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Passing situational judgment tests
We offer free situational judgement test practice as well as the situational judgement test tips listed below.
Situation Judgement Test Advice
A situational judgment test, or SJT, presents realistic scenarios similar to those that would be encountered when doing a particular job. Typically, candidates must identify the Best and the Worst course of action from four multiple-choice options. In other words, you must make two “judgments” about what to do and what not to do next in the “situation” presented. An alternative SJT format asks the test-taker to rank multiple choice options in terms of effectiveness.
Commonly featured as a graduate recruitment sift, along with numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning tests, the SJT has several advantages:
- SJTs are a highly effective means of measuring an applicant’s competency behaviours.
- SJTs are a fair test with little bias due to gender or ethnic group.
- SJT questions can be designed around a specific role.
- Because SJTs are bespoke, candidates usually rate them highly as a valid application stage. In fact, there is a type of SJT called a realistic job preview which is used solely to give job applicants a realistic preview of a role.
Situational judgement test tips
If you have a job description or a detailed job advert this will probably tell you some, or all, of the role’s competency behaviours. These are the abilities and skills you need to demonstrate when completing the SJT.
One of our key situational judgement test tips is that these typically measure problem solving skills, team working, leadership/managerial abilities and, if applicable, customer service skills. Employers are looking for someone who has the underlying characteristics and behaviours that will enable them to operate effectively in the given job role.
Passing situational judgment test sifts
- Each SJT scenario will measure one of these competencies based on both the Best and Worst answers, so focus on getting both correct. You won’t need to get every question right, however scoring low on any given competency will detract from your overall SJT score.
- Other useful situational judgement test tips include the fact that each SJT scenario requires you to make an effective judgment. This will involve prioritising which aspects of the scenario are most important to fix first. Identifying and addressing this vital element of each scenario is the key to passing a situational judgment test. Any answer option that does not move the scenario situation forward will not be the correct “Best” action to take. The “Worst” answer option will be one that makes the situation even worse.
- While several answer options may seem like a sufficient solution in the short-term, you shouldn’t be looking for a quick and easy stop-gap solution. The “Best” solution will always be the one that actually solves the problem. You need to identify a medium- to long-term solution that has lasting benefits.
- Be your most ethical self when taking an SJT. Any answer option that is slightly unethical or dishonest to anyone involved will not be the correct answer. Look for the most virtuous answer if there is one – demonstrating respect for others, integrity and conscientiousness.
- Other useful situational judgement test tips include the fact that logically, the “Best” and “Worst” answers need to be distinct from the other answer options. Hence if two answer options seem very similar to you, it’s likely these are the “distractor” answer options and neither the best – or the worst – answer.
Further situational judgement test resources
- A sample test of the SJTs we design for clients.
- Our free practice situational judgement tests.
- Additional situational judgment test tips are available in Rob Williams Assessment Ltd’s latest Career Builder articles e.g.
- What you need to know about situational judgement tests
Situational judgement test research 2008 – 2018
Bledlow’s situational judgment test of personal initiative and its relationship to performance.
Campion’s state of research on situational judgment tests: A content analysis and directions for future research.
Catano’s assessing the reliability of situational judgment tests used in high stakes situations.
Guenole’s are situational judgment tests precise enough for feedback in leadership development?
Krumm’s how “situational” is judgment in situational judgment tests?
Lievens’ situational judgment tests: From measures of situational judgment to measures of general domain knowledge.
Lievens’ situational judgment tests: A review of recent research.
McDaniel’s Toward an understanding of situational judgment item validity and group differences.
Mumford’s team role test. The development and validation of a team role knowledge situational judgment test.
Peus’ situation-based measurement of the full range of leadership model. The development and validation of a situational judgment test.
Rockstuhl’s putting judging situations into situational judgment tests: Evidence from intercultural multimedia situational judgment tests.
Sharma’s development and validation of a situational judgment test of emotional intelligence.
Weekley’s low-fidelity simulations.
Westring’s estimating trait and situational variance in a situational judgment test.