The text below provides a full candidate recruitment, assessment and preparation guide and practice for those applying to jobs, internships and graduate programs at Civil Service.

Our website provides scientifically validated practice assessments tests, interviews and assessment centre exercises that can be used to practice and prepare for the recruitment and assessment process. 

Check here for Free and Premium aptitude assessment tests and video interviews to practice and prepare for Civil Service recruitment.

If you are aiming to apply to Civil Service or have a Civil Service assessment test coming up, our text below is the best place to start.

Not sure if you should practice to prepare for the Civil Service assessments? According to research, 60-80% of candidates are rejected based on their aptitude tests results. It is proven that practice increases your chances of getting hired.

A recent study (Bradley et al, 2019) found that candidates who do not practise assessments, tend to fail at the first hurdle of psychometric assessments (54%-84%). This study looked at the Top 100 global employers.

In a nutshell:

How to prepare for the Civil Service Direct Entry assessment process and tests to get the job?

  1. Complete your Civil Service Application
  • Fill in your Civil Service application online
  • Answer each of the questions honestly and apply as early as possible
  • Match your application to the Civil Service’s core competencies
  • Use language from the job post in your resume and application.
  1. Practice for Civil Service Online Assessment Tests

The Civil Service uses a variety of aptitude assessment tests. These may include:

You may get rejected already after these aptitude tests; these tests sift out 50-80% candidates at this stage. The only proven way to get to the next round is practice.

  1. Prepare for the Civil Service Assessment Centre exercises

The Civil Service makes use of a variety of competitive exercises during the assessment centre to find the right candidates. Ensure that you practice a variety of exercises including:

Hone your written and spoken communication technique. Research online, prepare and practice presentation of as many business case studies as possible.

Be aware; not many get to this stage. The competition is very fierce.

  1. Record mock video interviews of yourself

Prepare for your one-on-one interview with a senior manager. Expect and practice for behavioural and competency-based questions. Aim to stand out. They have interviewed dozens or hundreds of candidates at this final stage.

Refine your technique for your final Civil Service interview to showcase your:

  • deep knowledge 
  • understanding of the role
  • business acumen
  • passion
  • critical thinking and ability to think on your feet

For your final interview, use the video interview platform and record yourself answering the interview questions using the STAR method.

Continue reading to get answers to these critical questions:

  1. What is the Civil Service Assessment test?
  2. How do I pass the Civil Service judgement test?
  3. What can I expect from a Civil Service interview?
  4. How can I pass the Civil Service interview?
  5. How to prepare for Civil Service assessment centre?
  6. How do I pass the Civil Service assessment centre?

Looking into assessments with the Civil Service, simply use your fingertips or click in the table below to practice assessments relevant to your assessment process!

Relevant Assessments to Civil ServicePractice Now
Verbal ReasoningStart Practicing
Numerical ReasoningStart Practicing
Situational JudgementStart Practicing
Work Personality Questionnaire Start Practicing
Assessment CentreStart Practicing
Video InterviewsStart Practicing

If you decide to apply for Civil Service, you can practice online aptitude tests with us to improve your results and get scores above their threshold.


What are Civil Service? 

The Civil Service is the bureaucracy, supporting the government of the UK in administration. These employees assist the ministers, and make many important decisions on their behalf.  Civil service employees are defined as “politically impartial” and help to deliver the work that the current government in place requires at the time.

How can you join the Civil Service?

To join the Civil Service, there are many routes into the 24 departments into which it is divided. Whether you are a graduate or a professional, there is an application path, including Civil Service aptitude tests, for you to become part of the Civil Service. You can apply to the Civil Service through any of the following routes. 

  • Civil Service Fast Stream
  • Civil Service Direct Entry
  • Civil Service Internships
    • Summer Diversity Internship
    • Early Diversity Internship

If you’re interested in applying to any of these, you’re in the correct place. We know that this is a well sought after career path, with thousands applying each year to each pathway. That’s why we want to help you through the process, regardless of whether you’re applying for Civil Service Direct Entry or the Civil Service Fast Stream. Throughout, we cover each step of these application processes, with top tips on how to ace Civil Service assessments, Civil Service interviews and much more

Let’s get the housekeeping out of the way, with the contents.

Be AWARE, this piece contains many tips, tricks and example questions, so get a fresh pen and pad ready!


Civil Service Fast Stream Application Process

Before we start with the Civil Service fast stream process, do you know what Civil Service Fast Stream is? Just in case you’re not up to speed, we’re going to give an overview of what the Civil Service Fast Stream is.

What is the Civil Service Fast Stream?

Civil Service Fast Stream is an accelerated leadership development programme that enables talented graduates who possess certain skills and knowledge to get into the Civil Service early.

The Fast Stream’s motto is all about having ‘something for everyone’, and that really is true! Unlike other graduate schemes, you have a huge range of options to choose from (15 schemes to be exact), regardless of the degree background you have. Each scheme lasts from 2 to 4 years, many of which lead to a professional qualification at completion – what a bonus, right?!

On these schemes, often while learning, you can expect to receive a salary starting from £27,000 per year, with the potential to earn up to £55,000 per year. 

The shape of your time in the Civil Service Fast stream really does depend on your career interests. For up to date information on these schemes to get your teeth stuck into, use the Civil Service scheme info page, including requirements and information about what you’re letting yourself in for. 

If you need any further reason or motivation to apply, the Civil Service Fast Stream has been voted The Times Top 100 Number 1 Graduate Employer for three years running. So, you know you’re in good hands!

As you can imagine, getting into one of the Graduate Scheme programmes can be your leap towards an amazing career in the Civil Service. 

Let’s see what are the assessment stages are to get into the Civil Service Fast Stream and give you a head start on the competition. 

What is the Civil Service Fast Stream Assessment stages:  

The Civil Service Fast Stream has 6 assessment stages,

  1. Online Tests
  2. Work Based Scenarios
  3. Video Interview
  4. Potentially Numerical Test
  5. Virtual Assessment Centre
  6. Final Selection Board

We will be discussing all these application stages in detail below.

1. Civil Service Online Tests

What are the online tests for Civil Service Fast Stream?

Civil Service Fast Stream Online Tests are the first stage of the Civil Service Fast Stream assessment process. This stage consists of 4 tests which are divided into two kinds:

Each of the 4 Civil Service Online Tests will be multiple choice, and untimed, and the key is being yourself – you’ll see this theme running through the process outline we cover next.

Now, you must be eager to find out more about this style of test. Don’t worry we are going to get into each and every detail. Let’s start then.

Civil Service Work Style Questionnaires

What is the Civil Service Work Style Questionnaire?

Civil Service Workstyle Questionnaires consists of a series of statements related to your work ethics and attitudes. Civil Service are keen to understand your preferences in your style of work. Your job is to read and understand the statements and rate them according to your personality.

Gain key insights in this under 1 minute video what do personality tests measure which you may come across at Civil Service.

What do Personality Tests Measure? (SHL OPQ, Big 5 OCEAN Model) #shorts

Remember, the Civil Service has a job for everyone, they just want to see that you know yourself and that you’re suited to the role you applied for. This is why the work style questionnaire is used and is so important in shaping your path in the fast stream. 

For example, this is the style of statement you could be expected to face in your Civil Service Work style questionnaire. 

I get nervous before an important event or meeting

And the rating scale (1-5) to rate your level of agreement would be:

  • 1 = Strongly Disagree 
  • 2 = Disagree 
  • 3 = Neither Agree nor Disagree 
  • 4 = Agree 
  • 5 = Strongly Agree

Now that you have a clear idea of what the Civil Service Workstyle Questionnaire is, you need to know how to succeed

Top 3 Civil Service Work Style Questionnaire Tips

In order to do well in a Civil Service Workstyle questionnaire, you need to keep the following tips in mind. 

  1. Do not be concerned about time

This is not a test in which things are right or wrong. It’s all about seeing how well you fit the role. As such, there is no need to dwell on questions for too long, or worry if one statement takes a few seconds longer to determine how well you align 

  1. Be your honest self

The purpose of such a test is knowing you better, for your and the employer’s benefit. If you pretend to be someone you’re not just for the sake of the test, the purpose is lost, and the employer can often tell. 

  1. Learn about your personality

Take a practice test and get some good insight into your personality. This could ensure that you apply to the scheme that fits your personality best, and ultimately gives you a good chance of landing the role.

Personality Questionnaire Free Question Example

To know how a Civil Service Workstyle Questionnaire works, take a look at Graduate First’s Workstyle Personality questionnaire. Here, you can see what to expect in the actual test and also understand how to answer certain questions.

Civil Service Fast Stream Multimedia Situational Judgement Questionnaires

One part of online tests will be a Civil Service aptitude test including Multimedia Situational Judgement Questionnaires. These questionnaires assesses you on the basis of your decision-making and judgement skills in a real-life work situation.

What is the Civil Service Multimedia Situational Judgement Questionnaire?

Civil Service Multimedia Situational Judgement Questionnaires present you with different scenarios in the workplace. Your task is to evaluate the available responses, and determine which are the best and worst. The only different here from your traditional scenarios in a multimedia situational judgement questionnaire can be presented to you as videos, images or voice notes.

Have a few spare minutes to learn more on what is a situational judgement test? Check out our situational judgement test guide below

What is a Situational Judgement Test (SJT)? | 2023 Guide for Job Hunters (PwC, Deloitte, Accenture)

The Multimedia Situational Judgement Test in particular is untimed. They’re looking for you to take a considered approach to the situations presented, to understand what you will behave like when you (hopefully) start your role in the Civil Service Fast Stream.

You need to do well in these initial tests, because only when you impress your recruiters in these tests will you be able to get to the higher stages of recruitment.  

How do I pass a Civil Service Judgement test?

To do well in the Civil Service Multimedia Situational Judgement test, you should keep the following tips in mind: 

  • Pay close attention to the information provided to you, be it a transcript, images, voice notes or a video. 
  • Understand your role. You should be able to imagine yourself in the shoes of the role you’re asked to portray, and make decisions accordingly. 
  • Consider the type of person that Civil Service value, and provide answers that best align with these. Do your research on Civil Service’s core competencies and values.
  • Take your time, do not answer in a hurry. 
Ace the SJT! | 5 Situational Judgement Test Tips #shorts

Example Civil Service-style Multimedia Situational Judgement Questionnaire?

Now for the fun part… practice. Have a go at this Civil Service-style situational judgement question

Situational Judgement Question: You have been working hard to collate and analyse data in advance of two upcoming customer meetings. You are looking forward to sharing your findings for both customers as it could potentially drive real value to them and also create more opportunities to work with them. Your colleague successfully manages both of your customers’ accounts and will be joining you to take advantage of the opportunity to generate more work. On the day of the first meeting, your colleague takes the lead and covers some aspects of your findings, leaving you with very little time to speak. Although your colleague has a strong relationship with the client, you would have liked to have had the opportunity to contribute more. Your second client meeting will be taking place the following day and you are thinking about whether or not to bring it up with your colleague.

How would you respond?

  • A: Hold back from mentioning anything to your colleague as they have a strong relationship with the client which could potentially create more business opportunities.
  • B: Wait to see how the second client meeting goes before bringing up your views with your colleague as it may just be an isolated incident.
  • C: Wait until the second meeting has taken place and use the outcome to further support your views should the same thing happen.
  • D: Communicate your views to your colleague and suggest that you would like to contribute more in the second meeting.

Receive the answers at the bottom of this article!

Now that you know how you can ace your Civil Service Multimedia Situational Judgement Questionnaire, why don’t you try these tips on GF’s Situational Judgement Tests.  

After completing the Civil Service Online Tests, you will be invited to sit for the Civil Service Work Based Scenarios.

2. Civil Serve Work Based Scenarios

What are Civil Service Fast Stream Work Based Scenarios?

Civil Service Work based scenario test you on your behaviours, skills and attributes in a work environment. The skills assessed by the Civil Service Fast Stream Work based Scenarios are:

  1. Observational skills
  2. Interpretation 
  3. Decision-making 
  4. Judgement 
  5. Prioritization 
  6. Team spirit 
  7. Leadership 
  8. Adaptability 
  9. Learning 

The Civil Service Work Based Scenarios are further divided into two online tests, they are: 

Let’s give you a detailed explanation of what these two sections of the Civil Service Work Based Scenarios have for you. Starting of first with Civil Service Fast Stream Case Study 

Civil Service Fast Steam Case Study

The first test of the Civil Service Work-based Scenario assessment is the Civil Service Case Study. 

What is the Civil Service Case Study?

Civil Service Case Study is the assessment that requires you to take up a certain fictional role, and answer the multiple choice questions related to the case study thereafter. You will have a series of tasks to complete in the work place. This section again is untimed. 

How to Pass the Civil Service Case Study?

To pass the Civil Service Case Study, make sure you keep the following points in mind. 

  1. Be clear on the problem at hand and the obstacles that are potentially in your way. Being clear will help you find the solution that really solves the given problem.
  2. Take a look at the question, and only then start reading the document provided to you, so that you know where you need to pay attention to the details. 
  3. Try to feel the responsibilities and duties of the role you are required to portray and act accordingly. 
  4. Draw on your own experiences to help guide you in the work related problems. These experiences may be those that you’ve had professionally, at university, or even in more casual settings.

Civil Service Learning Assessment

The second assessment under the Civil Service Work-based Scenarios is the Fast Stream learning assessment. 

What is the Civil Service Learning Assessment?

The Civil Service Learning Assessment requires you to take up a role, mostly of someone who is in the leadership programme. They will change your roles, and teams from time to time as you move forward with the assessment. The main focus of this Civil Service Learning Assessment is to see your adaptability and learning skills. You may also be required to lead a group of people to show your leadership skills. This assessment is also untimed.

3. Civil Service Video Interview

The third stage of the Civil Service Fast Stream Assessment is a Civil Service Video interview. 

What is the Civil Service Fast Stream Video Interview?

In the Civil Service Fast Stream Video Interview  you are typically given a set amount of time to answer a series of pre-recorded questions. There is an allotted time for each response and you may be given one or two attempts before submitting each answer. The Civil Service Fast Stream Video Interview consists of 9 questions which are a mix of behavioural and competency-based questions. This interview is timed and takes about 25 minutes.

The style of questions in your Civil Service Video Interview will be strength-based, and will focus on 8 key strengths. These include: Adaptability and Flexibility; Enabling people’s potential; including all individuals in your team; positive change making; being keen to learn and develop; building respectful relationships; having resilience to setbacks; and taking ownership of tasks and decisions. 

Top Civil Service Video Interview Tip: Consider the 8 strengths they are looking for in candidates, and how your experiences exemplify these. You need to be able to confidently talk about yourself and how you can deliver the qualities that Civil Service deem successful candidates to possess.

You can learn more in our quick 1 minute video on What is a Video Interview below!

What is a Video Interview? #shorts

How to Pass the Civil Service Video Interview

The following tips will help you ace your Civil Service Video Interview:

  1. Use external devices, such as microphone, webcam, etc. 
  2. Practice recording yourself while answering before you take the actual interview.
  3. Make a list of all the situations where you showed leadership, teamwork, decision-making, etc., and keep them in front of you. 
  4. Use the STAR+L (i.e., the situation, the task, the action, the result and what you’ve learnt from it) technique where possible when answering the behavioural questions.
  5. Do not close your answers abruptly. Plan your answers according to the time limit.
  6. Do take the practice question like any of the real interview questions to check whether all the equipment being used by you are working.

For more tips, take a quick look at our Video Interview Tips video below.

Epic Video Interview Tips and Tricks #shorts

You may also wish to practice your responses using similar technology and with similar questions. We offer a Video Interview practice tool with dozens of predefined questions to answer, record, replay and improve your performance using our integrated AI.

Video Interview Free Graduate Questions

4. Civil Service Fast Stream SIFT and numerical stage

At this stage the Civil Service review the qualifications and experiences that are required for the role that you’ve applied for. At this stage you may be asked to take the Civil Service Fast Stream Numerical Test depending on the job you’ve applied for.

Civil Service Numerical Test

What is the Civil Service Numerical Test?

Civil Service Numerical Tests are a numerical reasoning ability test that requires you to reason with numerical data, at a level similar to that of basic GCSE level mathematics . The questions asked in these assessments aren’t meant to be tough but can be tricky if you have failed to prepare. 

Therefore, down below, you can find some tips and tricks to manage your time as well as practice effectively for your Civil Service Fast Stream Numerical Test. 

How many questions in Civil Service numerical test?

Civil Service Numerical Tests are most commonly untimed assessments, which ask you questions based of quantitative reasoning information to the total of 15-20 questions. This total can vary depending on the role you are applying for and the relevancy of numerical reasoning to this role.

How to Pass the Civil Service Numerical Test?

These Numerical reasoning top tips for time management will get you the edge over other candidates applying to the Civil Service.

  • Do not dwell on one question for too long 
  • Make a strategy, allot time to each question, for example if you have 30 mins and 20 questions, allot only 40 seconds to each question.
  • Leave time for  final checks, revisions and the tough questions.

Fancy continuing to enhance your numerical performance? You’d better check out our video below!

3 Things to Avoid in Numerical Reasoning Tests #shorts

Keeping these tips in mind, remember that the only way to master these is with a great amount of numerical test practice. Be sure to check out our numerical reasoning test guide page, complete with more tips and practice questions!

Civil Service Fast Stream Style Numerical Test Question and Answer

Civil Service Fast Stream Numerical Tests practice is easy when you’re registered with Graduates First. To give you a taster of the question style you can expect in the Civil Service application, take a look and have a go at the question below.


Check if you got this Civil Service Numerical test-style answer correct at the bottom of the page.

Want to continue your numerical reasoning practice? Check out our expert step by step question video guide below.

Numerical Reasoning Test Practice Questions and Answers (2023) | 5 Worked Solutions & Tutorial!

After passing all the stages leading up to and including the Civil Service Fast Stream Numerical test, you will be invited to the Civil Service Fast Stream Virtual Assessment Centre. Don’t get exhausted, you’re almost there.

5. Virtual Assessment Centre or FSAC

What is the Civil Service Fast Stream Virtual Assessment Centre?

Civil Service Fast Stream Virtual Assessment Centre is a chance for you to experience the real working environment. You will be judged and assessed on the basis of the actions you take and how you behave in a real work environment. At the Fast Stream Assessment Centre (FSAC) you will be required to take three exercises, all virtually, from the comfort of your own home.

What will the Civil Service Fast Stream Virtual Assessment Centre Assess?

Throughout your virtual assessment centre, Civil Service are very open that they look for six key things.

  • Recognising the bigger picture 
  • Having the ability to change and improve
  • Making effective and evidence based decisions 
  • Communicate clearly in order to influence and direct others
  • Working together in a team, building partnerships 
  • Willingness to continuously developing yourself and others

What to expect in the Fast Stream Assessment Centre

Teamwork Scenario

  • Task: Teamwork Scenario is when you will be presented with a made up scenario related to advising on government, including a variety of formats such as videos, data, articles, and emails. As a team of between 4 and 6, you will have to discuss the materials provided and determine the best option for moving forward.
  • Skills Required: Team work, decision making, communication and leadership skills.
  • Top Teamwork Scenario Tip: Only use the information provided in the fictitious brief, rather than bringing real world knowledge into the exercise
  • Time allowed: Approximately 65 minutes (30 minutes to prepare, and 35 minutes to work as a group)

Written Scenario

  • Task: Written Scenario is a task in which you will be given a governmental issue and consider those stakeholders who will be affected by the situation. 
  • Skills Required: Analyse information, and idea development.
  • Top Written Scenario Tip: Ensure all ideas are not only imaginative and productive in solving the problem, but are practice and realistic. You may want to remember the acronym SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) when deciding on actions.
  • Time allowed: 60 minutes

Leadership Scenario

  • Task: Leadership Scenario is a role play exercise in which you work as a manager leading on an important initiative, and who will have to present this to an interested party (the assessor). This will most often not be plain sailing, with the task at hand having some obstacles and delays to navigate too.
  • Skills Required: Communicate effectively, develop oneself and others, promote improvement and see the bigger picture
  • Top Leadership Scenario Tip: While you are provided with lots of materials, the ability to think on your feet, and think creatively on the spot.
  • Time allowed: 50 minutes (25 minted to review the situation, and 25 minutes with the assessor)

How to Pass the Civil Service Fast Stream Virtual Assessment Centre

Tips for (FSAC) Fast Stream Assessment Centre: 

  • Stay calm. Enter the assessment centre in analysis mode not in test mode. 
  • Manage your time well, as these exercises are time based, you need to divide your time for different tasks.
  • Prioritize. Prioritization is very important to do well in this exercise. Give more time and finish those exercises first which seem more important or you think will fetch you more points. When you have to raise discussion points, those with highest priority should be discussed first as time is often of the essence!
  • Read the instructions and materials provided very carefully, as the materials are there to help you.
  • PRACTICE in assessment centre exercises is key to success to hone the skills required by the Civil Service and those other top tips mentioned above!

Want to Read more about Assessment Centre Exercises? We have the assessment centre text resource to help you get through this challenging task.

6. Final Selection Board

What is the Civil Service Fast Stream Final Selection Board?

For the Civil Service Fast Stream Selection Board you are tasked with displaying your strengths and relevant competencies that the role requires. 

This is the last stage of the Civil Service Fast Stream selection process, and it is scheme-specific, i.e., you may or may not get to this stage depending on the scheme that you’ve applied to. Only Generalist, HR, Digital, Data, Technology & Cyber and Finance do not have this stage. 

How to Pass the Civil Service Fast Stream Final Selection Board

In order to do well at this stage, keep in mind the following; 

  • Do not panic
  • Remember that you’ve made it so far and it’ll be over soon. Enter the interview with humble confidence!
  • Consider the assessments you have taken so far. The assessment you have taken have been put in place for a reason by the Civil Service. Consider what has been assessed and how these may be probed in your panel interview.
  • Remember what Civil Service is all about. The Civil Service wants people who can look at the bigger picture, and lead their way through tasks with a good result at the end. Civil Service are keen to have imaginative people who are open communicators when working as part of a team.

For those wanting to apply directly to Civil Service read ahead to the Civil Service Direct Entry section.

Civil Service Direct Entry

What is the Civil Service Direct Entry?

Civil Service Direct Entry allows you to apply to the jobs that Civil Service has posted on a rolling basis. The civil service offer a variety of positions at any given time, ranging from administrative roles to managerial roles. To get started with direct entry into the civil service is to start searching for jobs that suit you on their jobs portal.

What are the top employing departments in Civil Service?

The top employing departments of the 24 ministerial departments are:

There are 24 ministerial departments in total in Civil Service, we have outlined 5 key departments that the majority of people apply to.

  1. Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)

A role responsible for offering advice and help for people in their job search, and income support both in person and remotely. Department of Work and Pensions or DWP has job such as a Business Strategist, Careers Advisor or in the counter fraud section.

  1. Ministry of Justice (MOJ)

In the Ministry of Justice, take your position in upholding and advancing justice, ensuring that it is fair for all of society, including as a team leader, operations manager, or in strategy and policy.

  1. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

In Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, you will assist the team in organising public money that can then pay for UK public services. In turn, this supports families and individuals across the country with financial support. HMRC roles may include a Risk Analyst, Auditor, Treasury Officer, or a Tax Specialist,

  1. Ministry of Defence (MOD) 

Those in the Ministry of Defence play a part in upholding independence and security in the country both at home and abroad. This may include Ministry of Defence Recruitment, Project Management or even Finance and procurement.

  1. Home Office (HO)

Roles in the Home Office centre around implementing policy that can reduce crime, make changes to immigration processes and promote security at home. You may apply to the Home Office as an admin officer, immigration officer, support office, or more executive roles.

In order to become one of these 472,700 employees, you need to crack the Civil Service assessment tests, which is why Graduates First comes into the picture. We will guide you throughout your Civil Service assessment and help you achieve your goal. So, without further ado, let’s begin. 

Civil Service assessment process consists of four stages in total, 

Let’s discuss these stages in detail. 

Civil Service Online Test Stage

What is the Civil Service Online Test Stage?

Civil Service Online Test Stage is a series of tests used to assess the candidates. They have a total of 7 assessment tests, which will be later discussed in detail in this article. You can expect to face at least one of these assessments during the course of your application, but it could be more!

These 7 assessment tests are:

Civil Service Practice Tip: Read the job description and assessment information carefully. This will have all the information you need. It helps to have an idea ahead of time what assessments the Civil Service will require you to take.

What Civil Service Tests can you expect to face?

Civil Service Tests are tailored depending on the specific role or stream that you are applying for. Having said this, all applicants could expect to face a Civil Service numerical and verbal reasoning test. Otherwise, you will face one or many of the various judgement or skills assessments face any of the assessments outlined .

If you apply for any of UK Civil Service jobs, you may have to take up to 5 of these tests. So, buckle up, let’s start!

Civil Service Verbal Test

What is the Civil Service Verbal Test? 

Civil Service Verbal Test is a basic verbal ability test where you will be given an unseen paragraph. Your job is to read and comprehend the information given in the paragraph. Once you’ve read and understood the paragraph, you’ll be presented with a statement related to the content you’ve just read, and you have to choose one of the options among, true, false and cannot say with respect to the statement. 

Those applying to any department within the Civil Service you could expect to face this assessment, including applications for roles in Work and Pensions, Ministry of Justice, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, Ministry of Defence, Home Office.

Lucky for you, at Graduates First we provide Verbal Ability style questions, to increase your familiarity with the style of question asked in the Civil Service Verbal Test. An example of the Civil Service Verbal Test can be seen below: 

Remember, Regardless of whether you are interested in the Ministry of Justice or Ministry of Defence, you will need to be confident with this style of assessment.

Civil Service-style Verbal Test Practice Question and Answer 

Let’s dive straight into some verbal test practice, to expose you to the style of questions you can expect.

Example: There is no universally accepted agreement regarding whether dreams have a purpose or exactly what they are. Some theories suggest that they form part of a survival strategy that helped early Man to learn to deal with potential threats in the hostile world he inhabited. Others consider them to be a way of solving difficult problems that cannot be dealt with when awake. Finnish researchers have found that two thirds of dreams contain at least one threat and that more than sixty per cent of the threats were likely to be experienced in real life. However, UK research findings suggest that dreaming has no function other than to keep the brain entertained and the body asleep.

On the basis of the above paragraph, determine whether the following statements are: A- True, B- False or C- Cannot say 

Question: There is no consensus about why we dream.


  • A- True
  • B- False  
  • C- Cannot say

You may be wondering, what qualities are Civil Service looking for in their Verbal Test? Well, we know just what qualities to perfect to get you on the right track.

What qualities does the Civil Service Verbal test assess? 

The Civil Service Verbal Test is a key indicator for Civil Service as to how you will perform on the job. Such qualities they desire and assess assesses are qualities like: 

  • Comprehension 

Read and understand the piece of textual information presented

  • Analysation skills

Break down the information into manageable chunks and sections so as to dissect the meaning behind what is being said.

  • Interpretation 

Explaining and recalling in simple terms what is being discussed in the piece of text.

How to pass the Civil Service Verbal Test? 

Civil Service Verbal Reasoning Tests are not easy, so be sure to make use of the following 3 verbal reasoning preparation tips to help you succeed.

  1. It’s not about your English skills: Mitigate the chance of your English skills affecting your score. Get comfortable with reading short pieces of text on new topics. Why not try reading sections of a newspaper? And, as an added challenge, try to speak the meaning of a passage out loud after your first read.
  2. Balance your speed and accuracy. Establish a routine that works for you, so that you do not sacrifice either of these in the real thing.
  3. Practice is essential. You can prepare using our industry standard verbal reasoning tests, designed by former SHL psychometricians, and assessment experts.

So, take a look and practise our Civil Service Verbal Test – style Verbal Ability Questions to make your way through the Civil Service Verbal Test. Register with Graduates First TODAY!! 

Consolidate your journey to verbal reasoning success with our tips video below!

Top 5 Verbal Reasoning Test Tips and Tricks (2023) #shorts

Become a Civil Service verbal test question pro, with our verbal reasoning question and answer video below.

Verbal Reasoning Test Practice Questions and Answers (2023) | 5 FULLY Worked Solutions!

With Verbal Reasoning Success done and dusted, it’s time to become an expert in answering your Civil Service Numerical Test style questions.

Civil Service Numerical Test

What is the Civil Service Numerical Test?

Civil Services Numerical Test requires you to answer questions regarding numerical data. As fundamental numerical ability is staple in any role or department in the Civil Service, the numerical test awaits every applicant at this early stage. The questions asked in these assessments are designed to ensure that you have the technical ability to fulfil the responsibilities in your job. So, further than just passing the test, brushing up on numerical ability will also help you succeed when you start on your first day!

Similar to the Civil Service Verbal Tests, those eager to join department within the Civil Service can expect to face numerical reasoning assessments, including applications for Work and Pensions, Ministry of Justice, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, Ministry of Defence, Home Office.

Civil Service Numerical Tip:  You can expect questions on percentage, average, graphs, pie charts, simple interest, compound interest, etc. 

We’ve got you covered in section 4, Civil Service Fast Stream. Head there now if you’re awaiting to sit this Civil Service Psychometric Test, as we provide top numerical tips, and a worked example of a Civil Service style numerical question.

Keen to start numerical practice right away? Register with Graduates First to sit a FREE industry standard Numerical Reasoning Test now!

Once you’ve received all our top tips, stick around for the next section where we tell you how to nail your Civil Service Judgement Test.

Civil Service Judgement Test

What is the Civil Service Judgement Test? 

Civil Service Judgement Test assesses the candidate’s judgement and decision-making in realistic work situations, as well as your behaviour in a typical work environment. Its purpose is to see whether your preferences and work behaviour align to those of the Civil Service.

The test is divided into three sections. These are:

  • Section 1: Preferences and Behaviours
  • Section 2: Judgement and Decision-making
  • Section 3: Judgement and Decision-making

Let’s give you a detailed explanation of what these three sections of the Civil Service Situational Judgement Test have for you. 

Section 1: Preferences and Behaviours 

The first section of the Civil Service Judgement Test basically is very similar to what are often referred to as Civil Service personality questionnaires or Civil Service personality tests. This section consists of work related statements, to which you have to respond with the extent to which you agree or disagree with these statements.

To have a better understanding of what personality questionnaire is, register with Graduates First and take our Work Style Personality Test  

An example of the Civil Service Judgement Test (Section 1) can be seen below, you have to choose among the given options:

I enjoy starting projects, rather than finishing them

And the rating scale (1-5) to rate your level of agreement would be:

  • 1 = Strongly Disagree 
  • 2 = Disagree 
  • 3 = Neither Agree nor Disagree 
  • 4 = Agree 
  • 5 = Strongly Agree

For insights into what Civil Service are looking for in this first section, we have the video for you below.

What do Personality Tests Measure? (SHL OPQ, Big 5 OCEAN Model) #shorts

Section 2: Judgement and Decision-making 

The second section of the Civil Service Judgement Test gives you real workplace situations with the help of videos. After watching the particular video, you will be provided with several course of actions in statement form, and you have to rate the effectiveness of those course of actions, namely,

  • Counterproductive 
  • Effective 
  • Fairly Effective 
  • ineffective 

Section 3: Judgement and Decision-making 

Like the second section, the third section of the Civil Service Judgement Test also measures your Judgement and decision-making skills, but this time you’ll be presented with real-life workplace scenarios in text form. And again, there will be some statements, which will be the potential course of actions. You have to rate them as Counterproductive, Effective, Fairly Effective and Ineffective just as you did in the previous section. An example of the questions in the third section of the Civil Service Judgement Test can be seen below: 

Situation: You have returned from paternity leave. You are reviewing a report put together by your colleague Jo. The report is for line managers and is too detailed for this audience. In addition, it is likely to have taken Jo more time than it should. The report has a lot of complex numerical data that is not required. You have already given Jo suggestions regarding tailoring her style for a senior audience. She has struggled to imbed these changes.

Potential Course of Actions:

Consult Jo about what she gained from the suggestions you made, using these suggestions identify what does and doesn’t work regarding helping her to develop.

  • Counterproductive 
  • Effective 
  • Fairly Effective 
  • ineffective 

Contact a different member in the team who has more experience writing for line managers compared to Jo.

  • Counterproductive 
  • Effective 
  • Fairly Effective 
  • ineffective 

Enquire with Jo on the ways she believes she could improve her report writing skills to avoid this mistake re-occurring.

  • Counterproductive 
  • Effective 
  • Fairly Effective 
  • ineffective 

Rewrite aspects of the report on Jo’s behalf as she spent many hours on this task and because negative feedback might affect her confidence.

  • Counterproductive 
  • Effective 
  • Fairly Effective 
  • ineffective 

The third section of the Civil Service Judgement Test is like the Situational Judgement Test provided by Graduates First, for more insight on Civil Service Judgement Test, take a look at our Situational Judgement Tests

What qualities does the Civil Service Judgement Test assess? 

  • The preferences and behaviours of the candidate
  • Decision-making skills in a real-life work environment presented through videos.
  • The capability of the candidate to make judgement in a typical work environment presented through texts.

Civil Service Management Judgement Test

What is the Civil Service Management Judgement Test?

The Civil Service Management Judgement Test assesses your ability to demonstrate judgement and decision-making in the day-to-day management of others. This test will consist of typical workplace scenarios that a line manager may have to face while working in Civil Service with four options of possible actions. Your job is to identify which action you are most likely to take, and which one are you least likely to take.

These questions are exactly like the questions of Graduates First’s Situational Judgement Test. To practise more such questions and excel in your Civil Service Management Judgement Test, register with Graduates First and try our Situational Judgement Test  

Situational Judgement Free Question Example

And for more tips on how to pass your Civil Service Situational Judgement Test, check out this less than 1 minute video:

Ace the SJT! | 5 Situational Judgement Test Tips #shorts

Civil Service Work Strengths Test

What is the Civil Service Work Strengths Test?

Civil Service Work Strengths Test again is a combination of Work Personality Questionnaire and Situational Judgement Tests. This test again goes on in three sections. 

These Civil Service work strength test sections are as follows: 

  • Section A: You will be presented with statements about the things you enjoy at work. You have to choose whether you agree or you disagree with the statement in front of you. This basically predicts one’s behaviours in a work space. 
  • Section B: You will be presented with a scenario representing the typical situations individuals working in the Civil Service may encounter. You are likely to come across a video situation with a written explanation of the situation going on in your workplace. Once you understand the situation and watch the video attached to it, you will be presented with a series of courses of actions to take in such situations. Your job is to rate the effectiveness of actions related to that scenario.
  • Section C: You will be presented with a further scenario.  You are asked to read and understand the situation and then rate the action you would be most likely to take in response to the scenario and the action you would be least likely to take.

Now that we have an idea of what to expect in your work strengths test in your Civil Service job application, we can look at some top tips to help you succeed.

Customer Service Skills Test

What is a Civil Service Customer Service Skills Test?

The Civil Service Customer Service Skills Test is a test that assesses your customer handling skills. It assesses you on the basis of problem-solving skills and traits like comprehension and empathy. This test again is divided into three separate sections: 

Section A

This section of the Customer Service Skills Test consists of voice notes of the daily problems that the customers come up with. The job is to listen very carefully, understand the customer’s problem and choose the most reliable course of action from the ones given on your screen. 

Section B

The second section of the Customer Service Skills Test will contain day-to-day problems faced by customer handling executives in the Civil Service, with the possible actions that can be taken. The job is to rate the course of actions among; 1- Counterproductive, 2-Partially effective, 3-Effective, and 4- Ineffective. 

Section C

In this section, you will be presented with a number of pieces of information about customer details and queries (emails, pictures, etc), and you will be asked to compare and contrast the given pieces of information in order to get to a genuine conclusion and input the data accurately. This section is timed, so make sure you don’t dwell on a particular problem.

Casework Skills Test

What is a Civil Service Casework Skill test? 

The Civil Service Casework Skills test is divided into three sections, each of which assess your caseworking skills. 

Let’s see what each section has for you. 

Section A

In the first section of Civil Service Casework Skills Test, you will be presented with several pieces of background information, you have to click on the links given to access that information. You may have some stuff to remember and make notes, so make sure you have a pen and paper with you. After you read and analyse all the information, you close the picture or link window and will see some statements on your screen. you are asked to rate whether the statements are: Definitely True, Probably True, Definitely False, Probably False or Cannot Say on the basis of information that you were given. 

Section B

The second section of the Casework Skills Test consists of scenarios that are most likely to be encountered by a caseworker working in Civil Service. 

  • You need to rate the effectiveness of the courses of actions given below. 
  • The scenarios can be presented in written form as well as in video form. 

Section C

Since a caseworker’s work often requires reviewing and processing a lot of information, such as databases, emails and scanned documents, in the third section of the Caseworker Skills Test, you will be presented with a number of information related to case details and queries. 

The job is to compare and contrast different sources of information, check for errors and input data with utmost accuracy within the total time frame of 10 minutes

This section is timed; you should try to work as quickly and accurately as possible when completing this section. 

What qualities does the Caseworker Skills Test assess? 

  • Observational skills
  • Decision-making 
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Ability to process information

Once you’re done with the Civil Service online tests, and qualify them, you will be called for the Civil Service Assessment Centre.

Civil Service Assessment Centre

What is the Civil Service Assessment Centre?

The Civil Service Assessment Centre is a two-day event wherein you will be assessed on your behaviours and your temperament in an actual work environment. Assessment Centres are designed to assess a candidate’s skills and other personal traits in a real-life work environment. You are expected to take up several exercises to depict the same. 

A Civil Service Assessment Centre consists of various exercises, that help the employers to assess the following skills: 

  • Decision-making
  • Problem solving 
  • Written skills 
  • Comprehension 
  • Judgement 

The exercises that you might come across at a Civil Service Assessment Centre are:

Let us discuss these Civil Service Assessment Centre exercises in detail. Starting with Civil Service Written Exercises

Civil Services Written Exercises

What are Civil Service written exercises?

Civil Service Written exercises are one section of the Civil Service assessment centre that you may be asked to take. They assess your writing skills, spelling, grammar, comprehension, as well as your ability to problem solve on your feet, all in a given time frame. 

What do Civil Service written exercises involve?

Civil Service written exercises are set out in the following way to gain some insights into how you will perform when you start your role within the Civil Service:

  1. Be seated in a room with other candidates, typically 6 individuals or less. After which, an administrator will present the task and ‘Candidate Brief’ which will outline the task at hand.
  2. You will be provided with a time limit in which to complete the task.
  3. You will be provided with many pieces of information to read and dissect. Be sure to do this carefully and at a good pace.
  4. Your end goal will be providing a report on a particular topic, using information that was presented in the ‘Candidate Brief’.

These exercises may seem easy, but they try their best to make this complicated for you. For example, they will mix junk mail with important mail, and you may end up wasting most of your time on junk mail. That’s when your time management and prioritization skills play their part. 

What Skills do Civil Service Written Exercises assess? 

By now you must have gained a clear idea of why organisations take writing tests, but the main skills they’re looking for are:

  1. Problem solving
  2. Decision making
  3. Written communication 
  4. Attention to detail
  5. Time management 
  6. Organisational skills

How to ace Civil Service Written exercises

  1. PRACTICE is crucial to your success.
  2. Manage your time well, as these exercises are time based, you need to divide your time for different tasks.
  3. Read the instructions very carefully.
  4. Prioritize. Prioritization is very important to do well in this exercise. Give more time and finish those exercises first which seem more important or you think will fetch you more points.
  5. Stay calm. Enter the assessment centre in analysis mode not in test mode. 

Where to practice written exercises? Again, back to Graduates First. We offer a series of written exercises for you to practice well. So, HURRY! You need as much practice as possible. 

Assessment Centre Exercises Example

After the written exercises come the group exercises, and these exercises do not only assess your individual skills, but also your interpersonal skills. Let’s know about this in detail.  

Civil Service Group Exercises

What is the Civil Service Group Exercise?

Civil Service Group Exercises contain group interactions and team tasks. While this goes on, you are not just evaluated individually, but also as a part of the team. Every judgement you make and every action you take will directly affect your team members and your team as a whole. Therefore, you have to be very careful while making decisions. Group Discussions are an integral part of group exercises. You will be sitting in a room with other potential employees, and will be given a certain topic to discuss. The topic can be anything, something related to the department you have applied to or even an environmental topic.  

Civil Service Group Exercise Tips

  • Make yourself heard. Don’t be afraid to speak up, but so in a manner that avoids suppressing others. 
  • Keep a friendly and assertive tone of voice throughout.
  • Listen and appreciate the points made by your teammates.
  • Ask your teammates for validation on what you say.
  • Remember the names of everyone present on that table. 
  • Bring shy individuals into the conversation, to allow them to speak up. 

The above-mentioned tips will make the employers notice you, show them your team player skills and help them make a better decision.

You can also watch our video on Group Exercises below!

Assessment Centre Group Exercises | How to Pass, with Example Task & Virtual Assessment Day Tips

Civil Service Presentation

At the end of the Civil Service Assessment Centre, you may be required to prepare a presentation on a particular topic. You are required to compile all the information that you have in a short presentation effectively. Discussing the main points in any presentation should be your main focus. The presented points should carry some weight and should be convincing. 

After you’re done with the assessment centre and qualify it, you will be called for the UK Civil Service Panel Interviews, which is the Final stage of recruitment.

Civil Service Panel Interview

The fourth and final stage of the recruitment process will be a panel interview. 

What is the Civil Service Panel Interview?

Civil Service Panel Interview candidates will be expected to respond to several behavioural and knowledge-based questions asked by the managers and officials from within the Civil Service of the job that you’ve applied to. 

Civil Service Panel Interviews as mentioned above consist of two types of question series. 

  1. Behavioural questions 
  2. Knowledge-based questions 

Now what are Behavioural questions and what are Knowledge-based questions? 

Behavioural questions consist of some case studies and situations that a person might come across in a real-life workplace, more specifically, a problem. You are required to explain to the interviewers how you would choose to tackle the problem before you. The interviewer may also ask you about your past experiences, where you showed skills such as management, decision-making, leadership and many more. When answering such questions, remember to use the STAR+L technique, i.e., the situation, the task, the action, the result and what you’ve learnt from it. 

On the other hand, Knowledge-based questions aim towards assessing your professional skills, the answers to which tell your interviewer your efficiency at what you do, i.e., your job. 

To help you better prepare for your interview, watch our specially made video 

5 Tips How to Prepare for a Job Interview on the day #shorts

Civil Service Internships

The UK government offers Internships and Apprenticeships to train and educate young minds. Students have the option to learn more about the Civil Service and earn at the same time though different Civil Service Internship Programmes. What are these Internship Programmes? Let’s find out.

Civil Service Internship Programmes

Summer Diversity Internship Programme

Summer Diversity Internship Programme is a two-month paid Internship programme, with a pay of £300 to £350 per week. Being a part of this programme can give your career a head-start in the Civil Service. SDIP makes you eligible to get an invitation for the Fast Pass which is a quicker route to Fast Stream Selection. If you intern in the SDIP, and apply for the Civil Service the next year you’ll walk past the initial online assessment stages. 

This internship is a great way to learn more about Civil Service and earn at the same time. The application form for the Civil Service Summer Diversity Internship Programme releases in the month of November every year. So, don’t forget to keep checking around that time.

Early Diversity Internship Programme

Early Diversity Internship Programme is a one-week internship programme offered by the government, for the first-year graduates. Like the SDIP, the EDIP is also paid. It’s a 5-day placement in a government department that gives you insight and understanding of how that department works. It is also a great way to gain experience before applying for the Summer Diversity Internship Programme. 

Eligibility Criteria 

  • You’re in your final 2 years at university with a 2:2 or higher in any degree subject (expected or awarded).
  • You meet the diversity requirements (ethnic minority, socially or economically disadvantaged or have a disability). Click the link down below to check if you are eligible.
  • Right to work in the UK.

So, here’s all the information that you need to get into Civil Service. Now all you need is a lot of PRACTICE with Graduates First. Therefore, keep practicing and ALL THE BEST!

Well done for making it this far! With this you are now fully prepared for your Civil Service application, good luck!

Do you want to pass your Civil Service assessments first time? Sign up for tools offered by GFI Group, the only aptitude practice test experts that provide tests to over 100 UK universities and their students, and across Asia and continental Europe. Go to our Graduates First website now and select from the range of products we offer at no risk. We offer a comprehensive premium package with a full set of assessment tools for job candidates (numerical, logical, verbal reasoning, situational judgment tests, assessment centre exercises and more). Buy with peace of mind and without commitment to a full 100% money back guarantee.

Correct answers to example questions:

Situational Judgement Test: D (Best) & A (Worst) | Numerical Reasoning Test: B | Verbal Reasoning test: 1-A

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