The Assessment Centre
"Joining the Army is the best decision that I have made. Since I joined I have never looked back. I have made friends for life, travelled to different places and gained new skills and qualifications.
With the right preparation and attitude, you can pass Selection and start your career in the British Army. Good luck at the Selection Event."
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE ASSESSMENT CENTRE
Ability Tests (Army Cognitive Test (Verifier)) - Taken on a computer, this is designed to measure your soldier potential. Everybody takes this series of five tests. You can go to your local Army Careers Centre and talk it through with a Recruiter if you're worried. Your score determines which jobs you can go for.
Literacy and Numeracy Tests - If you don't have A - C/9 - 4 grade GCSEs (or equivalent) in Maths or English, you'll need to sit this test.
Technical Selection Test - If you want to join a technical trade, you'll need to take this Maths test. The questions are similar to those in a GCSE textbook. Your Candidate Support Manager will tell you whether you need to take it or not.
Technical Corps: Royal Engineers, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Signals, Royal Logistic Corps (Ammunition Technician only).
Grenade Throw - A military-style practical lesson is included. You'll be shown how to leopard crawl under a net, before throwing a dummy grenade.
Team Tasks - Teamwork and team spirit are very important in the Army. You will split into small teams (up to 8) and be given practical problem-solving tasks to complete as a team. You will be competing against the clock, and possibly other teams, so it is important to work well together. Think about your strengths and what you can bring to your team.
Career Discussion - Finally, you'll have a career discussion, where we will ask you about why you want to join, and what role you're interested in. You'll also get feedback on how you've got on, and your next steps.
While you're at the centre, you'll complete your pre-employment checks. paperwork. Our team will be on hand to help you with these if you need.
On Day 1, you will be seen by a Doctor to check that you are healthy enough to take part, and to join the Army. The tests will not hurt you and don't involve taking blood or the use of needles.
You will have a full assessment, which will include looking at your past medical history, your current health and a top-to-toe medical examination along with some other tests.
Although some of your medical records have been considered already, a ‘Pass’ outcome is not guaranteed until the doctor has fully considered both your medical records, and a face-to-face consultation with you.
For some individuals, further information, referral or consideration by the senior army doctor in charge of recruiting is required after the pre-selection assessment to ensure that the correct decision is made about you.
The medical tests:
- Urine, hearing, eyesight, colour perception and your lung capacity will all be tested.
- Measure your waist, and confirm your Body Mass Index by checking your height and weight.
- An Electrocardiogram (ECG). This involves having small pads stuck to your arms, legs and chest so that we can measure the electrical activity of your heart.
A few people will also need an Echocardiogram or an exercise spirometry.
- An echo cardiogram is a scan looking at the structure of your heart. A trained technician will use a small handheld scanner moved over your chest to do this. It only takes 30-40 minutes and doesn’t hurt.
- Exercise spirometry looks at how well your lungs work before and after exercise. You will do some blowing tests then be put on an exercise bike for a short time. After that the blowing tests will be repeated. By comparing the before and after we can look at the effect that exercise has on your lungs.
You'll be asked to take part in three different tests. The standard you need to meet is different depending on which role you're hoping to join. The Assessors will be watching to see how much effort you put in. The tests have recently changed - they are not harder, and the training that you've done towards the old tests will also help you through the new ones.
- The Mid-Thigh Pull: Standing in front of a bar set to mid-thigh height, you'll be asked to pull the bar upwards for 5 seconds, then rest and repeat.
- Medicine Ball Throw: Sitting with your back against a wall, you'll throw a 4kg medicine ball as far as you can.
- 2km (1.2 mile) Run: Start with an 800m warm up jog before your timed run of a further 2km (1.2 mile).
Not sure what you need to achieve for the role you hope to join? CHECK THE ROLEFINDERYou are not allowed to wear body supports or sports bandages for these tests.
100% Army Fit App
If you need to improve your fitness level, or keep it at a good level before starting, check out our free fitness app.
Designed by Army PTIs, the app will help you to build your fitness levels to that of a soldier, through exercises that you can easily do at home, without needing any extra equipment.
Download the App:
Before your medical, it's important to not have any fizzy drinks, energy drinks, alcohol, or any sugary drinks or foods for at least 12 hours. They can affect your urine sample.
In the 3 days before your medical, avoid very energetic exercise, like a 5k run or playing a full game of football.
If you wear glasses:
- Bring your glasses with you.
- Take out soft contact lenses 48 hours in advance. Hard lenses should be removed 10 days beforehand. If you don't do this, your medical could be moved to a later date.
- Bring a copy of your current optician’s prescription/report from your optician.
About your stay
You won't be able to use your mobile during the assessment events, and the reception at most centres is poor. We don't take your phones off you, but it's a good idea for us to look after them for you during the day. You can use them in the evening, when you will also have time to relax and meet the other candidates.
There will also be some time to talk to our staff about what it is like to be in the Army.
You will be emailed the exact details of your Army Assessment course.
There are four centres, and you will be sent to your nearest one. These are Glencorse, Belfast, Lichfield and Pirbright.
You will need to take ID along with you. You can find more details about what types of ID we accept, in our ID guide.
Booked in? Download our countdown checklist.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
After your career discussion, you'll be given feedback about your assessment and your next steps. If you're joining the Army Reserve, you'll be given the opportunity to enlist before you leave (if you've passed and all checks are complete).
Once you're home, we'll be in touch with you after a few days to chat about how you got on and what happens next.