitment process. During this stage, the recruits receive their official job offers. Recruits will complete the final paperwork, and additional medical screening, and participate in an Enlistment Ceremony. The recruit can invite family and friends to the ceremony.

After appointment day, the recruits are immediately sent to Initial Military Training.


How to Prepare for the ADF’s Assessments?

ADF’s assessments are a crucial portion of the recruitment process. The results decide what roles you are eligible for, if you can become an officer, and some results can even bar a recruit from proceeding to the later stages of the process. This makes preparing for these assessments key to succeeding with the ADF.

Online practice tests come highly recommended for those who need to prepare for the assessments. These practice tests are favourable because they replicate the environment of the ADF’s tests. You have the opportunity to practice navigating the problems, managing the time limit, and becoming familiar with the questions. They are also helpful if you want to find a pace that works for you and helps you answer the questions quickly and effectively. Finally, recruits find the online practice tests especially helpful because they permit you to see your scores. You can use these scores to approximate the results you may receive on the ADF’s tests. A low score on the practice tests indicates that you would benefit from some extra preparation while a high score indicates that you will likely do well on the assessments.

If you would like to focus more on the substance of the questions rather than the structure of the test, sample questions are a good resource to accomplish this goal. Sample questions will prepare you for the content of the test including trick questions or difficult problems. They allow you to focus on your problem-solving approach and improve your accuracy. Eventually, when you feel more comfortable with these questions, you can graduate to online practice tests to appraise your performance and accuracy with the questions. Sample questions are also a great tool if you need a quick revision before the test.


ADF Interview Tips

The interviews with ADF help the recruiters know more about your intentions, goals, personality, and background. Your answers help them know what position is most suitable for you. If there is a specific position you are interested in, or if you are seeking a position with more authority, you devote some time to preparing for your interviews with ADF.

First, you should read about the ADF’s values. Their values are telling of what they look for in a recruit. Once you review these values, run through some interview questions and practice aligning your answers to these values. ADF’s values include:

  • Courage
  • Innovation
  • Integrity
  • Loyalty
  • Professionalism
  • Teamwork

Prepare professional and personal examples of times when you have exhibited these qualities. Additionally, try to make strong connections with these values when asked questions about your future goals.

It will help to practice interview questions for ADF to have an idea of what they expect from you. Some common interview questions for ADF are:

  • What challenges do you expect to face during basic training? How will you overcome them?
  • Currently, what is your minimum period of service?
  • Name and describe some of the responsibilities that come with service?
  • What do you expect the day-to-day to be like?
  • Tell us about a stressful situation you have been in.
  • Tell us about a time when you were a leader.
  • Tell us about a time when you and a teammate (or colleague) disagreed about something. How did you resolve the disagreement?