Word Cloud, LearningThe British Army’s Technical Selection Test (TST) is the current method for evaluating those candidates who wish to pursue a career in one of the British Army’s technical roles/trades.

The results of the TST determine which technical roles are available to prospective soldiers; as a fail in the TST would not preclude an individual’s ability to pursue a career in the British Army in another non-technical role.

The TST is essentially a maths test, with the questions being similar to those one would encounter in any standard GCSE text book.


The TST was introduced in June 1995 to measure the mathematical capability of applicants to the Army’s technical corps.

Various validation studies have been conducted since that time resulting in the cut-off scores shown below for those trades that require a TST level to be achieved, with the highest score achievable being 55 points.

Four new versions of the TST were developed, validated and introduced in 2009 to allow for test rotation in the Assessment Centres, and to increase security.

Who Takes the Test?

Those candidates eligible for consideration for a technical trade will be required to take the British Army’s Technical Selection Test (TST) at the Army Development and Selection Centre (ADSC) in order to confirm their suitability for technical training.

Candidates hoping to go into technical trades, in any of their 3 job choices, within the following will be required to complete the TST:

  • The Corps of Royal Engineers (RE);
  • The Royal Corps of Signals (RCS);T
  • The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME); or
  • The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) as an Ammunition Technician.

TST or BARB Test

The TST is completed in addition to the BARB Test.

Outline of the TST

The TST comprises 28 types of question across 55 multi-choice questions, which must be completed in 45 minutes. The use of a calculator is permitted, which is provided. The name and number of questions of each type making up the 55 is shown in brackets after the name of each type of question:

  1. Whole Number Division (2)
  2. Decimal Addition (1)
  3. Decimal Subtraction (1)
  4. Decimal Multiplication (2)
  5. Decimal Division (2)
  6. Fraction Addition (1)
  7. Fraction Subtraction (1)
  8. Fraction Multiplication (2)
  9. Fraction Division (2)
  10. Fraction Conversion (2)
  11. Metric Unit Conversion (2)
  12. Averages (2)
  13. Ratios (2)
  14. Proportion/Scale (2)
  15. Percentages (2)
  16. Arithmetic Progression (2)
  17. Standard Form (2)
  18. Significant Figures (2)
  19. Volume (1)
  20. Simultaneous Equations (3)
  21. Factorisation (3)
  22. Area (2)
  23. Angles (2)
  24. Transposition (1)
  25. Graphical Interpretation (2)
  26. Prefixes (2)
  27. Indices (4)
  28. Precedence (2)

These questions test an individual’s maths and are similar to those one would find in a GCSE text book.

TST Scores by Trade

The scores range from 0 to 55, depending on the number of correct answers. The threshold score for a role varies between the different roles. Candidates should try to get the highest score they can to confirm their suitability for the role they want. The specific trades requiring candidates to undertake the TST and the minimum score requirement tor each is shown in the following table.

  • JE = junior entry (under 17.5 years old)
  • SE = senior entry (over 17.5 years old)
Corps Trade TST Score
RE Driver Operator (JE/SE) 16
RE  Command Control & Systems Engineer (JE/SE) 16
REME  Vehicle Mechanic JE/SE  16
 REME Armourer (JE/SE)  16
 REME Metalsmith JE/SE  16
 REME Recovery Mechanic (JE/SE) 16
 REME Shipwright (SE) 16
RCS Communication Systems Operator (JE/SE) 19
 RCS Electrician (JE/SE) 19
 RCS Communication Logistics Specialist (JE/SE) 19
 RE Bricklayer (JE/SE) 21
 RE BS&F (JE/SE) 21
 RE Carpenter (JE/SE) 21
 RE Fabricator (JE/SE) 21
 RE Armoured Engineer (JE/SE) 21
 RE Fitter General (JE/SE) 21
 RE Fitter Air Conditioning/Refrigeration (JE/SE) 21
 RE Plant Operator Mechanic (JE/SE) 21
 RE Heating & Plumbing (JE/SE) 23
 RE Logistic Specialist (JE/SE) 25
 RCS Installation Technician (SE) 25
 RCS Communication System Engineer (JE/SE) 25
 RCS Electronic Warfare Operator (SE) 25
 RE Electrician (JE/SE) 25
 RE Geographic Support Technician (JE/SE) 25
 RE Construction Materials Technician (JE/SE) 25
 RE Design Draughtsman (JE/SE) 25
 RE Draughtsman E&M (JE/SE) 25
 RE Surveyor (JE/SE) 25
 RE Design (SE) 25
 REME Aircraft Technician (JE/SE) 29
 REME Electronic/Avionics Technician (JE/SE) 29
 RLC Ammunition Technician (JE/SE) 30

TST Re-Tests

For those candidates who fail the TST, and are recommended by their Army Development and Selection Officer (ADSO), there is only one re-sit allowed with a minimum period of 28 days between tests. Test results are valid for 24 months from the date of the pass.

Should candidates want to improve their score, they may take just one re-test with a minimum of 28 days between tests. The test scores are, again, valid for 24 months from the date of passing the TST.


61 thoughts on “Technical Selection Test: British Army Technical Roles by TST Scores

  1. I am already a qualified mechanic and have city and guilds level 3 in automotive engineering. Do i still have to take the tst test ?. thanks

      1. Hi Martin,

        Yes, you would be required to undertake the TST.

  2. Hello I’m applying for combat medical technician & healthcare assistant as my 2nd choice. Would I have to complete the TST?

  3. Hi, i am going to selection in two days for Combat Medical Technician.
    I was wondering what the pass mark is?
    Thanks in advance

      1. I meant is there a certain amount of time that you’ve got to complete the 55 questions?

  4. Hi there,
    Is the TST test mandatory to take?
    I hold a Bsc/Hons degree in Architectural Technology and wish to join the Design Draughtsman reserves but I am terrible at maths. What options are there if I fail the TST? Does the Army reserves take into consideration relevant experience and qualifications?


    1. Hi Robin,

      1. Yes, the TST is mandatory.
      2. If you fail the TST (up to 2 attempts) you will/should be offered another role that does not require the TST criterion.
      3. Yes, the Army Reserve (and Regular Army) does take into account relevant experience and qualifications.

  5. Hi Andrew,
    The TST on the army website has very ambiguous questions. It doesn’t show the Indices, for example “104x10x247 385” it should be “10^4 x 24^7 / 385”. And this continues for a few questions leaving me very confused when the answers don’t match the working out.
    Will the actual test at the selection centre be more coherent? Points can be lost on this which I don’t feel is fair
    Thank you for your support

  6. Hello,

    I have selection coming up very soon, I was wondering if you could tell me if I would have to take the TST test for Army air corps, Dog handling, dental corps? as they are my three job choices in that order?

    Kind Regards,

    1. Hi Tara,

      1. No.
      2. You would only need to undertake the TST if one of your three choices included one of the above trades.
      3. The TST is based on the trade you will be employed in, not the unit you will be attached to.

    1. Hi Isaac,

      1. You will not find a ‘free’ BARB test on the internet, although you may find some (limited) samples.
      2. The British Army provides sample tests @ (half way down under Practice Tests).
      3. A number of (commercial) websites offer limited samples of the BARB test but in general want you to purchase their product/service. With this in mind, the following may be of use:
      4. There are also a small variety of books offering sample BARB tests, which can be bought online from the usual suspects.

    1. Hi Nathan/Kyle,

      You can check the voracity of the data with the originating agency/organisation. We do endeavour to ensure true and accurate (where reasonably possible) information for our readers. We use FOI requests and publicly accessible data when researching for articles and posts. If we are unsure about a piece of information we will either 1) not include it or 2) state it requires verification.

      1. So for example I am going for Command Control & Systems Engineer. is that 16/55 or 16/28?

      2. Hi Ryan,

        It is a minimum score of 16 from a possible maximum score of 55. There are 28 types of question, with a total of 55 questions.

  7. Hey am thinking of doing either logistic-supply-specialist, Artillery-logistics-specialist and Petroleum Operator, am I required to do the TST test?

  8. Hi. Does the actual test itself say what topic each question is like it does on the practice questions on the army site?

  9. Im going to be going to my assesment very soon and i will taking tht TST can i please just find out what type of calculator i am able to use. Will it be just a basic one or can it be scientific calculator.

    Thankyou inadvance

    1. Hi Ryan,

      As I understand it, the total score is calculated from each correct answer. Not sure if unanswered questions are negatively marked, meaning it is wise to ‘guess’ an answer rather than leave it blank. Definitely not ‘on average’.

  10. Hi im looking to become a vechile mechanic and i was curious how hard it is to pass the technical test, i have a good grasp on GCSE maths but what are the key things to revise?

    1. Hi Abbie,

      If you have a good grasp on GCSE maths and conduct some revision, then you should be ok. Things to revise, everything in the outline above! Aim for 55 out of 55, you’re not the only one aiming to be a VM. Good luck.

  11. Hi All

    Looking to apply for Avionics/Mechanical Aircraft Technician can anyone give any feedback as to what revision Materials are available with plenty of practice tests questions, anyone who has sat the TST and has an idea of what to expect. I would appreciate it. I have served previously for 10yrs in the RE so any support would be brilliant!

    1. Hi Mathew,

      Personally, I never took the TST. However, colleagues who had stated it was simply a maths test, and an understanding of GCSE maths was all that was needed. Revision tools: see reply to Ben on 04/02/2016.

  12. im going to fail i feel ive done revision and i still dont feel up to scratch job role reme vehicle mechanic and apparently the pass marks 36

    1. Hi Ben,

      The TST score for REME Vehicle Mechanics is 16, as stated above, not 36! If you feel that unprepared for the test then delay taking it and conduct more revision. Revision options include: reputable free internet maths-related sites (does not include pay-for-service/product); maths textbooks (got mine on the internet for 1 pence (£2.99 delivery)); and/or private tutor (more expensive but targeted aid).

  13. I’m applying for the job of chef within the royal engineers reserve. I am curious to know if I would have to take the technical selection test.

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