But what exactly is the SIT test you might be wondering?
Fortunately, the topic for today will be just that! Based on my personal experience and the stories of others, I hope that I will be able to give you a greater insight into what the SIT test is and what you can possibly expect from it.
Without further ado, let’s get right to it!
What is the SIT test in NS?
The term “SIT test” is actually an abbreviated form of the full name – “Situational Test“. Based on the expanded term, you can probably infer that the “Situational Test” has something to do with an assessment taking place in a specific situation or scenario.
And you would be right!
So yeah, you can just imagine it just like a mini-golf course but replacing the different golf stations with military instalments. At each of these instalments, the members of your team will be assessed by external evaluators.
Going further in-depth
As mentioned above “members of your team will be assessed by external evaluators”. Now you might then be wondering, “Where does this team come from?”
The answer to this question is that, before the SIT test happens, you will be assigned to your respective teams. The team that you will be assigned to is completely random and the assortment will take place on a company level.
As the army terminologies do sometimes get quite confusing, let me briefly break down the level of organization within a single BMT company so it’s clearer for you. The level of organisation goes something like this:
|Term||Level of Organization|
|Company||3rd level of organization|
|Platoon||2nd level of organization|
|Section||1st or base level of organization|
So within a company, each of you will belong to a single section – which usually consists of around 20-ish recruits. From there, multiple sections will make up a single platoon and multiple platoons make up the company.
Getting back on track with the topic of the SIT test, as such, more than likely, you will be unfamiliar with your various team members. That definitely is a challenge that you will have to overcome – working together with people that you do not know.
If my memory serves me well, these questions will put you into a specific mission scenario. And from there, you will be tasked to go about planning the mission based on the information provided within the booklet.
This portion of SIT test is timed so quick-thinking is definitely key for this.
The final thing that will take place before the commencement of your station evaluations, is a knot tying lesson. For this portion, the evaluators will go through with your team different types of knots, which will come in handy during the various stations.
If you’re really bad with knots like I was, my suggestion is to make sure that you remember, at a bare minimum, the clove hitch knot. Based on my experience, this knot can literally be applied in any station, being extremely universal.
Disclaimer: As the SIT test is run by different evaluators for each batch, there may be slight differences in the entire process that you experience.
As the missions themselves are confidential, I will unfortunately not be able to share the exact specifics of each station. However, I will still try to provide an as in-depth as possible look into the SIT test.
So beginning with the teams, within your group, you will be paired up with a random individual. This partner will be the person that you will be assessed with during your station.
As mentioned you will be assessed alongside a partner, so during the station that you are tasked to lead, one of you will take up the IC role and the other the 2IC role. The IC role typically denotes the “primary” leader and the 2IC denotes the “assistant” leader.
However, definitely do not let the role that you hold hinder what you do. Do your best to lead the team be it whether you are the 2IC or the IC!
Don’t just follow and agree with the IC if you’re the 2IC, but instead still try to give ideas as much as possible and lead your team too. After all, in the end, both of you will be evaluated based on your leadership qualities and I would guess you’d want to be fairly evaluated too!
Moving on to the stations, fortunately, the assessors won’t be throwing you blindly into a scenario and asking you to figure out what to do. Instead, they will usually provide the scope and objective of the mission and also miscellaneous information that you might need to know.
Miscellaneous information includes:
- Items you may have at your disposal
- The number of casualties that you may have in the scenario
Each station is timed, so you won’t have the luxury to sit around and try to slowly think out what to do. Instead, you will have to think on your feet and also adapt quickly to any additional prompts given by the assessor during your station.
Ultimately, the objective of each station is to assess your leadership capabilities. Whether or not you successfully complete the mission doesn’t really matter.
End of SIT test – Peer Appraisal
Before the official end of the SIT test, there will be one final thing that you will be tasked to do – a Peer Appraisal.
Peer appraisal does have a slight weightage in determining if you will be selected to go to command school.
As such, do try your best to get along with and work well with your teammates!
Who will be assessing me for the SIT test?
Third-party assessors will be in charge of the evaluation for the SIT test. This is to ensure that the assessment comes from a neutral standpoint, reducing the chance of biases influencing evaluation.
As such, this will ensure that all recruits have an equal and fair opportunity to do well in the SIT test.
These evaluators can come from different branches of the military. In fact, all of my assessors were actually NS-men and not regulars – which you would probably expect instead.
There was a thread on hardwarezone.sg, where someone shared that they were posted to the Defense Psychology Department as an SIT test administrator. Having said that, as the thread was posted back in 2013, I’m not too sure if it still holds to this day.
The ranks that the assessors hold do come from all around – from Warrant Officers to Captains but consisting of even Corporal or Corporal First Class too.
Will knots be tested during the SIT test?
Fortunately, for those of you who are bad with knots, you will be elated to hear that you won’t be tested on knots during the SIT test. This means that they won’t line you up and ask you to tie all the various knots that they taught.
As I have suggested above, do at least learn how to tie a clove hitch knot as it really does make your life easier!
Is the SIT test important?
The importance of the SIT test does boil down to you, ultimately depending on whether you want to go to command school or not.
I personally didn’t have any interest in going to command school so the SIT test didn’t hold any importance or significance to me. As such, I took just like any other exercise and wasn’t too fussed about it.
However, if you do want to get into OCS or SCS, then the SIT test is extremely important for you. It will be one of the deciding factors that determine your eligibility to either so you should try your best to lead and stand out from the rest – especially if you want to get into OCS.
What are some tips for the SIT test?
Here are some tips that may help you if you’re looking to try to ace your SIT test.
#1 Be flexible and ready to adapt to changes
Being a good leader during the SIT test is not only about being able to come up with a good plan but also being able to adapt to any additional prompts thrown your way.
Additional prompts can include:
- Sudden casualties – where a certain number of teammates are “injured” and no longer allowed to help out but become a casualty that must be taken care of
- Enemy reinforcements inbound – where your time limit suddenly decreases such as going from 10 mins remaining to just 5 mins
- Loss of equipment – where some of your equipment is no longer useable
As such, do keep on your toes and be ready to adapt your plan if need be!
#2 Be open to listening to your teammates
Even though you might be the leader of a specific station, do still try your best to listen to the suggestions that your other teammates might have.
Considering that peer evaluation does also play a role in determining if you get into command school, building a good rapport with your teammates wouldn’t be a bad idea!
#3 Staying calm
This is arguably the most important point in my opinion – staying calm. Stressing out is a recipe for disaster in many real-life scenarios, and this follows true even during the SIT test.
After all, the purpose of the SIT test is to evaluate your ability to lead – even under stressful scenarios. As such, do try your best to keep level-headed and take things a step at a time – but obviously not at a snail’s pace.
The reason why I know this is that I ironically, did the exact opposite of this during my evaluation. My station involved defusing a bomb on a bridge and I, unfortunately, had let my nerves get the best of me.
I vividly remember panicking from the get-go when the evaluator suddenly threw a bunch of information at me. I froze up and my mind went completely blank because I was just trying too hard to process everything at once.
And this only got worse whenever he threw additional prompts my way or when someone asked me a question.
Needless to say, my partner and I completely failed the mission and the bomb “blew up”.
Luckily for us, we were both not looking to get into command school so it didn’t really matter much. And as such, this is why I would stress the importance of keeping level-headed and trying to take things systematically.
And this story then ties into my last and final tip.
#4 Work together with your partner
I personally feel like each of the stations are designed to force teamwork between pairs. Often, a lot of information is provided at the start and attempting to remember it all alone is probably not the best idea.
As such, do try to work with your partner so that the information articulated, doesn’t overwhelm either of you, allowing you both to stay calm. And as you know, staying calm will help you think and communicate better.
To wrap this up, I hope that this article has given you a brief insight into what to expect during your upcoming SIT test. Even though it might get quite stressful, it is probably still one of the easier BMT activities at the same time!
As such, I have absolute trust that you will be able to ace your SIT test as long as you put your mind to it. Do your best and stay calm and be confident in yourself!
And always remember, “Teamwork makes the dream work”.
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