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Re. DWP Online Test For AO
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# 1
Truegho
Old 02-08-2011, 6:55 PM
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Default Re. DWP Online Test For AO

I sat an extremely difficult online test yesterday for an AO post with DWP. It was for the Pension Service. The test is the one where they give you 75 mins to answer 36 questions. Unfortunately, I got the bad news today that I did not pass.

What I want to know is this: is having to sit this test going to be necessary for even AA posts? If it is, then how on earth are we going to stand a reasonable chance of getting a job in the Civil Service anymore if we have to sit such a difficult test? It was really hard, and you really had to have a strong analytical mind to answer the questions adequately.

God, I'm so depressed. To think, I have had 25 years experience in the Civil Service, and now my attempts to get back in have been made almost impossible due to the introduction of these accursed tests!
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# 2
Gillyx
Old 02-08-2011, 7:16 PM
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My mum works for the civil service herself and she told me a very low percentage of people actually pass the tests, whether online or a test centre. It's basically then easier to do the interviews etc as there are less people to interview.

Also now your application makes up a good percentage of your chance of getting the job, something like 40% and your interview is 60% don't quote me on the figures though because I can't remember exactly.
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# 3
Truegho
Old 02-08-2011, 8:02 PM
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Default Re. DWP Online Test

Hi Gilly

Thanks for your reply re. my posting about the DWP online test. Very interested to read your mum works for the DWP, and her comments about how many people actually pass these tricky tests. So that is why they are made so hard, then, so that they can cut right down the mass applications they receive? I was wondering why they were so darned difficult to pass. When I sat this test, I just felt as if I were on The Krypton Factor, as you need a remarkably strong analytical mind to pass these things.

It is especially frustrating for me having to go through all this online testing, as I am a former employee of the DWP who has been trying to get back into the department for ages. I had hard luck last time, as just as I passed the interview and received my successful letter for an AO post, the recruitment freeze was implemented.

I am just wondering if they are going to introduce this test for AA roles too. If they do, then I don't suppose there's much hope for me there either.

It is terribly hard now trying to get back into the Civil Service, and these tests are only exacerbating the problem.




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Originally Posted by Gillyx View Post
My mum works for the civil service herself and she told me a very low percentage of people actually pass the tests, whether online or a test centre. It's basically then easier to do the interviews etc as there are less people to interview.

Also now your application makes up a good percentage of your chance of getting the job, something like 40% and your interview is 60% don't quote me on the figures though because I can't remember exactly.
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# 4
KiKi
Old 02-08-2011, 8:10 PM
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I did explain this in your last thread about tests. You don't pass or fail them. The recruitment team review the results and then take the top few; this is a way to filter the mass applications that they get (just as do in supermarkets, retail and other mass recruitment campaigns). The norms of the tests determine who the high flyers are and the team will interview those who score highly in the tests and in their application.

If companies didn't use these tools, they'd simply replace them with something else to filter people out.

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# 5
Gillyx
Old 02-08-2011, 8:16 PM
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I'm not sure why the tests are so hard, I've never had to do one myself, any job I applied for with the civil service was a good few years ago and was by application and different scenarios.

I'm assuming it's because they think these tests will find what they consider to be the "right" people for the job, although when I hear about some of the people who work for the civil service I wonder how they managed it.
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# 6
bluenoseam
Old 02-08-2011, 8:52 PM
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This is one where i'll be a little less nippy than usual, they're looking for people (particularly in a benefits role) who are capable of keeping up with things in an analytical manner with speed & efficiency, so while you may have found it difficult imagine the situation where you have Agnes on the phone wanting to know why X has been stopped and wanting that information 3 weeks ago - like someone pointed out, purely done to save them time at interview stage. Times are constantly changing and they're looking for different things than they were even 10 years ago, these days more than ever they can't afford to interview 10 people to find out that 8 of them would screen themselves out by using this method - that's pretty harsh, but ultimately it's budgeting and these days the pound is king.
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# 7
anmarj
Old 02-08-2011, 10:19 PM
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i would say you would be very lucky to find AA jobs being advertied, our centre had a lot but very few exist now and I think they were the ones that came on a permanent contract before they switched to the fixed terms.
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# 8
detroy
Old 02-08-2011, 10:28 PM
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Hi Truegho
sorry to hear you failed the test. i work for the pension service and have done for a number of years. I understand what previous posters are saying but I dont necessarily feel these tests mean we get the best candidates. I feel that the standard of our newer recruits has gone down either that or it is the way we train our staff now. Wish you well in your job search
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# 9
Hammyman
Old 03-08-2011, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truegho View Post
I sat an extremely difficult online test yesterday for an AO post with DWP. It was for the Pension Service. The test is the one where they give you 75 mins to answer 36 questions. Unfortunately, I got the bad news today that I did not pass.
Say what? I've done those.

If it is the literacy and numeracy one, you have to completely illiterate and innumerate to fail it. They're not designed for rocket scientists.
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# 10
ikkleosu
Old 04-08-2011, 1:45 AM
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My husband sat the same test last week and got 80% so is going forward for an interview. I guess the test does the job of finding out if you have the right kind of mental skills to do the job. Whodathunk it?
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# 11
tupac662
Old 04-08-2011, 10:54 AM
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Sorry to hear you didn't pass OP, I have to agree that the test wasn't the usual competency style questions. Mine included some serious percentage and ratio calculations and I was forced to hunt down my calculator!
Interview in just over 2 weeks, so ample time to prepare.
Anyone had the interviews before?

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# 12
Hammyman
Old 04-08-2011, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tupac662 View Post
Sorry to hear you didn't pass OP, I have to agree that the test wasn't the usual competency style questions. Mine included some serious percentage and ratio calculations and I was forced to hunt down my calculator!
Does this mean that they have actually made it remotely hard or that, like when I went through the application process, that it is mainly thickos applying?

I couldn't believe what the pass mark was. I was even more amazed when 2/3 of the room was called out because they'd failed! And then whilst waiting to be called in for interview I had to sit and listen to some dumb bint banging on about how hard it was and that she didn't have time to finish it (I went through the literacy 3 times and the numeracy twice in the time you had) but how she found out from a friend on the inside that she was 8th in line to be offered a job for another post we'd both interviewed and tested for.

On that day I found out why I always felt I was speaking to the village idiot when I had dealings with the DWP.
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# 13
yumyums
Old 04-08-2011, 11:39 AM
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OP have you tried practising these tests? I had to do one recently and while I do have quite good numerical skills I hadn't been using ratios, percentages, graphs recently so was a little rusty and took longer to answer the questions than I should have. With a bit of practice I remembered the short cuts and got a lot more efficient at doing the questions and got a good mark in the end. If it's the same sort of test I've been looking at, it's not the questions that are difficult but the time constraints they place on you.
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# 14
realshannon
Old 05-08-2011, 4:03 PM
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whatever system they are using it isnt working! I know they are short staffed, like most places, but they have failed miserably with mum in law. we are dealing with her affairs via PoA as she has dementia. when we rang in January to say she was now permanently in a care home, no one said we needed to fill a form in, easy peasy we thought. later we realised her state pension and pension credit had been stopped and most papers we have been now sent, have been lost or the wrong forms sent, after we have completed them. Now August, they have just paid her state pension - are bickering about the pension credit still and still need to send us another form, which another person had already confirmed was scanned in on the system. they have admitted they made an error by cancelling the whole lot in January but it doesnt help with us and the stress they have caused. Attendance allowance are just the same, they sent the papers off to be filed then couldnt get them back, that has taken months too and still not sorted. when I worked for DWP in the jobcentre, I loved it, but it was starting to be chaotic then, do you really want to work for them? even if you were excellent, I am told at both agencies there were 12 week delays - ummm, maybe alot caused by the wrong forms being sent, files being lost .......grrr
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# 15
realshannon
Old 05-08-2011, 4:04 PM
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and should have said, before someone jumps - she is self funding awaiting CHC
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# 16
Truegho
Old 05-08-2011, 4:49 PM
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Default Re. DWP Online Test

Hi. Thanks for your reply. It wasn't actually the old Eng and Maths test for AA/AO - both subjects of which, I should add, I did pass, hence my being taken on a few times by them in the past - but this new one where you have to read a passage and have to answer questions on it. They give you 75 mins to complete the test.

As I say, they told me my score was less than half that of the other candidates - in order words, I failed! This new test is worrying me a lot, because I have been trying to get back into the Civil Service for ages now, but if my chances are going to be made even harder by these annoying, complex tests, then it certainly doesn't bode very well for my chances, does it?

My main worry is if they introduce this test for the Admin Assistant grade too (not that there are many AA's left now in the Civil Service).






Quote:
Originally Posted by yumyums View Post
OP have you tried practising these tests? I had to do one recently and while I do have quite good numerical skills I hadn't been using ratios, percentages, graphs recently so was a little rusty and took longer to answer the questions than I should have. With a bit of practice I remembered the short cuts and got a lot more efficient at doing the questions and got a good mark in the end. If it's the same sort of test I've been looking at, it's not the questions that are difficult but the time constraints they place on you.
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# 17
yumyums
Old 05-08-2011, 5:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truegho View Post
Hi. Thanks for your reply. It wasn't actually the old Eng and Maths test for AA/AO - both subjects of which, I should add, I did pass, hence my being taken on a few times by them in the past - but this new one where you have to read a passage and have to answer questions on it. They give you 75 mins to complete the test.

As I say, they told me my score was less than half that of the other candidates - in order words, I failed! This new test is worrying me a lot, because I have been trying to get back into the Civil Service for ages now, but if my chances are going to be made even harder by these annoying, complex tests, then it certainly doesn't bode very well for my chances, does it?

My main worry is if they introduce this test for the Admin Assistant grade too (not that there are many AA's left now in the Civil Service).
If it's the one where you get a passage then they give you statements and you have to say whether they're "definitely true", "definitely false" or "cannot tell", then this is the one I took recently too. I think it takes a bit of practice to get right as I found it difficult at first and was overusing the cannot tell answer. There are quite a few of these tests available online. If I'm talking about the wrong type of test then please ignore me!
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# 18
SilverCloud
Old 05-08-2011, 6:22 PM
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I've got an interview for an AO role next week, i found a very useful thread on this but its from 2009 so not sure how relevant itll be now as the questions people got asked then might not be the same now. So i may aswell ask here, what type of qus do people get? I'm quite nervous as i have never had a job interview in my life (just graduated).


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Delivering a professional service
delivering a customer focused service
analysing, improving and changing
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# 19
Truegho
Old 06-08-2011, 1:18 AM
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Default Re. DWP Online Test

It's not the one where you have to say what's most like you, what's least like you etc. (rating each of the four options 1-4). No, it's this new one where you are given a situational passage, as if you were actually working in a DWP dept, and you then answer 36 questions under a 75 min time limit.



Quote:
Originally Posted by yumyums View Post
If it's the one where you get a passage then they give you statements and you have to say whether they're "definitely true", "definitely false" or "cannot tell", then this is the one I took recently too. I think it takes a bit of practice to get right as I found it difficult at first and was overusing the cannot tell answer. There are quite a few of these tests available online. If I'm talking about the wrong type of test then please ignore me!
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# 20
Hammyman
Old 06-08-2011, 1:47 AM
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No, it's this new one where you are given a situational passage, as if you were actually working in a DWP dept, and you then answer 36 questions under a 75 min time limit.
Thank god. The numeracy and literacy ones were such a joke they may as well not have bothered.
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