Public Health SJT: Top Tips

Public Health Application Specialists

Embarking on the journey to becoming a Public Health Specialty Registrar is both exciting and challenging. A significant milestone on this path is mastering the Situational Judgement Test (SJT). This assessment gauges your ability to handle situations encountered in a public health setting with a balanced, informed approach. As you gear up for the SJT, laying a robust preparation groundwork is crucial. This article shares top tips to help you navigate this essential assessment with confidence.


Initiating your preparation early is a cornerstone for success. Familiarising yourself with the nature of the questions in the SJT is your first step. It is advisable to start this familiarisation process well ahead of the examination date, ensuring you have ample time to adjust to the format and the type of questions. Delve into our comprehensive guide on the SJT alongside reviewing past papers several months in advance. This proactive approach provides a window for self-reflection on your comfort level with the test format, and the opportunity to recall any similar challenges you might have tackled before. Being candid about your strengths and areas needing improvement is vital, and allocating a realistic timeframe for preparation is equally important.

Your initial phase of preparation should lay a strong foundation on understanding the various types of questions and the competencies they assess. As you delve deeper into your revision, transitioning into a question bank is a prudent move. Initially, the focus should be on understanding and answering the questions accurately rather than racing against time. However, as the exam date draws nearer, transitioning towards practising under timed conditions is imperative. The SJT often presents scenarios with intricate details that require a discerning eye to interpret correctly, and honing your speed without compromising accuracy is essential.

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Use Appropriate Resources

Exploring additional resources can augment your preparation. While our SJT guide provides a thorough overview, considering other examinations with a focus on situational judgement and ethical decision-making could be beneficial. You might find parallels in the structure or the nature of questions, which can provide a broader perspective and enhance your preparation.

Dedicating time to understand the ethical guidelines and public health principles that underpin the SJT scenarios is paramount. A robust understanding of these principles not only aids in answering the questions accurately but also instils a deeper appreciation of the real-world implications of your responses.

A multifaceted approach to studying often yields the best results. While the primary focus is on the SJT, intertwining other relevant resources can provide a richer understanding and better preparation. Beyond the SJT-specific materials, consider engaging with broader public health resources, ethical guidelines discussions, and even joining study groups with peers who share similar goals. These groups can provide different perspectives, which are invaluable in tackling the situational judgement questions you will encounter. Additionally, online forums and discussions related to public health scenarios can be insightful, offering a platform to gauge different interpretations and responses to similar situations.

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Top Tips on The Day

The day of your Public Health SJT is a culmination of your hard work and preparation.

Here are some top tips to ensure you perform at your best:

  • Arrive Early: Aim to arrive at the examination centre well ahead of the scheduled time. This will allow you to acclimate to the environment, and ease any last-minute nerves.

  • Stay Calm: It’s natural to feel anxious, but remember to stay calm. Practising breathing exercises or mindfulness can help in managing anxiety. Your mental composure is crucial for accurately interpreting and responding to the SJT scenarios.

  • Read Instructions Carefully: Before diving into the questions, take a moment to read through the instructions thoroughly. This ensures you understand the format and what’s expected in your responses.

  • Manage Your Time Wisely: Time management is vital. Aim to allocate a specific amount of time per question, and stick to it. If you find yourself stuck on a particular question, it may be wise to move on and return if time permits.

  • Review Your Answers: If time allows, go over your answers to ensure they reflect your best judgement. However, avoid overthinking and changing your answers unless there’s a clear mistake.

  • Hydrate and Eat Well: Ensure you are well-hydrated and have had a nutritious meal before the exam. This will help in maintaining your concentration levels throughout the exam duration.

These tips aim to provide a structured approach to the examination day, ensuring you are well-prepared to tackle the Public Health SJT with confidence and ease.

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