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SJT Preparation: Using SJT Practice Papers

SJT preparation can be tricky if you’re not sure where to start. On this page we’ve written a guide to using an SJT practice paper effectively to get the most out of your preparation.

Where can I find SJT practice papers?

SJT practice papers are key preparing for the Situational Judgement Test. There are a range of SJT practice papers and answer explanations on the UKFPO site (they are also available in large print).

You can also find free Situational Judgement Test questions and answer explanations in our free SJT Question Bank, which has over 150 questions and detailed answer explanations to help you with your preparation.

Access free SJT questions

How should I use SJT Practice Papers?

This can be done in three main steps:

  1. Familiarise yourself with the format of the exam
  2. Try an SJT practice paper and assess the answers
  3. Complete an SJT test under timed conditions

1. Familiarise yourself with the format of the SJT

This is the first step in beginning your SJT preparation.

For questions in part one of the SJT, you will rank five responses to clinical scenarios in order of preference. In the second part, you will again be presented with different clinical scenarios, but will have to choose three options from a possible eight.

Situational Judgement Test: Part One

The below is an example SJT Part One question from an SJT practice paper from the UK Foundation Programme website.

Your consultant Dr Jackson has asked you to prescribe a second antibiotic for a patient who has a chest infection which has been slow to respond to initial treatment. Later that day, a pharmacist informs you that the new antibiotic is not in the hospital formulary. She tells you that the new antibiotic should not be used because of the risk of clostridium difficile infection.

Rank in order the appropriateness of the following actions in response to this situation (1=Most appropriate; 5= Least appropriate).

Want the answer? You can see the answer to this question in the section below.

Situational Judgement Test Medicine Part Two

The below is an example SJT Part Two question from an SJT practice paper from the UK Foundation Programme website.

You are an FY1 doctor working in the Emergency Department. A 48 year old patient presents with an ankle injury. He is intoxicated, loud and demands immediate medical treatment. There are four patients waiting ahead of him. He is upsetting the other patients and at one point, threatens another patient with physical violence.

Choose the THREE most appropriate actions to take in this situation.

Want the answer? You can see the answer to this question in the section below.

You can find out more about how the SJT is scored and what the test is assessing here.

Access free SJT questions

2. Try an SJT practice paper and assess the answers

The next step is to complete a practice paper – at this stage don’t worry too much about the timing, the purpose is just to attempt some questions to see how you find answering them.

Once you have answered a few questions, mark your answers using the answer explanations provided to see where you can improve next time.

The answer explanations will often be something like the below (from the UK Foundation Programme’s SJT practice paper – questions above):

Part One Answer:

Answer: CBDAE

Rationale: This question assesses your professionalism and how to manage your working relationships. The most appropriate action to take would be to contact your consultant (C). As Dr Jackson, your consultant, made the decision about the antibiotics, it is courteous and also in the patient’s best interest to inform him of the pharmacist’s advice.

It is preferable for you to contact your consultant yourself (C) rather than expect the pharmacist to have to repeat the same information to multiple members of the same team (B). The next most appropriate action would be to ask a registrar/specialty trainee, who has more experience, to review the patient (D) as there may be complexities surrounding the patient of which you and the pharmacist are not aware.

A review by a senior doctor may enable a more robust clinical decision. Option A suggests that you do what the pharmacist recommends without further discussion with her, your consultant or any other member of your team. It is Dr Jackson’s team (of which you are part) who are directly responsible for the patient’s care and there needs to be clear communication about changes to the management plan (A). Option E is not addressing the problem (E).

Part Two Answer:

Answer: BCG

Rationale: This question asks you to make decisions in a stressful situation that ensure safety and are communicated effectively. Violence against patients and healthcare professionals is not acceptable. Staff and patients should be protected and hospital security can offer assistance (B).

Other staff should not be asked to confront the patient (A) as this may place them at risk, but they can support other patients and minimise their distress (G). The patient should be informed that his behaviour will not be tolerated (C). This should not constitute a threat to his right to treatment (F), but his behaviour should not lead to preferential treatment which may compromise care provided to other patients (D, E, H).

3. Complete an SJT test under timed conditions

Next is to complete a test under timed conditions – you will have 140 minutes for the real exam, so it’s a good idea to complete a paper within this time frame, to get used to the pace. It’s recommended that you spend two minutes per question, so try to aim for this.

Do you have more tips on SJT Preparation?

You can read more on our Situational Judgement Test Tips page.

Access free SJT questions


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