Last Updated: 22 February, 2015

Introduction

Through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests the Ministry of Defence (MoD) supplied the following information concerning the British Army Recruit Battery (BARB) test, the results of which generate the General Trainability Index (GTI) score. The GTI score is used to determine which roles are available to prospective soldiers. The maximum score for the BARB test in its current form is 80 points.

The roles and associated GTI scores are divided into:

  • Combat Troops:
    • The Cavalry
    • The Infantry;
  • Combat Support:
    • The Royal Regiment of Artillery
    • The Corps of Engineers
    • The Royal Corps of Signals
    • The Army Air Corps
  • Combat Service Support:
    • The Royal Logistics Corps
    • The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
    • Army Medical Services
    • Adjutants General’s Corps
    • Intelligence Corps
    • The Corps of Army Music.

Background

The BARB test is a computer-based, psychometric assessment that was developed by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) and Plymouth University. It is a series of timed questions that assess a candidate’s ability to absorb information quickly, accurately and logically. The computer automatically calculates the candidate’s score, based on the number of correct answers and time taken. The final score is referred to as the GTI score.

All potential recruits to the British Army are required to take BARB on application. It consists of five different tests and takes about 30 minutes to complete, using a touch-screen response system. The tests are:

  • Reasoning (12 questions)
  • Letter checking (16 questions)
  • Number distance (20 questions)
  • Odd one out (20 questions)
  • Symbol rotation (12 questions)
  • Maths (% grade)
  • English (% grade)

Abbreviations Used

  • JE = junior entry (under 17.5 years old)
  • SE = senior entry (over 17.5 years old)
  • F = female

Download

A downloadable version of the British Army roles by GTI score is available here: BARB Test: British Army Roles by GTI Score (Word) (2014)

Useful Documents

Documents that the reader may find useful include:

  1. An Australian Trial of the BARB Test (Royal Australian Navy, 1996)
  2. BARB After 21 Years, The (Irvine, 2013, p.8-11)
  3. Design of a Knowledge Skills & Experience Framework for the British Army (Harvey & Daniel, 2014)
  4. Effectiveness of Graded Selection in the British Army, The (Johansen, 2011)
  5. Exploring Reasons for Attrition in the British Army, A Longitudinal Study (Fisher, 2011)
  6. Identifying & Understanding Factors Associated with Failure to Complete Infantry Training among British Army Recruits (Kiernan, 2011)
  7. Massive IQ Gains in 14 Nations, What IQ Tests Really Measure (Flynn, 1987)
  8. Occupational Stress & the Outcome of Basic Military Training (Jackson et al., 2011)
  9. Personnel Selection in the Army (Line & Griffin, 1943)
  10. Recruiting & Retention of Military Personnel (NATO, 2007)
  11. Recruitment Patterns of Officers in the British Army (2014-06-16)
  12. Recruiting Partnering Project – A Step Change in Recruiting for the British Army (Johansen & Fisher, 2012)
  13. Thomas TST (2010-05, p.2)

Combat Troops by GTI Score

Table 1: GTI Minimum by role for combat troops roles

Job Profile Description

GTI Minimum

The Cavalry (Household Cavalry)

JE Crewman/Mounted Duty

44

SE Crewman/Mounted Duty

44

The Cavalry (Royal Armoured Corps (RAC))

JE Crewman

44

SE Crewman

44

The Infantry (The Guards Division)

 

JE Guardsman

34

SE Guardsman

26

The Infantry (The Scottish Division)

 

JE Infantry Soldier

34

SE Infantry Soldier

26

The Infantry (Queen’s Division)

 

JE Infantry Soldier

34

SE Infantry Soldier

26

The Infantry (The King’s Division)

 

JE Infantry Soldier

34

SE Infantry Soldier

26

The Infantry (The Prince of Wales’s Division)

 

JE Infantry Soldier

34

SE Infantry Soldier

26

The Infantry (The Rifles)

 

JE Infantry Soldier

34

SE Infantry Soldier

26

The Infantry (The Brigade of Gurkhas)

 

JE Infantry Soldier

34

SE Infantry Soldier

26

The Infantry (The Parachute Regiment)

 

JE Paratrooper

34

SE Paratrooper

26

The Infantry (The The Royal Irish Regiment)

JE Infantry Soldier

34

SE Infantry Soldier

26

The Infantry (The Gibraltar Regiment)

 

JE Infantry Soldier (AFC)

35

SE Infantry Soldier

26

Combat Support Roles by GTI Score

Table 2: GTI Minimum by role for combat support roles

Job Profile Description

GTI Minimum

The Royal Regiment of Artillery (RA)

 

JE Gunner Crewman

38

JE Gunner Crewman (F)

38

SE Gunner Crewman

38

SE Gunner Crewman (F)

38

The Corps of Engineers (RE)

 

JE Construction Materials Technician

55

JE Geographic Technician

55

JE ME (Armoured Engineer) (ADC)

47

JE ME (Armoured Engineer) (ADC) (F)

47

JE ME Bricklayer and Concretor

47

JE ME Bricklayer and Concretor (F)

47

JE ME Building and Structural Finisher

47

JE ME Building and Structural Finisher (F)

47

JE ME (C3S)

47

JE ME (C3S) (F)

47

JE ME Carpenter and Joiner

47

JE ME Carpenter and Joiner (F)

47

JE ME Construction Materials Technician (F)

55

JE ME Design Draughtsman

55

JE ME Design Draughtsman (F)

55

JE ME (Driver Op) (ADC)

40

JE ME (Driver Operator) (ADC) (F)

40

JE ME Electrician

53

JE ME Electrician (F)

53

JE ME Fabricator

47

JE ME (Fabricator) (ADC) (F)

47

JE ME Fitter ACR

53

JE ME Fitter ACR (F)

53

JE ME Fitter General

53

JE ME Fitter General (F)

53

JE ME Geographic Technician (F)

55

JE ME Heating and Plumbing

53

JE ME Heating and Plumbing (F)

53

JE ME (Logistic Specialist) (ADC)

55

JE ME (Logistic Specialist) (ADC) (F)

55

JE ME Plant Operator Mechanic

53

JE ME Plant Operator Mechanic (F)

53

JE ME Surveyor Engineer

55

JE ME Draughtsman (E and M)

55

SE Construction Materials Technician

55

SE Construction Materials Technician (F)

55

SE Design Draughtsman

55

SE Design Draughtsman (F)

55

SE Draughtsman (E and M)

55

SE Draughtsman (E and M) (F)

55

SE ME (Armoured Engineer)

47

SE ME (Armoured Engineer) (F)

47

SE ME (B&C)

47

SE ME (B&C) (F)

47

SE ME (B&SF)

47

SE ME (B&SF) (F)

47

SE ME (C3S)

47

SE ME (C3S) (F)

47

SE ME (C&J)

47

SE ME (C&J) (F)

47

SE ME (Driver Op)

40

SE ME (Driver Op) (F)

40

SE ME (Electrician)

53

SE ME (Electrician) (F)

53

SE ME (Fabricator)

47

SE ME (Fabricator) (F)

47

SE ME (Fitter AC&R)

53

SE ME (Fitter General)

53

SE ME (Fitter General) (F)

53

SE ME (Geographic)

55

SE ME (Geographic) (F)

55

SE ME (H&P)

53

SE ME (H&P) (F)

53

SE ME (Logistic Specialist)

47

SE ME (Logistic Specialist) (F)

47

SE ME (POM)

53

SE ME (POM) (F)

53

SE Surveyor Engineer

55

SE Surveyor Engineer (F)

55

The Royal Corps of Signals (RCS)

 

JE Comm Systems Engineer

48

JE Comm Systems Engineer (F)

48

JE Comm Systems Op

48

JE Comm Systems Op (F)

48

JE Driver Lineman Storeman

48

JE Driver Lineman Storeman (F)

48

JE Electrician (ADC)

48

JE Electrician (ADC) (F)

48

SE Comm Systems Engineer

48

SE Comm Systems Engineer (F)

48

SE Comm Systems Op

48

SE Comm Systems Op (F)

48

SE Driver Lineman Storeman

48

SE Driver Lineman Storeman (F)

48

SE Electrician

48

SE Electrician (F)

48

SE Electronic Warfare Systems Op

48

SE Electronic Warfare Systems Op (F)

48

SE Installation Tech

48

SE Installation Tech (F)

48

Army Air Corps (AAC)

JE Groundcrew

48

JE Groundcrew (F)

48

SE Groundcrew

48

SE Groundcrew (F)

48

 

Combat Service Support Roles by GTI Score

Table 3: GTI Minimum by role for combat service support roles

Job Profile Description

GTI Minimum

The Royal Logistics Corps (RLC)

 

JE Air Despatcher (ADC)

44

JE Air Despatcher (ADC) (F)

44

JE Ammunition Technician

48

JE Ammunition Technician (F)

48

JE Chef

38

JE Chef (F)

38

JE Driver

42

JE Driver/Communications Specialist

46

JE Driver/Communications Specialist (F)

46

JE Driver (F)

42

JE Logistics Specialist (Supply)

40

JE Logistics Specialist (Supply) (ADC) (F)

40

JE Marine Engineer

55

JE Movement Controller

48

JE Movement Controller (ADC) (F)

48

JE Petroleum Op (ADC)

47

JE Petroleum Op (ADC) (F)

47

JE Pioneer

40

JE Port Op (ADC)

44

JE Port Op (ADC) (F)

44

JE Postal & Courier Op (ADC)

44

JE Postal & Courier Op (ADC) (F)

44

JE Seaman/Navigator (ADC)

47

JE Seawoman/Navigator (ADC) (F)

47

SE Air Despatcher

44

SE Air Despatcher (F)

44

SE Ammunition Tech

58

SE Ammunition Tech (F)

58

SE Chef

38

SE Chef (F)

38

SE Driver

42

SE Driver/Communications Specialist

46

SE Driver/Communications Specialist (F)

46

SE Driver (F)

42

SE Logistics Specialist (Supply)

41

SE Logistics Specialist (Supply) (F)

41

SE Marine Engineer

55

SE Marine Engineer (F)

55

SE Movement Controller

48

SE Movement Controller (F)

48

SE Petroleum Op

47

SE Petroleum Op (F)

47

SE Pioneer

29

SE Pioneer (F)

29

SE Port Op

44

SE Port Op (F)

44

SE Postal & Courier Op

44

SE Postal & Courier Op (F)

44

SE Seaman

47

SE Seawoman (F)

47

The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME)

JE Aircraft Tech

48

JE Aircraft Tech (F)

48

JE Armourer

48

JE Armourer (F)

48

JE Electronics/Avionics Tech

48

JE Electronics/Avionics Tech (F)

48

JE Recovery Mech

48

JE Recovery Mech (F)

48

JE Tech Support Specialist

48

JE Tech Support Specialist (F)

48

JE Vehicle Mech

48

JE Vehicle Mech (F)

48

SE Aircraft Tech

48

SE Aircraft Tech (F)

48

SE Armourer

48

SE Armourer (F)

48

SE Electronics/Avionics Tech

48

SE Electronics/Avionics Tech (F)

48

SE Metalsmith

48

SE Metalsmith (F)

48

SE Recovery Mech

48

SE Recovery Mech (F)

48

SE Shipwright

48

SE Shipwright (F)

48

SE Technical Support Specialist

48

SE Technical Support Specialist (F)

48

SE Vehicle Mech

48

SE Vehicle Mech (F)

48

Army Medical Services (AMS)

 

Queen Alexandria’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC)

 

SE Healthcare Assistant

50

SE Healthcare Assistant (F)

50

SE Registered Nurse

40

SE Registered Nurse (F)

40

SE Registered Nurse (Mental Health)

40

SE Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (F)

40

SE Student Nurse

55

SE Student Nurse (F)

55

 

Royal Army Dental Corps

 

SE Dental Nurse

50

SE Dental Nurse (F)

50

SE Dental Tech

50

SE Dental Tech (F)

50

 

Royal Army Medical Corps

 

JE Combat Medical Technician

52

JE Combat Medical Technician (F)

52

SE Biomedical Scientist

58

SE Biomedical Scientist (F)

58

SE Clinical Physiologist

52

SE Clinical Physiologist (F)

52

SE Combat Medical Tech

52

SE Combat Medical Tech (F)

52

SE Environmental Health Tech

52

SE Environmental Health Tech (F)

52

SE Operating Department Practitioner

52

SE Operating Department Practitioner (F)

52

SE Pharmacy Tech (F)

52

SE Radiographer

58

RAMC – SE Radiographer (F)

58

 

Royal Army Veterinary Corps

 

SE Dog Handler/Trainer

50

SE Dog Handler/Trainer (F)

50

SE Veterinary Tech

50

SE Veterinary Tech (F)

50

Adjutant General’s Corps (AGC)

 

Royal Military Police (RMP)

 

SE Military Police

60

SE Military Police (F)

60

 

Staff and Personnel Support (SPS)

 

JE HR Specialist

48

JE HR Specialist (F)

48

SE HR Specialist

48

SE HR Specialist (F)

48

Intelligence Corps (Int Corps)

SE Op Military Intelligence

55

SE Op Military Intelligence (F)

55

SE Op Military Intelligence (Linguist)

55

SE Op Military Intelligence (Linguist)

55

Corps of Army Music (CAMus)

SE Musician

33

SE Musician (F)

33

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25 thoughts on “BARB Test: British Army Roles by GTI Score

  1. Hello i am already a serving soldier as a RLC driver. I was hoping to know do i need my BARB test to re trade a job as i am trasfering from drive to AGC SPS. I am not even sure what marks i got on my BARB when i first joined the army. And do they check your BARB test record when u retrade and can i re test again.

    Like

    1. Hi,

      My last Chief Clerk was an ex-Para fullscrew who transferred to the AGC (SPS). He applied for a re-trade, had an interview (passed) and then received orders to attend the HR Specialist Class 3 course.

      Like

  2. Hi not sure if this is the right place or not. however using the army practice questions I got what I feel are fairly decent scores. I want to join RMP then go into Close Protection, would this be good enough considering I have GCSEs in both English and Maths. Another thing once I take my BARB is it locked in or could I retake it?

    Thanks in Advance.

    Here are my results;
    Reasoning: 11/12 questions
    Letter checking: 15/16 questions
    Number distance: 20/20 questions
    Odd one out: 20/20 questions
    Symbol rotation: 11/12 questions

    Like

    1. Hi Toby,

      If you achieved those scores on the actual test, then the RMP role would be ‘unlocked’. However, you have to understand that a ‘fairly decent’ GTI score is merely one element in the recruitment process. Other factors to consider include:

      1. Number of vacancies for the particular role for that year (they may already have reached their quota for that year, so you would have to wait until the following year or opt for your 2nd or 3rd choice).
      2. How well you do in the interview process (knowledge of the RMP/Army etc).
      3. How strong your application [form] is (what in your application demonstrates a propensity towards police/investigation work?).
      4. Any medical issues.
      5. Offender history (if you have one; some offences would automatically disbar you from the RMP role).

      There is the possibility to retake the BARB test.

      Like

  3. Hey! Just posted a question in-reagards to the barb test for the infantry. I understand that there is a time limit, so in my case, for the Rifles it’s (26 SE) If I’ve already passed that mark, but have failed to complete the barb test on time, do I get points taken away from me?

    Like

    1. Apologies, just moved house & had no internet access. Your final score takes into account the time limit. 26 is the minimum score to join the army. Scores listed on this page are the minimums for each role.

      Like

  4. Hey guys, I’m wanting to be a rifleman in the army. It says 26 for SE entry… is the the maximum or minimum you need to get?

    Like

  5. Hi there, I want to join the Royal Artillery either as an Artillery Observer or an Artillery Logistics Specialist. I was just wondering if I have to take the TST test or just the BARB test, Literacy and Numeracy test?

    Like

    1. Hi Ryan,

      Simple Answer: No.
      Longer Answer: Candidates for RA jobs are only required to complete the BARB Test, not the TST (list of jobs can be found here). However, if one of your (up to) three choices is on the TST list then you would be required to complete the TST Test as well as the BARB Test.

      Like

  6. Hi sorry if this isn’t the right site for this but I’m in process of applying and I’m torn between dental nurse and combat medical technician at the moment I am working on my fitness what is the demand for cmt and is it hard to get accepted.

    Thank you

    Like

    1. Hi Autumn Summers,

      Simple Answer: Yes (Maybe)!
      Longer Answer: There is competition for both roles. Although both sit within the Army Medical Services, Dental Nurse is part of the RAVC and CMT is part of the RAMC. A CMT is more likely to be ‘in the field’ than a Dental Nurse (based purely on my experience working with CMTs).

      Questions you may want to ask yourself (and may be asked during the interview process include (but not limited to)):

      1. Why you want to join the Medical Services of the British Army, and specifically the Dental Nurse/CMT role?
      2. Your achievements so far (link them to your Branch choice, if appropriate/possible)?
      3. Your interests (again link, if appropriate/possible)?
      4. What do you know about/history of Army Medical Services & and the Dental Nurse/CMT role?
      5. Discuss existing qualifications (if you have them and linked to Branch choice).
      6. Why would you make a good Dental Nurse/CMT member?
      7. Teamwork (think small teams, away on tour a lot etc), and your experience(s) working in a team (as member/leader).

      I hope that helps, and good luck:)

      Like

    1. Hi Brand,

      1. The ‘Special Gunfire Observer’ role is non-direct entry (i.e. you cannot join direct from civilian street).
      2. Are you joining the British Army or the Royal Navy (RN)?
      A. Royal Artillery minimum GTI score is 38.
      B. Not sure what the RN Signals minimum score is.

      Like

  7. Hi i am transfering from The Parachute Regiment i got 46 or 48 on my barb test i want to transfer because i want a trade what trades would you recomend that are good for promotion??

    Like

    1. Hi Chris,

      “Good for promotion”, I’m afraid to say, is a very subjective expression. It is quite common for soldiers to transfer from the combat arms to the combat service support Corps. One of my old SSMs was ex-Infantry (Guards I believe and transferred as a fullscrew), one of my old Chief Clerks was ex-Para Regt (again transferred as a fullscrew), yet another transferred from the LI (again as a fullscrew). In my (observational) experience ex-combat arms personnel seem to do well regardless of their ‘new’ chosen trade.

      You’re question seems confused. Are you looking for a trade for when you leave the Army or a trade to help you get promoted, or both? For those personnel who aspire to higher rank (e.g. SNCO/WO), filling an E2 (non-trade, any cap-badge) post rather than an E1 (own cap-badge) post can be viewed more positively by Reporting Officers (ROs) when producing an individual’s Annual Appraisal or OJAR.

      Like

  8. Hello i was wondering how the GTI is calculated for example i want to become a chef which is 38 is that 38 marks i am just unsure how it is calculated

    Like

    1. Hello Jack,

      As stated above: The computer automatically calculates the candidate’s score, based on the number of correct answers and time taken. You need to do well in all sections of the test, practice with some of the (free) online material/tests; for example at the MOD website.

      Like

  9. Hello,
    I am a 32 year old female and I have signed up to join the reserves as a HR Specialist. I have chosen to be work within a REME unit, based close to to my home town. Can anybody please tell me if I will have to take the extra maths TST test at ADSC? or will I just have to do the standard BARRB, Numeracy and Literature Tests at the Careers Recruitment centre? Any help much appreciated.
    Gemma

    Like

    1. Hi Gemma,

      Only candidates hoping to go into technical trades within the Royal Engineers, Royal Signals, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, or the Royal Logistic Corps as an Ammunition Technician, in any of their 3 job choices, will have to take and pass a Technical Selection Test (TST).

      Like

  10. What is the relationship between the GTI score and cognitive ability ? Today’s equipment is becoming incredibly complicated and the amount of information being sent to the user can overburden the individual with data that requires a decision or action. Specifically, mounted platforms which are currently being procured for the infantry and cavalry will be using state of the art technology. Is there a review of the GTI scores awarded to the infantryman who could find himself on a mounted platform as complicated as the SCOUT platform.

    Like

    1. Hi Kevin,

      Short Answer: Yes
      Longer Answer: On an almost continual basis the British Army, and MOD generally, conduct research regarding the recruitment and selection process of future military personnel. I have uploaded a number of documents, at the top of this page, that outlines some of the work being undertaken. You may find documents 2, 3 and 4 the most useful. Unfortunately, I believe the Infantry GTI score will continue to be one of the lower scores despite the increased technical nature of the roles within Infantry.

      Like

  11. What is the scores for combat medic and techinal storeman ,. Does the score depends on what I get on the barb test or is it on my maths and english test.

    Like

    1. Hi Sophie,

      The BARB score for:

      1) Combat Medical Technician (CMT), part of the RAMC, is 52
      2) Technical Support Specialist, part of REME, is 48

      Although an individual requires a minimum standard of maths and English to apply for the British Army (same principle for the other Services), the BARB test is used as the standard method of assessment (because it is perceived as fair and as a level playing field). The score you achieve on the BARB test will determine the jobs/roles open to you.

      In service transfers (moving from one trade to another when a fully trained soldier) is possible. Transfers from the Infantry to CSS (e.g. the RLC) are not uncommon. The Intelligence Corps has a structured process for in service transfers, as do a number of other Corps.

      Like

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