FCA Situational Judgement Test

FCA looks for employees with a high ability to handle various situations in a specific manner. Applicants have to pass a situational judgement test before being offered a position.

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Ben Hopgood Updated:

About FCA Situational Judgement Tests

The selection process for the FCA involves psychometric testing as a means of screening out candidates who do not possess the skills required for a job in this area. This part of the process, typically, requires successful completion of a logical reasoning test, numerical reasoning test, and a situational judgement test. Additional tests may be used depending on the role applied for. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take. The FCA assesses candidates in terms of their key competencies which are as follows: adaptability and flexibility, business acumen, action orientation, communication, collaboration and teamwork, stakeholder management and personal accountability. It is similar to SHL numerical reasoning tests, so practice tests of this type will prove useful in preparing applicants for the financial reasoning test.

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Situational judgement tests are a fair and objective way for the FCA to assess a wide range of applicants, each having different experiences and different qualifications. By analysing the results of a standardised situational judgement test, the FCA are able to quickly see which candidates are suitable for the role and which are not. This sort of information about candidates’ skills is difficult to glean from interviews and qualifications alone, so they use professional psychometric tests.

Often, the FCA will ask applicants to take a situational judgement test online, which you can take from home. When the situational judgement test is used early on in the application process like this you will have to achieve a minimum score before you progress to the next round (typically a score in the top 50% of applicants is required however this does vary role to role). Further along in the selection process you might be asked to attend an assessment centre or interview where you will be asked to sit a situational judgement test again. This is so the FCA can verify the person scoring highly in the test is indeed the person applying for the job.

FCA Application Process Stages

Here is the typical process for your application to FCA.

Stage 1


Applicants will be required to provide their contact details, education and work experience. This is to ensure that the candidate meets the entry requirements for their selected role. The candidate will also be asked questions to demonstrate their knowledge of the FCA, along with their reasons for wanting to join the company. It is a good idea to look into their current objectives and key issues prior to completing the application form. Applications are to be made online.

Stage 2


Candidates will then be asked to carry out three online tests; a logical reasoning test, a numerical reasoning test and a situational judgement test. Afterwards, candidates will be asked to complete a questionnaire to explain in more detail why they’ve applied for a position with the FCA. This is also an opportunity to demonstrate their background knowledge on the FCA and to express their interest in the services it provides. The tests used have strict time limits, so practice tests are recommended.

Stage 3

Telephone Interview

Candidates that are successful in the testing stage will then have a 30 minute telephone interview. Applicants will be required to reiterate why they believe they are suited for the job they’ve applied for and how they can contribute to the FCA.

Stage 4

Assessment Centre

The final stage of the selection process is the assessment centre, in which candidates will be required to complete a case study, give a presentation, take a part in a group exercise and, finally, an interview to gauge the candidate’s ability. Successful applicants at stage 4 will be given an offer of employment, or a place on one of the internships offered by the FCA.

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The FCA Situational Judgement Test Questions

Like most situational judgement tests, the one used by the FCA looks at how you would handle and respond to typical, and rare, situations and scenarios that occur in the workplace. The situational judgement test will be assessing your speed and accuracy. The answers are multiple choice and you should try to work quickly within the time limit, but also accurately. Negative marking is unlikely to be used but do not guess answers, as this will show up in your accuracy score. With practice you will become familiar with the type of situational judgement tests used by organisations such as the FCA.

Situational judgement tests and who uses them

Companies are using situational judgement tests more and more in their application process that candidates must go through. A person's score in a situational judgement test is a good indicator of how closely their attitudes and responses to situations mimics those of the company they've applied to. This is important in any sector or position.

The FCA use situational judgement tests as part of their recruitment process to help them select the best candidates for a particular role.

So as a graduate or senior candidate applying for a job at the FCA you might feel like the situational judgement test is an unnecessary hoop to jump through. But you should bear in mind that the FCA are asking you to complete the situational judgement test as much for your own benefit as theirs; if you are not suitable for the role, a psychometric test will usually identify this. Research has shown that psychometric tests, such as those used by the FCA, are a better predictor of job performance than traditional selection metrics such as level of degree achieved.

What you should know before taking your situational judgement test

The situations described in standardised situational judgement tests are ones which applicants can expect to face whilst performing the job they've applied for. The difficult aspect comes with identifying the details in the situation, which would help you to choose the appropriate courses of action to take, quickly and accurately within the time limit. Here are a few examples of the most common situations you can expect in your situational judgement test:

  • Unsatisfied customer
  • Stock-related problems, such as delivery
  • Disagreements between work colleagues

Different types of situational judgement tests

Most questions in most situational judgement tests follow a standard format displaying a passage of text, the question and answer options on screen. These can be arranged differently, but each test will stick to the same layout throughout. The question text may contain extra information which adds to what's given in the sequence of images, this might also be necessary to answer the question correctly. You might have to guess which answer option is the next in the sequence, or which options represents a missing step in the sequence. Lastly, the answer options are almost always multiple choice. Multiple choice answers can vary, however. You may have 2 options to pick from, 4, maybe 5, and these will have to be ranked too. The more answer options to pick from, the slimmer the chances are that you can obtain the correct answer by guessing.

Answered questions

How difficult are your tests?

The same difficulty as real tests. Generally real employer selection tests don't differ that much in terms of difficulty which is why they compare your score against norm groups. Our practice tests are pitched roughly at graduate level, but this means they are actually suitable for preparing for all levels of job: entry; apprentice; graduate; senior; director.

Are they compatible with my Mac / Tablet / Phone?

Yes, and PC, and Linux and smartphone and Android and...everything. Our practice tests will run on all systems and they are responsive so they will work well on tablets and smartphones too!

How many times can I take the tests?

Unlimited. You can take our practice tests as many times as you like; there is no limit. But to be honest, after taking the same test a few times you start to remember the answers, so that’s why we have lots of tests.