Old style AIB Briefing Notes

Ninja_Stoker

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Aim of the AIB

The aim of AIB is to assess you in five main areas:

a. Effective intellect (including Problem Solving).
b. Leadership potential.
c. Powers of Communication.
d. Courage and Values.
e. Motivation.

Introduction

You should be doing a significant amount of work and research on Service Knowledge from books, handouts and the website. You should have also thought through your reasons for wanting to become a Royal Naval/Royal Marines Officer. Much of what the AIB wish to see will have been developed in you during the course of your life - skills such as communication ability, decision making, authority and effective intellect.

These are skills learned in the classroom, in the family environment, on the sports or activities pitch and amongst friends.

By understanding the AIB process and feeling well prepared for it, you will find yourself ready and confident on the day. The aim of this brief is to ensure that you have all the information available, in order that you perform to the best of your ability at that time on the day.

If the AIB deems you unsuitable for Royal Marines Officer entry, then at least you know you gave your all and that they made the best decision.

If it means they believe you would be suitable for training, you have a vote of confidence that you will not find the going so tough that your career in the Royal Navy is a struggle, owing to being at your limit and occasionally out of your depth.

Preparation Procedure

Step One. Read and re read this document.

Step Two. Watch the AIB DVD at your AFCO. Call in whenever you wish to watch it.

Step Three. Develop your Service knowledge, using the following:

(1) Navy News (www.navynews.co.uk).
(2) Royal Navy and Royal Marines (www.royalnavy.mod.uk).
(3) Janes Defence Group (www.janes.com) - VERY GOOD for technical detail.
(4) www.naval-technology.com.
(5) Find out the political background to current RN operations - know why we are there and what we are doing?
(6) Go on line for Psychometric Tests (any Search Engine will give you plenty of websites).

Step Four. Think through your motivation for wanting to be a Royal Marines Officer and prepare a realistic answer to "Why do you want to join the Marines?".

Step Five. Phone or Email your ACLO with any questions you have.

Step Six. Speak to the ACLO before going to AIB.

Routine

You will receive a letter from the AIB informing you of your date for interview. You need to confirm that you are able to attend. The OCLC receives a copy and will call you in for a
presentation (but let your ACLO know when you hear from AIB so we don?t miss you).

Day Zero

Travel down in good time - this will allow you to settle in, meet the other candidates, complete the questionnaire, relax and prepare mentally. Take some sports kit for a run in case you feel nervous and wish to burn off some energy.

Day One

Examination Day - Psychometric (computerised) Tests, Practice of Command Tasks in the Gym, Practice of Discussion Exercise.

Day Two
Leadership Day - Command Tasks in the Gym, Discussion Exercise, Main Board Interview, Final Debrief. You should finish and be free to depart at around 1400.

Administration

(1) Clothing. Dress to impress. You should have an interview suit for during the day and then smart wear (for example, jacket and tie) for the evenings. Make sure you are clean and well presented. Choose sensible clothes - be conservative. If you only have a suit, then wear that for your evening meal, but you should take sufficient shirts to be able to change your shirt a couple of times each day. If you are unsure then call your ACLO for advice.

Remember that you will be perspiring through the effort, stress and pressure. You will be observed, even in your relaxation time and you will be staying in a Royal Navy establishment, so inappropriate behaviour will be noticed. You may find time to go out for a run, and there is a pub just down the road, and you do have opportunities for privacy, if you desire.

(2) Questionnaire. Take time to fill it out, as this is your chance to provide up to date and extra information about yourself. It may be that you have achieved more or
received exam results since filling out your application and you should rightly wish to bring those things to the attention of the AIB. They will look through this information and use it as a basis for your interview.

Be honest - usual interview skills apply - do not exaggerate claims. The Board has seen lots of candidates and they go into depth with everything.

(3) The other Candidates at AIB. Firstly, they are not your enemies. Of course, in the bigger scheme of things, you are competing against them, despite what everyone seems to be telling you, but you can all pass if you work together and you
can all fail if you don?t. Ensure you introduce yourself to the other team members beforehand and find out their skills, talents and any specialist expertise they may be able to offer. You share a common bond - you want to become a Royal
Marines Officer, so make sure you work with them to build a good team in the short time available.

Working well together will enhance your overall performance and the Board may decide that all of you may pass - this really does happen.

(4) Administrative Staff. Obviously you should be courteous at all times. Since the staff there have served for a long time, use the opportunity to speak with them about it. They will be more than happy to speak to you. Be aware and remain polite and courteous at all times.

Psychometric Tests.

Be aware these tests differ from the preliminary recruiting test at your AFCO and revision to a more complex level is strongly advised
.
The Tests. Verbal Reasoning; Non-Verbal Reasoning (shapes/sequences); Numerical Fluency; Clerical Speed & Accuracy; Spatial Awareness; Written Communication Skills (one Essay and one Summary).

It is not good enough to consider past academic performance, although this may provide an indication. With the advent of more coursework and modules, exams results are more likely to show whether you can work well over time. What is required here is to work quickly and accurately under time pressure.

(2) Pointers. Timings are strictly adhered to. You have to work very quickly if you are going to finish the tests. They are very tiring as a result. If you do not finish, do not worry, since no single test will cause failure, unlike the AFCO Recruiting Test.

Some are multiple choice. You are given several essay titles to choose from - these may be current affairs based on an
event (e.g. Peace Support Operations in Kosovo) or an issue (e.g. GM foods; abortion; Europe). The Summary is a text that you have to summarise down to a given number of words.

Command Tasks

The Test. You are given a task (i.e. take your team and an oil drum from A to B) and a number of constraints. You have 15 minutes to consider your solution. You then enter the gym and each of you has 8 minutes to complete your task.

Once all have led a task, there is a leaderless task.

(2) Pointers. You will have had the opportunity the day before to familiarise yourself with the equipment and certain procedures (e.g. for having a bowline tied by the staff). The Selection Board is present to monitor your performance. This is the first time you see them. Project your voice at all times. Remember that in order to assess you, the Board must be able to hear what you are saying.

The aim is to see what your command skills are like. Can you make decisions? Can you think on your feet when things go wrong? Do your team listen to you? What do you do to control
them if they are too far ahead? Are you confident? What support do you give the other team members? Do you have a sense of humour? These are all considerations.

If things go horribly wrong and your plan fails, fear not - the Board will be looking at how you deal with the situation. Can you remain calm and regain control? Are you flexible and able to adjust your plan to make it work? Can you motivate your team to meet the deadline? Of course it is good to finish, but the Board are more interested in how you operate as a leader, to assess your potential. Be enthusiastic at all times - so much so that you would be rather embarrassed if you saw yourself again on video.

d. Discussion Exercise

(1) The Testt. 15 minutes individual preparation & note-taking. Into the Boardroom. Given additional problem and 15 mins to discuss it and come up with a team solution. 5 mins to present it (1 person chosen or volunteers). Approx 4-5 mins
of questions for each candidate by the PSO. All exit & return individually to give 2 min summary of plan.

You are being assessed on your problem-solving ability, communication skills, character, powers of judgement, memory and confidence, to name a few areas.

(2) Pointers. Confidence is important, but do not be too pushy and annoy the other candidates. At the same time, you can only be marked on what you say. If you have an idea, then present it, or someone else may think of it a minute later and gain credit. Use your preparation time wisely - you are expected to be able to remember a lot of information. Although you may take notes, you will not have time in the Q&A
session to refer to them. Speed / Times / Distance practice is especially useful for this test.

Practice them for half an hour using a pen and piece of paper, rearranging the formula and doing some problems yourself.

You do not have to agree with everything the PSO says. He/She is testing your plan and so may mislead you if you blindly follow her prompts. Or they may be helping you. That is for you to figure out. If you are adamant about the advantages of your plan, then by all means stick to it if you
can justify it. Do take on any good ideas they give you and incorporate them into your plan, if you see fit.

Be prepared to present your plan in 2 minutes exactly - do not go into too much detail - you will be stopped at 2 minutes.

Speak clearly - the Board have to hear you to judge what you are saying.

e. Main Board Interview. You have 8 minutes of questioning with each member of the Board. Firstly the PSO will ask you questions about your risk taking and your views on courage. Then you will be asked about Service knowledge, sporting activities and group activities by a senior officer (probably a member of your branch of choice). Finally, the Board President will ask about leadership and your experiences of it filling in any gaps that remain in their knowledge about you.

They also want to know you better and the interview is conducted in a very friendly, relaxed manner. They have already seen you perform and have a good indication of what kind of person you are, so that should allow you to relax
more. This is the time to sell yourself, as you would in any interview. You could practice your interview skills in preparation for this. Remember the timings - speak too much and you may be marked down for not being concise and for waffling and they will not be able to ask you the rest of their questions, for which you may have produced excellent answers for. Be honest and be yourself.

f. Debrief. You will be put out of your misery and told the good or bad news. Then try to listen to what the President has to say. Most people hear a bit of it, but miss a lot. That
is why we are sent a report and I, as your Liaison Officer, will be able to go through it with you in more depth later, when you are more ready to take note. The likely outcomes are
as follows:

(1) Pass. Well done. Only the medical and final selection meeting to achieve.

(2) Narrow Fail. If it is your second time, then it may be a good idea for you to look at another career or to try for Rating Entry. Otherwise if the Board feels that you might improve on a second attempt, you might consider having another go when you are older or better prepared. Those going for sponsorship are often advised to come back after University and apply for DGE.

(3) Fail with Weak Score. Considering the number of higher quality candidates that are trying for Officer Entry, you should really not be thinking about applying again, unless considerable improvement has taken place. This might mean waiting a long time (not just 12 months). You may need to consider Other Rank Entry.

Frequently Asked Questions.

These are a selection of the most commonly asked
questions and fears of candidates. Please E Mail me with any others you have - you are probably not alone and the only stupid question is one that remains unasked!

Top Tips. Keep us informed in the OCLC, preferably by email. You must inform both the AIB and us of any changes to your plans.

? Be yourself.
? Be positive.
 

Scottdog

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(2) Narrow Fail. If it is your second time, then it may be a good idea for you to look at another career or to try for Rating Entry. Otherwise if the Board feels that you might improve on a second attempt, you might consider having another go when you are older or better prepared. Those going for sponsorship are often advised to come back after University and apply for DGE.


I'm considering applying for a bursary in the near future. Will the Board take into consideration that I will be three years older and more mature when I actually get round to starting training (if I get that far)? I imagine it's about meeting the required standard regardless of age, but I know personally that I'll be much better placed to pass the selection process in a few years - surely the Board will recognise that?

If anyone could clarify, that would be great.

Cheers
 

Ninja_Stoker

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The board simply assesses individuals performance on the day. Those retaking AIB are not judged on aggregate performance, but will be aware which areas in particular needed to be addressed. Unless someone has attended AIB previously, the board has no way of gauging developed maturity & whilst it usually happens naturally, there are those who are mature beyond their years from an early age.

The board will not assume that a candidate will be ready in 3 years, the candidate needs to be 'ready now' to join as an Officer, if they aren't, they won't pass.
 

Scottdog

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Aye, thanks for clearing that up Ninja Stoker, it's as I expected.

I'll just have to put in the effort and hope for the best - it'd be great to know I've got a place squared away for after uni, bit of cash wouldn't go amiss either!!

Cheers
 

William Hanna

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Hey Guys,

Perhaps a Silly question but I was wondering if the AIB interview is at the end of the third day on POC if you are successful, or whether one has to come back on a separate occasion? the reason im asking is that I'm applying from Northern Ireland and just trying to work out travel etc. any info most welcome!
 

Ninja_Stoker

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The Sift Interview is conducted at your AFCO prior to POC & AIB. The brief for AIB will be conducted by your ACLO. AIB, as I'm sure you're aware, is a three day selection course at a later date at a different venue.
 

Wr2k14

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Anyone have links to practice Planex questions? Done a pretty extensive search, but any links I've found no longer exist...
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Pretty much every week.

For RM officers you're advised to commence the application process at least 9 months before the targeted entry date as the last few AIBs are usually over-subscribed.
 

MusserGoat

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Extremely useful thanks NS. Do you know where there's a similar break down of the POC? Cheers,
Goat
 
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