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As part of the Army selection process you will be required to pass what is called a ‘British Army Recruit Battery’ Test, or BARB as it is more commonly known.
The test itself includes the following:
- Reasoning test
- Letter Checking test
- Number Distance Test
- ‘Odd One Out’ test
- Symbol Rotation test.
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British Army Recruit Battery Test
As part of the selection process for joining the Army you will be required to undertake the British Army Recruit Battery Test, or BARB as it is more commonly known. The BARB test includes the following assessments:
- a Reasoning test;
- a Letter Checking test;
- a Number Distance Test;
- an Odd One Out test
- a Symbol Rotation test.
The most effective way to prepare for the BARB test is to sample lots of test questions in the build-up to the real test. It is important that you perform well during the test simply because the higher score you achieve the more career opportunities you will be given in the Army.
In order to help you understand the BARB test better, let’s take a look at a sample test question:
When you come to sit the BARB test you will be asked to answer questions where you are required to check letters. The aim of this test is to see how fast you can check information that is presented before you. Whilst working in the Army you will be often required to carry out specific tasks involving the accurate checking of information, equipment and data.
The following is an example of a letter checking question.
SAMPLE BARB TEST QUESTIONS
You can see from the above example that there are columns of letters. In the 1st and 4th box are letters that are identical, albeit one letter is a capital and the other is not. The other boxes contain different letters and therefore do not match. It is your task to identify how many pairs of letters match. In this case I have circled the correct answer for you as being 2 matching pairs.
During the real BARB test you will most probably be asked to sit the computer ‘touch-screen’ version of the test as opposed to writing down your answers.
When answering these questions you may find it useful to scan each line downwards in turn and keep a check of how many are correct. When you have scanned the final 4th line you will know how many are correct and then you can touch the number on the screen that corresponds to the right answer.
You will have very little time to answer as many as you can during the real test so you need to work quickly but as accurately as possible. Look out for letters that are similar but not the same, such as:
Q and O
G and Q
P and q
These are the ones that may catch you out so make sure you check carefully.
During the BARB Test you will have to sit what is called a Distance Number test. This test requires you to analyse three numbers and decide which one of the three fits a certain criteria. For example, you may find 3 numbers appear on your computer screen as follows:
The numbers can appear in any order and will not necessarily increase in value as indicated above. You then have to analyse the numbers and decide which one is the largest number and which one is the smallest.
In this case that would be as follows:
Largest Value = 14
Smallest value = 7
This then leaves you with the number 10. Once you have decided which number remains (in this case the number 10) you then must decide which of the two numbers (7 and 14) is the furthest away from it, hence the title ‘Distance Number’ test. To work this out you can see that 7 is 3 away from 10 but 14 is 4 away from 10, therefore leaving you with the answer 14.
This may seem complicated at first but with a little practice you will soon grasp the concept of what is required. As with all types of assessment test, the best way to improve your score is to prepare and practise. Try as many practice questions as possible and you will find that your scores will keep increasing.
We have created on an online Army BARB testing suite that will help you prepare fully for the real British Army Recruit Battery Test.
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