PLANNING EXERCISES for the Army Officer, RAF Officer and Royal Navy Officer selection process is a handy and useful preparation resource that contains a plethora of planning exercises, each with descriptive answers to help you analyse your answers. As part of the selection process for Army Officer AOSB, RAF Officer OASC and the Royal Navy Officer AIB, candidates are required to undertake a planning exercise session. This session is commonly known as one of the toughest elements to pass. Our resources are a great way to prepare for this stage of each of the assessment centres.

Planning Exercises for the Armed Forces Practice Resource How2Become


The planning exercise stage is used more commonly during the RAF Officer OASC, the Army Officer Selection Board and also at the Royal Navy Officer Admiralty Board.

Coupled with the fact that you need to tackle the planning exercise, you will also be asked some intense questions that are based around the decisions that you’ve made during this planning exercise, and also be able to demonstrate your ability to use speed, distance, and time calculations.


The planning exercise is notoriously one of the toughest stages of the selection process.

The best way to improve your scores in your planning exercises is simply through preparing in advance. This can be done by practicing lots and lots of sample questions. The more practice that you undertake before your real assessment, the better chances you have of being successful.

To complete the planning exercises, you will need to learn questions relating to speed, distance and time calculations. A KEY area that you should focus on to achieve high marks is SPEED, DISTANCE, AND TIME.


You need to be fully competent in the use of speed, distance and time calculations. These will prove vital when it comes to tackling the questions in the planning exercises.

When it comes to speed, distance and time calculations, the most effective way to solve these questions is by using the following formulas:

You will be expected to have a strong level of understanding in regards to the above formulas, and they will be required when you work through your planning exercises.

To prepare for these type of questions, you should practice them as much as possible. You can do this by obtaining our COMPREHENSIVE Speed, Distance and Time guide.


Read the following passage carefully:


You are the dispatcher and driver for an Army Military Transport Unit based at UPSHOT BARRACKS (see map below). Your normal operating hours are from 07:30 to whenever the last job is completed. However, this evening your Commanding Officer wants all members of the unit, in uniform, for a photograph at 17:05 hours. Nonetheless, the unit directive requires that all requests for same-day transport received before 15:00 hours be met; after that time, tasks will be held over for the following day.

With 2 tasks left to complete today and the 15:00 hours deadline approaching, the telephone rings. A Royal Engineer, not affiliated to your unit is needed urgently at Garrick Barracks outside the town and he needs to take a large, bulky tank part with him. A lack of fuel, due to a petrol tanker drivers’ strike, means that he can only get as far as your office so he needs onward travel; he will be with you any moment now and he expects to stay at Garrick barracks for 45 minutes. You already have a 150kg package to collect from one of your regular customers, a supply depot in RIGBY, to be delivered to the barracks next door to your office, and the wife of the Commanding Officer needs to be collected from home in HAMPTON by 15:25 hours to attend a civic reception in the Town Hall opposite the office at 15:45 hours.

Due to other tasks, the only vehicles now available to you are an estate car similar to that used by the specialist engineer and with 30 litres of fuel in the tank, a small truck with 17 litres and a courier motorcycle complete with panniers with 9 litres. In addition to you, there are 2 other drivers available. The previously mentioned petrol strike means no further fuel is available. The estate car can average 30 mph at 2½ miles/litre; the truck can average 40 mph at 5 miles/litre and the motorcycle averages 50 mph at 10miles/litre. You also know that major road-works south of the town will add 20 minutes to the direct journey between UPSHOT and RIGBY.

By the time you complete your plan and brief the other drivers it will be 15:00 hours.


Find a solution that allows all tasks to be completed in the allotted time.



Important – The following solutions are just examples of a possible way to complete the tasks in hand. They should only be used as a GUIDELINE ONLY.

Let’s work out the estate car movements:

Estate car to Commanding Officer’s house ETD 15:00 (10 miles at 30 mph = 20 mins).

• ETA 15:20 and departs at same time for Town Hall (another 10 miles at 30mph = 20 mins).

• ETA 15:40 (5 mins to spare unless departure was delayed to 15:05).

Estate car now departs to Garrick Barracks ETD 15:40 (19 miles at 30 mph = 38 mins)

• ETA 16:18, collects Royal engineer

Estate car returns to unit (19 miles at 30 mph = 38 mins)

• ETA 16:56

Let’s work out truck movements:

Truck to Garrick Barracks with Royal Engineer ETD 15:00 (19 miles at 40 mph = 28 mins)

• ETA 15:28 – Royal Engineer will be ready to depart at 16:13

Truck to supply depot (via South East route) (23 miles at 40 mph = 34 mins)

• ETD 15:28 for supply depot

• ETA and ETD supply depot 16:03

Truck return to barracks via road works (15 miles at 40 mph – 22 mins)

• Add 20 mins for road works

• ETA 16:45

Let’s work out motor cycles:

If the Royal Engineer has fitted bulky tank part and has no part to return, he could be collected by the motor cycle and would not, therefore have the 4 min wait at Garrick Barracks. However, even his tools might not fit in the panniers.

Motor cycle to Garrick Barracks (ETD as required) (but at 15:50 if there was no wait by either party) (19 miles at 50 mph = 23 mins)

• ETA 16:13

Motor cycle back to Upshot Barracks (19 miles at 50 mph = 23 mins)

• ETA 16:36

Other Solutions:

One option would be to send the motor cycle to the Station Commander’s house, the Estate car to the depot and the truck to Garrick Barracks, where it waits for the engineer. The Station Commander would not be very happy with his wife being on a motor cycle, though! All 3 drivers are also used, so there is no one to take the orders for tomorrow’s tasks.

A second option would be to take the engineer to Garrick Barracks by truck, which then drives on to the supply depot, returning to Garrick to pick up the engineer up by reverse route. The estate car could then be used for the Commanding Officer’s wife. However, the truck would be late arriving back (ETA 17:06) and you are under orders to be ready for the photograph by 17:05.


As you can see from the detailed sample question above, planning exercises are a difficult exercise to complete.

You are being given heaps of information that you need to use to work out different speeds, times, and distances.

That is why you need to give yourself the best possible chances by undergoing as many questions, like the one above, to ensure you are fully prepared for your planning exercises assessment for the Armed Forces.

Planning Exercises for the Armed Forces Practice Resource How2Become
get access now


Using our resources, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding about the planning exercises for the Armed Forces;
  • Prepare and practice sample planning exercises which can be applied to the Army Officer Selection Board [AOSB], RAF Officer and Airman Selection Centre [OASC], and the Royal Navy Officer Admiralty Interview Board [AIB];
  • Understand different ways to read content and come up with solutions based on the information provided;
  • Use the advice and tips provided to aid your preparation for applying to the Armed Forces.

The IDEAL resource to prepare for the planning exercises assessment for the Army Officer Selection Board [AOSB], RAF Officer and Airman Selection Centre [OASC], and the Royal Navy Officer Admiralty Interview Board [AIB] Selection Process. Essential preparation, advice and in-depth practice questions for you to practice for your real Armed Forces assessment.


This comprehensive Planning Exercises resource for the Armed Forces contains:

  • TIPS – top tips for passing planning exercises;
  • SAMPLE EXERCISES – the manual provides detailed planning exercises, each with descriptive answers to help analyse your answers;
  • IDEAL – for anyone who wishes to successfully pass their Armed Forces planning exercises assessment;
  • SPEED, DISTANCE AND TIME – planning exercises require you to use speed, distance and time calculations to work out the questions. The guide shows you examples of how to use these calculations, which will ultimately give you the BEST preparation for your assessment;
  • THE IDEAL GUIDE! – this downloadable resource is packed with all of the essential information you are going to need to know for your planning exercises assessment for joining the Armed Forces;
  • SCORING CRITERIA AND ASSESSABLE AREAS – includes detailed information regarding the scoring criteria and how to successfully pass this stage of the Armed Forces Selection Process.
royal navy contents