Public Service Entrance Exam 371 (PSEE 371)
The purpose of the Public Service Entrance Exam 371 (PSEE 371) is to assess an individual’s reasoning skills and judgement for officer-level positions in the federal public service. Hiring managers may use it on its own or as the final step in a two-step assessment process, following an unsupervised version of the test (e.g., PSEE UIT 370). It can be used to assist managers in making selection decisions for appointment or for placement in training programs.
This test can be administered as a paper-and-pencil test or as an e-test with the Public Service Commission’s On-line Testing Facility. Consult the Understanding the Public Service Entrance Exam Suite of Products Web page to learn more about the suite of related products.
The PSEE 371 is a supervised test consisting of two separately timed sub-tests.
Sub-Test 1: Reasoning is designed to assess reasoning and problem-solving ability and consists of 30 multiple choice questions. There are four types of questions:
- Arithmetic reasoning;
- Logical reasoning;
- Analytical reasoning; and
- Number or letter series.
The time limit is 90 minutes to complete this sub-test.
Sub-Test 2: Judgement is designed to assess the judgement required for solving problems in work-related situations and consists of 40 multiple choice questions.
The time limit is 60 minutes to complete this sub-test.
Total test time: Total test time is approximately 3 hours, which includes 30 minutes of administration time. No breaks are scheduled.
Sub-test 1: The minimum pass mark is 13/30 (10th percentile or better), which means applicants must place in the top 90% of a large group of previous test takers (normative sample).
Sub-test 2: The minimum pass mark is 3400/ 4000 (35th percentile or better), which means applicants must place in the top 65% of the normative sample.
At the hiring manager's discretion, the pass mark may be set as high as the 50th percentile for both sub-tests. In other words, to pass a sub-test, an applicant would have to place in the top 50% of the normative sample for the sub-test. This corresponds to a score of 21/30 for Sub-test 1 and 3461/4000 for Sub-test 2.
Why are the two sub-test scores so different? Every test has its own unique scale. To compare scores meaningfully across tests, they must be converted to a common scale. This is similar to converting from different currencies or temperatures. For example, even though they appear to be different, 1 Canadian dollar is in fact worth the same as 95 Japanese yen (at time of writing).
Percentiles are a common scale for PSEE 371 scores. Even though they appear to be different, a score of 21/30 on Sub-test 1 and a score of 3461/4000 on Sub-test 2 both correspond to the 50th percentile. In both cases, a manager would know that an applicant has out-scored half the test takers in the normative sample. The same performance standard has been achieved on both sub-tests, just for different competencies.
Global score: A global score is calculated for the PSEE 371 that ranges from 0 to 73. No pass mark is applied to this score. It is available to managers for use in right-fit decision-making. The global score is calculated so as to achieve the best prediction of job performance. Sub-test 1 is worth 60% of the global score, whereas Sub-test 2 accounts for the remaining 40%. Prior to calculating the global score, the sub-tests are converted to a common scale. This is why even though Sub-test 2 scores appear to be much higher, they do not heavily influence the global score.
There is a 180 day waiting period before you can rewrite the test. You may not retake it until the re-test period has elapsed. If you rewrite the test before the re-test period has elapsed, your result will not be valid and a new re-test period will be imposed from the most recent test date.
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