Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and Clinical Problem-Solving Test (CPST)

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GP Trainee Recruitment: Assessment Tests

All applicants who complete the brief online application form and pay the application fee will be invited to sit the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and Clinical Problem-Solving Test (CPST) assessments. These are online invigilated tests. 

The tests must be taken consecutively, and both must be completed in one sitting. Applicants are advised to allow approximately three hours.

Taking the test involves the following:

  • Validation process to establish the identity of the test taker.
  • Completing the SJT and the CPST. Candidates may take a short break between assessments and are asked to complete a brief survey at the end. 

About the Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

The SJT will consist of approximately 40 scenarios depicting situations that applicants would be likely to encounter in their work as a hospital doctor. The SJT will assess attributes such as professionalism, empathy, integrity and your ability to cope with pressure, and acts as a measure of pro-social behaviour. They will not measure clinical knowledge.

Applicants will be asked to select from a range of options the most appropriate action to take in a given situation. Answer keys will follow two formats: either a rank option, where the candidate lists suggested solutions in order of appropriateness from 1 to 5,  or multiple choice, where the candidate chooses three appropriate options from a list of eight.

Scoring of the SJT assesses attitudes that best align to the work of a GP. As applicant numbers exceed the number of training places in any given year your score in the SJT will be used to shortlist those who progress to interview. SJT scores will also be carried forward to final ranking and assignment of training places.

About the Clinical Problem-Solving Test (CPST)

The CPST will assess candidates' clinical knowledge and will take approximately 45 minutes. It must be completed online in a single session, following the SJT. An optional break will be possible between the SJT and CPST. The CPST will consist of approximately 30 single best answer (SBA) questions, describing common clinical presentations that a recently qualified doctor might encounter in a clinical setting. The questions will explore candidates' ability to diagnose, investigate and manage these presentations. Applicants will be required to select the single most appropriate of five possible responses to each situation.

The purpose of the CPST is to ensure that the public is protected from practitioners not clinically competent to occupy training posts, whilst ensuring that the bar is not so high that it excludes those who do have the necessary knowledge and skills from being able to commence training. The standard of achievement expected will be that of a current intern.

The Irish College of GPs will use a criterion-referenced method of determining the pass mark for the CPST (Angoff method). Applicants who do not attain the required standard will not be shortlisted, but, unlike the SJT, CPST scores will not contribute towards final ranking or assignment of training places.