How To Join The Royal Air Force (RAF)

Filed in Article, Jobs by on June 1, 2022 0 Comments

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom’s air and space force that was formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, becoming the first independent air force in the world, and has since taken a significant place in the British force.

The mission of the RAF includes supporting the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence against terrorism and providing an agile, adaptable and capable Air Force and a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission.

How To Apply

You could apply directly to join the RAF but you’ll need:

  • At least 3 GCSEs grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths, and a science for some roles
  • To be over 16 years old – upper age limit varies depending on the role
  • To be physically fit

Registration & Application

The application process included;

  • Online application
  • Selection test
  • Armed forces careers office interview
  • Medical and fitness assessments
  • Pre-recruit training

The first stage of the RAF recruitment process is to register your interest and submit your application. You can find details of your nearest Armed Forces RAF Careers Office by visiting the Royal Air Force website

You aren’t under obligation except your contract is signed.


You’ll have to write the Airman/Airwoman Selection Test or AST after your application.  This test usually consists of a number of different aptitude tests, which are designed to assess which careers in the RAF you are most suitable for.

The AST consists of seven timed multiple-choice aptitude tests which are as follows:

  • A verbal reasoning test (15 minutes to answer 20 questions);
  • Two numerical reasoning tests (one being 4 minutes to answer 12 questions, the second test 11 minutes to answer 15 questions);
  • A work rate test (4 minutes to answer 20 questions);
  • A spatial reasoning test (4 minutes to answer 10 questions);
  • A mechanical comprehension test (10 minutes to answer 20 questions);
  • An electrical comprehension test (11 minutes to answer 21 questions)
  • A memory test (10 minutes to answer 20 questions).

You will only need to undergo this stage once you’ve made it pass the AST test and this stage involves an interview at the Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO).

The questions that will be asked during the interview will fall along the lines of;

  • The reasons for joining the RAF;
  • Your motivations for joining and the level of preparation you have carried out;
  • What you already know about the RAF, how it operates, it’s equipment, Squadrons, where it is serving right now and also it’s history;
  • Why you have chosen your particular role.

The next stage in the selection process is a medical and fitness test.

The medical assessment will look at your overall health, but will pay particular attention to your hearing, eyesight and BMI. You will also be asked about any previous illnesses and you will be screened for any underlying health issues which may prevent you from carrying out your role.

The RAF fitness test consists of the three following elements:

  • Push-up test
  • Sit-up test
  • Complete a 2.4km run
  • Police Selection Process Stage 4 Fitness and Medical Tests
  • Raf pre-recruit training

The final stage of the selection process is to pass the Pre-Recruit Training. The idea of this is to get new recruits aware of the basic training and this will take place over three days at RAF Halton and will consist of the following:

You will need to undertake further fitness assessments to ensure you have maintained your fitness levels from your initial fitness assessment.

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