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Defence Force Recruiting

The Alternative Education Equivalency Scheme (AEES) is an alternative pathway for some Australian Defence Force candidates who don't have evidence of their educational achievements.

Do I need to complete the AEES tests?

You may sit this test if you:

  • are eligible in all other areas, and
  • do not possess evidence of the required education standard, or
  • do not have the required education standard for a specific Defence Force Recruiting employment category, and
  • are able to demonstrate two (2) years of relevant work / life experience and skills post completion of school.

How to apply

If you are interested in joining the Australian Defence Force, visit the Defence Force Recruiting website or call 13 19 01.

As part of the recruitment process, Defence Force Recruiting will assess your education and determine if you need to complete the tests then book you into a test session. You can't book a test directly through VETASSESS.

Once you are booked into a test session, we will send you:

  • confirmation letter with the test session details
  • candidate preparation kit
  • candidate voucher
  • practice test for each test you are booked to sit.


Test Schedule

The upcoming test session dates are listed on the Test Schedule page.

Test Venue Locations

A map of Australia showing the test venues is provided on the Test venue locations page.

Examination locations too far away?

Candidates who live more than 100 kilometres away from the test venues shown may be eligible to complete the AEES tests within their local community.

Candidates who complete the AEES tests at a non-established venue (within their local community) must pay for any venue hire and supervisor costs.

If this applies to you, here is the Candidate Information (252KB pdf) we will send you once your booking has been made by Defence Force Recruiting.

Candidate preparation kit

Download the Candidate Preparation Kit for the year level of the tests you need to sit:

If you are booked to sit either the Year 10 or Year 12 Advanced Mathematics test, download both the Candidate Preparation Kit and the Advanced Mathematics supplement.


Format of the AEES tests

You may be required to complete one or more tests at either Year 10 or Year 12 level and will generally be booked to complete the required tests at one test session.

Tests Time allowed Items
Year 10
Year 12
multiple choice – reading, comprehension & language
English written expression task

30 minutes

30 minutes


1 task


1 task
General Mathematics
multiple choice

(not applicable to Technical Trades)

30 minutes


Advanced Mathematics - Year 10
multiple choice

30 minutes


Advanced Mathematics - Year 12
extended response

30 minutes x 3 test components (1.5 hours in total)


11 items x 3 test components (33 items in total)
multiple choice

30 minutes




Types of questions in the tests

Below are the topics that are tested within each test.


  • Reading & comprehension
  • Writing
  • Language structure and use
  • English written expression task

General Mathematics:

  • Space
  • Number
  • Measurement
  • Chance & data
  • Algebra
  • Reasoning & strategies

Year 10 Advanced Mathematics:

  • Basic arithmetic and algebra
  • Real numbers
  • Ratio & proportion
  • Patterns & algebra
  • Linear & non-linear relationships
  • Measurement
  • Geometric reasoning
  • Pythagoras & trigonometry
  • Chance
  • Data representation & Interpretation

Year 12 Advanced Mathematics:

The questions in this test are based on the Year 12 New South Wales Mathematics 2 Unit curriculum. You can download the 'Year 12 New South Wales Mathematics 2/3 Unit Years 11-12 Syllabus' (373KB pdf). (Please refer to the '2 Unit' content only)

Further information, including HSC exam papers, is available from the 'Board of Studies New South Wales' website at:

The topic areas covered in the test are:

  • Basic arithmetic and algebra
  • Real functions
  • Linear functions
  • The quadratic polynomial and the parabola
  • Plane geometry - geometrical properties
  • Tangent to a curve and derivative of a function
  • Coordinate methods in geometry
  • Applications of geometrical properties
  • Geometrical applications of differentiation
  • Integration
  • Trigonometric functions (including applications of trigonometric ratios)
  • Logarithmic and exponential functions
  • Applications of calculus to the physical world
  • Probability
  • Series and series applications


  • Physics: balance, pressure, frequency, speed, force, reflection, circuits, efficiency, pulleys, energy and springs
  • Chemistry: solubility/reactivity, indicators, solids, equilibrium, elements
  • Biology: classify, populations, photosynthesis
  • Environmental science: salinity/soil HP, species
  • Earth and space: humidity, planets
  • Thinking scientifically


Preparing for the test

There are a number of resources we recommend including books, sample questions and study tips.

Full information to help you prepare is provided on the Preparing for the test page.

Reference Materials

We suggest you access books from your local library or consider using a tutor from within your local community.

There are many relevant text books available across Australia that would provide suitable reference material for each test. Download a list of suggested text books:

These text books and many other relevant books not listed can be reviewed and ordered through the corresponding publisher website:

Sample questions

There are some sample questions to help you prepare for each test but they do not necessarily cover the full range of topics or question difficulty.


Practice tests

A Practice test for each test you are booked to sit will be sent from VETASSESS with the Candidate Preparation Kit.

You can also download these Practice tests below:

If you are booked to sit the Year 12 Advanced Mathematics test, download all three Practice Test components (Part A, Part B & Part C).

Each Practice test has the same number of questions as the final test. For an accurate result, follow the instructions at the front of the Practice test and time yourself so it's similar to the final test conditions.

After you finish the Practice test, use the Answer Key provided to check your answers. The topics on the Answer Key can give you an indication of areas you can improve.

The score on the Practice test is an indication only of how you may perform on the final test.

The Practice test score cannot be used in place of sitting the final test.


Important Information about your Test Attempts:

  • You have 92 days to complete a Test Attempt. You will be given two Test Attempts per subject
  • If you do not sit the test/s within the 92 day Test Attempt period, you forfeit the Test Attempt and this counts as one of your Test Attempts
  • You will be given a further 92 day period to complete a second Test Attempt.

Confirming / cancelling the test booking

If you can't attend the test session, call Defence Force Recruiting on 13 19 02 or VETASSESS on 03 9655 4804 to cancel or change your booking.

You are required to confirm you are attending the test session booked for you. On receipt of a text message or email from VETASSESS, please reply to confirm or cancel your testing.

Please take note of your 'Test Attempt expiry date/s'.

If you need to reschedule the test date, VETASSESS will attempt to book you into the next available test session at the same test venue but cannot guarantee there will be another test date available during the 92 day Test Attempt period. If your testing cannot be rebooked within this 92 day Test Attempt period, you will forfeit this Test Attempt. This will count as one of your Test Attempts.

Attending the test session

On the day of the AEES tests, you must present at the test venue at the time specified in the confirmation letter received from VETASSESS.

When you arrive at the test venue on the day, you must register before the test session.

What to bring

You must bring the following:

  • Candidate Voucher (sent from VETASSESS)
  • One form of photo identification (can include driver's licence, learner's permit, boat licence, passport, student ID card, employment ID card, proof of age card or other identification with a photograph that shows your full name)

If you do not have photographic identification, call VETASSESS on 03 9655 4804.

Please note: you will NOT be admitted to the test room without the above items


You will need to bring:

  • stationery: pens, 2B pencils, soft eraser, sharpener
  • calculator: silent, battery-operated, non-programmable scientific calculator (for use in the Mathematics and Science tests only)
  • ruler (for use in the Year 12 Advanced Mathematics test only)
  • bottled water (recommended)

Please note:

  • mobile phones with calculator functionality and CAS/graphics calculators are not permitted
  • you will not be permitted to borrow a calculator from another candidate after entering the test room
  • it is your responsibility to ensure the calculator is in good working order
  • we recommend you take extra batteries to the test session
  • spare calculators and spare batteries will not be available at the test session

More information about what to expect and what to bring to the test session is provided on the Sitting the test page.



VETASSESS will report your results back to Defence Force Recruiting.

You need to contact Defence Force Recruiting on 13 19 02 for these results, as they will not be available through the test venue or VETASSESS.

Defence Force Recruiting will advise you of your results and the next steps in the process.

More information

    View printable version

Need help?

  • FAQs
  • Call Defence Force Recruiting on 13 19 02

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