Congratulations! You are considering taking the The Naval Service Recruiting Test ! Be it for the Royal Navy or the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, you have done well to come this far. If you would like to read more about my personal experience of taking the psychometric test for the RFA of Royal Navy, then please read my blog HERE
Having recently completed mine, I would like to share 5 tips picked up during the preparation for the X and during the test itself.
The Naval Service Recruiting Test (NSRT) at my "Local"!
My initial application was accepted! Yaay! I was one step closer in my application process for joining the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. You can read my top 5 tips for passing the The Naval Service Recruiting Test (NSRT) HERE
Mid Jan came and I received a notification that I was through to the next stage of the application process. This second stage was to undertake the Royal Navy psychometric test at a “Local” Armed Forces Recruitment Office. Yeah, indeed! Nothing is local to my remote island, so plans were afoot in booking several ferry tickets, coach seats, accommodation for a few nights – but I will come onto the adventure of the journey to a big city in due course. But this was a worth while hurdle, a hoop to jump through in my pursuit of joining the Royal Fleet Auxiliary a Deck Apprentice.
Sat waiting in the AFCO made me feel like that 19-year-old kid I was back 20 years ago waiting to accept the Queens shilling before I enlisted to the Army. Nervous, new adventures before me, keen and eager to get back into the military mindset, and more so back into that club that I have missed for the past decade.
This assessment stage, nerve racking. The assessment is split down into 4 sections –
Questions are against the clock, and each segment has to be completed before you move onto the next one. It has been man years since I was in school, and failed my Maths GCSE on no less then 5 occasions, mostly because I tool issue with the silly examples used in the questions or came to the right answer without showing my working out, so I knew that the Maths element was going to be the big issue for me. However, with a little revision and recall of the answers to the pre-set questions, I felt that I did ace this bit.
The verbal ability was slightly annoying as the starting questions seemed to be taken from a toddler book about a dog with a ball, a big ball, a big red ball. Q) What colour was the ball? Then, the questions jumped into thesaurus digesting, Left-dislocated positive pronouns verses Right-dislocated negative pronouns. If I were joining the Royal Fleet Auxiliary as a communications officer, I might need to know how the left and right affects the positive / negative use of pronouns, however, I am applying for a position of a deckie, questions on how to grease nipples or sanding the futtocks on the poop deck would have been more up my street!
I found the mechanical comprehension and reasoning sections the easiest – a good dose of life experience and common sense will see you through. If however, you have never wired a plug or anchored a boat, you may struggle with a few questions. I did find this book helpful in revision for the exam, it goes into every question asked and technique you will need to answer them!
I found out at the end of my test that I had passed, but the pass mark could not be revealed. It was slightly annoying, especially as I was told that if I wanted to improve my mark, there was an option to retake the test – but, without knowing my initial mark, it was a hard call to judge. I thought that I would chance my grade considering I felt confident with what I had done. Taking a trip back down to Inverness was not something I wanted to repeat in a hurry.
My local AFCO is down in Inverness, some 200 miles away. No easy feat in getting there. It took over a week of travel to attend the 45-minute assessment. Although it was great to be off of my remote island and to see sights that I had forgotten had existed, such as well stocked shops, traffic lights and traffic, it did feel like heck of a trip!
The whole trip down and the assessment was an eyeopener and a success. I am pleased I had passed, but would have loved to have known my mark!
One morning over the Christmas holidays last year, December 2019, a had a notification that the British Army was looking to recruit veterans and fast track them back into the Army. Having served 12 years back, my interest peaked. Several tocsins rang in my mind, the opportunity to be back n uniform, back doing a vocation that I loved, and an opportunity to get back into a proper career.
On my tiny island in the middle of the North Sea, we do not have many employment opportunities. Landowners farm cattle, and people keep themselves busy with little part time jobs that keep the island going. But as far as careers or industry, there is little to none.
I mulled the concept over for a few hours and pondered the pros and cons, and how to tell my wife that I was seriously contemplating upping sticks again and heading off some where unknown. It was my idea to drag her to this remote island in the middle of Orkney, and now, I was thinking about bailing on her and heading off into the sunset. If that wasn’t bad enough, I would be leaving her alone with an 8-month-old baby.
Maybe I was just contemplating an impulse whim, maybe I was just daydreaming about adventures and travel away from my island, but I thought it was worth a discussion with my wife. I knew I had a few hours to strategize before she awoke, I have always been an early riser and Dee is quite the opposite!
Fortunately, my wife, Dee has always known since I left the Army that I would go back into a uniformed service as one time or another. Se knew how much I had enjoyed I, so she wasn’t surprised by my thinking. We both knew that any shake up of the family status quo would have to be a serious consideration, but, no harm in looking into options.
What has this got to do with me applying for and wanting to join the Royal Fleet Auxiliary? As I spent an our or so digging into the reenlistment options, I had a niggle, I had just turned 40 and would I be physically capable of keeping up with all the 18-year-old lads. I am not in bad shape and know that there is certain allowance in run times etc for oldies in the Army. . . But was it the best option? Could I use my skillsets elsewhere and chase new ventures? Maybe the Civil Nuclear Constabulary?
Having been a seaman in the Army, and more recently working as a skipper in the aquaculture industry, my google search led me to the Royal Navy, and a little deeper in I was looking at suitable roles within the RFA. The lack of an upper age limit for entry was a big draw over the other services.
Somehow, the application process had been started by the time the family had finished breakfast. Sometimes, you just have to grab an idea and flow with it! If you would like to read more about the application process for joining the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, then there will be another blog post soon!