Tests & interviews

Our application process involves a series of tests and interviews to make sure that the Royal Navy is right for you – and that you’re right for the Royal Navy. They’re also your chance to get a taste of professional life with us.

To begin with you must attend an initial interview or presentation. Then you must pass several tests and interviews. These are:

  • Recruit test 
  • Medical and eye test
  • Pre Joining Fitness Test
  • A Selection interview

Finally, once you’ve passed all of the above you’ll need to pass a Security and Reference Check too. 

Officers and Royal Marines
The process for officers and Royal Marines is slightly different. Potential Royal Navy officers also have to attend the Admiralty Interview Board (AIB). 

Take a look below to find out more about each step.

Watch Pre Royal Navy Course overview

Tests and Interviews

Recruit test


Recruit test (RT)
The RT will test your specific academic ability. How you do on the RT shows your ability to cope with the technical and academic aspects of the Royal Navy training.

Although you may already have academic qualifications, the RT gives us more information and is a fair way of assessing all candidates on a level playing field.

There are four separate parts of the test which you will need to complete during a strict time limit. These will measure your:

  • General reasoning
  • Verbal ability
  • Numeracy
  • Mechanical comprehension

You can find out more about the RT and try some mock tests using our booklet.

Download the test booklet

Medical and eye test


Whatever role you see yourself doing in the Royal Navy, from nurse or chef to logistician, engineer or Royal Marine – you’ll first have to pass a medical exam to show you’re fit and healthy. Because when you’re in the Royal Navy you’ll sometimes be deployed in challenging environments, under demanding conditions, for long periods of time.

You will also have to pass an eyesight test since good vision is critical in the Royal Navy. You might be reading maps during a mission, monitoring radars, or even working on complex equipment.

You will need to have your medical and eye tests done by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors. But don’t worry, they’re based all around the country so there should be one near you. You can find out exactly what we’re looking for during the medical and eye test by viewing the medical criteria page.

Pre Joining Fitness Test


The Pre Joining Fitness involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill at a fitness centre near you. Below are the times you’ll need to meet according to your age and sex. 

                                      Royal Navy Pre Joining Fitness Test




15 - 24

11 mins 09 secs

13 mins 10 secs

25 - 29

11 mins 33 secs

13 mins 50 secs

30 - 34

12 mins 08 secs 

14 mins 28 secs

35 - 39

12 mins 34 secs

15 mins 09 secs

Royal Navy Diver

If you’re applying to the Diver Branch you’ll have to complete the run in 10 minutes 30 seconds regardless of your age. 

Royal Marines and Royal Marines Reserves

The Royal Marines Pre Joining Fitness Test is slightly different. You will have to complete two 2.4km runs (1.5 miles) each with the treadmill set at a 2% incline.

To pass you will need to do the first run in under 12 minutes 30 seconds. Then complete the second 2.4km run immediately afterwards in less than 10 minutes – regardless of your age.

Admiralty Interview Board (AIB)


Want to become a Royal Navy officer? Then you will need to attend the two day Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) at HMS Sultan in Hampshire and show us that you’ve got what it takes – both mentally and physically.

The tests are designed to assess whether you have the qualities needed to successfully become an officer once you’ve completed your training.


Find out about Life as an Royal Navy Officer

Pre Royal Navy Course


If you’ve applied to join the Royal Navy as a Rating and have passed our recruit test, fitness test, medical and interview, you will need to attend a four-day induction course. This will allow you to sample life in the Royal Navy and confirm that you are ready for entry.

The course runs at our Acquaint Centres in two locations: HMS Collingwood in Hampshire and MOD Caledonia in Rosyth. 

The course is designed to give you an introduction to life and work in the Royal Navy, including:

  • Our initial training programme for Ratings at HMS Raleigh
  • Our ethos and values
  • Kit, drill, discipline, teamwork and personal responsibilities
  • The working environment of a surface warship or submarine
  • Fitness standards and healthy living
  • Weapon handling

You will also have to successfully complete two fitness tests:

  • A 2.4km run completed on a track within specific times
  • Swim 50 metres in under four minutes wearing a swimming costume without touching the bottom or sides of the pool. You must enter and exit the pool unaided and without using steps

You must pass these tests to confirm you are ready to enter the Royal Navy. At the same time it's an opportunity for you to experience life in the Royal Navy and be sure you're ready for the challenges ahead. Once you've passed, you'll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh.

Get fit to join

If you’re thinking of joining the Royal Navy you’ll need to make sure you’re in great shape – and have the strength and stamina to survive, and make the most of, basic training. To help you get ready, we’ve put together a fitness programme which will get you in the zone.

    Find out more


    Everyone joining the Royal Navy has to meet some basic entry requirements. These differ depending on the service you’d like to join, whether you want to be an officer or a rating – and whether you’d like to be a full time regular or a spare time Reserve. See if you’re eligible to join.

      Find Out More

      Initial training

      Now the real work begins with basic training at either HMS Raleigh or Britannia Royal Naval College. Have you got what it takes to make it through and join the ranks?

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