What is the British Army word rules test?
The word rules test is a section in the Army Cognitive Test that all potential soldiers must take as part of their application. The ACT takes place at an assessment centre alongside other tests like a medical examination and a fitness test.
In the word rules test, you are being assessed on your verbal reasoning knowledge. It is not about how well you speak, but how well you recognise words and can discover the link between them, using the given rules.
This is as much a test of working memory as it is a test of your knowledge of the English language, and your score is dependent on both the number of correct answers and the speed at which you complete the test.
The format of the British Army word rules test
The word rules test is presented as a number of questions in three parts, and each part is presented separately.
The first part will describe the rules of the three words, in order. It will describe what the category of each word is. Once you have memorised the order of the words, when you press continue the rule will disappear and you will be presented with a sequence of three words.
At this point, you need to assess whether any of the words match the rule in order.
To answer, you need to select the number of words that match the rules given, which will be between 0-3.
Memory and accuracy is important here, as once you have moved ahead in the assessment you will not be able to go back, and you are marked on how quickly you can answer correctly.
How is the British Army word rules scored?
The word rules section of the Army Cognitive Test is scored alongside the other sections by allocating points based on accuracy and speed.
At the end of the test you will be presented with a score known as the General Trainability Index (GTI) and the minimum score needed to move forward with your army career is 26. Your score will determine the roles that are most suitable for your abilities and aptitudes; the higher you score, the more career paths will be open to you after the assessment centre. It is generally accepted that to get the most choice in roles you should aim to achieve a score of at least 60.
How to pass the British Army word rules test
The word rules test does not assume any extensive education or knowledge in English, but you do need to have reading ability in order to understand the rules and make the necessary connections to be successful. You can improve your language knowledge and understanding in general by reading widely, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as completing word puzzles like crosswords.
For more specific practice, you can find a wide range of free verbal reasoning tests online that will help you hone your skills in reading, understanding and applying information in text form. The best place to practice for the ACT and the word rules test specifically is on the official practice test site from Mindmill, who produce the tests used by the Army.
Here you will be exposed to questions that are similar to the ones you will actually face in the test, and the format that will be used. You can simply find out where you might need to improve your skills through this practice, and get comfortable and confident using the software and the format so that you can concentrate on working quickly and accurately in the actual assessment.
As the assessment centre will have more than just the ACT, make sure that you have had enough rest, and that you have eaten well and had plenty to drink beforehand so that you can perform at your best throughout every test.
Check out our full British Army ACT aptitude tests page here that include free tests.