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Hornetboy 25th Dec 2001 13:20

RAAF Flight Screening Programme
Hey guys,

I need a little help here. Going for RAAF initial testing in a couple of weeks, and had a pretty specific question regarding the aptitude section. All they said on the info sheet was something along the lines of "You should attempt to answer as many questions correctly as time permits"

So here's the Q: Are you marked on just what you've managed to complete, or the whole lot? And do you get points subtracted for attempting and getting things wrong?....cos if you run low on time remaining, should you try and circle/cross/tick as many answers as possible, or just hand in what you've managed to think through and complete?

Thanks heaps for any help.

predatory female 25th Dec 2001 14:18

In my experience it depends on the test they use. There are plenty of aptitude tests which will mark you down and actually subtract points for getting questions wrong, just to stop people from doing quick guess-work at the end. The best advice is to work through them quickly and if you're having real problems, just move on and miss that particular question out completely.

Cougar 25th Dec 2001 16:47

For RAAF aptitude testing (aircrew i am talking here, think ATC have some different ones), there are numerous maths related papers that you get on the day. As far as i am aware, some are marked one way, the others the other way.

As such my advice is: answer as many as quickly as you can, but don't just circle any randomly at the end if you run out. I did that years ago and it worked for me.

Good luck, let us know how you go.

Hornetboy 26th Dec 2001 11:22

Thanks heaps Predatory female and Cougar. As it stands, looks like guesswork may be an unnecessary risk. Anyone with an opinion please post for all to see. I'll post on how I do Cougs but it's gonna be a few weeks wait. Any other tips to not-screw-up the process??

The Famous Eccles 27th Dec 2001 03:32

Kidnap the adjudicating (?) officers wife and hold her to ransom until you get the right result!

Best of luck

melchett 27th Dec 2001 04:47

Get hold of practice IQ questions. I used an old 1960's book called "know your own IQ" or something which had things like number sequences (ie. 2,4,6,..,10 etc)and cryptic symbols where you pick the odd one out. No idea if these are contained in the tests these days, but it came in very useful. There are also practice aircrew aptitude tests out there somewhere too.

Hornetboy 27th Dec 2001 08:37

"practice aircrew aptitude tests out there somewhere"

.....does anyone know where??? And what they're called? I heard of some ARCO ones for the USAF you could order somehow but that's a little far and might be totally irrelevant to the RAAF tests. Thanks Melchett, hope it's like the IQ tests. I actually scored ok on a real one I did this year (ya'd never have guessed :) )......come to think of it I did all sorts of guesswork towards the end though..... <img src="confused.gif" border="0"> maybe I was just lucky??

Onya.....uhhh.....I'll consider the proposition if the situation calls for it <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Cougar 30th Dec 2001 17:55

Interesting you mentioned praccy aptitude tests. There is a book floating round that a friend used to do a specialisation transfer with. Used it to get faster and more accurate at maths q's. Said it worked really well, and you can pick it up from your local ABC shop ?? Said she nailed the tests cos of it.

Other hints? Always be honest. With the psych especially, as they will ask you two q's that are the same but worded differently, but they ask them 30 mins apart to see whether you are being honest or making it up. I had a 2 hr 30 min psych interview the first time and i think i got one question asked 4 times!! Who knows with the psychs, my brain was quite frazzled by then <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

Other tip for testing: If you make a mistake, don't dwell on it. Move on and forget about it (don't let it consume your focus for the ensuing tests).


Hornetboy 14th Jan 2002 16:11

RAAF Aptitude Test Results
Well a few of the guys who gave me a bit of advice on the tests in a previous post wanted to hear how I'd go with them. Thanks for the help guys, and here ya go....

....I failed. Damn huh. I woke up at 5am in the morning to get there for nothing. Well, almost. Here's a bit of a summary of what they do up there first:

It's probably very similar in all recruiting units. First you do quite a bit of waiting, just to help with the nerves ya know <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> Then you're put in a room, and everyone starts off with the general ability test, which is comprehensively explained. It is followed by an essay. Aircrew pilot applicants then go through an extensive battery of tests. Most are short and there's a helluva lot of maths towards the end. I actually managed to finish a couple of them, so it's not impossible to complete them. But just barely. They're all very challenging.

Then there's lunch break, followed by coordination testing. I don't think I'm allowed to mention too much about this bit, but I'll say it was slightly confusing at first. But apparently I passed it, so it couldn't have been that bad <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

The part I didn't pass was one of the instrument tests. There were 2 tests involving instruments Ripped through one and finished it. The other one, elementary number reading, I don't think I even did half before time ran low. I have no excuse, really. It was the only test that allowed you to guess without losing points, so I took advantage of that at the end, but it obviously didn't help. So that was it.....psychologist informed me later that the one bit took me out of the game. Shot down.

Went back to the recruiting Officer on the rebound, and he was a helluva good bloke about it. Very encouraging "You still have a very strong overall score.....you have high enough scores to do anything....else....Nav, ATC, Defence Controller,...."

What do you guys say? Go nav? Go fighter controller? I'd actually be pretty interested in those jobs just to get me in the military if I didn't have this great urge to fly airplanes. Well, if I can't do it for the country, I guess I'll be shipped off to university now, to be factory-pilot-trained. Try again in one year, then again the next. Heck, university can't be that bad in the meantime.

On the upside, I had a cheery chat with this Indian dude that had a suspicion - after telling me about the army nurse holding his boys and making him cough - that "Mebee she lyked my testiguls"

Surditas 15th Jan 2002 07:44

Sorry to hear that you didn't make it through. I didn't see your original post asking for advice but this post was quite interesting.
As to what advice, I am sure that just about everyone out there would be able to offer some ranging from "keep trying" to "give it away" depending on their point of view.
If you want to join the military and want to fly then consider joining the RAAF as a Nav or the Navy as an Observer. You get plenty of flying in some pretty decent aeroplanes (Orion, F-111, Hercules, Seahawk etc) but you would have to accept the idea that you wouldn't be at the controls. You do get to do plenty of other stuff which is pretty good eg: the Tacco more or less runs the mission on the Orion. On any of the ADF's types you will get paid pretty well, get to travel around and work as part of a team (sounds like a recruiting blurb, I know, but is essentially true).
Of course, if your plan is to join as a Nav/Obs and re-role to the Pilot category then be careful. If you have failed basic apptitude for Pilot then the RAAF can be reluctant to reassess you. I know a couple of blokes who have been Navs and have subsequently become Pilots but in both cases I think they tested well enough for Pilot but were told "we have no spots for Pilot at the moment, would you like to become a Nav and maybe transfer later?"
As for other categories, such as Air Defence Officer, you get all of the benefits of being in the Service, but you don't get to fly. If you like being airborne then don't go for AirDefendo. Of course, you can always transfer to aircrew at a later date, if that is what you want, but why not, if you really want to be aircrew, go straight to Nav?
As for going civvy and trying again later that is what I ended up doing. I passed the Pilot apptitude on my first go but was regarded as "not mature enough" by the psych. (some who know me would argue nothing has changed <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> ) I kept on going back and annoying them until they would take me. It worked in the end.

Trash 'n' Navs 15th Jan 2002 10:21

Bad luck Magic. I didn't get in the first couple of attempts either but it was more to do with interview and academic results rather than test results - either way, it still sets you back.

The perenial question of joining up as anything just to get in the door....

You will get a million different responses and each one will be based on personal experience and the individuals circumstances. Here's my two cents worth and it might sound like a cop out but it really does depend on what you want to do.

Were you applying to join because you want to be a pilot (in the RAAF) or because you want to be in the RAAF (as a pilot)? Sounds weird but there is a difference. If it's the former then no job other than pilot will satisfy you and you should pursue other avenues.

If it's the latter then fill your boots. Go NAV, get paid bucket loads, get drunk in dodgy pubs in out of the way places, fly an aircraft that very few people get to fly and make some of the best mates you will ever have. You may not be the driver, but you get to go to the same places and do the same things. As Surditas said, go fly in Onions as a TACCO and you'll see and do some really interesting stuff. When you've had enough of that, get promoted up the ranks to staff/executive duties or get out and pursue a lucrative career in a profession of your choice. (You will cop banter from everyone for being a NAV but that's part of it - just enjoy the game).

Talk to as many people as you can in the other categories to get their opinion and find out what it's like.

One thought, did you ask the Recruiting Officer if it would be possible to resit the test again next year or does it rule you out indefintely?

Not an easy decision but take your time and be happy with whatever you decide.

[ 15 January 2002: Message edited by: Trash 'n' Navs ]</p>

Cougar 15th Jan 2002 11:29

Unlucky my friend. But its not the end of the world. A year is not a long time if you can sit it again. Go for it I say.

As for other jobs in the ADF, i must say that it is a fantastic environment (most of the time <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> ) and i would have a look at other slots. We are screaming for Air Defendo's at the moment, and if you joined now, by the time you got through if you went ADFA, we will have the new AWACS and you WILL be aircrew. Depends as the others said whether you solely want to fly or if doing something else in the aircraft would make you happy. I personally would never touch nav or air defense as i think it would frustrate me to death.

However, i would think about Navy Observer. Do the same course as RAAF Nav's at Sale. However, the guys and gals get trained as TACCO eventually and sit front left and run the show. This is where we are going, this is where i want my sonobuoys dropped, this is our plan to get the sub etc. They actually do some flying (incase ye olde pilot gets cracked somehow) so it is an avenue to think about.

Pig Weapon System Officers (Navs) get to do a certain amount of 'pole time' (flying) i believe too. Someone want to confirm this please?

Air Traffic interests me personally and i reckon it would be an exceptionally rewarding job. Can get trained to do the Parachute course and get static lined into hot spots, then setup Air Traffic systems there. Pretty darn cool i reckon.

So to sum up, i reckon see if you can do them again in a year, look at other RAAF/Navy aircrew jobs if the military appeals. But in the end, if you really only want to be a pilot and it doesn't happen, then i reckon don't go for another slot as it would only make you frustrated. Hope this helps,

Hornetboy 16th Jan 2002 08:31

Thanks a whole heap guys. You all gave really helpful advice. All seemed to have overlapping advice, so I'm definitely not going to ignore any of it. I'll address all your statements personally first.

Surditas, I was actually very cautious about joining as nav and trying to go pilot from there, thanks to all the warnings I've heard on this forum. The recuiting Officer tried to extinguish those doubts, but I guess it's one of those things where it's a different situation for everyone, and you just need to take a risk to see whether you'd be able to get the change. I don't think it'd be a wise thing for me to take that risk going in. So if I go nav, I'd have to be confident I can live the life of a nav. I hope you don't mind me asking, but if it's not too personal, can you share with us exactly why they judged you not mature enough? And how long you had to wait, once failed, to resit that interview? Feel free to email me if you don't want the world to know <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Trash 'n' Navs, you make bein a nav sound like an attractive option. I'll see if I can find a RAAF nav to talk to. (Looking at the name, are you one yourself?? In that case....) To answer your question, I can resit the aptitude tests again in 12 months, fortunately. But I'm quite interested in what portion of your interview and which of your academic results the ADF originally found unsatisfactory? Once again, feel free to to email if it's public enough for me to know, but private enough for the rest of the world not to <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

Just so you guys know, I'm not asking these personal questions cos I'm a nosey little guy, I'm asking so I know what to look out for. I'm also sending a letter up to Canberra to ask for my results, so hopefully I can see what my weaknesses were, work on them throughout the year, and do better if and when I go back for round two.

Finally, Cougar, I remember you from the last thread. Thanks man. Trouble with ATC or Defence Controller is the amount of stress plus likely ground time. Navy nav - my recruiter enthusiastically endorsed doing that in helicopters, and I remember the thought flashing through my mind, "Not only will I be in the Navy, but I'll be in rotaries, and not only will I be in choppers, but I won't be a pilot...". Pig nav - now that's one that doesn't sound too bad. I get to be aircrew in RAAF, and from what I know, the navs in pigs do most of the work, and the pilots are reduced to drivers (which is a whole lot of fun in a fighter!). Still though....

Well guys, the recurring question seems to be, as Trash puts it, "Were you applying to join because you want to be a pilot (in the RAAF) or because you want to be in the RAAF (as a pilot)?"

Two days later, I'm back up on my feet and actually considering going NAV or Intelligence. But to tell you the truth, I've had a taste of stick time and it'd be very hard to step back. The fact is, I love the military, but I'm essentially a pilot. And as Cougar says, "if you really only want to be a pilot and it doesn't happen, then i reckon don't go for another slot as it would only make you frustrated".

I'll keep my options open and see how far I can get if I go nav or intel, but even if offered a position, there'd be a lot of thinking to do. Chances are, I'll take a year of uni, practice the hell out of my instrument flying, then try again for pilot, and only pilot. I'll try as many times as they'll let me. Even if I'm an airline Captain when they finally accept me, I'll take Air Force flying over anything, any day.

Thanks again for all your help guys. Any more tips you've got, I'll take anything. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

scran 16th Jan 2002 09:05

Been in the RAAF for 26 years, worked as an ATC at Williamtown, Butterworth (Malaysia), Darwin, Williamtown again, ATC Instructor, then ATC Executive at Amberley and Pearce.

Don't worry about stress!!!

Having said that.....either/any option is a good one I think!!! It's really up to you!

Surditas 16th Jan 2002 11:44


It is going back a few years now but when I first applied to join the RAAF I was just finishing high school and had done not much with my life except finish high school. As I said before, I passed my pilot aptitude test but the psych was alarmed by my "...lack of life experience" and unsure how I would react in a military environment. So much for the military making a man of you, eh? I went back a year later and same story.
It was then that I joined the Army Reserve. I had a great time in the reserves and ended up as a Lieutenant. I went back to the RAAF and was able to demonstate my affinity for the military. This was about five years after I first applied, so you can see i was nothing if not determined.
So, you can see that being refused entry is not the end of the world and that you can work on aspects of your character that they may find insufficient.
It is good that they will let you resit the testing in the future. There should be no problems with finding out exactly where you went wrong and if they want to see you back then they believe that you can improve.
Best of luck with the future and keep trying. It really is worth it. Whatever category you end up in you will make some great mates, go to some interesting places and do things that your mates from school in their nine-to-fivers can only dream about or pay huge amounts of money to do.

Trash 'n' Navs 16th Jan 2002 13:05


Bit about me then I'll start slapping you around the head for thinking about going Intel!!

My grades out of High School were on the average side (C's in the old language) and like Surditas I lacked a bit of life experience. I applied straight out of school and got the hint the second time. I went off, got myself a job that paid well, experienced life and achieved my PPL with around 100hours before I re-applied (about 5 years after leaving school). Jagged it for a spot and haven't looked back.

You're not the first person to miss out the first time. I was on course with guys who'd tried 5-6 times before being successful. Don't let the first knock put you off - they'll be looking for that. Stay true to yourself and give it another go next year. VERY good plan to get your results and see where you tripped up. Everyone I know was keen to join the RAAF and it's hard not to think "****** it, I'll just join as a xxxxx and get my foot in the door.". I'd recommend you take the year to enjoy life, maybe even do some study, but better to start flying yourself. Even if you only get 20 hours up, it shows your keen and motivated then you can try again next year.

As for Intel.... what can I say.... you must be JOKING! Never a stranger breed has there been. They look at the tea leaves and tell you that tomorrow, the sun will rise in the west. When it naturally rises in the east, they'll tell you that there had been no indicators that it would do so and predict that tomorrow, it will rise in the west but they couldn't rule out it rising in the east. Apart from their random musings, the career path is pretty flat and you spend a lot of time in dark rooms hidden away from the rest of the world. Go Nav, go AirDefendo but I wouldn't suggest Intel. <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

BTW, Trash 'n Navs refers to what I do not what I am... :)

Hornetboy 17th Jan 2002 19:11

Thanks again for the replies guys. Relief to know I'm not the only one shot down on first try.

Scran....uhhh.....don't worry about stress? bout 16 months ago I went for work experience up at East Sale. Visited the control tower...climbed the ladder to find a group of entirely cheery, normal lookin' lads up there.....well, almost entirely.

"....And right here is the boss. The man that runs the show from up here...." The 7 or so of us looked over to a huddled, hunched over man. His arms, with elbows atop the desk, were curled around either side of his head - which, from what I remember, didn't have many hairs left - blocking his ears, while he stared at a few pieces of paper as if he'd just spotted his name on a nazi death-list. Scary stuff I tell ya.

Surditas, talk about motivation. That's pretty impressive. "Life experience" huh? Well I can tell ya that in my short life I've probably squeezed in a fair bit of experience. I'm applying for other Officer positions now, so hopefully the kind lady who tests my sanity will inform me if I still lack life experience before I have another shot at Pilot next year. (That is, if I don't end up as something else) Thanks again very very much for the encouragement.

Trash, I can't help but wonder why you endorsed navs for me. Were u planning on notching another one on the board? hehe Thanks for the encouragement though. But you're also starting to scare me about this "lack of life experience" thing. By the way, my average out of high school is somewhere between an A and an A+, and I have just under 50 hours flight time, and that includes an aerobatic endorsement. (Just wish my last instrument flight wasn't about 9 months before RAAF testing)

Funny you suggested both nav and air defendo, as I've put down those two choices in that exact order. Decided against intel once I learnt they didn't have Direct Entry Intel Officer available, and I sure don't want to go ADFA. So there, I'm not gonna be one of them tea-leaf dudes. As I already mentioned, I'll see how far I can get with the other positions, but if actually accepted, I'd have a fair bit of considering to do before signing the dotted line. Uni and more life experience is more likely to be the way to go this year.

Thanks a whole bunch to all you guys that have been so helpful. As always, I'm open to any more.

scran 18th Jan 2002 06:27


He is a bad example!!!! (In fact, if it was who I suspect it was, he joined prior to me, is a couple of years older than me, and promoted well after me!)

Best of luck with your application in the future. WHile I know a couple of Guys who were Navs and later became pilots (CO 1 SQN and CO 37 SQN) I'd expect they may be a special breed (I know both reasonably well).

Be a devil and hang in there for Pilot...because if that's what you really want...you will get it (or at least that's the attitude you should - and appear to - have!).

My 16yo Daughter is determined to go to ADFA, Fly Hornets (Yes..no female fighter pilots now..but why not in the 6 or so years till she finishes High School and ADFA), then fly the Shuttle and end up going to Mars!

I tell you that because that is her dream, and she is determined to make it happen.

If your dream is to fly for the RAAF, (to borrow a Navy saying)......MAKE IT SO!!!!!

Good Luck!

Hornetboy 18th Jan 2002 12:55

Thanks Scran. I hope you know that I mean no offense about ATC's, it's just not something I see myself doing. Too bad about the bald guy <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

I also hope not to be a bearer of bad news, but your daughter may not be the first lady flying Aussie hornets. I read a newspaper article saying there are currently a couple of girls in the hornet training pipeline. Still, she will be a trail-blazer. And there are few people you can respect more than females who can hold their own in the air and on the ground as military pilots. Do tell her that women prefer Venus rather than Mars though <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

And yeah, I'm hangin onto my dream. Hell yeah.

Cougar 18th Jan 2002 18:03

As far as i am aware no female has ever passed Hornet OCU, and there are none at 79, 76 or OCU now in the running.

No reason why not, just never been done. Have had pig pilot though.

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