Join the Royal Air Force, 1918 - JobTestPrep's Blog

A few interesting and fun facts about the British armed forces recruitment tests and practices from history until now.

Recruitment in the British Armed Forces 1800’s-1950’s

Up until the late 1800’s the British army was a bad job prospect, with soldiers being forced to serve for their lifetime and military practices being based upon punishment with no mutual respect between officer and private and a pay scale of 7 shillings per week, which compared to a dockworker of 28 shillings per week made for one of the worse jobs you could financially choose, even with the promise of promotion and looting.

Up until the early 1900’s when demand for soldiers was higher and people began being conscripted, Most soldiers didn’t receive adequate training or selection testing, this goes especially for the Royal Navy who practised forcible conscription for merchant sailors, pirates and anyone with any experience working with ships, sometimes people without experience would be trained on the job.

During both world wars, soldiers were trained to the very basic levels a soldier could be trained however the navy were adamant about finding skilled seamen and the Royal Air Force (RAF) applied a more difficult recruitment test (eyesight test, medical test, fitness test and a look at the educational background of each candidate) only after 1941 were army recruits tested and placed in corps that closely aligned with their abilities.

Post-War Recruitment & the Ability for Britain to Be the Best

After the wars ended, national service continued for the cold war but finally in 1957 conscription was abolished and thus the urgency for recruits was lessened, the armed forces could then tighten their requirements and brought about a rigorous recruitment process. Not everyone was to be accepted and this gave England a more capable force of soldiers prepared for the future.

In Present Day


The appeal of an armed forces career has increased due to pay ranges, survivability, community and patriotism during an uncertain time, the forces employ stringent recruitment tests (verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, critical thinking, mechanical comprehension…) alongside their physical tests, medical tests, interview and the educational requirements, also known as aptitude tests.

Aptitude tests are implemented by an ever-increasing number of organisations and are proven to aid in the assessment of potential recruits, more effectively than previous forms of testing, they’re a branch of psychometric tests, tests that determine a candidate’s abilities and match them to specific roles.

With the forces employing these psychometric tests alongside all previous testing it’s never been more difficult to join up and spaces are limited due to its effectiveness. A big step from previous conscription methods don’t you think? This is one of the many reasons why the British Armed Forces (namely the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force (RAF)) remain some of the most recognised men and women on the planet and why our armed forces customer base is increasing rapidly.

We Are There to Help You

So you’ve seen how recruitment has changed and how you need to be prepared. We offer practice packages for the Royal Air Force (RAF) Aptitude Test and the Royal Navy Recruitment Test. The links provided will give you much more in-depth information about which tests each force is using for their recruits.

Good Luck!