Public Health SJT FAQs

Public Health Application Specialists

Becoming a Public Health Registrar demands a detailed understanding of the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) which forms a critical part of the application process. Here, we address some of the frequently asked questions to equip you with a clearer understanding as you prepare for the SJT.

1. What is the Public Health SJT?

The Public Health Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is a specialised assessment designed to evaluate key qualities and competencies essential for a career as a Public Health Registrar. It encompasses scenarios and questions that reflect real-world public health challenges, gauging your ability to make informed, ethical, and effective decisions.

2. What competencies are assessed in the SJT?

The SJT meticulously evaluates a range of competencies outlined in the Person Specification for Public Health Specialty Training. These include decision-making, effective communication, teamwork, leadership, ethics, and your ability to handle challenging interpersonal scenarios among others.

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3. How is the SJT structured?

The SJT comprises 53 questions divided into two main question styles: ‘ranking’ and ‘most appropriate’. In the ranking style, you are required to rank responses based on their appropriateness or effectiveness. In the ‘most appropriate’ style, you select the three most appropriate actions from a list of eight.

4. How should I prepare for the SJT?

Preparation should be thorough and well-structured. Begin by familiarising yourself with the Public Health Specialty Training Person Specification. Use reputable resources like official sample papers, question banks, and the offerings from professional bodies. Engage in reflective practice, evaluate past papers, and consider seeking feedback from mentors or tutors.

5. How are the SJT scores used?

Your SJT scores are pivotal in the selection process for Public Health Specialty Training posts. They are combined with your performance in other assessment components to derive an overall score which influences your ranking and subsequently, your chances of securing a training post.

6. Can I challenge my SJT score?

The exact process may vary, but generally, there’s a defined protocol for querying your scores if you believe there’s been an error in scoring or if you seek clarification on your performance.

7. How do I keep time during the SJT?

Time management is crucial for a balanced performance. Practice under timed conditions using past papers and question banks to get accustomed to the pace required. During the actual SJT, adhering to the allotted time for each question, without dwelling too long on any particular question, can help in managing your time effectively.

8. Where can I find sample SJT questions?

Sample questions can be found on official resources provided by Pearson VUE or from reputable question banks like those offered by professional bodies. Practising these questions under exam conditions can provide a realistic gauge of the challenges you’ll encounter.

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9. How do I interpret the Person Specification for preparation?

The Person Specification is your blueprint for understanding what is expected of a Public Health Registrar. It outlines the essential and desirable criteria for the role. Familiarising yourself with this document will guide your preparation, ensuring you focus on the competencies and attributes that will be assessed during the SJT.

10. What should I do if I find a question ambiguous?

Ambiguity can arise in any examination setting. In the SJT, each question is designed to assess your judgement and decision-making skills. It’s advisable to read each question carefully, consider the most ethical and practical response based on your understanding of public health principles, and make the best judgement based on the given information.

11. How can I improve my ranking in 'most appropriate' style questions?

Improving your ranking entails a thorough understanding of the core competencies being assessed. Practice is key. Engage with various question banks, seek feedback from mentors, and ensure that you are comfortable with the format and the type of responses expected. Reflection on your answers and understanding the rationale behind the rankings in the answer explanations will also be beneficial.

12. Is there a penalty for guessing?

The scoring system for the SJT does not penalise for guessing. However, it’s always better to make an informed decision based on your understanding and judgement rather than resorting to guesswork.

13. Are there any resources for understanding the ethical guidelines pertinent to Public Health?

Numerous resources exist for delving into the ethical underpinnings of Public Health. Professional bodies, such as the Faculty of Public Health, provide guidelines and resources that elucidate the ethical principles that should guide your practice and decisions. Question banks are also a great asset for learning more about ethical questions.

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