Candidate Handbook

Description

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Situational Judgement Test - Management Version (SJT-M) assesses judgement in work related situations. The test presents a number of challenging situations that a manager might encounter at work. These situations may include managing conflicts, serving clients, and dealing with ethical issues. Each situation is followed by five possible actions that one might take in response to the problem described. You are asked to select one alternative that you think is the most effective in dealing with the problem described in each situation. In some cases, there might be more than one effective answer, however, you are asked to choose the most effective.

The SJT-M has 35 questions with a time limit of one hour.

One point is given if you select the most effective answer and no points are deducted if you select other answers.

Test development process

The SJT-M was developed by the Personnel Psychology Centre of the Public Service Commission in collaboration with the CRA. Employees and managers from the CRA participated in the development of this multiple-choice test. They provided examples of challenging situations encountered on the job. Those examples were used to create the test questions and responses. The situations included issues involving ethics, integrity, and professionalism, working with others, managing conflicts, and serving clients.

The scoring key was developed based on the judgement of subject matter experts about the effectiveness of the response alternatives for dealing with each situation. The subject matter experts were all executive or senior managers across the CRA. This group consisted of men, women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, and persons with disabilities. Subsequently, a second review of the questions and answers was conducted with other executives and senior managers from across the CRA.

Throughout the course of development and review, procedures were followed to ensure the validity, reliability, and fairness of the test.

Candidate information

Before the test

  • Ensure you are aware of the exact location, date, and time of your test session.
  • Review the sample question(s), if applicable, to familiarize yourself with the test structure.
  • If you have a disability that could affect your test performance, you must inform the responsible resourcing advisor, as soon as possible, so that appropriate accommodations can be made.

On the day of the test

  • If you do not feel well on the day of the test and you think that this will impact on your test results, you must inform the contact on your letter of invitation as soon as possible.
  • Arrive in advance so that you do not feel rushed or overly stressed. You will not be admitted to the room once the test has begun.
  • Bring at least one photo identification card and your Personal Record Identifier (PRI) if you are a public servant.
  • Do not bring smart phones, cell phones, USB keys, PDAs, digital cameras or any other electronic device into the testing room, they are not permitted. This will save you the trouble of checking them in with the test administrator.

When taking tests in general

  • Read the instructions thoroughly and completely before you begin.
  • Organize your time, work quickly, and use all the time available.
  • If you finish the test before time is up, review your answers.
  • For handwritten tests, write neatly so you don't lose points for answers which the scorer cannot read.

When taking multiple-choice tests

  • Read the whole question before answering it. Eliminate answers that you know are wrong. By reducing the number of choices, you increase your chance of selecting the correct answer.
  • Don't spend too much time on a question that you find too difficult. Leave it and return to it if you have time at the end.
  • If completing answer sheets, use only HB pencils that have been provided. Any answers recorded in ink will be scored as incorrect.
  • Ensure that the question number on your answer sheet matches the question number you are answering

After the test

"The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information relating to testing or auditing procedures or techniques or details of specific tests to be given or audits to be conducted if the disclosure would prejudice the use or results of particular tests or audits."

Failure to comply with this regulation and/or engaging in a fraudulent practice will result in disciplinary action.
  • Do not discuss or share the content of a standardized test. Also, you cannot view or obtain a copy of any standardized test material because they are protected by the Access to Information Act. Section 22 of this act stipulates that:

Additional information for candidates writing online tests

As a test-taker, you may be required to write a test on a computer instead of the traditional paper and pencil format.

Computer skills

Only two computer skills are necessary to write an online test. First, you will need to point your mouse's cursor in specific areas of your screen and click with your index finger. During your online testing session, you will need to use your mouse to mark your answers and, when necessary, to move "back" to a previous question and "next" to the following question. Second, you will use your mouse to point on the scroll bar to the right of the screen in order to move up or down on a page.

Instructions

As with paper and pencil formats of tests, online tests are proctored, which means that test administrators (TA) are present to ensure that the session follows the CRA's administrative and security procedures. For example, the TA will begin with the general test session instructions and then the specific instructions for the test you are taking. TAs will follow all current procedures concerning late candidates, temporary absences from the testing room, withdrawal of candidates from a testing session, candidates requiring accommodations, cheating, disruptive candidates, disputes regarding test questions, emergencies and other situations.

Security and Privacy

Your name is assigned to an electronic version of a specific test. Your session will start with a login screen. You will receive two identification (ID) numbers at the testing session: the first number is your unique Test Taker ID and the other number, the Test Administrator ID. These measures are to ensure test security. The TA will take you through this simple process. Please note: for each online test that you are scheduled to take, you will be issued a unique Test Taker ID.

Timed tests

All CRA online tests are timed; the computer ensures fairness by controlling the duration of the session, from the exact moment each test-taker clicks "Start Your Test". A timer in the upper right corner of the screen will show exactly how much time is left. After the allocated time the computer will close your test. If you finish early, you can use the remaining time to review your answers.

How to respond to questions

Although this will vary from test to test, Figure 1 shows an example of a screen presenting a multiple-choice question. The main elements of this screen are the name of the test (in this case "Practice Test (D01A1E)"), the question number you are responding to, and the total number of questions in the test (in this case "Question 1 / 6"), the actual question and, in the case of a multiple-choice question, the options from which you can choose. Of course, more text can appear, depending upon the amount of text in the question and in the answer choices. Point your mouse's cursor and click the circle next to your answer choice. The upper left corner of the screen shows a "Mark for Review" box you can check to remind yourself to revisit any question later if you have time. Finally, in the bottom portion of the screen, "Back" and "Next" buttons will allow you to move back to the previous question or forward to the next question.

This information will be repeated immediately before the testing session and your test administrator will answer any questions.

How to review your answers

Two strategies are available. During the test, you can use the "Back" and "Next" buttons to navigate within your test. If, after answering all the questions, you have time left, you will see a screen that looks like the one shown in Figure 2. This is the review screen. In this hypothetical example, the upper right corner shows that you still have 3 minutes left to complete the test. The screen shows the answers you provided for all the questions. In this case, the PSC Practice test has 6 questions. For example, at question 1 you answered "4", at question 2 you answered "3", and so on. When "Marked" appears, like as with question 1, it means you checked the "Mark for Review" box for that question. Click on the circle next to the question number, then click on the "Edit" button. This will take you directly to the question. You can change your answer or leave it as is. Marking questions does not influence your score. If you are satisfied, you can click on "Submit". You will then be asked to confirm that you want to end your test. If you click on "Yes" your results will be uploaded and your session will be complete.

Rescores

Rescore requests are not accepted for online tests. Managers are encouraged however to respond to candidates' concerns.

Figure 1
Example of a test screen showing a multiple-choice question
Firgure 2
Example of a Test review screen showing a list of marked questions

Retest Period

There is a 180 day waiting period before you can rewrite the test. Should you rewrite the test before the retest period has elapsed, your result will not be valid and a new retest period will be imposed from the new test date.

Validity Period

Your test result will remain valid indefinitely provided that the test standards do not change or you do not rewrite the test. If you choose to rewrite the test, your most recent result will become the only valid result, regardless if it is higher or lower than the previous result.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q1. Can I view my test and answer sheet to see where I made mistakes?
  • A1. You cannot view or obtain a copy of the test booklet because this standardized assessment tool is protected by the Access to Information Act. Section 22 of this act stipulates that:

    "The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information relating to testing or auditing procedures or techniques or details of specific tests to be given or audits to be conducted if the disclosure would prejudice the use or results of particular tests or audits."

  • Q2. Is it possible that an error occurred during the correction of my answer sheet?
  • A2.It is highly unlikely that an error occurred, given the stringent correction process in place. Only 0.1% of the multiple-choice test results have to be adjusted after being rescored manually. When a score does change, it is usually because the candidate did not completely darken the circle as instructed and/or the candidate changed an answer but neglected to completely erase the original answer.
  • Q3. I wrote my answers in the multiple-choice test booklet and not on my answer sheet. Can you score the answers in the test booklet?
  • A3.No. Answers provided in the test booklets will not be scored as it is forbidden to write in the booklets.

    Candidates are responsible to strictly follow the test instructions.

Sample Questions for the test: SJT-M

Your staff has very old computer equipment that compromises their work. New computer equipment will arrive but only for 20% of your staff. Your supervisor tells you to take one of the new computers and to divide up the rest as you see fit. Which action, among the following five choices, would most effectively address this situation?
  1. Distribute the new computers according to seniority of employees.
  2. Take one new computer for yourself and allocate the rest based on the work needs of each employee.
  3. Have a draw and those who win get new computers.
  4. Give the new computers to those employees who are more productive.
  5. Meet with your staff and establish criteria for distributing the new computers.

If you think that answer "e" is the most effective action, you would darken circle letter "e" on your answer sheet.

The action, which will most effectively address this situation is:
Q.1 (e)

You are asked by a peer to review a document that she has written and that is scheduled for release to her clients shortly. You find the document somewhat confusing and feel that it would result in unsatisfied clients. You discuss your concerns with her and she simply states "thanks for your comments but I think it's fine the way it is". Which action, among the following five choices, would most effectively address this situation?
  1. Let her release the document without taking your comments into consideration.
  2. Contact her supervisor and discuss your concerns.
  3. Suggest that she have others review her document.
  4. Indicate that the document has first to be approved by the communication unit and has to meet strict standards in terms of clarity.
  5. Insist on the major modifications that have to be made and forget about the less important aspects.

If you think that answer "c" is the most effective action, you would darken circle letter "c" on your answer sheet.

The action, which will most effectively address this situation is:
Q.2 (c)

You are managing a project involving the team you are supervising as well as someone from another office. This person is extremely busy, and misses some of the meetings you organized. After a while, she comes to you and asks to be kept up-to-date on the project, even though she cannot always attend your meetings. Which action, among the following five choices, would most effectively address this situation?
  1. Send her a copy of the minutes for each of the meetings she misses.
  2. Stress the importance of her attending all meetings, as she now is part of the team.
  3. Suggest that she ask someone from her office to go to the meetings that she cannot attend in order to take notes.
  4. Verify whether you can reschedule the meetings to better fit her schedule.
  5. Ask her to identify ways that she could improve her attendance.

If you think that answer "d" is the most effective action, you would darken circle letter "d" on your answer sheet.

The action, which will most effectively address this situation is:
Q.3 (d)

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