Before I start writing on the topic, I must mention here that I have been thrice through the Pakistan Army’s initial tests and ISSB. Unfortunately, I got thrice not recommended by the ISSB. However, in all three attempts, I successfully got through the initial test phases.
So, here, I will explain what the Pakistan Army’s initial test for the PMA Long Course and Graduate Course is all about. Moreover, how you can prepare for it to join Pakistan Army.
The Initial Test for PMA Long Course as well as the Graduate Course is similar.
Phases of Initial Tests for PMA Long Course or Graduate Course
Basically, the initial tests are divided into four phases.
- Online Tests
- Physical Test
- Medical Tests
1) Online Tests
Once you have registered for the long course or graduate course, you will be called for the initial test at any of the Army Selection and Recruitment Centers of your own choice.
You will be asked to bring the academic mark sheets/DMCs and Degrees/Certificates along with you. Without these documents, they will not allow you to sit in the exam.
All your documents would be stamped by the staff before the start of the online test. After getting your documents stamped, you will have to deposit a nominal registration fee at the center.
Done with these stages, now you will be called for online tests (the first phase).
Three Phases of the Online Test
Basically, the online test is comprised of three phases:
- Verbal Test
- Non-verbal Test
- Academic Test
The verbal and non-verbal tests basically fall under the category of intelligence tests. This test would be MCQ-based. You will be asked to tick the suitable option among others based on your analytical abilities and intelligence.
There will be around 96 questions in each category of the intelligence test. The passing criteria are so relaxed that even an average person like me can clear that easily in consecutive three attempts without prior preparation.
After you are done with the intelligence portion, you will be left with the last stage of online tests, i.e. Academic Portion.
In the academic phase, there will be 50 questions in total and passing criteria is again so relaxed that I guess (based on personal experience), but without any solid evidence or resource, if you somehow manage to answer 25 out of 50 questions correctly, you will pass the test.
The academic test consists of basic English Grammar, General Knowledge, General Science, and Islamiat.
Once you are done with all three phases of the online test, you will click finish. BOOM! Your result will be on your computer screen without any delay.
The failed candidates will be bidden farewell. The successful candidates will get their slips stamped and will be called for the ‘physical and medical examination’ early morning, the very next day.
2) Physical Tests
The next day, in the early hours, your physical exam will begin. In the first phase, you will be asked to complete a 1.6 km long run in just around 7 minutes.
All the candidates will be arranged in groups and with a whistle, you will start running.
You must be physically fit for this exam. Training is the key!
The only quick tip I can provide is to run at a moderate pace. You must neither walk nor run fast. If you stopped somewhere in between the track, you won’t be again able to muster the strength and energy to run again.
So just keep running at your own moderate pace. Don’t compete with others. Reserve some energy to make a shoot in the end if you are left with a small amount of time.
If you successfully completed the circle in time, then your next phase would be 12 push-ups and 15 sit-ups along with 3 chin-ups and ditch crossing.
The failed candidates in any of the physical test phases will be given some time to train themselves and appear again.
3) Medical Tests
Once you are done with the physical phase, the next phase will be the ‘medical exam’. In this phase, your height, weight, and chest size will be measured. Your eyesight will be tested. Knee-knocking and flat-foot issues will be checked.
On a lighter note, at one point during the medical examination, you will be asked to stand fully naked in front of the medical staff. (I have no idea what they look for by doing this *Period*)
In case, any sort of medical issue is found, you will be referred to the MH or CMH for clearance.
The under-chest, under-weight, or over-weight cases will be given time to improve and reappear.
Once you’re done with all the phases of the medical examination, you will be given a form to fill out and submit for the next-day interview.
Remember! Whatever you will mention in the interview form, most probably you will be asked in the interview. So better remember all the inputs you provide in the form or be honest, atleast!
4) The Interview | The Final Phase of the Initial Tests
For the interview, you must wear a formal and neat dress. Your shoes must be well-polished. Get a haircut and become a gentleman before you appear for an interview.
It is a myth that they test your knowledge in the interview. The only thing that is checked in the interview is your confidence and overall personality. Stay confident and cool even if you are unable to answer even a single question. Don’t lie or bluff.
The successful candidates will be given ISSB forms. Hence, your initial test phase ends here!