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AIB Diary by Brows, 2007

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Brows
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AIB Diary by Brows, 2007

#1 Post by Brows » Fri 06 Jul, 2007 10:17 pm

This is just a diary of my AIB that hope people find and hopefully will increase the pass rate due to knowing what lies ahead.

IMPORTANT: I FAILED therefore you needn’t take my advice to the letter because I would hate you too go down the same line as i have. However it is a account that you should find useful.

Hope you enjoy and best of luck.

Index

Arrival
What you do once you have arrived
Day 1
Day 2
Final thoughts
Top tips

Arrival

I’m not too far from Portsmouth so it only took me about an hour on the train. Standard deal, get travel warrant, buy a ticket and make sure you get down there before 5:00pm (1700). I got off at the station (Portsmouth HARBOUR) and headed off towards the Gosport ferry with my trolley dolly suitcase trailing behind me.

Gosport ferry is about £2 and takes a few minutes. I met another candidate going over. They really are that easy to spot, just look for someone under the age of 26 in a suit hauling a suitcase. Anyway this bloke wasn’t RM so he wasn’t on my board.
Once we got over we found the taxi rank and jumped in. We were join by another AIB candidate (a very fit Warefare girl, 18 (same age as me) so guess what I was also trying to do during my AIB) and someone in training.

The taxi blokes do this all the time so just jump in and say you’ve got a AIB and they’ll know what to do. Make sure you have the letter inviting you to AIB to hand because that’s your ticket in and out of AIB. They’ll tell you what you need to bring in pre-joining instructions but the basics are your passport, pictures and your letter.

Once we got to HMS Sultan, the girl (phworah) paid for the taxi. You can claim it back from the M.O.D. so she would have done that later.
Then you go into the AIB building where someone will sign you in, get all the admin done and give you a tour round the building.
After that you have nothing to do until 5:00pm so you end up dossing around getting to know everyone in the rest room.
I met up with one of the people I got to know better on my POC so that was quite fortunate and it was great seeing him again (remembered to grab his number this time). Anyway I spend until 5 working my magic with this girl. Got on pretty well with her actually, had it not been for the fact that she had a BF and she lived at the opposite end of the country (Plymouth) I would have been set.
Was chatting to my POC mate as well, basically I’m telling you to get to know the people around and especially your board.
There is this pin-board that you check people in and out the camp with and you are put in a set of 4. That set of 4 is your board so smoke them out and get chatting.

What you do once you arrive


When 5:00pm comes you are all waiting in the rest room. There someone comes in and takes you to the testing room.
You will sit in these seats when you are tested and the people directly behind and in front of you are in your board.
There the guy will give you a quick outline of what’s to come and just general advice if you ask a question. The bloke then takes you over where you get issued overalls, a bag, water bottle, trainers etc.
After that you head off to dinner (good scran, I would consider better than Lympstone however CTC was still pretty good) and after that you must go to the local pub called the “Cocked Hat”.
Get in your boards and get to know them, as far as you’re concerned your board are the only people there. So yes I may have wanted to have a crack at this bird but I prioritised.
I just can’t stress how it is important to mesh with your board.

I don’t have to tell you not to get wrecked so I stuck to the 2 pint rule. Anyway you get back around 2200 and then you get to bed.

Day one

You wake up at 06:15 to the music played over the intercom. I woke up at 06:00 to get myself sorted with a shower and in my suit for breakfast at 06:45. I had a fry-up everyday and like with my POC diary I am advising you to eat well throughout the AIB.

Tests
Then you get picked up in the rest room ( I believe 07:25) where you get taken to the test room.
You get given a practice book with example questions before you arrive. There not that hard and their basically just an I.Q. test. The only real trouble is time. So practice doing things quickly.

This lasts about 3 hours and it finishes with a essay from a choice of about 6 subjects. They are quite straightforward and you have 45 minutes. The constraint here is you only have 1 piece of double-sided A4 paper. One bloke filled his up expecting to write about 5 pages. He had to do some serious editing!
You get regular breaks throughout this so your brain doesn’t go completely to mush.

You also have a practice discussion exercise (I’ll go into that later).

Once you’re done there you head off to lunch.

PLT’s
After that you head off to the gym where you practice doing your PLTs (Practical Leadership Task) They will show you how to do everything so pay close attention. If you make a mistake whilst you’re doing it for real the Sgt running it will shout at you and make sure you do it right. After giving you plenty of time making yourself look like a arse whilst the board are watching you.
Anyway just soak up everything they show you, and remember there is no such thing as a stupid question.

Bleep test
Straight away after that you do a bleep test. This is assessed on your effort and not the score you get. The (not so) fit girl got to level 6 (I believe) yet she still passed because she poured everything into it. Good effort from her actually.
If your going for the Marines then there is no drama since you passed the POC, however if you have never done one before download one and practice.

Pub
We went to the pub again for more bonding. Getting on well with a good team is quite a important factor.
After we came back (2 pint rule) my board and I were practicing the PLTs in the corridor of our dorm with imaginary equipment. Just going through what we were shown and taking turn being in charge as we practice different obstacles.
We also set up some rules we were going to follow so we didn’t fook each other over.
Bed at 2300.

Day two


Get up for 0615 again (same drill as before) and get into your suit for breakfast. After breakfast we got into our jump suits ready for our PLTs.

PLTs
0730 we got picked up for our PLTs, 3 minute journey in a bus to get to the gym.
Once we arrived we were given 15 minutes to plan what we were doing when we got to our task. You write it on paper and you are given 30 seconds before your PLT to re-familiarize yourself with your plan. You then do a equipment check, read out your mission then you read out your plan.
They are not that hard to work out since there are only a few solutions. Before I arrived I had the fear I wouldn’t be able to think of a solution but there was no drama.
You have 8 minutes to complete all the PLTs.

We start with the leaderless but because we were practicing the night before we were quite polished and we managed to get it done quite well. It also gave us a chance to ease ourselves into it.

Just keep your voices up and keep in control of the group. It is mainly about leadership because all the people on my board (including myself) completed the task and I still failed. Whereas the girl failed hers and yet she passed.

I’m not going to tell you what the tasks are but its very simple e.g. Get you and your team from A to B with a oil drum and get your team back to A. Anyway something along those lines.

Just keep your voices up, if they can’t hear you they can’t mark you.

Discussion exercise
This is where you have 15 minutes to study something you are doing e.g. you are in the desert and you have important information you need to send to a certain area but it is too sensitive. You are attacked and you have to either got to place A, place B or place C etc. There are disadvantages and advantages to each problem and you have to choose the one you would go for.
Once you have go use to the data you have to make a plan between your board (in front of the people assessing you)
After that the No.2 gives you a 5ish minute grilling each asking you questions, this is where the 15 minute “get use to it” thing is useful. Throughout this she will be criticising your plan and suggesting either good or bad things to make amendments to your plans. You just have to I.D. which are good and which are bad.

After this you are given 2 minutes to sort YOUR plan out then you present it to the board in 2 minutes. With this you are highlighting your aims and then your plan.

Interview
This is where I believe my lack of life experience was shown. People said this was quite relaxed but I thought it was pretty tight.
Anyway these will just be things that you have been going over with your ACLO and the types of questions they ask you aren’t that surprising.


Wait around until results
That simple you wait around for your results then you meet the bloke in charge of the board. He then says you have passed/failed any questions?

After this you then head towards the reception where you tell them your results. If you are non-RM and you have passed you will have a medical.
If you are RM you WILL NOT have a medical.

Final thoughts

I have lost a few years because of my fail, if you are getting close to the upper age boundary I would not risk anything on my AIB so the more prepared you are the better chance you will have.
All the people were great and like-minded and even though I failed I had a great time down there. Maybe that’s why I failed because I enjoyed it too much. 

Top tips


This is the most important thing I can ever tell you, GET ON WELL WITH YOUR TEAM! If you get on well with your team you will have a much better chance of passing.

When doing PLTs you need to make sure you keep your voice up. It should hurt after the 5 tasks

Don’t get pissed in the Cocked Hat

Enjoy yourself there, it is far more relaxed that POC.

Anyway like before I will welcome any questions.

Don’t cock it up like I did.

Brows
RM Commission progress

POC: 04/06/07 -Passed
AIB: 02/07/07 -Fail, needed more life experience

Intend to re-apply after I have gone to university

Read my diaries in the RM archives section THEN PM me if you have a question

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fogarty
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#2 Post by fogarty » Sun 29 Jul, 2007 3:30 pm

Just wondering, did they tell you how you failed?

Also, was this for direct entry or were you going for a bursary?
Swift and Bold till I die....

Brows
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#3 Post by Brows » Sun 05 Aug, 2007 10:15 pm

Fogarty,

They told me i failed due to lack of life experience which is fair enough considering i am only 18. I'll spend some time doing something else relevant for a few years then re-apply.
This was also for direct entry.

More questions welcome.

Brows
RM Commission progress

POC: 04/06/07 -Passed
AIB: 02/07/07 -Fail, needed more life experience

Intend to re-apply after I have gone to university

Read my diaries in the RM archives section THEN PM me if you have a question

BNDT1250
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Does age matter?

#4 Post by BNDT1250 » Thu 30 Aug, 2007 1:22 pm

Cheers Brows

Il be 17 nearly 18 when I apply for a commision in 08. Im currently attending to college independently.

You say you were told to re-apply due to lack of life experience.

I was wondering what the Royal Marines count as life experience when they take in YO's?

What do they expect to see from the past background of a Potential Officer?

Any views?

cheers

Mitch
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#5 Post by Mitch » Sat 01 Sep, 2007 10:11 pm

Thats's a shame Brows. Sorry for the late reply i have been really busy then my internet broke! :(

It's really odd that you have been told to get more life experience when my liaison officer said that RM prefer officers at 18-19 because they are fresh and haven't become opinionated and sloppy after uni or anything else.

What are you going to do between now and your next attempt?

Mitch

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#6 Post by Mitch » Sun 02 Sep, 2007 9:32 pm

Yeah, it is really strange. The Navy matelot said that then i asked about life experience and he said that the experience gained at uni wasn't beneficial and that the life experience i had, being an nco in cadets and the like, was very good!

On the other hand i have been told that RM YOs have the largest percentage of graduates in the whole armed forces! And I have been told (by an army careers officer whilst skiving from lessons for an interview I knew full well i wasn't interested in!) that about 99% of army officers have a degree. There is obviously some real confusion going around and i need it sorted as i have to make my mind up as to whether i go to uni first or not on 10th Oct.

Mitch

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#7 Post by jammin87 » Mon 03 Sep, 2007 5:00 am

Mitch - couldn't you go to uni, and then if you got accepted for YO training sack uni? And uni does give you some "life experience" if you want it to. If you just sit in the pub all day every day then fair one, you'll not learn much. But if you get involved in different clubs and teams you'll be meeting new people from all over - you could do a year/half year abroad in your 2nd or 3rd year depending on your institution. Like with everything else, uni is what you make of it, and with your aspirations I doubt you'd be the sort to let it go to waste.

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#8 Post by Mitch » Mon 03 Sep, 2007 10:19 pm

Yeah, that's what i was planning on doing.

Strange thing is i got a phone call today saying that my interview in mid-october, in which i was going to tell them my plans, has been cancelled as they have changed practice so that i have to have a psychometric test before i do anything. I asked him about sponsorships and cadetships and the like and he said i had ages to sort it all out.

Mitch

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#9 Post by Ed_Bailey87 » Tue 25 Sep, 2007 7:17 pm

Once again mate good post and very helpful! Is there any particular kind of prep to focus on? I'm involved in a lot of stuff at uni which requires leadership and responsibility i.e. running one club and I set up the student social for another. If you fail AIB do you have to start from square 1 or do you just re apply to AIB?

Cheers
Ed
It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.

Brows
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#10 Post by Brows » Tue 25 Sep, 2007 8:20 pm

If you fail I believe you can do it again the following year after a certain amount of time providing your POC doesn't run out (valid for a year). There was a bloke on my AIB who failed the year before and was taking it again. However he managed to do it without having to do POC again because he didn't let it run out.
I haven’t investigated this since I am giving it around 3 years before I re-apply. I don't want to go back and be stumped on the question "What have you done since you were last here?" Given the fact I am only 18 I can afford to wait.

I suggest you prepared very much so on anything to do with either the Navy or RM and stay very up to date with current affairs. Basically so when they ask you "What's happening in Nigeria/Lebanon right now?" you can write a bloody book on it. (I got asked both of those when oil prices jumped in Nigeria and when Hez Bolar -no idea how to spell it- where messing around)
Basically current affairs are very important.

Before you go I would be seriously concerned if you didn't do a few mental papers (IQ test like things) to get use to doing them. They will send you examples of this nearer the time.

I would also prepare answers to the questions like:

When have you been frightened?
When have you been in charge?
When have you been in a position of command and the people below you didn't listen to you?
When did you last challenge yourself?
(I believe my nail in the coffin question at the end of the interview that didn't go too well) What will you do if you fail the AIB or don't make it into the batch?

Questions like this and more will be fired at you and you need to deliver your answer back at the board without really any thinking time.

This stuff is just off the top of my head and your ACLO should go through all this.

Brows
RM Commission progress

POC: 04/06/07 -Passed
AIB: 02/07/07 -Fail, needed more life experience

Intend to re-apply after I have gone to university

Read my diaries in the RM archives section THEN PM me if you have a question

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