Pre-Registration Pharmacist Situational Judgement SJT exam The Complete Guide

Advice & Insight From Pre-Registration Recruitment Exam Specialists


The Oriel Situational Judgement Test is used in combination with the Numeracy test in order to select candidates for pre-registration positions in hospitals, GP surgeries and select community pharmacies throughout the country.

This computer based examination takes place through the Pearson Vue Online testing portal.

Situational Judgement Test Format

The Situational Judgement Test consists of 52 questions, to be completed in 104 minutes, allowing a relatively generous 2 minutes/question. There are two main question types:

1) Rank five responses in order of appropriateness in response to the scenario
2) Multiple choice where you will be required to select the three most appropriate actions (out of a total of 8) in response to the scenario

Situational Judgement Test Tips

Remember Your Role: The questions ask you to act in the role of a pre-registration pharmacist; this is vitally important as what a pharmacist may be expected to do when faced with a challenging circumstance (eg. medication error) will be very different to what actions a pre-registration pharmacist should take in the same scenario. We appreciate this can be a difficult distinction and that’s why in our Pre-Registration Question Bank, we’ve tried to highlight what would be expected of a pre-registration pharmacist in a number of common scenarios.

Understand What You Are Being Tested On: When deciding which of the options to select, always keep in mind the four key areas from the Professional Attributes Framework that you are being tested on. The best candidates, will be able to link the provided options to these individual qualities:

  • Person-centred care
  • Multi-professional working and leadership
  • Professional integrity and ethics
  • Problem solving, clinical analysis and decision making

Proportionate Timing: Whilst we mentioned two minutes/question, for those of you who have reached this point, it’s important to keep in mind that Ranking Questions are worth 8 more marks  than Multiple Choice Questions per question or 66.7% more per question (for those of you hot on the numeracy questions). Needless to say, we would advise that you spend 90 seconds on MCQs in order to allow additional time for the more time consuming and higher weighted ranking questions.

What Should You Do? v What Have You Seen Being Done?: This examination is very much looking for the official recommended position rather than the more practical approach that you would have likely seen being practice in daily pharmacies. For example, if the Charge Pharmacist has gone to collect their lunch from next door and a patient attends to collect their medication which has been dispensed and checked; it’s vital that you avoid any option which involves you giving out the medication without a Charge Pharmacist on site (despite what you may have seen in practice).

How Is My Situational Judgement Test Scored & How Is This Score Used?

Ranking Questions: These questions are worth 20 marks with 4 marks for each individual response, and marks also provided for ‘near misses’
Multiple Choice Questions: These questions are worth 12 marks with 4 marks for each individual response.

Importantly, there is no negative marking and hence ensure that you use your judgement to make a sensible guess for any questions where you are unsure.

Your Situational Judgement Test will be score between 0 and 120, with the top 20% of candidates scoring between 100 and 120. There is also a minimum cut off score which must be achieved to pass the Situational Judgement Exam and be suitable for a Pre-registration Pharmacy position; this is usually around 30%.

The numeracy assessment is scored out of 10 and will have a minimum pass mark (usually around 30%). Your total score (out of 10) is not used as part of your final score, unless there is a tie-break between you and another candidate (ie. equivalent SJT scores and ranking preferences).

Optimise Your Pre-Reg Oriel Performance

Learn the best Pre-Reg Oriel strategies and practice with reflective questions & worked solutions.

Situational Judgement Test Practice Questions & Answers

Practice Question 1


You are working in a busy community pharmacy as a pre-registration pharmacist. The pharmacy is poorly staffed so there are many gaps in the rota. Recently, you have only seen your supervisor a couple of times a week. As a consequence, you have felt unsupported and have to work much longer hours than you are meant to. You frequently skip scheduled teaching programmes as part of your training. You receive no on-the-job teaching, especially compared with your other colleagues working in more supportive community pharmacies.

Choose the THREE most appropriate actions to take in this situation.

A. Approach your store manager/tutor about the gaps in the rota and express your concerns about the lack of time for your studies.
B. Discuss with your supervisor if there is any possibility of being moved to the other store within the same company, as you will have more time to learn there.
C. Report your supervisor to the GPhC as there has been a lack of learning opportunities.
D.  Continue as you are and do not raise your concerns. Hopefully things will improve soon.
E. Go through your contract to ensure you are working the hours for which you are contracted.
F. Look for a different pre-registration programme that you could switch to and inform the GPhC about the changes.
G.Call in sick for a couple of days to prevent you becoming too stressed.
H. Don’t raise your concerns but leave on time everyday regardless of if there is a lot of work to do. 

​Practice Question 1 Answer


Correct Answers: A, B & E

​Rationale: this question tests your ability to speak up about concerns in the workplace and your education.

You should feel comfortable to raise any concerns you have and it is not something you should ignore (options D and H). Option G should be avoided as taking time off could leave even more gaps in the rota which may affect patient care. Reporting your supervisor to the GPhC is inappropriate (option C) if you have not first raised issues with them directly. If no solutions are available, then you could consider a different pre-registration programme and inform the GPhC accordingly (option F); however, this would be an extreme circumstance, if none of the other solutions have helped.

Of the correct options, approaching your supervisor in the first instance to discuss concerns is the best option (A). They may be able to help with the rota and offer you learning opportunities. If this fails, it is important to check your contract if you are consistently working longer than your contracted hours to ensure that you are paid accordingly (E). You could potentially request to be moved to a different store which may be less busy (B).

​Practice Question 2
You are a hospital pre-registration pharmacist on your medicines information (MI) rotation. The pharmacist you are working with, has just gone for her lunch break. You receive a phone call from Dr P from one of the wards in the same hospital. A patient is on Desmopressin 20 micrograms BD intranasally, and Dr P wants to know what the dose for the subcutaneous route would be. The patient is due for her evening dose in 4 hours. Dr P sounds really busy and is pushing you to give her an answer quickly over the phone. Coincidentally you overheard another pharmacist yesterday saying that the intranasal dose for desmopressin is ten times the subcutaneous dose

​Rank in order
 the following actions in response to this situation
(1= Most appropriate; 5= Least appropriate).

A. Advise Dr P that you will look it up now but will have to wait for the MI pharmacist to double check the answer before you can call her back.
B. Advise Dr P that the correct dose for the subcutaneous route would be 2 micrograms BD.
C. Advise Dr P that the MI pharmacist is on her lunch break and she will look it up when she returns.
D. Advise Dr P that you will look it up, and then will find the MI pharmacist in the break room to double check the answer. You will then call Dr P back in 15 minutes.
E. Advise Dr P that both routes would have equivalent doses.

​Practice Question 2 Answer

​Correct Order: A, C, D, B, E

In this scenario, it is testing your response in recognising your limitations and what type of information you can provide without discussing with a pharmacist first.

Option A is the best option, as it shows that you will use your skills to research the query on your own. However, you recognise your limitation as the MI pharmacist will need to double check your work before you can provide the advice to the doctor.

Option C is next as it shows that you are unable to provide the advice on your own accord and will have to be done by the pharmacist when she returns.

Option D is the next most appropriate option. It is not an ideal solution, however, it is more appropriate than options B and E. In this scenario, it is completely unnecessary to disturb the pharmacist’s break, as the patient’s next dose isn’t due for another 4 hours. Additionally, if there was a very urgent query, there should be many other pharmacists around that you can discuss this with.

Option B is next. Although this information is correct, you are basing this calculation on something you overheard the day before. This is not appropriate, and all queries must be researched extensively and confirmed with a pharmacist to ensure that correct advice is provided.

Option E is completely inappropriate as the answer is incorrect. Both routes do not have the same bioavailabilities, therefore doses would not be equivalent. Additionally, you are not qualified at this stage to be giving out advice on doses like this without confirming with a pharmacist. 

Pre-Registration Pharmacist Situational Judgement SJT exam The Complete Guide

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