One of the toughest stages of the Army Officer Selection Board (ASOB), is the planning exercises. This planning exercise is also used during the RAF Officer Selection process, and during the Navy Officer Admiralty Interview Board. In order to pass the ASOB planning exercise, you will need to demonstrate your team work skills, your logical thinking ability, and your ability with numbers. This blog will explain what the AOSB Planning Exercise involves, and provide you with a sample Planning Question!
What is the AOSB Planning Exercise?
The AOSB Planning Exercise is conducted in groups. Each member of the group will be given a copy of an exercise brief, and you will then have 15 minutes in which to read the scenario – this must be done in silence. Pay very close attention when reading the scenario, as it’s extremely important to glean as much detail as possible.
AOSB Planning Exercise: Part 1
Once the 15 minutes are up, you will have a sustained period of time in which you can discuss the scenario with the rest of the group, to try to come to an agreed solution. Your conduct here is extremely important. You will be assessed against qualities such as communication, leadership and teamwork. It’s essential that you are vocal and play an active part in the discussion, without being overbearing or rude. You must show respect to your group colleagues, and never dismiss people’s suggestions outright.
Following the group discussion, you will then be asked to present a solution to the selection board, who will ask you a variety of questions based on your proposed solution, and challenge you on the proposals you have put forward.
AOSB Planning Exercise: Part 2
Once the above has been completed, the selection board will now introduce a brand new issue into the scenario. This will make the previous solution impossible, meaning you need to find a way around the new obstacle. This exercise is done individually, and takes 20 minutes in total. Once the 20 minutes have expired, you will again deliver your plan to the selection board.
Sample AOSB Planning Exercise
Below we’ve included a sample planning exercise, using simple logistics. In many of the exercises you will need to make use of speed, distance and time calculations, and maps, which will be provided to you along with the scenario brief. The below exercise should be a bit more simple to work out, but will still require a great deal of calculation. Have a go, and see how you get on.
Operation Lift Stacker
You are the leader of a 6-man team. Your team has been tasked with moving 6 large boxes, each containing dangerous ammunition, from the ground floor to the 14th floor of a tower block. Each ammunition box weighs 60kg. The tower block contains two internal, fully-functioning lifts. Lift X serves all odd-numbered floors (including the ground floor) whilst Lift Y serves even-numbered floors (including the ground floor). The tower block also contains an internal staircase that has access doors on each floor.
The team start at the bottom of the staircase on the ground floor, directly outside the lift doors.
- Each team member weighs 95kg.
- A minimum of two people must lift and carry one ammunition box.
- Each lift can carry a maximum of 475kg.
- Both lifts take 15 seconds to reach each floor.
- It takes two people 25 seconds to carry one box of ammunition, up or down one floor.
- It takes 10 seconds to reach each floor without carrying an ammunition box.
- It takes 5 seconds to enter or leave a lift with an ammunition box.
- It takes 2 seconds to enter or leave a lift without an ammunition box.
- There is enough space on the stairwell between each floor for 4 people plus 2 ammo boxes at any one time, or 6 people without any boxes.
- No boxes of ammunition may be left unsupervised at any time.
The time now is 9am. Choosing the fastest method possible, by what time can you get all 6 ammunition boxes to the 14th floor?
How Did You Get On?
How did you find the above exercise? Post your answer in the comments, and the closest person to the right answer will be in with a chance to win a FREE copy of our Planning Exercises Workbook – due to be released very soon!