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You only have one opportunity to sit the SJT, with one date in December and another in January if you can't attend the December sitting. In 2017-18, these dates are 1 December 2017 and 8 January 2018.
The SJT is paper-based and answers are machine-marked against a predetermined scoring key. It consists of 70 questions and lasts two hours 20 minutes (giving about two minutes to answer each question).
There are two types of question formats:
The paper consists of one third selecting/multiple choice questions and two thirds ranking questions.
Four points are given for each correct choice in the selecting questions, meaning a total of 12 points are available for each question. Only choose three options, if you select more than three options you will receive no credit for the question.
The marking scheme for the ranking questions is more complex. You'll get four points for each response ranked correctly, with a maximum of 20 points available for each question if you rank the responses in the correct order. There's no negative marking so it's in your interests to rank all the responses.
Points are awarded for near misses (with the number of places you're out by being the number of points deducted from the available four). So if you mark an answer either one position higher or lower than the correct ranking, you will receive only three marks. If your answer is ranked two positions away from the correct one, you'll receive two points, and so on.
For example, let's say a response should be correctly ranked as third priority. Rank it second or fourth priority and you'll lose one point from the available four, because you're out by one place. Rank it first or fifth and you'll drop two points, because both answers are out by two places.
You can take the pressure off by not panicking about the middle order. The top and bottom answers (the most appropriate and the least appropriate responses to the situation) will usually be the easiest to pick out, so do these first. By sorting out the top and bottom answers you'll have less room for error on the remaining ones.
The UKFPO website gives a fuller explanation of the marking in its SJT FAQs section.
It's in your best interests to answer all the questions as there is no negative marking and you'll get more marks by attempting more questions. Don't be tempted to give random answers, the scoring software can spot this and won't allocate any points for these.
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