NHS Situational Strengths Test

NHS 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. This is also referred to as a situational strengths test.

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NHS use the following tests in their selection process:

  • Verbal reasoning test
  • Numerical reasoning test
  • E-Tray
  • Situational Judgement
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About NHS Situational Judgement Tests

The NHS is the world’s largest publicly funded health service, offering a broad range of careers from allied health professionals to administrative and clerical positions. The selection process for the NHS can vary depending on the nature of the role but will generally involve psychometric testing in the early stages, which helps to maintain a high calibre of staff through assessing candidates’ abilities. This stage of the process can require successful completion of up to four psychometric tests consisting of Aptitude Tests, Situational Judgement Tests and Personality Questionnaires. Initially the tests are administered online, but there may be further psychometric tests to be completed in person at the assessment centre stage. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take.

The NHS look for a number of key skills in candidates, they are as follows: motivation to join the NHS, improving services, setting direction, working with others, managing services, analytical thinking and numerical ability.

Situational judgement tests are a fair and objective way for NHS to assess a wide range of applicants, each having different experiences and different qualifications. By analysing the results of a standardised situational judgement test, NHS 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 that NHS use professional psychometric tests.

Often, NHS will ask applicants to take a situational strengths test online, which you can take from home. When the situational strengths 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 strengths test again. This is so NHS can verify the person scoring highly in the test is indeed the person applying for the job.

NHS Application Process Stages

Here is the typical process for your application to NHS.

Stage 1

Application

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. Applications are made online, allowing candidates to check the status using registered login details.

Stage 2

Testing

Candidates will then need to undertake up to four psychometric tests; which can include Numerical Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Situational Judgement and Personality Questionnaires. The tests used have strict time limits, so practice tests are recommended.

Stage 3

Interview

Candidates that are successful in the testing stage then undertake an interview which should last approximately 30 minutes. The interviews are competency based and are likely to be conducted by senior NHS staff.

Stage 4

Assessment Centre

The final stage is at an assessment centre, in which candidates will undertake exercises such as role plays, presentations, group exercises and e-tray exercises to gauge the candidate’s ability. Successful applications at stage 4 will be given an offer of employment, or a place on one of the Student & Graduate Programmes offered by the NHS.

Buy Practice Situational Judgement Tests

Our situational judgement practice test pack is suitable for preparing for the NHS situational strengths test.

Situational Judgement Test Pack (suitable for preparing for NHS)

Prepare for all situational judgement tests including the NHS situational strengths test. Includes 5 practice tests covering all major test publishers.

Excellent variety of practice tests ranging in difficulty levels. Really helped me feel prepared for, and pass, my actual online tests.

NHS Situational Judgement Test Questions

Like most situational judgement tests, the one used by NHS 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 companies such as NHS.

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.

NHS 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 NHS you might feel like the situational judgement test is an unnecessary hoop to jump through. But you should bear in mind that NHS 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 NHS, are a better predictor of job performance than traditional selection metrics such as level of degree achieved.

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

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.

Some publishers will have less subtle variations in their test from what's described here. Test types by different publishers are explained here in more detail.

Answered questions

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 thNHS are actually suitable for preparing for all levels of job: entry; apprentice; graduate; senior; director.

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.

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