Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) are a measurement method of aptitude for employment. The FY1 SJT is designed to assess the professional attributes expected of a Foundation doctor. The SJT score is used for the selection to the Foundation Programme together with the Educational Performance Measure since FP 2013.

In the SJT for selection to the Foundation Programme, there are two item formats:

  • Rank five possible responses in order
  • Select the three most appropriate responses for the situation

The choice of response options reflects the scenario content and is the appropriate format to both provide and elicit the information needed. For example, the nature of some scenarios and the possible responses to them lend themselves to ranking items (requiring the ability to differentiate between singular actions, considerations or statements that vary in appropriateness, importance or timeliness in response to a scenario), whereas some scenarios lend themselves to multiple choice items (where it is necessary to do more than one thing/tackle more than one aspect in response to a scenario).

The SJT assesses a number of different attributes, which were identified during a multi-method, multi-source job analysis of the Foundation Year One (FY1) role. The target attributes form the basis of the SJT items, which are written by Subject Matter Experts who work closely with Foundation doctors. This ensures that the scenarios presented are an accurate reflection of what FY1s encounter in their role. The items are then reviewed by other Subject Matter Experts including Foundation doctors, to ensure they are both realistic and fair.

Applicants must answer what they ‘should’ do in the scenario described, not what they ‘would’ do. This is because research into SJTs shows that questions asking an applicant what they ‘would’ do is more susceptible to coaching, and the General Medical Council places an emphasis on probity.

You can find examples of SJT questions here.

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