How does the SJT work? - The MDU
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How does the SJT work?

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You only have one opportunity to sit the SJT exam, with one date in December and another in January if you can't attend the December sitting. In 2016-17, these dates are 2 December 2016 and 9 January 2017.

The SJT is paper-based and answers are machine-marked against a predetermined scoring key. The exam lasts two hours and 20 minutes. This gives you about two minutes to answer each of the 70 questions, and the time will fly by!

Question types

There are two types of questions; selecting the three most appropriate actions from a list and ranking responses to situations in order of priority. The paper consists of one third selecting questions and two thirds ranking questions.

Selecting 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 - choose more and you won't get any points.

Ranking questions

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.

The exam lasts two hours and 20 minutes. This only gives you about two minutes to answer each of the 70 questions.

Points are also 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 - that is, the most appropriate and the least appropriate responses to the situation - will usually be the easiest to pick out, so aim to do these first. By sorting out the top and bottom answers, you'll have less room for error on the remaining ones, giving you a better chance of a better score.

The UKFPO website gives a fuller explanation of the marking in its SJT FAQs section.

It's in your 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 just give random answers. The scoring software can spot this and won't allocate any points for these.

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