Central Selection


Central Selection Overview

Central Selection follows Regional Selection and we will call you forward in groups. West will be called forward first, followed by the East. It is very important you check this website so you know which day you must arrive.

We will be calling forward 290 Potential Recruits from the West and 290 Potential Recruits from the East. From this we will enlist the best 320. These numbers could change and we will update the website if it does.

For Singapore Police candidates, we will be calling forward 100 Potential recruits from the West and 100 for the East. From this we will enlist the best 120. Again, these numbers could change and we will adapt the website if it does.

Central Selection takes place in British Gurkhas Pokhara

Dates and further information


  • 03 January – 02 February 2019

Central Selection is very competitive. Your first 3 days will be spent undergoing a thorough medical examination. This will be followed by physical and education tests which are highlighted on this website. If you pass all of these tests, we will call you forward for an interview. You must prepare yourself properly and use the training programmes and advice on this page to help you.

If you make it through to the interview stage of Central Selection and you do not get enlisted, it is because you have not performed well enough over all. You might have passed everything but you simply have not scored highly enough.

If you have made it to Central Selection, you have already done very well so congratulations. We want all of you to perform at your best so prepare hard, be yourself and show us that you have what it takes to be a Gurkha.

Physical Tests

If you follow our 3 month PT training programme for central selection, available as a download at the bottom of this webpage, you should be able to meet the requirements stated below. 

However, the British Army and Singapore Police make no guarantees of success. You will be judged against your peers. The tests below are either best effort or pass/fail tests. For a pass/fail test, you only need to reach the minimum required standard.

For a best effort test, you must get the highest score possible to increase your overall score in Gurkha Selection.

  • Personal fitness assessment run in at least 9 minutes and 40 seconds (best effort required).

  • At least 70 sit-ups in 2 minutues (but best effort required).

  • 12 underarm heaves (best effort required). Singapore Police must do overarm heaves.

  • 1 lift 40kg powerbag lift (Minimum standard only pass/fail test). This is not applicable for the Singapore Police.

  • 2 x 20 litre jerry can carry for 150 metres (Minimum standard only pass/fail test). This is not applicable for the Singapore Police.

  • Doko race carrying 25kg over 4.8km with an incline of 500 metres in 46 minutes (best effort required).

Education Tests

At Central Selection candidates will sit four English assessments: Speaking, Listening, Writing and Reading.  There is no maths assessment.

  • The English assessments are designed to specifically test the candidates Functional Skills at Entry 2 in writing and reading and Entry 3 in speaking and listening.
  • When answering questions, candidates must read the questions carefully before answering.  Providing too little, or even too much information does not show that the candidate has fully understood the question.  This is particularly relevant to the listening and reading assessments.
  • The literacy requirements are in line with wider army recruiting.  Further information relating to these standards can be found in the “Adult Literacy Core Curriculum”.


If you have passed Regional Selection, you will have some idea of how to conduct yourself at interview.

Everyone who turns up to Central Selection will have been considered to have potential for the British Army.

Getting into the Gurkhas will be life changing for you and your family. We will pay you, house you and feed you. At the end of your service you will be entitled to live in the UK with free healthcare and a good pension. Therefore, we have to ensure that we are selecting the right people and this is the purpose of the interview.

It is possible to pass the interview but still not get in. This is because others have done better than you. At the same time, you may have very good education and physical results, but if we think that you do not have the correct personality or character for military service, you are unlikely to get in.

At Central Selection, there will be two interview panels with three people on each.

Each will be chaired by a Major and he will have two other board members. There will be both British and Nepali serving Officers.

The interview will be in Nepali only. 

The board members have years of experience serving with Gurkhas in many countries, on operations and in barracks. They know what makes a good Gurkha soldier so you must trust their experience.


15 minutes before your interview, you will be asked to prepare a 5 minute presentation about yourself answering key questions. We will give you a 1 minute warning when you reach 4 minutes.

After this, the interview panel will ask you questions and grade you on the following categories:

  • Your 5 minute presentation and communication 
  • Courage and Discipline
  • Integrity and Loyalty
  • Respect for Others and Selfless Commitment
  • Military awareness and suitability
  • Motivation for joining and preparation

See our Dos and Don't guide download at the bottom of this webpage.