Thursday, 18 August 2016

Situational Judgement Test Tips

The SJT

It's hard to know how to prepare for the SJT. The situation judgement test is an exam that tests your judgement on a variety of scenarios that a foundation year 1 doctor could potentially come across. It calculates the score by calculating how closely ranked your answer is to the right order. It could be scenarios like: your colleague comes into work drunk, what do you do? Then you have options and have to rank them accordingly to what is most and least appropriate.

There are many different materials on the market for this exam, but it's hard to choose the right one (if there even is a 'right' one). I know that I spent a while pondering over this. I didn't want to read a book or go on a course which would teach me the wrong way to answer the questions. Because the SJT is a relatively new exam, the material that is being putting out is new as well. They're constantly being fine tuned to try make it as relevant as possible to the real exam.

I did go on a course, Emedica. I read another blog which recommended it. I had to think long and hard but I decided to bite the bullet and just be wary. It was expensive but I thought the course was good overall. It gave me a strategy of how to approach and dissect the questions and how to manage my time. They shared really good tips which actually made sense to me. We were given some practice questions to try on the day. I thought these were good because they closely resembled the real SJT questions. They also gave us access to more questions that we could try at home. Now I had a look at a few of them and found them to be of a lower quality and so I stopped right away. That's what I mean by being wary and not just blindly doing things just because it's available.  I didn't want anything to confuse me or throw me off.

I did the SJT practice paper that was on the website. There is an option to go through it online but I wanted to do it under the exam conditions as much as possible so  I printed out the answer and question sheets, put on a timer and sat at my desk. It allowed me to get used to the answer sheet which is laid out in a confusing way.

Tips: 

  • Be wary with what you spend your money on, a lot of these courses are expensive and may not be worth it.
  • If you're told something or read something that you don't agree with, trust your instincts. Don't blindly follow every piece of advice
  • Try to experience what an F1 job entails. I think some of the things I came across on the wards helped to shape how I answered questions.
  • Time management! Finish all the questions. Don't spend too long on one question. 

I got 43, which I'm pleased about. In some ways, I feel this exam is about luck. I know a few people who had worse scores which then determines foundation jobs. Can I say for sure that this course improved my outcome? No. I think it helped me prepare and go into the exam a bit more confident.


Thankfully, I got the job I wanted!

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