Finding a Job

Selection tests – practice tests

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Some employers, usually the bigger ones, use selection or 'aptitude' tests to measure specific abilities or skills. The employer identifies the most important skills for the job, and then asks applicants to take a test or a series of tests to measure these skills. Below you'll find some examples.

Army – BARB practice test

The Army uses a test called the British Army Entrance Test or British Army Recruit Battery (BARB) to assess applicants’ suitability for training and match them with suitable roles.

There are five sections in the test: reasoning, letter checking, number distance, odd one out, and symbol rotation.

You do the test on a computer, using touch screen techniques to answer the questions. The test lasts 30 minutes. There are practice tests on their website in Joining the Army.  

Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers` Federation (SNIPEF)

Plumbing companies use the BPEC (British Plumbing Employers’ Confederation) entrance selection test to assess potential apprentices. The test covers numerical and problem solving skills, including questions on using the 24-hour clock (relevant because plumbers work with different types of timing devices).

View SNIPEF’s Plumbing Apprenticeships Scotland page for general information about apprenticeships in plumbing.

Use the online BPEC Practice Aptitude Test to help you prepare for qualification tests.

Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT)

SECTT uses a Pre-employment Assessment test covering technical comprehension and numeracy to select applicants who are interested in becoming apprentice electricians.

There are sample questions in the Assessment section of their website.

Police Scotland Entrance Test (PSET)

In June 2020 Police Scotland introduced a new entrance test, Police Scotland Entrance Test (PSET), replacing the old Standard Entrance Test (SET).

This test lasts one hour and comprises of one paper with questions based on the following skills:

You can use a calculator when completing the numbers paper. There are no breaks between each section of the paper.

Currently there are sample papers you can buy online. However, if you are looking for free samples, there are downloadable sample question papers of the older SET test to give you an idea on the Police Information website.

Visit the Police Scotland recruitment page to keep track of updated information on the recruitment process.

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