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Spotlight on… UKCAT Situational Judgement Test

UKCAT situational judgement test tips and preparation
The situational judgement subtest is a very different subtest to the others in your UKCAT. For one thing it is a psychometric test rather than an aptitude test. For another, it is scored differently than the other subtests - in bands rather than out of 900. And finally, many universities consider lightly, if at all. You can read more about what the situational judgement subtest measures on our dedicated blog. In this blog post we discuss what is it that the situational judgement subtest adds to the UKCAT.

What does situational judgement add to the UKCAT?

The ability to judge a situation quickly and effectively and choose the appropriate course of action is an important skill in any doctor. The situational judgement test will measure your professionalism in difficult situations, and how well you apply medical ethics to real life situations. 

As you progress through your career, emphasis will be placed on the softer side of being a doctor - how you speak to patients, your empathy, and attitude. The situational judgement test provides an opportunity to get a glimpse at your softer skills at a very early stage. Read more about the key domains of the situational judgement test on our website. 

Example situational judgement question

The following question is an example of the type of scenario you may be presented with in a situational judgement test. In the test you will be given a statement such as “the student speaks up and says that he disagrees”, and given four options to assess the appropriateness of the action. Take a moment to think about what you think is an appropriate action in this case. 

A student is assisting a clinician on a case of a patient suffering from acute abdominal pain. After reviewing all the medical tests, the junior doctor concludes that the patient can be discharged home as all his tests indicate that he is in good health and he is probably just suffering from a stomach virus. The student believes that this is not the case as he has spent more time with the patient and feels that the severity of the patient's pain indicates a more serious condition.

Why should I prepare for the situational judgement subtest?

This may the first time you come across a situational judgement test during your medical career, but it is certainly not the last. Situational judgement tests are used during medical school exams, in the selection of foundation doctors, GPs, and in some medical specialities. So the sooner you learn how to crack them the better.

The situational judgement subtest is based on a set of competencies and medical ethics principles. You need to be familiar with them ahead of the test. Our UKCAT situational judgement practice questions are designed around these competencies and principles, enabling you to build your familiarity with how they work in practical situations. The more you practice putting yourself in these situations, the easier it will be in the test itself to slip into character.

Learn more about ACER Mechanical Reasoning Test

ACER Mechanical Reasoning style Test
Are you required take the ACER Mechanical Reasoning test (MRT)? Learn about the ACER-MRT at JobTestPrep, where you will be guided through the testing process and be given relevant practice resources.

The purposes of the ACER-MRT: 

  • Assessment of mechanical reasoning ability, which is viewed as essential for various positions. The test is used for the screening of apprentices, trainees and recruits for technical and trade personnel, and other mechanically-oriented positions.
  • Individual counseling for high school graduates and mature career changers, wish pursue occupations requiring mechanical abilities. 
This article is from a series about ACER aptitude tests.

Test Format & Content

The ACER-MRT consists of 42 questions with a 20-minute time allotment and can be administered on paper or online. Every question includes a simple pen-and-ink illustration and multiple answer choices.

The ACER-MRT does not measure any previous knowledge in mechanics or reading ability. It measures specifically your mechanical aptitude: understanding the relations between mechanical components and visualizing spatial movements. Only a very basic familiarity with physical and mechanical principles is required.

Topics discussed in the test are:
  • wheels
  • gears
  • clamps
  • levers
  • sliding rods
  • shafts
  • pulleys
  • weights
  • conveyor belts
  • fixed and non-fixed pivots
  • springs

Prepare Online

JobTestPrep’s mechanical reasoning practice pack covers the topics seen on the actual ACER test. The practice tests can be taken in real-time simulation mode (reflect similar test conditions) or step-by-step mode. Practice tests include answers and in-depth explanations. Take a free mechanical test with answers.

ACER and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website.

Top Tips on Preparing for the EPSO Computer Based Tests

Attending an EPSO Computer Based Test (CBT) is a daunting task for most. Apart from actually finding an appropriate site in one of the many testing centres around Europe, you have to work out how to get there as well, bearing in mind that this part of the EPSO application is not refunded back to you. And this is before you even start taking the tests! In this blog we will go through what you can expect at the CBT test and how best you can prepare for it.

EPSO Computer-Based Tests Preparation

Unlike regular computer based tests for job positions that are taken over the internet, the EPSO computer based tests are taken at a Prometric testing centre. The lengths that Prometric go use to ensure that it is solely you who takes the tests are highly unusual. It is almost like checking in at the airport in some cases. We will go through them below but it is important to just grin and bear it. The EPSO CBT is a hard set of tests that you need your full attention for. Don't waste energy being offended by the steps that you have to endure before you get to the testing room. In fact, if possible try to view it as a reassurance that if you have fully prepared for the epso tests, you will be rewarded because you will know that no-one else could have cheated the system in any way.

EPSO Exams Preparation: Some rules of the CBT testing centre

Knowing how to prepare to prepare for the the EPSO computer based tests is important as it will save you time and give you the best chance of success. Here are some of the rules and regulations that are in force when attending the EPSO computer based tests:
  • You must ensure that you bring the correct form of identification. This is normally your passport, ID card or driving licence.
  • You are not allowed to talk to any other candidates or look at their screens.
  • You are given a locker to store all your belongings; this means everything including your phone and hanging jewellery.
  • You will be scanned with a metal detector wand prior to every time you enter the testing room.
  • You are not allowed to bring anything into the EPSO CBT testing room. 
  • You will be monitored the entire time you are at the testing centre.
In short, be prepared for anything that you may feel impinges on your personal freedom, the rules are there to stop anyone from cheating and you can feel assured that no one will be.

Preparing your mind

It has been said that aptitude level cannot be increased. However, research has shown that preparation for psychometric and aptitude tests increases performance and allows you to show your real skill level. In order to demonstrate your aptitude level, you need to know what is coming and have the tools in place so you can show your skills and demonstrate your aptitude level in the EPSO tests. Hence the most important tip before taking the EPSO tests is to practice ones that are similar in nature and difficulty. Further tips include:
  • Know the test: By knowing how many times a text or table appears in the test you can spend a bit more time understanding it more fully so that you will answer the second and third question more quickly. For example, in both the numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning test it isn’t uncommon for there to be four separate questions for one table. There are other aspects to these tests including the amount of time you can spend on each question, the best way to answer them and how to approach the CBT to ensure you do yourself justice. Check out the EPSO AD and AST computer based test pages to gain vital information on them.
  • Try to relax: Yes, it’s hard when you feel this way when you feel that your whole future is at stake but if you can take the EPSO computer-based tests when you are in a relaxed state you will perform better. Hence try as best you can to relax before the tests and don’t be intimidated by what you are about to do.
  • Don't over cram before your EPSO test: Some of the concepts that you will encounter are different to your normal way of thinking. Knowing each of these methods before by taking practice tests slowly and carefully, ensuring that you are fully cognisant of the question and the correct method of answering is the way to prepare. By trying to “stuff” your brain with information you can confuse yourself and end up not doing your abilities justice.
  • Practice and practice some more: Almost everything that you do is bettered by practice. Practice gives you understanding and confidence as well. The more you practice the better you will perform. FACT!

Preparing your body

Apart from practicing and preparing for these tests, you also have to prepare to ensure you are giving your best performance on the day. Therefore make sure that you are well rested before taking the EPSO computer-based tests. Moreover, good organisation goes a long way to be fully prepared. Some other important things to remember include:

  • Make sure you know where the centre is. This may seem obvious but often the testing centres are tucked away in difficult to find places. Therefore make sure you know exactly where you are going, use google street view to give yourself a feel of the place and guarantee that you arrive at least 10 minutes before you need to be there.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. It refreshes your mind and allows you to think more clearly.
  • Make sure you know the rules of the EPSO CBT testing centre. You will be asked to provide ID as well as the other rules mentioned above.
  • Use what you have. At the testing centre you will be given materials that you can use to assist you in answering the questions. Use them! They help you avoid mistakes and can also focus your mind more easily. Often people make silly mistakes in the numerical reasoning tests simply because they haven’t rounded something up correctly or put the decimal in the wrong place. By using the equipment that you have been given, you will almost definitely avoid these pitfalls.

Keeping the goal in mind

One of the best ways to deal with the stress of the EPSO tests is to remember what you are aiming for. Keeping your goals in mind is a powerful tool and allows you to focus and stay motivated to the cause. Here are some of the benefits and reasons why so many people apply to work for the European Union:
  • Working in a multicultural environment.
  • Job security.
  • Have a say in the future of life in the European Union.
  • Living in Brussels or Luxembourg.
  • Working in a dynamic environment.
  • Continual learning.
  • Get a feel of what’s really going on in European life.

The JobTestPrep Choice

Here at JobTestPrep we have helped thousands of potentially successful applicants succeed in their respective psychometric tests. We hope you have enjoyed this blog and look forward to helping you on your journey to the EPSO reserve list.

Spotlight on… UKCAT Decision Analysis Test

Focus on the decision analysis subtestThe UKCAT decision analysis subtest is considered by many to be the easiest subtest, and in 2013 this definitely appeared to be the case as average marks soared to 771. In 2014, the UKCAT consortium have made an effort to bring DA scores back inline, with a reduction in the time allocated to the test, and more challenging questions. In this spotlight blog, we will look at some of the ways to approach this test. 

Why decision analysis?

Decision analysis is a different type of test to the subtests before it. In this test you are being asked to analyse a lot of information quickly, and to decode a message which is given to you in a different form. These are key skills as a doctor, as you may not always be given information in a clear and straightforward manner. You may find that you need to make informed decisions based on the information given to you. 

In an added twist, you are asked to give a confidence rating stating how confident you were when giving your response. Be honest with this, and if you found it difficult to come to answer, reflect that in your confidence rating. The last thing you want is to claim you were supremely confident in a wrong answer. 

What is different in the UKCAT 2014?

The 2014 DA subtest is two minutes shorter than last year, with 31 minutes to finish the test. This allows just over 1 minute per question. Early takers this summer have already said they have found the test harder, with longer codes, more code to word combinations, and more complicated codes. 

This year more than ever before it is important that you have a sound solving strategy. See our 2013 DA blog about the techniques available and how to use them in the test. 

Decision analysis codes

As you know, the test is all about the codes. Here we discuss some tips to remember to help you answer the questions every time. 
  • The DA subtest contains just one scenario. Before you start answering questions take a good look at the code to make sure you know the types of words included. 
  • Some of the words in the code may have multiple meanings, and any of these meanings may be used in a sentence. Try to think of all meanings for words, as well as whether any of the words they are linked to change the meaning.
  • Some words in the code will change the meaning of another word if they are attached to them. For example increase or more may mean plural word, so “increase-personal” would mean the first person plural - we, our, ours. 

Practice, practice, practice!

The best advice for the decision analysis subtest is simply to take practice tests and prepare fully. This test requires you to be able to take multiple pieces of information and infer the correct answers from them. You need to be organised to work quickly and efficiently through each piece of code. Practice will help you identify the best way to organise yourself.

Our UKCAT preparation packs contain four decision analysis tests as well as further solving strategies, to ensure that you go into your exam relaxed and prepared.