Mechanics of the SJT

Cricket scoreboard

All applicants to the Foundation Programme and the Academic Foundation Programme starting in August 2020 will have to take the SJT on either:

  • Friday 6 December 2019
  • Monday 6 January 2020

Your medical school or the UKFPO Eligibility Office will provide information on which date(s) is/are available and how to book a place.


It's your responsibility to know the time, location and venue of your exam. If you arrive more than 30 minutes late or fail to attend (and don't have extenuating circumstances) you won't be allowed to sit the SJT and will be withdrawn from the application process.

Exam structure

The test is taken under invigilated conditions and involves a single paper. It consists of 70 questions and lasts 2 hrs 20 mins. A maximum of 50 points are available.

There are two question formats:

  1. Rank in order five possible responses to a situation.
  2. Select three from eight most appropriate responses to a situation.

Ranking questions

There are four types of instruction for ranking questions:

  1. Rank appropriateness of actions (1 = most appropriate, 5 = least appropriate).
  2. Rank appropriateness of statements (1 = most agree, 5 = least agree).
  3. Rank importance of considerations (1 = most important, 5 = least important).
  4. Rank order of actions (1 = do first, 5 = do last).

The marking scheme for ranking questions is complex:

  • A maximum of 20 marks are available for each question.
  • For each of the response options up to four marks are available.
  • Tied responses are not allowed (if you tie two response options you will receive zero marks for each response option you tied).
  • There's no negative marking.

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 will receive two points and so on.

You can take some pressure off by not panicking about the middle order. The top and bottom answers (most appropriate and least appropriate responses) will usually be the easiest to pick out so do these first. By sorting out the top and bottom answers you will have less room for error on the remaining ones.

Selecting questions

Selecting questions (multiple choice questions) require you to:

  • Choose the three most appropriate actions to take in a situation.
  • A maximum of 12 marks are available for each question.
  • Four points are available for each of the correct response options.
  • If you select more than three options you will receive zero marks for the question.
  • There's no negative marking.

The UKFPO website provides a detailed explanation of the marking scheme in its SJT FAQs section.


It's in your best interests to answer all the questions as there's 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.