I passed my AIB last year, granted it was for a different role in the Royal Navy, but I can still give you some pertinent advice. First of all, teamwork is crucial. Get to know your syndicate well. You don't have to be best mates, just get a grasp of their strengths and weaknesses and be able to communicate confidently and effectively. This is especially vital in the PLTs where communication is key to you completing your task or not. I failed my leadership task because I rushed my planning, but pulled it back on points in regards to communicating and improvising while getting suggestions from my syndicate.
Second, become competent at time speed and distance equations. The PlanEx will have you doing a lot of this, and during the questioning phase you'll need to be able to do these in a matter of seconds while under pressure.
During your interview, you're going to be asked a lot about motivation and your future job role. Know it and know it well. Like I said my AIB wasn't for the role of Royal Marine Officer, but I can only assume the line of questioning will be similar in regards to wanting to know about what makes you the person they're looking for; potentially to lead men more experienced than yourself into battle. Have as many examples of leadership and teamwork prepared as possible, and be ready to explain the situation, how you handled it, and how you grew from it as a result.
There's a lot of little things too like make sure your fitness is on form so the run becomes more of a nice break from the formal nature of it all than a test to be worried about. Turn up to each evolution early and with a positive can-do attitude. Try not to stress too much, and just remember that those assessing you don't know a thing about you other than a name and branch of choice. Be yourself, be honest and just show them why you should be forwarded for officer training. Hope that helped, if you have anything you want answering just shoot me a PM!
Sound advice. Thanks for posting. The forum hasn't had an AIB diary for quite a while.
Just to add some general notes based upon comments made by previous AIB candidates:
Prepare for known tasks such as Speed, Distance, Time calculations. As stated above SDT sums are a part of AIB and with prior practice it is possible to become very good at them once one understands the basic rules.
Expect to have your plan dissected and torn apart during the questioning phase of the Plan Ex. Your plan will have flaws and they will be brutally exposed. When they are, remain positive and crack on.
Be vocal and supportive during team exercises.
And remember that the Royal Marines are a part of the Royal Navy so an awareness of Royal Navy assets and current operations is important. Don't forget the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) either!
Likewise Passed AIB last year, put on Reserve list and picked up a small injury, so I'm retaking mine soon as well in order to bump my score for RMYO 20.
The above information is sound and very useful, hits the nail on the head.
I would add that learning how you best problem solve is key to the PLAN EX and PLT.
So your PLAN EX notes could be divided into 3 sections (situation, assets/equipment, and problem/constraints). This may help you think clearly about what is going on, what you have and what you need to solve. But trial and error with this to find the best technique for you.
Similar for PLT, maybe you think about the constrain/problem first and then the objects you have, or vice versa.
It comes down to practicing and finding out how you solve the problems best.
- Stay calm - it helps when *text deleted* hits the fan and is a good quality in stressful times
- Command - take control over the tasks and direct your plan effectively
- Respect - when giving or receiving suggestions be polite
- Be yourself - they will find out if you are faking behaviour or answers
- Organise your kit - much like POC it helps between evolutions
- Practice PLT techniques the night before - massively helps to practice them well, it helps the team and your PLT if you know what you are meant to do, instead of being awkwardly stuck because you didn't secure a plank down exactly right.
(I was hoping to keep this short but it seems I have failed spectacularly.)
Passed my AIB a couple of weeks ago for the RMYO role. The major points I took away were as follows-
Its Hard! Id rather be sheepsdipping any day of the week.
Its a 2 day course but the first day is nothing to break a sweat over as its purpose is to familiarise you with the events that will take place on the next day. I thought the Plan Ex practice was not particularly helpful and the real scenario you will receive is much more difficult. However the PLT practice is very good, pay special attention to memorise all the silly little rules and use any spare time to get to know your team. Theres even plenty of time to head off to the pub in the evening in the interests of team bonding.
For the run-
Was cancelled due to health and safety concerns after an extremely unfortunate incident a couple of months previously. We were given some spiel about maximal and progressive physical testing. Needless to say the potential RM's there were not impressed.
For the Plan Ex-
Split into 5 stages.
1) 15 minuets by yourself to read through, make notes and come to grips with a fictitious scenario. (Practice short term memory)
2) Go into a board room with the other members of your board where you are given another problem to deal with in the scenario. You then have 20 minutes to discuss a plan with your team. At the end of this 20 minutes elect a spokesman to present the plan to the board. Each member of the team then gets asked if they agree with this plan.
(Be vocal but make sure what your saying is worthwhile and if you have a good idea or point ensure you follow it through. It was pretty easy to elect our spokesperson as he was easily the best orator)
3) Quick fire questions on information in the scenario. These questions are comprehensive and each member of the board will get blasted for a a few minutes in turn. If someone does not know the answer then the next candidate immediately gets a shot at it so do not tune out when someone else is getting the hard time.
(Practise speed distance time in your head at speed, all numbers used are factors of 60 so I found it simple but what I really struggled with was memorising names of people and places.)
4) You are given a final piece of information in regards to the scenario that may or may not interfere heavily with your plan. You the exit the board room to a computer room where you have 20 minutes individually to alter your plan if necessary and type it up in a structure that you are made well aware of.
(I did not realise how slow my typing was and struggled here, ensure you are proficient with the good old qwerty keyboard)
5) You are then give individual presentations to the board. You do your thing for a couple of minutes then they try to tear your plan apart for a couple of minutes and you must defend it valiantly and/or agree that you've made some miscalculations in places.
(Don't fret, everyone gets the same rough treatment for example in my group myself and another member had a slightly different plans and I was quizzed on why I hadn't done the way he said he had and visa versa. My advice, make sure you can justify your decisions to yourself and the board for that matter, keep calm and carry on.)
For the PLT.
It is nothing like the PLT's on bottom field during the POC. ( I'm sure during the one I was on at a few of the obstacles it was definitely more luck than skill that stopped the log causing GBH while the training team looked on with an amused smile.) While the criteria you are assessed on are the same (See below) the technicalities are very different. RULES RULES RULES.
Remember these 6 buzzphrases as its what the whole AIB experience is about.
-Adaptability and Initiative
-Communication and influence
-Teamwork and collaboration
-Values and Standards
-Awareness and understanding
Sounds much easier than it is, display theses above attributes in abundance and top marks for you.
The PLT is split into 3 stages.
1) You have 15 minutes on paper to plan how you are going to complete your task. You are given schematics of the problem and a list of the equipment you have at your disposal. This part is straightforward provided you can remember the techniques that were shown to you on the previous day.
(Think about where you want people and how they placement will effect the situation) ALSO REMEMBER THE SILLY LITTLE RULES!
2) A group task. The solution will not be that involved work well together but do not expect to complete the problem.
(Keep the drive and enthusiasm throughout. Be loud but do not become a cacophony of noise)
3) Each member of the team will then command their individual PLT which will vary massively in terms of difficulty but remember you are not scored on completing the task. I would advise falling back on your own leadership style. On the other tasks be obedient and helpful. If the leader is struggling be loud and clear in your suggestions. Also REMEMBER THE SILLY LITTLE RULES! If you or one of your team members fails to do so you will be told to stop and (while the timer is still ticking, you have 8 minutes) you have to without any help outside the team figure out where and how you have gone wrong. As you may be able to discern I have a particular dislike for them as they stopped my PLT in its tracks for almost half of the allocated time. Over all same advice as for the Plan Ex, keep calm and carry on.
Extra titbit, rope bridges are very difficult and it will pay dividends if you can become one with the rope bridge and understand its inner workings as you would a beautiful woman...or man.
Straight on to the 3 psychometric tests and interview in a round robin configuration with lunch on the go. As far as the psychometric tests are concerned practice makes perfect and for a test like the AIB I was really expecting them to be more difficult. Work fast and with expediency though as the biggest difficulty is time. (They only count for a very small percentage (5%?) of the overall score so if they are not your jam there is little need to adopt panic stations)
The interview is what you make it. !MAJOR TIP! They don't give 2 hoots about all the military and current affairs knowledge you've spent the last however many months learning. I asked them about this and was told that this is what the SIFT interview was for, they are just interested in you. Why you want to do what you want to do (Military, Royal Marines, Officer, sharp end of warfare). Your life experiences and some questions about possible scenarios and problems you may have as a troop commander. The question I remember most clearly was when I was asked to talk about the relationship a new troop commander would have with their troop Sgt. My estimate was that answering "a loving or sexual one" would have been seen as inappropriate.
Jokes aside fortunately behind a thin layer of exeptionally poor humour I do think quite deeply and existentially about things which helped me a great deal, especially on justifying wanting to be on the sharp end of warfare and joining the RM for the best chance of going on operations without sounding like a psychopath or an adrenaline junkie.
The interview will last anywhere from 40 min to 1h20m depending on you and the board. After you and your team mates are finish there is around a 45 min wait to get your results. You will see your board president individually and in turn where they will immediately tell you whether you have passed or failed and then tell you that they do not wish to elaborate. I pushed hard for him to spill the beans on the premise that for a potential RMYO knowing you have passed is information of limited importance and had success in this argument receiving some valuable feed back and some further information that made me wish I hadn't asked as upon this pressing for information you will receive your likelihood of making the batch with moderate clarity.
In conclusion these tips are only of limited value. You are being assessed as a person on your potential to be a Royal Navy and in the cases of most people who read this a Royal Marine officer. The life you have lived and the decisions and work you've put in along the way will be the most influential factor.
Good luck to you, your AIB and all who sail in her.