Candidate Handbook

Problem Solving - Multiple Choice Test (PS-MCT)

Test number: D800

Description

The Problem Solving - Multiple Choice Test (PS-MCT) assesses up to level 2 of the Problem Solving competency.  The definition of this competency can be found in the 2016 Canada Revenue Agency competencies.

The PS-MCT presents a number of work-related problems or scenarios. Each problem or scenario is followed by several responses that vary in their effectiveness in addressing the situation. After carefully reading the background information and each scenario, you must use the scale provided and rate how effective you believe each response is in addressing the situation.

The test is based on a fictitious organization. Although the scenarios presented in the test may be similar to those one might encounter while working at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), it is important to keep in mind that the test is designed to measure your general problem solving ability and not your knowledge of the CRA. As such, you should use only the information provided and should not be concerned with any current CRA service standard or procedural guideline when responding to the questions.

Each scenario is independent of the others and contains the criteria that you must use to evaluate the effectiveness of each response, as well as additional information that you should also consider. Good problem solving involves the accurate analysis of information and the use of sound judgment. Therefore, you should evaluate each response by considering, for example, how well it addresses the stated criteria and other information, the number of advantages and disadvantages associated with it, and the impact of the advantages and disadvantages. Then, choose your effectiveness rating from the five-point rating scale provided, which has points ranging from “a” (“Very Poor”) to “e” (“Very Good’). Please note that you may use the same rating more than once within each set of responses for a scenario. For example, you may assign a “Good” rating to two responses that you believe are both good solutions as, in your evaluation, the advantages exceed the disadvantages. You do not have to use every rating on the scale (that is, Very Poor, Poor, Limited, Good, Very Good) when rating the responses for each scenario.

The PS-MCT has a time limit of 90 minutes.

Preparing for the test

No specialized training, knowledge, or experience is required for the PS‑MCT. However, reviewing the sample scenario will help to give you an idea of the format of the questions.

Sample scenario

In the following section you will be presented with a sample scenario and set of responses that are similar to those in the actual test. It is not part of the test.

We have provided ratings for each response and a rationale for the ratings. For illustrative purposes we used all five points on the scale, but please remember that you DO NOT have to do the same in the actual test.

The five points on the scale are below:

Five-point rating scale "a" (very poor) to "e" (very good) descriptions

a

Very Poor

b

Poor

c

Limited

d

Good

e

Very Good

Solution is very unacceptable

Disadvantages greatly exceed advantages

Solution is unacceptable

Disadvantages exceed advantages

Solution is incomplete

Some advantages and some disadvantages

Solution is acceptable

Advantages exceed disadvantages

Solution is superior

Advantages greatly exceed disadvantages

Background information

You work in the Headquarters office of Organization XYZ. During a team meeting, two of your colleagues announce that they will retire next June, one on the 27th and the other on the 30th. Your supervisor asks you to organize a farewell lunch for these two individuals and to give her your recommendation as to when it should take place. She asks you to keep the following in mind:

Criteria

  • There must be only one lunch for both colleagues and it must be held before they leave;
  • A conference will be held from June 9-13. Your supervisor strongly encourages all employees to participate in the activities that will take place during that week;
  • All team members should attend the lunch if possible;
  • The lunch must take place during the regular workweek lunch time.

Other facts you know

  • All your team members, including those who work remotely in different cities, will be at the Headquarters office for an afternoon meeting on June 17th and another one-hour early morning meeting on June18th;
  • Two team members work four days per week, from Monday to Thursday.

For your convenience, a calendar for the month of June is provided below.

June
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          

Task

Given the information provided above regarding the date of the lunch, rate the effectiveness of each of the following response options using the scale below:

Five-point rating scale "a" (very poor) to "e" (very good) descriptions

a

Very Poor

b

Poor

c

Limited

d

Good

e

Very Good

Solution is very unacceptable

Disadvantages greatly exceed advantages

Solution is unacceptable

Disadvantages exceed advantages

Solution is incomplete

Some advantages and some disadvantages

Solution is acceptable

Advantages exceed disadvantages

Solution is superior

Advantages greatly exceed disadvantages

 Responses

  1. June 17th
  2. June 18th
  3. June 26th
  4. June 27th
  5. June 30th

Response 1: If you believe that June 17th is a good response, you would select “d”, which corresponds with “Good” on the scale.

1. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

Response 2: If you believe that June 18th is a very good response, you would select “e”, which corresponds with “Very Good” on the scale.

2. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

Response 3: If you believe that June 26th is a limited response, you would select “c”, which corresponds with “Limited” on the scale.

3. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

Response 4: If you believe that June 27th is a poor response, you would select “b”, which corresponds with “Poor” on the scale.

4. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

Response 5: If you believe that June 30th is a very poor response, you would select “a”, which corresponds with “Very Poor” on the scale.

5. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

Possible rationales

Response 1 is good because all employees, including those who work remotely, would be available to attend. This response fulfills all the criteria your supervisor provided and is consistent with the other facts you were given. However, since the employees who work remotely have to attend a meeting in the afternoon, they may have to leave the lunch earlier than the others if the meeting is early in the afternoon.

Response 2 is very good because all employees, including those who work remotely, would be available to attend. This response fulfills all the criteria your supervisor provided and is consistent with the other facts you were given.

Response 3 is a limited response because all the employees who work at headquarters would be able to attend. However, the employees who work remotely may not be able to attend.

Response 4 is poor because the employees who work Monday to Thursday would not be able to attend and the employees who work remotely may also not be able to attend.

Response 5 is very poor because one of the criteria states the lunch must be held before your retiring colleagues leave. One employee is retiring on June 27th.  As June 30th is after June 27th, it would not fulfill the criteria.

Important notes to remember:

  • You will receive 0 (zero) points for any response that is not rated.
  • You may assign the same rating to more than one of the responses for a particular scenario. For example, you may select “Good” for both responses 1 and 2 if you believe that both are good responses.
  • You do not have to use every rating on the scale (that is, Very Poor, Poor, Limited, Good, Very Good) when rating the responses for each scenario.

Retest period

There is a 180-day waiting period before you can rewrite the test. Should you wish to take this test again, you must wait until after the retest period has elapsed. If 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 there are no substantial changes to the test.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: