SANDF Psychometric Tests

Prepare for the SANDF recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was formed in 1994, and comprises the South African Army, South African Navy, South African Air Force, and the South African Military Health Service.

If you want to join the SANDF, you’ll need to start your journey by visiting one of the regional offices as application forms are not available online.

As part of the recruitment process, you will be evaluated in different ways, including fitness tests and psychometric tests. The tests that you will take will depend on the role that you have applied for.

What Are The SANDF Aptitude Tests?

The SANDF tests are a battery of tests designed to evaluate potential SANDF candidates based on their natural skills and abilities. These tests give the recruiters insight into which candidates have the right level of numerical and verbal ability, as well as logical reasoning and other aptitudes that are necessary for success in the role.

Some of the SANDF tests are used to evaluate general suitability, while others are used to pinpoint the specific type of role that the candidate should be applying for based on their skills and abilities. There are also personality-style tests that are applied to monitor self-reported psychological risk.

The tests that might be used include:

  • Academic Aptitude Test

  • Blox Test

  • Differential Aptitude Test

  • Raven’s Progressive Matrices

  • Potential Insight Battery

  • Psychological Risk Inventory

What To Expect In The SANDF Aptitude Tests

Academic Aptitude Test

Specifically created by the South African Human Sciences Research Council (SA HSRC), this is an assessment of general intelligence, asking questions related to verbal and numerical ability as well as spatial awareness.

There are 9 sections in this test, each having between 33 and 37 questions. All questions have five possible multiple-choice answers, and they cover things like analogies, pattern recognition, number series, logical deductions and percentages.

Blox Test

Again created by the SA HSRC, this is a test used to determine spatial orientation, like a spatial reasoning test.

There are 45 questions in this test that need to be answered in 30 minutes, alongside six practice questions. This is also a multiple-choice assessment, where the questions require candidates to manipulate shapes in their heads to visually orient them.

Differential Aptitude Test

This is a test that is designed to be used as part of the hiring process for high-level operations; positions and tertiary training. It tests the following:

  • Vocabulary

  • Verbal Reasoning

  • Non-Verbal Reasoning

  • Calculations

  • Reading Comprehension

  • Comparison

  • Spatial Visualization

  • Mechanical Reasoning

  • Memory

This test is similar to the BARB (used in the UK for armed forces recruitment) and the ASVAB (used in the US).

Raven’s Progressive Matrices

This test is widely used around the world for different recruitment processes across many industries. It is a form of abstract reasoning assessment, and it gets progressively more challenging as the candidate answers questions.

There are 60 problems in total, presented in five stages of 12 matrices.

Each matrix has shapes or symbols, with a missing item, and the candidate needs to deduce the pattern that governs the sequence to find the missing item.

Potential Insight Battery

This is the test that is used when gauging the suitability of a candidate for a particular role in the SANDF.

It can also be used to determine NQF level and grade, as well as part of a performance appraisal process.

This is a competency-based assessment, and answers will tell the recruitment team what role you would be best suited for, in terms of competencies like teamwork, communication, leadership, and persuasiveness, among other things. There are dozens of competencies covered by this assessment.

Psychological Risk Inventory

Created by SANDF psychologists, this is a self-reporting questionnaire that is similar in structure to a personality test - candidates are presented with a series of statements, and they have to decide how much they think the statement relates to them.

The results of this assessment are meant to highlight which candidates might require a mental health interview, or if they are unsuitable for deployment. The 92 statements in the questionnaire are looking at the following factors:

  • Coping/stress

  • Disorders

  • Interpersonal functioning

  • Risk indicators - control, suicide, PTSD, substance abuse, or aggression

Top Tips To Pass SANDF Tests

Prepare

If a career in SANDF is what you want, you will need to learn as much as you can about the organization. While there is limited information available online, the recruitment officers at the regional offices will be available for you to speak to as you are preparing for your application, and you will also be able to ask questions as you go through the recruitment process.

The more you know about what to expect, the better you will be able to perform.

Practice

Psychometric tests can be challenging, especially if they are unfamiliar - so practice relevant tests whenever you can to get used to the typical structure and content of the assessments.

The more you practice, the more confident you will be.

Practice tests are also a great way to test your current level of knowledge and ability, and will give you an indication of any revision that you might need to do to improve your overall score.

Remember that you need to score highly to be accepted, and the better your score the more opportunities you will have to specialize in a role that interests you.

Use Time Wisely

Not all of the SANDF tests are timed, but working quickly and efficiently is the best way to get a good score.

When you practice, work with a timer so you can get your questions answered fast (and accurately, of course). This will help you in the real thing, where nerves might make you less able to work efficiently.

Answer Honestly

Throughout the whole application process, it is really important that you are honest in your answers. It is better to be clear with your history when filling in the application form, as the truth will come to light later - and while you may think you’ll be disqualified from the process, you might not.

This is specifically important in the Psychological Risk Inventory because military service is already taxing on mental health and you might need additional support if you have any risk factors.

Self Care

Applying for your dream job is nerve-wracking, and if you do not look after yourself you are not giving yourself the best opportunity to succeed.

Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep a night, stay hydrated, and focus on good, healthy, and nutritious meals and snacks - give your body and brain the fuel it needs.

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SANDF Psychometric Tests FAQs

What are the SANDF tests?

The SANDF tests are a battery of psychometric, psychological, and aptitude tests designed to evaluate a candidate’s suitability for a role in the military. Passing these tests is mandatory for entry to any of the branches of the armed forces in South Africa.

What score do I need to pass the SANDF test?

The score that you need to pass the SANDF test depends on the role that you have applied for. The best way to ensure you get into the SANDF is to practice so you can get the highest score possible.

What happens if I fail the SANDF test?

If you fail the SANDF test, your application will not progress any further. You might be able to reapply later, but you will need to speak to the recruiter to verify if this is possible and find out more.

What roles are available in SANDF after testing?

After testing, you will become eligible for roles in any of the branches of the SANDF, including:

  • South African Army

  • South African Navy

  • South African Air Force

  • South African Military Health Service