Candidate Handbook Competency-Based Situational - Multiple Choice Test

Description

The Competency-Based Situational Multiple Choice Test (CBS-MCT) assesses up to level 2 of the following five competencies: Adaptability; Service Excellence; Dealing with Difficult Interactions; Effective Interactive Communication; and Teamwork and Cooperation. The definitions of these competencies can be found in the Canada Revenue Agency competencies.

This test consists of a number of challenging situations that an employee might encounter at work. Each situation is followed by five possible actions that one might take in response to the situation described. You are asked to select the one response option that you think is the most effective in dealing with the situation described, and the one response you feel is the least effective in dealing with the situation described.

The CBS-MCT contains 96 questions and has a time limit of 90 minutes.

Results

You will receive a result of either not demonstrated, level 1, or level 2 for each of the five competencies.

Rescores

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

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.

Preparing for the test

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

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, personal digital assistant, 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

  • 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:
"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.

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. 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 TA 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.

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

Questions and answers about the test

Question: Will I obtain a level for each competency assessed by the CBS-MCT?

Answer: Yes. The level obtained for each competency is derived from your responses to the questions corresponding to that particular competency.

Question: If I already have a result for one of the competencies assessed by the CBS-MCT, what level will be retained?

Answer: If you have already obtained a level on one or more of the competencies evaluated by CBS-MCT, the highest level will be retained, regardless of the standardized assessment tool used.

Question: Can I be assessed on only one competency using the CBS-MCT?

Answer: No. The CBS-MCT does not contain competency subtests and must be administered as a complete test. It tests the following competencies: Adaptability; Dealing with difficult interactions; Effective interactive communication; Service excellence and Teamwork and cooperation.

Sample questions

The following section contains only examples of the types of questions included in the test. It is not part of the test.

The following questions present situations that an employee might encounter at work. Each situation is followed by five possible actions that one might take in response to the situation described. You are asked to select one alternative that you think is the most effective in dealing with the situation and one alternative that you think is the least effective in dealing with the situation.

Please note that for each question there could be more than one effective (that is, more than one level 1 and more than one level 2) or ineffective (that is, not demonstrated) response. Simply use your own judgment to select the one that you personally believe is the most effective and the one that you personally believe is the least effective.

Sample questions 1 and 2

You work in the Information Technology department and are helping your client, Samir, at the service counter. Samir had scheduled an appointment to come see you at this time. Another client, Paula, comes in seeking assistance. You politely ask Paula to contact the Service Desk from her work station to make an appointment, as per the operating procedure. However, Paula demands help now, as she feels her issue is very urgent. She seems in a panic and keeps interrupting while you try to talk to Samir.

1. The most effective response to this situation would be:

2. The least effective response to this situation would be:

  1. Ignore Paula and continue helping Samir, as he had an appointment.
  2. Tell Paula that you will be happy to help her after you finish serving Samir.
  3. Call a colleague to help Paula since her issue appears to be urgent.
  4. Tell Paula she should have called to make an appointment and that she must wait her turn.
  5. Once again ask Paula to return to her work station and call the Service Desk since that is the quickest way for her to get served.

Answer key

1. (c)
2. (a)

If your choice for the most effective response to the situation is (c) and the least effective response is (a), you must darken the appropriate circles on your answer sheet corresponding to the question numbers as illustrated below:

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

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

For online tests, click on the circle corresponding to answer (c) for Question 1 and on the circle corresponding to answer (a) for Question 2.

Sample questions 3 and 4

Your team leader shows employees in your section a new computer system and informs everyone that it will be used in six months. Your team leader then encourages everyone to try it out in order to get used to it. After the team leader is gone, several employees tell you that the system is not as precise or user-friendly as the current system.

3. The most effective response to this situation would be:

4. The least effective response to this situation would be:

  1. You know it won’t be easy, but you decide to try the new system.
  2. Decide that you will try the new system in six months when you absolutely have to, as doing so now is not a good use of your time.
  3. Practise using the new system. When you are convinced that you are using it correctly, speak to your colleagues about the benefits of this system.
  4. As you feel the old system is better, meet with your team leader to share your concerns with her.
  5. Try and convince your colleagues to band together and refuse to use the new system since it is not as good as your current system and thus will impact your ability to do your job.

Answer key

3. (c)
4. (e)

If your choice for the most effective response to the situation is (c) and the least effective response is (e), you must darken the appropriate circles on your answer sheet corresponding to the question numbers as illustrated below:

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

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

For online tests, click on the circle corresponding to answer (c) for Question 3 and on the circle corresponding to answer (e) for Question 4.

Sample questions 5 and 6

You have been working at a call centre for a few years. You are very experienced on the phone and are quite comfortable with that aspect of your job. Recently you have been receiving a lot of questions from your co-workers and you realize that many of them are unsure about what to tell clients on the phone. Responding to these questions is beginning to affect your own productivity.

5. The most effective response to this situation would be:

6. The least effective response to this situation would be:

  1. Inform your supervisor of the situation so she can speak with your co-workers and ask them to stop asking you questions.
  2. Come up with a list of frequently asked questions and answers, and send them to all your co-workers.
  3. Tell your co-workers that you can no longer answer their questions because they are taking too much of your time and it is affecting your own work.
  4. Start telling your co-workers when they approach you that you are too busy to answer their question so that they get the message.
  5. Suggest that your co-workers ask your supervisor instead so you can focus on your own work.

Answer key

5. (b)
6. (d)

If your choice for the most effective response to the situation is (b) and the least effective response is (d), you must darken the appropriate circles on your answer sheet corresponding to the question numbers as illustrated below:

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

Question 6. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

For online tests, click on the circle corresponding to answer (b) for Question 5 and on the circle corresponding to answer (d) for Question 6.

Sample questions 7 and 8

You are a customer service agent. A client approaches the counter and demands that your organization refund her an amount to which she feels she is entitled. She quotes sections from different acts and is convinced she is right. You know she is not entitled to a refund. In an aggressive tone she tells you “I hope you are competent enough to answer my request. I refuse to leave here without my refund.”

7. The most effective response to this situation would be:

8. The least effective response to this situation would be:

  1. Respond to the client, “I would appreciate a more respectful tone. I am here to help you”.
  2. Invite the client into a side office and, in a sensitive way, explain to her why she will not be receiving a refund.
  3. Recommend she go see an accountant so that they can explain to her why she is not entitled to a refund.
  4. Say, “I can’t help you right now because you are being unreasonable. Come back and see me when you have calmed down.”
  5. Apologize and say you will not respond to her right now because you feel that it is not a good time for her.

Answer key

7. (b)
8. (d)

If your choice for the most effective response to the situation is (b) and the least effective response is (d), you must darken the appropriate circles on your answer sheet corresponding to the question numbers as illustrated below:

Question 7. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

Question 8. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

For online tests, click on the circle corresponding to answer (b) for Question 7 and on the circle corresponding to answer (d) for Question 8.

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: