Which is more vital to officer selection? POC or AIB...

Discussion in 'POC Section' started by NE_Trek, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. NE_Trek

    NE_Trek New Member

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    Apologies in advance here...3 threads already!

    Having read a fair few accounts of AIB attempts both on here and on Navy-Net (I'm a serial lurker despite my low post count) it seems that some people who've done reasonably well on POC still get sunk by AIB.

    So...my question is...is there more emphasis put on AIB than POC overall? I mean, if someone was an absolute beast on POC (and please don't think I'm saying I would be!) and not only did well on the phys but also smashed the essay, leadership, debates, interviews and all that but then only got a fairly average pass on AIB would they then have less of a chance when it came down to final selection when compared with someone who was not as much of a standout on POC but did better on AIB?

    Bit of a convoluted question there but I've always wondered how it works.

    Anyway, I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts, experiences, hearsay and the rest.

    Cheers folks.
     
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    The AIB score is the deal-breaker. The higher the score on AIB, the better the chance of selection.
     
  3. DhobiWanKenobi

    DhobiWanKenobi Royal Marines Commando

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    From speaking to people who have attended and passed AIB, I understand that the POC score that is added on to your AIB score is a very low proportion of the overall mark. So yes, AIB is the most important element.
     
  4. Auch

    Auch New Member

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    @Ninja_Stoker - would your answer be the same today? Curios given the changes to AIB/POC since your last response. Thanks in advance.
     
  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    AIB remains the Achilles Heel of most unsuccessful RM Officer applicants. Those that fail POC aren't going to get as far as AIB in any case.
     
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  6. Auch

    Auch New Member

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    Understood. Thank you.
     
  7. Chelonian

    Chelonian Well-Known Member

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    Just to add to Ninja's comment. Some AIB stuff can be prepared for academically:

    1. Be numerate; specifically in Speed-Distance-Time calculations for the planning exercises.

    2. Know how to structure a formal, concise essay and demonstrate excellent, conventional grammar and spelling.

    3. Royal Marines candidates must also know about the Royal Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxilliary.

    These basic three requirements are just the starting point and certainly not a definitive list. Other AIB requirements are more nebulous but there are several AIB diaries floating about which give pointers.

    My own godson is currently too young to apply but he is already 'all over' the above because he understands that AIB is the deal breaker, even if an applicant excels at POC.
     
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  8. StanRM

    StanRM Member

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    With regards to the AIB, does anyone have a brake down of the scoring?

    I have heard that its out of 300 marks and that the essay is worth 15 marks. Would just be interesting to know. I suspect the PLT and interview are the highest scoring elements.
     
  9. MadMan48

    MadMan48 Member

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    AIB frustrated me, I must admit. I don't know the "behind the scenes" working or the scoring system and I'm sure they're based on centuries of experience etc. however I still couldn't help feeling that very strong candidates were left out of the batch due to not being able to "shine" at AIB - for example a few really good lads that I had been on POC with seemed like very strong candidates (and what one would certainly say as "fitting the mould") didn't get a place last year because the other 3 guys on their board either were poor performers or didn't work as a team during the plan ex or PLT. I feel that a course that lasted a few days longer would have let the assessors see more of each candidate and therefore get a better idea of their true nature. It just seemed very unfair to me that a candidate could pass or fail depending on who was on their batch with them and for that to be weighted much more heavily than the POC - in my opinion what seemed a truer test of character - seemed very odd to me.

    I'm aware I'm rambling away but just thought I'd voice my opinion and see if someone with a knowledge of the running of these courses could explain the theory behind AIB being weighted more than POC?
     
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  10. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    To play devil's advocate, a good potential leader could demonstrate good man-management skills by coaching and mentoring those who were not particularly co-operative. The POC is loaded with like-minded individuals all going for the same job and each must be physically fit. As an RM Officer though, you aren't going to be just leading enthusiastic Royal Marines.

    For AIB the practical leadership aspect, contrary to belief, is not about "getting the job done" or even finishing the task, it is about developing a plan, adapting the plan as necessary and inspiring/motivating/encouraging your team-players - even if they are complete duffers.

    If I ever heard an Officer claim the reason they didn't get a job done because the people they had working with or for them were crap, I'd shoot him down in flames.
     
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  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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  12. StanRM

    StanRM Member

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    Just to stir the pot a little more.

    Is it not easier if the other guys are "complete duffers" then you are able to take control and lead from the front????
    Proving you are able to lead a group of people and align them to your end goal even when they are not proactive themselves.

    But Madman48, I know what you are saying. A good group will make it easier.
     
  13. StanRM

    StanRM Member

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    Just to add to that.

    I have been in social situations for example when I was part of a committee at university, on a sports team or even a work environment when you have had an appointed leader who is weak or no appointed leader. Sometimes in these situations you find that a natural leader will come to the front, but in some situations (which are a lot harder to deal with) I have found that a number of natural leaders have come to the front and occasionally this has resulted in a case of who can shout the loudest becomes the leader.

    This is my fear when going to AIB, if you have a very strong group with lots of natural leaders, because being a leader is not about who can shout the loudest but in some leadership situations this what seems to happen. In this case it would be important to work together as a team rather than one self elected leader.
     
  14. Auch

    Auch New Member

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  15. Chelonian

    Chelonian Well-Known Member

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    I haven't attended AIB but with respect the opportunity to shine was staring those lads in the face. More so than if the syndicate was evenly matched.

    Arguably, if the others in a syndicate do not demonstrate the required qualities a switched-on candidate will identify this and assert himself. Contrary to popular belief this doesn't mean elbowing everyone else out of the way but demonstrating persistent focus on the task in hand, confidence, and loudly supporting others even if they attempt to undermine you. AIB is no place for mumblers.
     
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  16. MadMan48

    MadMan48 Member

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    These are all absolutely valid points, and perhaps you are put into a 4 man batch to assess your ability to work in a group to see how you play with others. However as you mention StanRM, individual's may not want to play ball and as we all know, places on the YO batch are hotly contested so in my opinion it is fair to say that there will be people willing to secure their place at the expense of their AIB batch mates - i.e. not necessarily shout loudest but certainly push themselves to the front as the "natural" leader of the group. I just feel that with a few more days at AIB the assessors would get a better feel for each individual and be able to see through the "louder" individuals to the quieter guys who are just as competent. Perhaps if individuals were swapped around into a random mix of 4 candidates for each test? I'm not sure. I know for a fact that the only reason I passed AIB and made the batch was because the other 3 guys on my board were top blokes that I had met at POC so knew them and we all agreed that no-one would take control on the leaderless tasks and that we'd work hard for each other on the PLT's.

    Ultimately I feel that there were guys on my AIB that didn't make the batch that I felt were better candidates than I.
     
  17. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    Some good valid points - this is what a forum is all about.

    Even 'natural leaders', if they are half decent, know when to zip it & play their part as a team player, rather than a leader.

    A few years back whilst at Oxford URNU I was frequently surprised with AIB results. Some students I'd have thought were pretty accomplished leaders returned with their tail between their legs - Reason? The AIB is looking for people that can be trained, not the finished product, set in their ways & unreceptive to the opinions of others. Conversely I saw some idiots who I wouldn't trust to run a bath, who passed AIB. Mind you, they were engineers, s'pose ;)
     
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  18. MadMan48

    MadMan48 Member

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    Having attended OTC for a few years I've seen a very similar situation with guys and girls going down to AOSB. It made me very nervous about attending AIB, I must admit.
     
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  19. Chelonian

    Chelonian Well-Known Member

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    It's difficult to disagree with this point. But... life in general—and service life in particular—is often about 'making do' with what is to hand in circumstances that are far from perfect. In this sense, the snapshot of a candidate's performance is arguably as valid as a more sustained appraisal.

    I believe that there are opportunities for candidates to socialise the night before AIB testing begins? Building relationships with fellow candidates during that time is demonstrably more productive than sitting alone in one's cabin.

    With respect, opinions are subjective. I'd place more trust in the judgment of the AIB. :)
    You passed it because you were the better candidate, perhaps meeting selection criteria that you are not yet aware of, but that other candidates were weaker at.
    By the way, congratulations on passing AIB. Are you aiming for the 2016 batch?
     
  20. MadMan48

    MadMan48 Member

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    Chelonian - all very good points. I'm sure the system is what it is for a very good reason! In fact I believe the AIB used to be longer by a day or two, so they must have had a good reason to cut it down. And in fairness I felt very taxed, much more so than POC. I would rather smash out 3 days of brutal phys than 36 hours of mentally challenging tasks!

    I actually made the 2015 batch but managed to injure myself a month or so before the start date and long story short I haven't been able to go for this year's batch, either. However I have my sights firmly set on the 2017 batch.
     
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