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The 5 Stages of Preparing to Join the Army


The selection process when looking to join the army can be a daunting, yet this is a perfectly natural reaction to what could be a life-changing experience. As long as you adopt the correct attitude, there’s no reason why you can’t feel confident and fully prepared. Here are the five stages as advised by that you’ll need to go through to be ready for the selection process.

Health and Fitness

Training shouldn’t be a difficult task, or at least it shouldn’t be viewed in this way. There are all kinds of military-style fitness guides available for you to use to get you in the right condition. The Army offers its very own fitness app that you can use as a guide to reaching your goals. The app was developed with the help of Army physical training instructors to ensure you reach the level of a soldier in training. The exercises provided are simple and capable of increasing your strength, stamina and confidence.

You’ll be put through a preliminary fitness test to analyse where you are with regards to fitness. The Army provide introductory exercise videos that demonstrate some of the exercises you’ll be doing during the fitness test, so make sure you’re fully aware of these before you get started.

Healthy nutrition contributes immensely to a healthy lifestyle, so make sure you are eating three healthy meals a day and avoiding the constant temptation of sweets and other sugary snacks. A balanced diet incorporates starchy foods, protein foods and plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Practice Tests

There are a selection of practice tests the Army provides to monitor your strengths and help you identify the job that is best suited to you. The BARB test (British Army Recruit Battery) test checks your ability to understand information and problem solve. The army can use this test to find a job that suits your abilities.

Other tests you’ll be involved in include teamwork, memory, literacy and numeracy tests. The teamwork tests is essential for understanding what it’s like to be part of the Army. You will be placed with fellow recruits and challenged both physically and mentally, relying on each other to succeed.

The memory test focuses on your ability to retain information and organise yourself, especially when under pressure. The test incorporates a short lesson on ranks and badges before you are questioned to see how much you can remember the next day.

The literacy and numeracy tests check reading, writing and mathematical skills. There is a minimum pass mark for the literacy test and numeracy test but you will be given initial training should your results be particularly low. If for instance mathematics isn’t your strong point, there are many other jobs in the army that might suit you better, so don’t worry.

The Interview

The selection process includes a series of interviews whether you are joining as an officer or a soldier. The interview is solely focused on finding out more about you as a person, as well as providing you with in-depth information about the Army.

Your first interview will revolve around personal achievements, interests, fitness and your reasons for wanting to join the army. You should look to be as enthusiastic as possible while also being honest. You should also look at some of the different roles available as this might trigger a new interest for you.

The Assessment

The assessment incorporates a full medical and a series of mental and physical tests for you to overcome. You will take part in some team exercises as well as individual exercises in which you will need to demonstrate a positive working relationship with fellow recruits. One of these tests will be an icebreaker test, whereby you talk about yourself to others and mention why you wanted to join the army.

Final Preparations

You should go over your final preparations before you begin the selection process, including the clothes you should wear and bring along with you and anything you’ve noted down to prepare for the interview.

Clothing should always be smart, whether you are dressing formally or casually. You should wear clothes you feel comfortable in, so make sure you head out and purchase some fresh, new clothing before you arrive. The vast majority of people wear suits for their interview.

If you’re wondering what might be covered in the interview, be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • Why you want to join the army
  • Support from family and friends for application
  • Your physical state and readiness
  • Military awareness
  • Other preparations you’ve taken part in
  • Your abilities and characteristics that could work well in Army life


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