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New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Aptitude Test & Recruitment Process Online Preparation – 2024

Job Assessment Tests

What Is the New Zealand Defence Force’s Recruitment Process?

New Zealand Defence Force, or NZDF, is thorough in their screenings of recruits. They want to ensure that people are in a role that is appropriate to their strengths and weaknesses. In addition to interviews and background checks, the NZDF utilises aptitude tests and physical exams. Recruits should be prepared for a three- to six-month-long recruitment process.

Job seekers interested in a position with the NZDF can expect the following stages during the recruitment process.

  • Application
  • Assessment Day (A-Day)
  • Interview
  • Induction Day

Application Process

The NZDF’s application is very in-depth. It takes about an hour to complete on top of the twenty-minute registration time before the application. Included with the application are background and medical checks. There are also background questions about the applicant’s education, work experience, and more. On average, the applicant should hear back from the NZDF about three days after the application has been submitted.

Assessment Day (A-Day)

After applications have been reviewed, recruits will be invited to Assessment Day, commonly abbreviated as A-Day. During A-Day, recruits will endure a psychometric assessment and physical exams. These tests will take place at one of the NZDF’s training centres.

NZDF’s aptitude test has seven sections, some of which are administered on a computer and others that must be taken on paper. The test is timed, and the questions are a mix of multiple-choice, short answer, and fill-in-the-blank. The NZDF’s test sections include:

  • Abstract Reasoning
    The abstract reasoning test asks the test taker to establish relationships between number and letter patterns. The test taker has fifteen minutes to complete this section and the answer choices are fill-in-the-blank. The test will use special characters such as asterisks or question marks to indicate the position in the pattern that needs to be filled. The objective is to appraise the recruit’s ability to identify patterns and draw logical conclusions using abstract data.
  • Advanced Math
    The advanced math section will only be administered to those who are interested in positions where math is apart of the daily responsibilities and an absolute necessity. The questions cover algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. No calculator is allowed. There are four answer choices per question and some questions may include graphs, tables, or other similar figures. Other questions present equations or word problems.
  • Aviation Reasoning
    The aviation reasoning section grants twenty-five minutes to the candidate to complete this portion. The questions are almost exclusively word problems and hypothetical scenarios, some that come with illustrations of the scenarios or pictures of particular aircraft. The content of the questions regards the speed, time, and distance of aircraft including conversions, flight time, gas mileage, and more. The administrators of the assessment do not allow calculators and they ask that the test taker show all of their work on two sheets of scratch paper.
  • Basic Math
    The basic math section is among the easiest on the assessment. The test taker is provided ten minutes to complete this section. The questions are simple word problems or equations that require the use and knowledge of the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). The questions concern elementary level math and the results simply ensure that the candidate has a fundamental understanding of mathematics.
  • General Intelligence
    The general intelligence section has a twelve-minute time limit. There are numerical and verbal reasoning questions in this section, some of which have three answer choices and others with five answer choices. There are word problems, analogies, graphs, matrices, and simple calculations. The results of this section inform the NZDF of the candidate’s overall aptitude in subjects that assess the foundation of someone’s intelligence.
  • Mechanical Reasoning
    The mechanical reasoning section is multiple-choice with four answer options per question. In the beginning, there are a few mechanical principles that are explained to the recruit to offer some context. This must be read over very carefully because a bulk of the questions concern that information. Most of the questions utilise illustrations or diagrams to demonstrate the principle and help the test taker understand the question. There are twenty total minutes for this section of the NZDF aptitude test.
  • Verbal Reasoning
    The verbal reasoning section focuses on word relationships and spelling. The test will lay out a series of words. Next to each word is a three-letter syllable of a synonym to the reference word. For example, the reference word might be “STOP”. Next to stop will be the letters “F”, “I”, and “N.” The recruit’s job is to write “ISH” on the line to spell “FINISH.” This section gives NZDF insight into the candidate’s written skills, reading comprehension, and a basic understanding of verbal concepts.

Once the aptitude test has been completed, the recruits will participate in a physical exam. Each candidate must meet a minimum benchmark put into place by each service. These benchmarks may vary depending on the role and branch of the military that the recruit is interested in. The physical exam is not overly demanding, it just ensures that the recruit will be able to handle basic training.


The interview helps the NZDF get to know the recruit better. The questions will be behavioural and competency-based as well as a handful of questions about the NZDF, the position the recruit is interested in, and their expectations for the service and training. Recruits should prepare a handful of questions for the recruiters as well.

After the interview, the recruits will have a couple of different pathways they can take. They are either added to the candidate pool, or they will attend a selection board. The selection board is only for a few particular roles that the NZDF believe need to be screened in more detail. If the recruit is interested in an officer position, they will attend an officer selection board. Formal offers will be made within the month. The offer is made on the condition that the recruit’s background check and medical exam come back without any results that they deem poor.

Induction Day

Induction Day is the final stage before training begins. There are fitness tests and casual interviews between the recruits and officers. It is important to note that the recruit is still being assessed during this stage and there is a chance they could be unsuccessful. Recruits should put their best foot forward and prepare for the physical exams and the interviews before Induction Day.


How to Prepare for NZDF’s Assessments?

The NZDF’s assessments are monumental to your success and future with the service. They decide your eligibility for roles, whether you can be an officer, and whether or not the recruiters will pass you onto the next stage. Many candidates find themselves stressed over the rigorous time limits and the tricky questions. If you wish to avoid getting flustered and want to put your mind at ease, preparation is the best way to go.

Online practice tests have emerged as one of the best options for people looking to get comprehensive and effective practice in before they take the assessment. These tests simulate the testing environment with similar questions, an identical structure, and equally difficult time constraints. Candidates favour these online practice tests because they afford them the opportunity to take the NZDF assessment before the score truly matters. You will be given a stress-free testing atmosphere to get comfortable with the questions and practice maintaining accuracy with adhering to the time limits.

If you wish to focus more on the questions and less on the time limits, sample questions are the best way to go. Sample questions allow you to focus on your problem-solving approach so that you can increase your accuracy and have a better understanding of the question being asked. They are also very useful if you need a refresher before the test and want to get some last-minute practice.

Whichever way you choose to practice depends on your needs and goals for the NZDF assessment. As long as you spend dedicated time preparing for this test, you should be in pretty good shape. Best of luck!