Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) are a common part of the selection process for many healthcare training programs, including pharmacy. While they may seem daunting, with the right approach, you can excel at them.
In this article, I will share some tips and insights based on my experience with SJTs and what I would do differently if I could go back.
My experience with SJTs was actually not that bad, but I felt like they only looked at one way of thinking. Despite that, I found that you can still get a lot of marks if your answers are similar to the right answer. I tried my best to be able to understand what exactly they were looking for. The questions are not very different, and the concepts are the same. One thing I would have done differently if I could go back was to look at the Foundation Training Applicant handbook more.
To help you prepare for your own SJTs, here are some quick tips:
Understand why you’re being tested – SJTs are designed to assess how you would handle various situations you may encounter during your training year. Knowing this will help you approach the test with the right mindset.
Take your time understanding the foundation trainee pharmacist handbook and the PAF (Pharmacy Assessment Framework) - These resources will provide you with a good understanding of the competencies that you will be tested on.
Stay calm during the test and don't panic if you can't answer something – It's natural to feel a bit nervous, but try to stay calm and focused. Remember that you have roughly 2 minutes per question, so if you can't come to a conclusion, flag it and come back to it later.
Be familiar with the structure of the SJT test - Knowing what to expect will help you feel more prepared and confident.
Try not to spend too much time on one question - While it's important to give each question your best effort, you don't want to spend so much time on one question that you run out of time for the others.
Consider the attribute being tested for when answering questions - Each question will be testing a specific attribute such as professionalism, communication, or decision-making.
Remember that you are answering as a trainee pharmacist - Remember your restrictions and the fact that you will have to ask for help or refer to someone in a higher position in certain situations.
Do not answer the question according to your experiences in practice - Real-world experience can be helpful, but it's important to remember that the test is assessing your hypothetical responses, not your actual experiences.
Review your answers - If you finish early and have some extra time, use it to go over your answers and any that you have flagged.
I hope that these tips and insights will help you feel more prepared for your own SJTs. Remember that practice and preparation are key to success. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram @pharma_cister.
In my next article, I will be discussing calculations, a crucial aspect of pharmacy practice. Stay tuned!