HOW TO PASS THE CIVIL SERVICE ASSESSMENT CENTRE

To start a career within the Civil Service you will need to pass each individual stage of the selection process, including, arguably the toughest stage, the assessment centre.

Preparation for this stage is vital to ensure that your application to join the Civil Service is successful. So, how do you prepare for the Civil Service assessment centre? Actually it’s quite simple – the best thing you can do is familiarise yourself with the types of exams you’ll face (sitting as many practice papers as you can) and plan your time spent of each question effectively.

So, PRACTICE + PLANNING = PREPARED.

With the above strategy for success in mind, we’ve created a series of downloadable Civil Service guides and practice questions to help you pass with ease.

Get instant to access to all of our Civil Service practice tests!

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PRACTICE

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PLANNING

Become Fully Prepared For Your Assessment Centre

PREPARED

What DOEs the Civil Service ASSESSMENT CENTRE INCLUDE?

The Civil Service assessment centre is a key part of the selection process for any career within the Civil Service. The assessment centre consists of a series of tests to measure a candidates ability to carry out a specific role. It is vital that you are fully prepared for these assessments, what they look like, how they are scored and how to answer each question style.

Types of exams you might face at the assessment centre:

  • Civil Service Numerical Reasoning test;
  • Civil Service Situational Judgement test;
  • Civil Service Verbal Reasoning test.

Sadly, many promising candidates fall short of securing a career within the Civil Service by failing to prepare for these exams. The best way to present yourself as a suitable candidate is to plan and practice for these assessments as much as you can. Below we’ve broken down each of the exams and will give you access to practice materials to ensure your selection!

Civil Service SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TESTS

As part of the Civil Service assessment centre, you’ll be expected to take a judgement test. This will measure how you handle specific work-based situations, and will tell your potential employer a lot about how you cope under pressure, and also how you manage challenging scenarios.

Civil Service judgement test questions will propose a specific problem and present you with four different answer options. You will then need to rank the possible answer options from the most effective to counterproductive.

Civil Service Judgement Test Practice
Civil Service Judgement Test Practice Question

You are the centre manager for a well-known writing retreat in the English countryside. Part of your role is ensuring that the centre is well staffed, food goes out on time and that the centre is kept clean and tidy. You have recently taken on a new staff member, who is struggling with his position. Today you have discovered that the new staff member has forgotten to pre-order food supplies, meaning that there is no way to cook dinner for the course attendees that evening. The staff member is fairly upset at his mistake. What do you say to him?

Answer options:

  1. ‘Pack your bags. You’re sacked’
  2. ‘Mistakes happen. Let’s pull the team together and brainstorm some ideas as to how we can fix this.’
  3. ‘Maybe you should consider whether this is the right position for you.’
  4. ‘Okay, obviously this isn’t ideal, but let’s think of some solutions. We’ll have a serious chat about this at the end of the day though.’

Rank all of the above answer options as either effective, fairly effective, ineffective, or counterproductive.

Civil Service Judgement Test Answer

1. ‘Pack your bags. You’re sacked.’

Answer: Counterproductive

Explanation: Sacking the employee on the spot won’t solve anything, and would be unprofessional.

2. ‘Mistakes happen. Let’s pull the team together and brainstorm some ideas as to how we can fix this.’

Answer: Fairly Effective

Explanation: This is a fairly effective as it allows you to try and reach a positive solution to the situation, whilst gaining suggestions from a wide variety of people.

3. ‘Maybe you should consider whether this is the right position for you.’

Answer: Ineffective

Explanation: This is an ineffective response. There will be time to discuss this after the incident has been resolved. All this will do is damage the employee’s confidence, making him less likely to successfully complete future tasks.

4. ‘Okay, obviously this isn’t ideal, but let’s think of some solutions. We’ll have a serious chat about this at the end of the day though.’

Answer: Effective

Explanation: This is an efficient response. You are treating the issue in a constructive manner, but still ensuring that the employee knows that it’s a serious mistake.

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Civil Service NUMERICAL REASONING TESTS

As part of the Civil Service assessment centre, you’ll be expected to sit a numerical test. This exam will measure your ability to handle maths and data-based problems.

Civil Service numerical test questions are typically in a multiple-choice format and will cover various styles of maths questions, testing your knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, tables, graphs, charts and more.

How to pass a numerical reasoning test
Civil Service Numerical Test Practice Questions

Katie and Harrison take a road trip. There are two parts of the journey in which they decide to split the driving. For the first part of the journey, Katie drives 90 miles at an average speed of 60 mph. They stop off at a petrol station for 20 minutes, before Harrison takes over the next part of the journey. They leave the petrol station at 1355 and arrive at their destination at 1525, travelling a distance of 60 miles.

Question 1: How long does the first part of the journey take?

Question 2: What is the duration of the whole journey, including the stop off?

Question 3: What speed does Harrison travel at for the second part of the journey?

Civil Service Numerical Test Answers

Answer to Question 1: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Answer to Question 2: 3 hours and 20 minutes

Answer to Question 3: 40 mph

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Civil Service VERBAL REASONING TESTS

The Civil Service verbal reasoning exam forms a key part of the Civil Service assessment centre. This test will measure your English comprehension, spelling, and logical reasoning skills.

Civil Service verbal tests will comprise of true, false or impossible to say style questions.

Civil Service Verbal Test Practice Questions

Read the following passage and answer the questions as either TRUE, FALSE or IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY.

People pay National Insurance contributions in order to build up their entitlement to a state pension and other social security benefits.

The amount that you pay is directly linked to the amount you earn. If you earn over a certain amount, your employer deducts Class 1 National Insurance contributions from your wages through the PAYE system.

You pay a lower rate of National Insurance contributions if you’re a member of your employer’s ‘contracted’ pension scheme, or you’re a married woman – or widow – who holds a valid ‘election certificate’.

Your employer also pays employer National Insurance contributions based on your earnings and on any benefits you get with your job, for example a company car. HMRC keeps track of your contributions through your National Insurance number. This is like an account number and is unique to you.

Question 1: People pay National Insurance contributions in order to build up housing benefits?

Question 2: HMRC stands for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs?

Civil Service Verbal Test Answers

Question 1: People pay National Insurance contributions in order to build up housing benefits?

Answer: Cannot Say

Explanation: Although the statement makes reference to social security benefits, it does not confirm that these include housing benefits. The correct answer is cannot say based on the information provided.

Question 2: HMRC stands for ‘Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’?

Answer: Cannot Say

Explanation: The passage makes no reference to this fact; therefore, the correct answer is cannot say based on the information provided. Also, this is a perfect example of where we must discount information that we know to be true in reality, but is not referred to in the passage.

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Civil Service Assessment Centre Tests The Complete Pack Download
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The Civil Service Assessment Centre Tests Complete Pack

Get the complete Civil Service assessment centre preparation pack, including all 9 downloadable resources for just £27 (RRP: £64.97)!

  • Civil Service Situational Judgement Test Starter Guide Download;
  • Civil Service Situational Judgement Test – Booster Pack #1;
  • Civil Service Situational Judgement Test – Booster Pack #2;
  • Civil Service Verbal Reasoning Test Starter Guide Download;
  • Civil Service Verbal Reasoning Test – Booster Pack #1;
  • Civil Service Verbal Reasoning Test – Booster Pack #2;
  • Civil Service Numerical Reasoning Test Starter Guide Download;
  • Civil Service Numerical Reasoning Test – Booster Pack #1;
  • Civil Service Numerical Reasoning Test – Booster Pack #2.