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What is a situational judgement test? Why are situational judgement tests used by employers? How do I pass situational judgement tests? If these are questions on your mind, then this is the guide for you.

Our experts have compiled this complete guide to Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs), an essential aptitude assessment used in recruitment. Discover the key reasons why employers use SJT tests and get the lowdown on the best tips & tricks you can use to ace your next SJT test. 

Our website provides scientifically validated practice situational judgement tests that can be used to prepare and boost your assessment score with top corporations and get ahead in your application.

Wondering whether you should practice to prepare for your Situational Judgement test? 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 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.

Bradley et al (2019)

Let’s check out everything we’ll cover in this text below!


  1. What is a Situational Judgement Test?
  2. Which Employers Use Situational Assessment Tests for Recruitment?
  3. Commonly Used SJT Providers
  4. Top Tips to Prepare for a Situational Judgement Test
  5. Example Situational Assessment Test Question And Answer
  6. How to Pass Situational Judgement Tests
  7. Situational Judgement Tests FAQs

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

What is a Situational Judgement Test?

A Situational Judgment Test (SJT) is a type of psychometric test or aptitude test which assesses an individual’s competencies. The test will present you with a relevant work-related scenario and they are required to choose the best course of action from a number of options that are provided.

Situational Judgement Tests In a Nutshell

  • The format of the assessment is most commonly multiple-choice questions (MCQs) with 4 or 5 action options to choose from. 
  • The total number of questions may vary from employer to employer. Usually, You may expect between 25-50 questions.
  • Each question will present a critical workplace scenario that you will be required to closely examine and choose the preferred answer from the options that follow.
  • Usually, the questions ask you to rate different responses in options as ‘Best or Worst’. 
  • Another type may ask you to order or rank the actions ranging from the ‘Most Desirable to ‘Least Desirable or ‘Most to Least Effective‘ options.
  • Often, there is no time limit for this test. However, some employers may record the time taken for you to complete the test to assess your behaviour. 
  • Unlike other types of tests, there is little or no adverse impact particularly when it comes to gender and ethnicity (Hoare & Smith, 1998). This means SJT tests are generally fair for various groups of people (gender, ethnicity, age etc).

Good to know: Ensure to check the instructions received from the test invite email before you begin. There may be some last minute information or tips about the situational assessment!

Discover more about Situational Judgement Tests with our short video:

What are Situational Judgement Tests? (SJTs Explained) #shorts

What do situational judgement tests measure?

Situational judgement tests are conducted to assess your work competencies, but what are these competencies? Keep reading as we cover the key skills these assessments measure.

What Competencies do Situational Judgement Tests Measure?

As situational judgement tests are often customised to fit the specific needs of the employer and the job role, the competencies measured will be tailored to assess the key skills required for the job. 

However, our experts discovered that the following core skills are most commonly assessed by employers:

LeadershipTeamworkSales Proficiency
Customer ServiceManagementCommunication
Planning and OrganisingCollaborationAccountability
InnovationDelivering ResultsInfluencing

Good to know: A candidate displaying excellence in many or all of these areas tends to score a higher percentile and is more likely to be invited to the next stage of the application process. Ensure to hone these skills ahead of your situational test!

Discover more about competencies and how these are assessed in SJT tests with this short video below:

What is a Competency? (Get Ready for SJTs & Interviews) #shorts

Which companies use situational tests to assess these competencies? Keep reading below as we discover some of the many companies that often use SJT tests in recruitment!

Which Employers Use Situational Assessment Tests for Recruitment?

Many top recruiters around the world often use situational judgement tests to assess you on the key competencies required for the role. Before we check out some of these recruiters, it’s also useful to understand what job areas often involve these situational assessments.

Job Roles Using Situational Judgement Tests

  • Business Administration
  • Management
  • Customer Service
  • Call centres
  • Finance
  • Banking
  • Consultancy
  • Security
  • Police
  • Medical staff
  • Firefighters

What employers use situational judgement tests?

Many big employers use SJT tests in their recruitment processes for jobs such as the above. These companies include:

JP MorganCosta CoffeeAldi
HSBCNatWestJefferies Group 
RothschildNHSAnd many more!

Good to know: Many recruiters such as Morgan Stanley, Babcock and AECOM often use SJT tests separately in their recruitment process. However, many blend the assessment with other tests such as personality tests i.e. P&G Peak Performance assessment.

Keep reading to find more about why these employers use SJT tests in their recruitment processes!

Why do Employers Use Situational Assessment Tests?

Employers commonly use situational assessments in their recruitment processes for many important reasons. Here are some of the most key employer aims:

  1. Time Saving
    • Large employers want to attract the best workforce to their company as quickly and effectively as possible to reduce costs. SJT tests are a good way to sift through a large pool of applicants through the use of online automated screening systems. 
  1. Accuracy
    • Situational judgement tests tend to provide more accurate predictors of how you would likely behave in the role, allowing for a more accurate measure of your competencies that are needed for the job.
    • Studies show that SJT tests demonstrate moderate predictive validity and are useful as part of a well-designed selection system at an early stage of recruitment to help support decision-making (Webster et al, 2020; Patterson et al, 2015).
  1. Reduce Employee Turnover
    • In 2022, 77% employers reported that they experienced difficulties attracting suitable candidates for the role (CIPD, 2022), with 25% of new employees reporting that they want to quit their jobs within the first 6 months (Schroth, 2019).
    • Therefore, employers will want to find the best fit candidates that are happy in the role. Situational tests allow you to understand the role in more depth to determine whether the job suits you. This can help improve employee retention.
  1. Bespoke Assessments
    • Most often, situational judgement tests are tailored to the specific requirements of the role as well as the values and culture of the employer. This allows the employer to better assess how well you align with the company and the job based on more specific criteria.
  1. Corporate Culture & Work Ethics
    • Situational tests are a great tool to select candidates who best align with the specific work culture of the company. It is also a good way for you to better understand the culture and ethics of the company.

Which situational judgement assessments do employers use? Continue reading to discover the key providers of SJT tests.

Commonly Used SJT Providers

Employers often make use of publishers or providers which provide bespoke situational judgement assessments based on the employer and the requirements of the role.

Common Situational Judgment Test Providers

Some of the most commonly used SJT tests from these providers include:

  1. SHL Situational Judgement Tests
  2. Cubiks Situational Judgement Tests
  3. Kenexa Behavioural Assessment 
  4. TalentLens IRIS Situational Judgement Tests
  5. AON/Cut-e chatAssess Situational Judgement Tests
  6. Cappfinity Situational Strengths Tests
  7. Korn Ferry Talent Q Situational Judgement

Good to know: Some test providers and employers may refer to their SJTs as Job Simulation tests and may include interactive elements such as videos or drag and drop functionalities. These will often still measure the same competencies similar to SJT tests.

So how do we prepare for these employer SJT tests? Keep reading below as we check out the top tips that you can prepare in the best way possible for your upcoming SJT: 

Top Tips to Prepare for a Situational Judgement Test

Preparation is key for any test, and for SJT tests it’s no different. Here are 6 situational judgement test tips you can use to prepare ahead of your real assessment:

  1. Consider the Job Role
    • Questions in SJTs measure your suitability for a role and usually include situations specific to the role. To begin your preparation, consider the key skills that will be required to the post you have applied for. 

Good to know: If you are applying for a management position the situational assessment questions will display relevancy to that job role. Ensure to read the job description well and check the test invitation email for any key points in the instructions.

  1. Research the Core Values of the Employer
    • SJT tests are custom designed assessments based on core values of the employers and the specifications of the job role. Consider the work culture and key values of the company to see how well your values align with the company. 
  1. Get to Know the Test Publisher
    • Kenexa, SHL and Cubiks are three major SJT publishers commonly used by employers. Uncover which provider test you’ll take so that you can understand more about the format and conditions of the assessment ahead of time. 
  1. Practice
    • The most effective way to familiarise yourself with the format and type of the questions used in SJT tests is to practice. Through regular practice, you can develop a technique to improve your confidence before the real test.
  1. Use Progress Reports
    • Make use of progress reports from practice situational judgement questionnaires. Progress reports are a great way to develop an understanding of your competency score and help you focus on key development areas.
  1. Schedule Your Practice
    • Focus your SJT practice into timed sessions. Whilst many SJT tests are not timed assessments, the time taken may be measured. Therefore it’s key to ensure you prepare your time management. Use the pomodoro method and block scheduling for uninterrupted focus.

For more tips on how to ace your situational judgement questionnaire watch this short video:

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

Get a headstart in your preparation with our own practice Situational Judgement Tests and gain lifetime access to real SJT test questions, live personalised test reports and progress charts!

Or, have a go at the free example question below to get an idea of what a typical situational judgement assessment looks like.

Example Situational Assessment Test Question And Answer

Get a glimpse of what situational judgement assessments look like with this free example question. Read through the scenario below and consider which option is the ‘Best’ and ‘Worst’ option that you can take for this situation. 

Keep reading below the question to find the explanation behind the answers!

Situational Judgement Test Example

Situational Judgement test example
  1. The situation above is an urgent one. It requires prompt action from the IT team to resolve the situation.
  2. You want to consider the calm yet proven approach, as burdening the team members with an unannounced crisis may disrupt the work flow
  3. At the same time, as an IT Specialist, you also have to take initiatives to resolve the issue. Therefore, you will need to develop quick step-by-step measures to resolve this issue.
  4. Most companies are looking for the decision that effectively and efficiently solves the problem. You should consider which of the options would be the best use of your limited time and resources.
  • Best Option: A
    • We should avoid imposing our demands onto others unless it is absolutely necessary, as this disrupts their work duties. Option A does this, whilst also showing initiative in your response to an urgent matter. It also involves a precise plan to better understand the issue at hand. Therefore, this is the best course of action for us to take.
  • Worst Option: C
    • The passage states that approximately 74 stores may have been affected by the glitches. Contacting each store individually would be extremely cumbersome, and is likely to be the most time-consuming response to this urgent issue. Therefore, this is the worst course of action.

For more situational judgement test practice, Register with GF and practice tests designed by the same experts who have previously designed tests for SHL. Boost your preparation with our SJT practice questions today.

Now that we’ve started our SJT test preparation, let’s check out more expert tips that you can use during the online situational awareness test to ace the assessment.

How to Pass Situational Judgement Tests

Improve your performance during the situational test with these top 6 easy to follow techniques that you can use:

  1. Read Carefully
    • Carefully read the instructions and the scenario, as well as all the options you have been provided. Think about what you are being required to do before you attempt to answer the question.
  1. Choose the Answer for You
    • Don’t answer based only on what you think the employer is looking for. Try to also go for the answer that you think is the correct course of action based on shared values and ethics. 
  1. Use the Information Provided
    • As with other assessments such as a verbal reasoning test, ensure to only use the information provided in the scenario. Avoid using external knowledge or assumptions for your responses.
  1. Keep the Job Description in Mind
    • Consider the key competencies required from the role. These are often listed in the job description and sometimes in the test invitation. Consider which options best demonstrate these competencies for the situation.
  1. Take the Test at Your Best 
    • Your mental and physical energy is important for you to perform well for the test. Ensure to get a good night’s sleep the day before and take the online test at a time that suits you best.
  1. Think Practical
    • In your situational test, consider the answer option sounds the most pragmatic in the situation that helps solve the problem effectively and ethically. This is often the best answer.  

Don’t miss this short video to find out about the most common errors you should avoid in your situational judgement test:

How to Fail a Situational Judgement Test (SJT) #shorts 

And with this, you’re up to speed with everything you need to know about situational judgement tests.

Before you go, don’t miss even more answers to key frequently asked questions all about situational judgement assessments below!

Situational Judgement Tests FAQs

What is a Situational Judgement Test?

A situational judgement test is used by employers to judge your competencies such as teamwork, communication, leadership, client management, public relations, product delivery and risk management. You will be required to choose the best and worst of 4 options to a given workplace scenario.

How do you practice situational judgement tests?

  • Research the job description
  • Focus on the desired competencies
  • Understand the company culture
  • Practice SJT questions
  • Ask experienced individuals
  • Develop own experience

Can you fail a situational judgement test?

Whilst there is no failing and passing score in a typical sense, there are still right and wrong answers. It is key for you to perform well in situational assessments as a higher score means you are more likely to be invited to the next stage.

Are situational judgement tests difficult?

SJTs may be difficult if you are a new job seeker and have not taken a situational judgement test before. When approaching situational test questions, consider the key skills that the employer is looking for and which action best demonstrates these in the role.

What is a good score on the situational judgement test?

As most situational awareness tests are customised for the recruiter, the scoring will vary depending on the provider and employer. Most commonly, situational tests results will be compared against others to determine a percentile group. A good score would typically range from the 70-80th percentile.

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