TRAIN DRIVER SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TEST [Practice Resource]

TRAIN DRIVER SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TEST – A Step-by-Step Walkthrough

TRAIN DRIVER SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TEST - A Step-by-Step Walkthrough

 

 

Train Operating Companies in the UK is starting to use a form of situational judgement test (often referred to as Situational Judgement Exercises or SJEs) as part of the assessment criteria for assessing trainee train drivers. Another name for this type of new test is the ‘TDSJT’.

 

The TDSJT was introduced as an additional way to help TOCs assess the safe working capabilities of potential train drivers. During the old assessment format, most people who attended the train driver interview would pass (over 90%) and so a new series of tests was introduced to improve the quality of assessment.

 

On this page, you will find some useful resources for helping you to prepare for, and pass, this type of assessment.

 

The purpose of the Train Driver Situational Judgement Test

The reason that this test has been introduced is so that Train Operating Companies (TOCs) can determine how candidates are likely to perform in a safety-critical role. As you will be fully aware, the Rail Industry has an excellent safety record and the assessment of candidates in relation to their ‘safe working capabilities’ is paramount.

 

This form of Situational Judgement Test has been used for many years’ in other safety-critical roles, such as the Police Force and the Fire Service.

 

The questions are all presented in the same format. You, the applicant, are required to read a passage and then decide which of presented four options you would likely carry out first.  The TDSJT is a very strong indicator of how a trainee train driver would be likely to perform in any given situation.

 

Of course, the situational judgement test for train drivers is not a perfect assessment, simply because it is very difficult to replicate a highly pressurised environment in which a train driver would find themselves in. However, the sheer fact that an applicant will need to answer the questions whilst under timed conditions adds a certain element of pressure.

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Sample Train Driver Situational Judgement Test

 

The following is a sample TDSJT question for you to try. Following the question is a breakdown of how the answer has been reached.

 

NOTE: The following sample questions are the copyright of How2Become Ltd and are not to be reproduced without permission.

 

Sample question

 

You are driving a train and you are approaching the platform at Preston train station when you realise there is a person up ahead on the track. What would you do?

 

A. Immediately apply the emergency brake before informing the Rail Safety Centre (RSC) of the situation.

B. Inform the Rail Safety Centre before the applying the emergency brake.

C. Allow the train to come to a safe stop using the normal braking procedure. Any sudden braking is likely to cause disruption and potential injury to the passengers.

D. Allow the train to come to a safe stop using the normal braking procedure before informing the Rail Safety Centre.

Train Driver

How to answer the TDSJT question

 

Whenever you are answering this type of situational judgement question, always focus on safety. Ask yourself the following questions when looking at the 4 presented options:

 

  1. Which of the 4 presented options is the safest?
  2. Which of the 4 presented options looks most likely to be taught during trainee train driver training?

 

The correct answer will normally be one that requires the most common sense.  For example, in the above question, Option D states that you would ‘allow the train to come to a safe stop using the normal braking procedure. Any sudden braking is likely to cause disruption and potential injury to the passengers.’ This response does not apply the most effective use of safe operating procedures, simply because it is likely that the person on the track will be seriously injured or killed.

 

In fact, the only two serious answer options in this question are A and B. However, you will notice that the action you would take for each response is the other way round. During Option A you would stop the train first before informing the RSC, whereas in Option B you would inform the RSC first before applying the brake.

 

The correct and most appropriate response to this question is Option A, simply because it is safer to apply the emergency brake first before informing the RSC. If you inform the RSC first, by the time you have applied the emergency brake the train may have already hit the person on the track.

 

Tips for passing the Trainee Train Driver Situational Judgement Test

There are a number of things you can in order to help improve your scores during the TDSJT. The following tips will help you to prepare effectively and improve your overall ability to pass this type of psychometric test:

 

TIP 1 – There are many types of Situational Judgement test available on the market. Just because you are applying to become a train driver, doesn’t mean you should focus solely on Train Driver related SJTs. Obtain as many test questions as possible from all different genres and practice accordingly.

 

TIP 2 – When you read the question you will be presented with a situation’. Read the situation quickly before scanning each of the presented options. Immediately dismiss responses which common sense tells you they are incorrect. Then, focus more on the responses you have left. Among them will be the one that presents the safest working practice.

 

TIP 3 – You do not need to be a train driver in order to pass this type of test. What you do need to be is safety-conscious. When assessing the situation and presented options, always err on the safe side. Remember – safety is absolutely paramount at all times in the Railway Industry, whether it’s the safety of your passengers, yourself, your work colleagues or the rolling stock you are responsible for. Under no circumstances should you put your passengers, crew or rolling stock in danger.

 

MOCK TRAIN DRIVER SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TEST

 

Now that you understand what this type of test involves and more importantly how to pass it, take the time to try out the following mock test. There are five sample questions in total, and you have just 5 minutes to answer all of them.

 

Following the mock test the answers are supplied. Take the time to check carefully why, if any, you scored incorrectly.

 

QUESTION 1

 

Whilst serving as a fully qualified train driver, you become concerned that the standard of Continuous Professional Development training has been dropping over the last few months. What do you do?

 

A. Provide feedback to my manager on how you believe the training could be improved in order to improve safety.

B. At the end of the day, any issues surrounding training standards are down to the line manager. It is up to them to sort it out and if they can’t recognise there’s a problem, then that’s not my problem.

C. Apply for promotion so that you can be in charge of training and, therefore, improve the standards.

D. Discuss your concerns with the other train drivers first. If they agree with you, then inform your manager.

 

QUESTION 2

 

Whilst preparing the train at Euston Station for your regular weekly journey to Glasgow Central, the train guard approaches you in the cab to inform you that there are problems with the trains communication system. He tells you that no announcements will be able to be made to passengers during the journey because of the fault. What would you do?

 

A. Thank the guard for the information and carry on with your duties preparing the train.

B. Thank the guard for the information before informing the station manager about the defect. You will not be able to drive this train, as you will not be able to make any safety-related announcements to the passengers during the journey, if the need arises. The safety of the passengers and the other crew members is paramount.

C. Thank the guard for the information before heading off to see if you can fix the problem yourself. You are the train driver, and as such a highly practical and adaptable person. You are confident you can fix the problem before the train departs the platform.

D. Thank the guard for the information before informing him that you will contact him directly if any important announcements need to be made during the journey. If there are any announcements that need to be made, the guard can then walk up and down the train carriages informing the passengers. The most important thing is to ensure the train leaves on time and arrives at its destination.

 

QUESTION 3

 

You wake up one morning and start to get ready for work. You are scheduled to drive the 10:05 train from Paddington to Reading. All of a sudden you start to feel ill and uneasy. Whilst driving to work your eyes become slightly blurred, but you are just about OK to drive. When you arrive at work you still feel slightly ill. What would you do?

A. Immediately inform your manager about how you feel.Battle through it. You are a train driver and you have a responsibility to drive the train on time, so that the passengers get to their destination.

B. Battle through it. You are a train driver and you have a responsibility to drive the train on time, so that the passengers get to their destination.Take headache tablets and monitor the situation. If you feel bad during the journey from Paddington to Reading then you will consider booking sick once you reach Reading.

C. Take headache tablets and monitor the situation. If you feel bad during the journey from Paddington to Reading then you will consider booking sick once you reach Reading.Immediately book sick so that a replacement driver can be found, before informing your line manager.

D. Immediately book sick so that a replacement driver can be found, before informing your line manager.

 

QUESTION 4

 

You are a fully qualified and experienced train driver. You are sat around the station canteen mess table having a cup of tea with some other train drivers. There’s a bit of banter going on and one of the more senior train drivers is making fun out of a newly qualified train driver. The new train driver appears to be slightly upset by the comments but doesn’t say anything. What would you do?

A. I would intervene and say that I didn’t think the comments were appropriate. Even though the driver is new, that doesn’t mean he should be the centre of any harmful jokes or comments.

B. Banter is all part and parcel of Rail Industry life. Train Drivers work in lonely and highly pressurised situations and a bit of canteen banter is good for morale. If the new train driver is going to fit in, then he will need to get used to it.I would leave the canteen and go and inform my station manager of the comments.

C. I would leave the canteen and go and inform my station manager of the comments.I would probably join in with the banter.

D. I would probably join in with the banter.

 

QUESTION 5

 

You are driving a train with Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) between Slough and Paddington when you suddenly notice in the distance a metal scaffolding bar hanging from the catenary wire.  The metal scaffolding bar looks like it will hit your cab screen window. What would you do?

A. Immediately bring the train to a safe stop and report the incident to the signaller and the Electrical Control Operator (ECO). I would then follow my training and inform the guard and passengers that we had stopped due to an incident and that I would update them as soon as I had any further information. Under no circumstances would I leave the cab, for safety reasons.

B. Immediately bring the train to a safe stop and report the incident to the signaller and the Electrical Control Operator (ECO). I would then follow my training and inform the guard and passengers that we had stopped due to an incident and that I would update them as soon as I had any further information. I would then leave the cab to assess the situation and see if it was possible to remove the metal bar myself. This way, we would be able to get moving again quickly to ensure all passengers arrived at their destination on time.

C. Immediately bring the train to a safe stop. I would then leave the cab to assess the situation and see if it was possible to remove the metal bar myself. This way, we would be able to get moving again quickly to ensure all passengers arrived at their destination on time. As I understand, responsibility for safety rests with the Train Guard, and as such, he/she would be responsible for dealing with this type of incident.

D. As I understand, responsibility for safety rests with the Train Guard, and as such, he/she would be responsible for dealing with this type of incident.

Now that you have completed the mock situational judgement test questions, take your time to look at the answers and explanations.

Answers and explanations to the mock test

Question 1 – Answer A

A. Provide feedback to my manager on how you believe the training could be improved in order to improve safety.

This is the most responsible of all the answer options. The answer demonstrates that you take your training/development seriously. Once you have raised your concerns with the manager, he or she will then decide whether or not any changes need to be made.

 

Question 2 – Answer B

B. Thank the guard for the information before informing the station manager about the defect. You will not be able to drive this train, as you will not be able to make any safety-related announcements to the passengers during the journey, if the need arises. The safety of the passengers and the other crew members is paramount.

Although the train communication system is predominantly used for passing on messages to passengers regarding station arrivals and delays etc, its primary purpose is for relaying safety-related messages. If a train is without its communication system, the safety of all passengers could be in danger. For example, if a train consisted of 10 carriages and there was a fire located in carriage number 8, the fastest way to inform passengers of the danger is by the communications system.

 

Question 3 – Answer D

D. Immediately book sick so that a replacement driver can be found, before informing your line manager.

Although answer option A is also a responsible selection, only you can determine whether or not you are fit to drive a train. In this type of situation where your vision is blurred, you are clearly not fit to drive a train and must book sick as a priority so an alternative driver can be located.

 

Question 4 – Answer A

A. I would intervene and say that I didn’t think the comments were appropriate. Even though the driver is new, that doesn’t mean he should be the centre of any harmful jokes or comments.

Any form of bullying or harassment is not permitted within any of the Train Operating Companies. It is your responsibility to challenge it.

 

Question 5 – Answer A

A. Immediately bring the train to a safe stop and report the incident to the signaller and the Electrical Control Operator (ECO). I would then follow my training and inform the guard and passengers that we had stopped due to an incident and that I would update them as soon as I had any further information. Under no circumstances would I leave the cab, for safety reasons.

Overhead Line Equipment is live, and therefore, extremely dangerous. Only Nominated Persons (NP) are permitted to touch OLE and/or work on it. As a train driver, you are not trained to work on this type of equipment and you should therefore not leave the cab under any circumstances until told to do so. In this type of situation, you should follow your training and inform the passengers of the delay whilst the signaller and ECO take appropriate action.

Summary