1 Introduction The Army requires that candidates for Officer Training have certain mental abilities. These mental abilities are measured by three tests that are described in this booklet. It is essential that you read this booklet carefully so that you will understand the types of test you will be asked to take whilst at the Army Officers Selection Board (AOSB). The three tests of mental ability you will be asked to do at the AOSB are: Verbal Reasoning Numerical Reasoning Abstract Reasoning The purpose of this booklet is to give you some information about why the tests are used, what to expect at the testing session, and tips on how to do your best at the tests. It will also give you a chance to have a go at the types of question you will see in the Verbal, Numerical and Abstract Reasoning tests. Using this booklet It is important that you use the time you have been given to read this booklet well. Find a quiet place, free from interruptions. Read the information in this booklet carefully and have a go at the practice questions. You should mark your answers to the practice questions on the answer sheet provided at the end of this booklet. When you have attempted the practice questions, check your answers against the correct answers also given at the end of this booklet. Make sure you understand the solutions to all the practice questions, as this will help you when you take the real tests. Taking the actual tests You will take the Verbal, Numerical and Abstract tests on computer. All responses to the tests are given using the mouse. It is important to read the instructions for each test carefully. You can see a summary of these during the test by clicking on the question mark button, but this will give you less time to answer the questions. After the instructions, you will see example questions and have a chance to try some further practice questions. The tests are strictly timed, and you may not finish all of the questions in the time allowed. You should work quickly, but not so quickly that you make unnecessary mistakes. If you cannot answer a question, you can skip it and come back to it later if you have time. You will be given some paper to make notes or to do any rough-working during the tests.
2 Verbal Reasoning - Instructions The Verbal Reasoning test looks at your ability to think logically about written information. In this test, you will see passages of text, followed by statements relating to the text. You have to read each passage of text carefully and then decide whether each statement follows logically from the information in the passage. For each statement there are three answer options you can choose from: True, False or Can t tell. True False Can t tell This means that, on the basis of the information in the passage, the statement is true or logically follows from the passage. This means that, on the basis of the information in the passage, the statement is false. This means that you cannot tell from the information in the passage whether the statement is true or false. When deciding on whether a statement is true, false or you can t tell, it is important to base your answer only on the information in the passage and not on any other knowledge you may have. Your task is simply to judge whether or not the statement follows logically from the passage. Look at the example on the next pages, and then have a go at the practice statements on the following pages. Mark your answers to the practice statements on the answer sheet provided, by putting a tick through True, False or Can t tell for each. In the real test you will indicate your answers by clicking on them with a computer mouse. You will have 40 questions to answer in 15 minutes. 2
3 Verbal Reasoning Example The word weather is used to describe the day-to-day changes in our atmosphere. The source of these changes is the sun. As the Earth spins at an angle to the sun, areas around the equator get more heat from the sun than other areas. Land also absorbs more heat than the sea. The atmosphere tries to equalise these differences in temperature, moving hot air that is near the equator to colder areas near the North and South Pole, and cool air to warmer areas. This movement of air is also affected by the spinning of the Earth and friction between the air and land. This process creates areas of high and low pressure in the atmosphere that result in the weather we experience on the ground. E1. Warm air tends to move towards the equator. The answer to this question is False. Explanation: The passage tells us that the atmosphere moves hot air that is near the equator to colder areas near the North and South Pole and cool air to warmer areas. Warmer air therefore moves away from the equator, not towards it. E2. The sea cools down more quickly than land. The answer to this question is Can t tell. Explanation: The passage tells us that Land also absorbs more heat than the sea. It does not tell us anything about how quickly land and sea cools down. Although some people may know that land cools down more quickly than sea, this statement should not be answered False as this information is not given in the passage. Remember, your answer should be based only on the information in the passage and not any other knowledge you have. E3. The sun causes changes in the weather. The answer to this question is True. Explanation: The first sentence tells us that weather is the day-to-day changes in our atmosphere. The second sentence says that The source of these changes is the sun. Therefore the statement is true from the information in the passage. E4. Areas of high pressure are more common around the equator. The answer to this question is Can t tell. Explanation: The passage states that the movement of air creates areas of high and low pressure. It also tells us that areas around the equator tend to be warmer, and that warm air moves from the equator to cooler areas. However, the passage does not give any information about air pressure around the equator, so you cannot tell whether the statement is true or false. 3
4 Verbal Reasoning Practice Charges for late return of library books It is expected that all users of the library will return books by the date they are due for return. Fines are charged on books which are kept beyond the return date. The purpose of fines is to encourage the prompt return of books, so that maximum use can be made of the library s stock of books. A reduced rate of fines applies to those under 18 years of age. All users, except those who are chronically ill, housebound or disabled, are subject to charges. If you are unable to return a book by the due date or have not finished with it, you can ask to extend the return date provided the book has not been requested by another user. 1. All users of the library have to pay fines on overdue books. 2. Your age can affect the cost of any fines. 3. The money from fines is used to buy new books for the library. 4. The return date can be extended on any book you have borrowed. 4
6 Numerical Reasoning - Instructions The Numerical Reasoning test looks at your ability to solve numerical problems. You will see some numerical information followed by questions that relate to the information. For each question you are given five possible answer options. You have to work out the correct answer from the information provided. Look at the example on the next page, and then have a go at the practice questions on the following pages. The answer options to each question are labelled A, B, C, D and E. Mark your answers to the practice questions on the answer sheet provided, by putting a tick through the correct answer option. Calculators are not allowed for the numerical test. In the real test you will indicate your answers by clicking on them with a computer mouse. You will have 36 questions to answer in 15 minutes. 6
7 Numerical Reasoning Example E1. Three members of a family share equally the cost of Silver cover for one car with Green Arrow. How much does each person pay? A. 20 B. 25 C. 30 D. 60 E. 180 The correct answer is 20 (A). To answer this question you first have to find out how much Silver cover with Green Arrow costs. The table shows you that this is 60. To find the cost to each person, you have to divide 60 by divided equally between three people gives you the answer of 20. E2. There is a 10% discount if you take out breakdown cover for more then one car. What is the cost of having two cars with Green Arrow Bronze cover? A. 46 B. 54 C. 60 D. 66 E. 72 The correct answer is 54 (B). To get the answer you first have to find the cost of Bronze cover with Green Arrow from the table. The table shows you this is 30. The cost of covering two cars would therefore be 60 (2x 30), but the question also tells you that there is a 10% discount if you take out cover for more than one car. To get the final cost, you need to find the discount (10% of 60), and subtract this from the total cost. To get 10% of 60, you need to divide 60 by 100 to get 0.6, and then multiply it by 10 to get 10% ( 6). The total cost is therefore 60-6, which gives the answer of 54. 7
8 E3. What is the ratio of the cost of Silver cover with Green Arrow to Gold cover with Green Arrow? A. 1:3 B. 2:3 C. 3:2 D. 2:1 E. 3:1 The correct answer is 2:3 (B). To get the answer you need to find the highest number that will divide into the cost of Green Arrow Silver cover ( 60) and Green Arrow Gold cover ( 90). The highest number is 30, which divides into the cost of Silver cover twice (60/30=2) and the cost of Gold cover three times (90/30=3). This gives you the ratio of 2:3. E4. The cost of Bronze cover with Blue Star increases to 50. By what percentage has the cost of Bronze cover increased? A. 10% B. 20% C. 25% D. 50% E. 125% The correct answer is 25% (C). To find the percentage increase you first have to find the actual increase in cost. The table tells you that the cost of Blue Star Bronze cover was 40. The question tells you this has increased to 50, giving an increase of 10 (the difference between 40 and 50). You then have to find what percentage of the original cost ( 40) the increase is ( 10), by dividing the increase by the original cost. 10 divided by 40 gives you To turn this into a percentage, multiply the answer (0.25) by 100. This gives the answer of 25%. 8
9 Numerical Reasoning Practice 1. How many red and black cars were sold during the year? A. 6 B. 19 C. 25 D. 34 E How many more blue cars were sold than red cars? A. 1 B. 11 C. 25 D. 36 E What percentage of the cars sold were white? A. 10% B. 12% C. 14% D. 16% E. 18% 4. What is the ratio of white cars to blue cars sold? A. 1:4 B. 1:3 C. 3:4 D. 3:1 E. 4:1 9
10 Numerical Reasoning Practice 5. How much does 3kg of Deluxe Muesli cost? A B C D E What is the difference between the cost of 2kg of Muesli Base and 2kg of Standard Muesli? A. 14p B. 15p C. 28p D. 29p E. 30p 7. The shop weighs out the Muesli in 1kg bags. How many bags of Deluxe Muesli could you buy for 10? A. 9 B. 10 C. 11 D. 12 E On average, a family eats 1 kg of Standard Muesli every 12 days. How much would it cost for 60 days? A B C D E
11 Abstract Reasoning - Why do AOSB use an Abstract Reasoning test? The Abstract Reasoning test looks at your ability to identify patterns and relationships between shapes. Some people may wonder why they are being asked to take a test about shapes. It is clear that army officers need verbal and numerical skills, but why do they need to pick out patterns in shapes? The reason is that the Abstract Reasoning test is related to a number of skills that are important to a good army officer. Some of these skills are not as obvious and direct as verbal and numerical skills. The Abstract Reasoning test will assess skills related to: The ability to generate a range of ideas part of the Abstract test requires you to identify common threads and similarities between shapes. To do this, you have to show an ability to generate a variety of ideas about how the shapes may be linked. If some ideas don t work, you need the creativity to think of alternatives. It is this ability to generate new alternative ideas without getting stuck which is central to good problem-solving ability. The ability to focus on relevant information The Abstract test contains some features that have nothing to do with the problem. This is true in real life problems occur with lots of information, some of which is relevant and some which is irrelevant. It is all too easy to become distracted and to spend too much time on irrelevancies. The Abstract problems allow you to show your ability to identify and focus on what is relevant. The ability to switch between different types of information The problems in the Abstract test are very varied some need you to look at smaller details, whereas others are more about seeing a bigger picture. Some are based on simple and familiar concepts, whereas others are based on more abstract or unfamiliar concepts. This is another aspect of flexib le and creative problem solving. The ability to be analytical as well as creative To solve the problems in the Abstract test you need both the ability to generate alternative solutions (which requires creativity and flexibility) and the analytical skills to test out these ideas and make sure they fit clearly and precisely. Abstract Reasoning - Instructions On each page of the Abstract Reasoning test you will see two sets of shapes: Set A and S et B. All o f the shapes in S et A are similar in some way, and all the shapes in Set B are sim ilar in some w ay. Set A an d Set B are not related to each other. You have to work out how the shapes in Set A are related to each other and how the shapes in Set B are related to each other. You then have to work out whether further shapes belong to Set A, Set B or Neither set. Look at the exam ple on the next page, and then have a go at the practice shapes on the following pages. Mark your answers to the practice shapes on the answer sheet provided, by putting a tick through Set A, Neither or Set B for each. In the real test you will indicate your answers by clicking on them with a computer mouse. You will have 70 questions to answer in 12 minutes. 11
12 Abstract Reasoning Example 12
13 Answers to Example Questions The only common feature between the cells in Set A, is that they all contain white shapes. As some of the cells in Set A contain one shape, and others contain two shapes, the number of shapes in each cell does not matter. Similarly for Set B, all the cells contain black shapes. Again, as some cells contain one shape and others contain two, the number of shapes in each cell does not matter. The answers to the example questions are: E1 The correct answer is Set A, as it contains a white shape. E2 The correct answer is Neither. As it contains one white and one black shape, it does not clearly belong to either set. E3 The correct answer is Set A, as it contains white shapes. Although E3 contains five white shapes, more than any cells in Set A, it still conforms to the rules of Set A as the number of shapes is not part of the solution. E4 The correct answer is Neither. As the shapes have both black and white parts to them, they do not clearly belong to either set. E5 The correct answer is Set B, as this contains a black shape. 13
14 Abstract Reasoning Practice 14
15 Abstract Reasoning Practice 15
16 Abstract Reasoning Practice 16
17 Verbal Reasoning Answers to the Practice Questions Questions 1 to 4 1. All users of the library have to pay fines on overdue books. The answer to this question is False. Explanation: The second bullet point states that all users are subject to fines except those who are chronically ill, housebound or disabled. As people who fall into these categories are exempt from fines, not all users have to pay fines on overdue books. 2. Your age can affect the cost of any fines. The answer to this question is True. Explanation: The first bullet point states that A reduced rate of fines applies to those under 18 years of age. As younger users of the library pay reduced fines, age does affect how much people have to pay. 3. The money from fines is used to buy new books for the library. The answer to this question is Can t tell. Explanation: The passage gives information on fines and why fines are imposed on overdue books. Although it says that the purpose of fines is to make maximum use of the library s stock of books, it does not say anything about how the money from fines is used. 4. The return date can be extended on any book you have borrowed. The answer to this question is False. Explanation: The passage says that you can ask to extend the return date provided the book has not been requested by another user. Therefore the return date cannot automatically be extended on any book you have borrowed, as the book may have been requested by another user. 17
19 Numerical Reasoning Answers to the Practice Questions Questions 1 to 4 1. How many red and black cars were sold during the year? A. 6 B. 19 C. 25 D. 34 E. 44 The correct answer is 44 (E). Explanation: To find the answer you have to add the number of red cars sold (25) to the number of black cars sold (19) gives a total of How many more blue cars were sold than red cars? A. 1 B. 11 C. 25 D. 36 E. 61 The correct answer is 11 (B). Explanation: The answer is found by taking the number of red cars sold (25) away from the number of blue cars sold (36) gives a total of What percentage of the cars sold were white? A. 10% B. 12% C. 14% D. 16% E. 18% The correct answer is 10% (A). Explanation: To get the answer you have to find what proportion of all the cars that were sold were white, and then turn this into a percentage. The total number of cars sold is found by adding the sales of all types of car together ( ), which gives 120. You then divide the number of white cars (12) by the total number of cars (120). 12/120 is 0.1. To turn this into a percentage, multiply this by 100 to give 10%. 4. What is the ratio of white cars to blue cars sold? A. 1:4 B. 1:3 C. 3:4 D. 3:1 E. 4:1 The correct answer is 1:3 (B). Explanation: To get the answer you need to find the highest number that will divide into the number of white cars sold (12) and the number of blue cars (36). The highest number is 12, which divides into the number of white cars once (12/12=1) and the number of blue cars three times (36/12=3). This gives you the ratio of 1:3. Questions 5 to 8 5. How much does 3kg of Deluxe Muesli cost? A B C D E
20 The correct answer is 2.91 (D). Explanation: To find the correct answer you have to first get the price of Deluxe Muesli from the table. The table shows this is 97p per kg. To find the cost of 3 kg you have to multiply 97p by 3. This gives you 291p or What is the difference between the cost of 2kg of Muesli Base and 2kg of Standard Muesl i? A. 14p B. 15p C. 28p D. 29p E. 30p The correct answer is 28p (C). Explanation: The easiest way to get the correct answer is to first find the cost of Muesli Base and Standard Muesli from the table. Muesli Base costs 68p per kg and Standard Muesli 82p per kg. Then find the difference between these two values by subtracting the smaller (68) from the larger (82), to give you 14 (82-68=14). 14p is the difference between the cost of 1kg of Muesli Base and Standard Muesli. To find the difference for 2kg, you have to multiply the difference between them by 2, to give you 28p (14x2). Another way to find the correct answer would be to first find the cost of 2kg of Muesli Base (68x2=136) and 2kg of Standard Muesli (82x2=164). Then subtract the smaller value (136) from the larger (164) to give you the difference of 28p. 7. The shop weighs out the Muesli in 1kg bags. How many bags of Deluxe Muesli could you buy for 10? A. 9 B. 10 C. 11 D. 12 E. 14 The correct answer is 10 (B). Explanation: To get the correct answer you first have to find the cost of Deluxe Muesli from the table. The table shows that Deluxe Muesli costs 97p per kg. To find out how many 1kg bags of Deluxe Muesli you could buy with 10.00, you have to divide 97p into On average, a family eats 1 kg of Standard Muesli every 12 days. How much would it cost for 60 days? A B C D E The correct answer is 4.10 (B). Explanation: To get the answer, first find out how much muesli the family would eat in 60 days. You are told that 1kg lasts 12 days. To find out how much they would eat in 60 days, you need to find out have many lots of 12 days there are in 60 days. 60 divided by 12 gives you 5, so the family would eat 5kg in 60 days. To find the cost for 60 days, find the cost of Standard Muesli from the table (82p per kg). Multiplying 82p by 5 (the number of kg eaten in 60 days) gives you the answer Abstract Reasoning Answers to the Practice Questions Questions 1 to 5 20
21 The only common feature between the cells in Set A, is that they all contain shapes which have their narrowest point on the left. As some of the cells in Set A contain one shape, and others contain two shapes, the number of shapes in each cell does not matter. Similarly for Set B, all the cells shapes have their narrowest point at the bottom. Again, as some cells contain one shape and others contain two, the number of shapes in each cell does not matter. The an swers to these questions are: 1 The correct answer is Set B, as both shapes have their narrowest point at the bottom. 2 The correct answer is Neither. Both shapes have their narrowest points on the right, and so do not belong to either set. 3 The correct answer is Set A, as the shape has its narrowest point on the left. 4 The correct answer is Neither. As the shape has its narrowest point at the top, it does not belong to either set. 5 The correct answer is Neither. As two shapes have their narrowest point at the bottom, and the other has its narrowest point at the top, this does not clearly belong to either set. Questions 6 to 10 All of the cells in Set A contain at least one white square and one black square. Although some of the cells also contain other shapes, this is the only common feature between the cells in Set A and so any other shapes can be ignored. The size of the squares also varies, but this can be ignored as it is not consistent between the cells and so is not part of the solution. Similarly for Set B, all the cells contain at least two white squares. Again, some cells contain other shapes and the size of the two white squares varies. However, as two white squares is the only common feature in all cells, any other shapes and the size of the squares can be ignored. The answers to these questions are: 6 The correct answer is Neither, as there is only one square in this cell. 7 The correct answer is Set B, as this cell has two white squares. 8 The correct answer is Set A, as this cell has one white square and one black square. 9 The correct answer is Neither, as this cell has two black squares. 10 The correct answer is Neither, as this cell has two black squares. Questions 11 to 15 The only common feature between all of the cells in Set A, is that they contain two shapes the same, with one of the shapes being rotated by 180. Some of the cells also 21
22 contain other shapes. However, as there is no consistent pattern to these shapes, they are not part of the solution and so can be ignored. All of the cells in Set B contain three different shapes. As there are no other common features between the cells, three different shapes is the solution to Set B. The answers to these questions are: 11 The correct answer is Neither. There are two similar shapes in the cell, but one of them is rotated 90, not 180. Therefore it does not belong to Set A. As there are four shapes in this cell, and two of them are the same, it also does not belong to Set B. 12 The correct answer is Set B, as this cell has three different shapes in it. 13 The correct answer is Set A, as this cell has two triangles, one at 180 from the other. 14 The correct answer is Set A, as this cell has two R-shapes, one at 180 from the other. 15 The correct answer is Neither. This cell has two shapes the same, but one is reflected (i.e. is a mirror image) and not rotated 180. Therefore it does not belong in Set A. Also, as it does not contain three completely different shapes, it does not belong in Set B. Note: In all problems, Set A and Set B are not related to each other in any way. However, in some cases the rules may be similar for both sets. For example, in the first set of practice shapes the rules for both sets are about where the narrowest points of the shapes are. In the second set of practice shapes the solutions are based on the number and shading of squares. In the example above, the rules for Set A and Set B are completely unrelated to each other. In the proper test, some rules will be similar for Sets A and B and others will be completely different. 22
23 Some Final Tips on Taking the AOSB Tests Listen to and read the test instructions carefully. If you are unclear about anything, ask. You will have time to read the instructions before the timed part of each test begins. Further examples and practice questions will be given to remind you of what you have to do. Work through these to make sure you are clear about what each test requires you to do. Try not to pay attention to other people taking the test around you. Remain focused on the test. The tests are strictly timed, so it is important to work as quickly and as accurately as you can. If you are stuck on a question, do not waste time on it - go on to the next one and come back to it at the end if you have time. The best approach with multiple-choice questions is to try and work out the answer yourself, and then see if your answer is one of the given options. If your answer is not one of the given options, check your reasoning or calculations. If you are absolutely stuck, make an educated guess rather than picking an answer randomly. Try to eliminate answers you know to be wrong and then go with your best guess from the remaining options. Only change your answer if you are sure you have made a mistake. If you are unsure, it is probably best to stick with your first answer. AOSB Practice Tests 23
24 Answer Sheet Write your answers to the practice questions on this sheet. Indicate your answers by putting a tick in the appropriate box for each question. Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions 1 True False Can t tell 5 True False Can t tell 2 True False Can t tell 6 True False Can t tell 3 True False Can t tell 7 True False Can t tell 4 True False Can t tell 8 True False Can t tell Numerical Reasoning Practice Questions 1 A B C D E 5 A B C D E 2 A B C D E 6 A B C D E 3 A B C D E 7 A B C D E 4 A B C D E 8 A B C D E Abstract Reasoning Practice Questions 1 Set A Neither Set B 6 Set A Neither Set B 2 Set A Neither Set B 7 Set A Neither Set B 3 Set A Neither Set B 8 Set A Neither Set B 4 Set A Neither Set B 9 Set A Neither Set B 5 Set A Neither Set B 10 Set A Neither Set B 11 Set A Neither Set B 12 Set A Neither Set B 13 Set A Neither Set B 14 Set A Neither Set B 15 Set A Neither Set B 24
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