Situational Judgment Test


The Canada Revenue Agency Situational Judgment Test - Recruitment Version (SJT-R) assesses judgement in work related situations. The test presents a number of challenging situations that an employee 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 and one alternative that you think is the least effective.

The SJT-R has 102 questions and a time limit of two hours twenty minutes.

Candidate information

Before the test

  • Ensure you are aware of the exact location, date, and time of your test session.
  • Review the sample questions, 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.


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.


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
Figure 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 


Your team has recently hired a new junior employee who is being mentored by one of your coworkers. Yesterday, your coworker informed your team and manager that this junior employee was having difficulty adjusting to the work and had made several errors. To your surprise, you have just overheard your coworker speaking to your manager and taking credit for work you know was completed by the junior employee. 

Q1.    The most effective response to this situation would be:

Q2.    The least effective response to this situation would be:

  1. Do nothing
  2. Speak to your coworker directly to express your concerns 
  3. Inform your manager that your coworker is being unethical.
  4. Speak to the junior employee to learn about her ideas so that you can use them in the future.
  5. Tell the junior employee that her mentor is taking credit for her work.

A1.    If you think that option b is the most effective action, select b as your answer.  

A2.    If you think that option d is the least effective action, select d as your answer.



You are working on a team with two colleagues and you all report to the same team leader. One of your colleagues is constantly complaining that he has too much work to do, and refuses to take on any additional tasks. As a result, your team leader frequently assigns extra work to you despite your already heavy workload. You are finding it more and more difficult to keep up with your work demands.

Q3.    The most effective response to this situation would be:

Q4.    The least effective response to this situation would be: 

  1. Inform your colleague that he will need to start taking on additional tasks.
  2. Speak to your manager to determine what can be done about this situation.
  3. Continue accepting the additional work and do your best to get everything done.
  4. Refuse to take on any additional tasks and tell your team leader why.
  5. Request a team meeting to discuss the distribution of work. 

A3.    If you think that option b is the most effective action, select b as your answer.  

A4.    If you think that option c is the least effective action, select c as your answer.



One of your regular clients has just contacted you and expressed her concerns about a project that was delivered by your team. She informed you that certain aspects of the project did not meet her needs and the work would need to be re-done. You take note of the client’s concerns and agree to pass them along to your team to discuss how to address the situation. However, when you present the problem, all three of your team members disagree and suggest that the client is to blame.

Q5.    The most effective response to this situation would be:

Q6.    The least effective response to this situation would be:

  1. Tell your team members that it is unfair to blame the client.
  2. Speak to your manager after the meeting with your team to identify next steps.
  3. Tell your team members that you will solve the client’s problem on your own.
  4. Explain to the client that she is to blame and nothing more can be done in the situation.
  5. Explain to your team members the importance of understanding the situation from the client’s perspective.

A5.    If you think that option e is the most effective action, select e as your answer.  

A6.    If you think that option d is the least effective action, select d as your answer.



One of your coworkers receives many more letters of appreciation from clients for excellent service than anyone else in your unit. She is frequently praised by your manager for representing your unit so well. One day you overhear her on the telephone saying: "If you really like my service, you should write to my director and tell him. His name is..."

Q7.    The most effective response to this situation would be:

Q8.    The least effective response to this situation would be: 

  1. Do nothing.
  2. Advise the coworker that what she is doing is unprofessional.
  3. Tell you director what you overheard.
  4. Do the same in the future. 
  5. Congratulate your co-worker as she is obviosuly rendering good service. 

A7.    If you think that option b is the most effective action, select b as your answer.  

A8.    If you think that option d is the least effective action, select d as your answer.

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