Test Advice

 Test people

The use of online tests is common in the recruitment process for many of the jobs advertised on this site. Where there are large groups of people applying for a particular campaign, selection tests are often used to establish the skills and experience level of a candidate.

Tests can be both unsupervised (online tests) and supervised (online tests that are taken onsite and that are supervised or supervised through what we call remote proctoring). Applicants may be tested on a range of areas depending on what the position entails, but the most common tests are:

Verbal Reasoning: The Verbal Reasoning Test measures the ability to understand written passages and the logical evaluation of an argument.

Numerical Reasoning: The Numerical Reasoning Test measures the ability to make correct decisions or inferences from numerical data.

Job Simulation: The Job Simulation Test measures how you relate to a variety of work related scenarios, which attempt to identify what you would most likely do in a situation.


Prepare for your Test

Below are some useful tips to help you prepare and to allow you to perform to the best of your ability on the test day. There is also our Self Assessment System which provides you with the opportunity to take the clerical/entry level and junior management/graduate level tests under timed conditions.

The system allows you to take the tests in any order, get feedback on your performance and review the correct answers. In addition to this, there is familiarisation material provided for each campaign that we conduct with further sample questions in the information booklets in our campaign update section.

Here are some useful hints and tips to help you prepare for tests, including what you can do before the online unsupervised or supervised tests and what you should bring with you on the test day. By preparing for the test, you will be able to perform to the best of your ability on the test day.

Before the test

Online unsupervised

  • Read the familiarisation material and information booklet provided for the role you are applying for;
  • Practice, Practice, Practice!
  • Take as many Self-Assessment and Sample Tests as possible;
  • Find a quiet environment, free from distractions;
  • Ensure you have a good broadband connection;
  • Keep an eye on your time and ensure you are not disturbed during the session.
  • Turn off your mobile phone

In-House Supervised Tests

  • Work through the sample questions on this website and read the familiarisation material supplied;
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the test;
  • Make certain that you know exactly where the test venue is and allow yourself plenty of time to get there;
  • Dress Appropriately – you may have further stages on the selection criteria on the same day;
  • Be aware that you will not be permitted to bring in any personal belongings into the testing room e.g. mobile phone, smart phone, calculators, etc.

On The Day or During the Test Session:

Online Unsupervised

  • Work quickly and accurately.
  • Difficult questions - try to eliminate the wrong answers
  • Ensure there are no distractions.
  • Be honest and consistent.
  • Give yourself plenty of time.

Supervised Tests in Assessment Centres and what to bring on the day

  • Bring all documents requested (e.g. valid ID, qualifications and/or the letter PAS sent to you).
  • Follow the guidance given by the staff of the Public Appointments Service at all times.
  • Listen carefully to the instructions, paying attention to the number of questions in each test and how much time you will have to do them.
  • Be familiar with the length of the testing session and ensure you leave yourself plenty of time.
  • Try to answer as many questions as possible, as the more you get right, the higher your score will be!
  • Remember, rough work paper will be provided for particular tests such as the numerical reasoning test.
  • Calculators will be provided – check the familiarisation material provided.
  • Ensure that you leave early and know how to get to the test centre so that you arrive on time.

There will be staff at the testing session that you can ask if you are unsure of what you have to do.

Please note that if you require special assistance when taking these tests this must be made known at the application stage and accompanied by a doctor/psychological report. An occupational psychologist will then assess the report and provide you with the necessary assistance you need.

Take our self-assessment tests to prepare yourself for the online tests

Clerical Officer Self Assessment

Executive Officer Self Assessment 

Administrative Officer Self Assessment 

Nurse Self Assessment