Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
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Spatch
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by Spatch » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:58 am

I am feeling disheartened that I have worked incredibly hard to be in the position that I am now, to be told that actually, AP experience doesn’t matter – it’s all about how well I perform on a verbal and numerical test.
Nowhere that tests thinks it's all about how you perform on the written assessment- they all interview as well. It's just easier when faced with a large number of applicants to sift on the criteria that can be tested in a mass format (Academic/Research) than one that requires a high degree of manpower and resources (clinical/reflective interview). However, I do get your point that you won't have a chance to demonstrate your skills/ suitability if you don't make that first hurdle, and do agree that it's unhelpful that courses change their criteria this far into an application cycle.
And similarly, if assistant psychologist posts are not a good indicator for doing well on the training then why is there such an emphasis to gain an AP post? Does it not make sense that an ‘assistant psychologist’ post provides you with the most relevant skills and experience needed as a ‘trainee psychologist’? What alternative job/experience would you suggest?
If you think of the three areas needed to perform well on the doctorate of academic, clinical and research, and ideally some exposure to Clinical Psychology working/ supervision, some of that can be gained from a background as a Research Assistant (Research/Academic), PhD/Post Doc (Academic/Research/maybe clinical), IAPT PWP(Clinical/possibly research), Mental health nursing(Clinical), Counselling/Psychotherapy (Clinical) amongst others . An Assistant Psychology post has the advantage of potentially covering all the bases, but even that is not a guarantee if the post has not been set up well. But there has never been a "sure thing" when it comes to prior experience or perfect choice. Also I am not sure if most courses emphasise that you need to have an AP. That is certainly the line ClinPsy holds, and we there are many folk (including myself) that get on without having ever been an AP.
While I'm sure there are more than the 70 odd we interview from our 500 applicants who could complete the doctorate, we obviously want to recruit the best of these. This is in the interests of the individuals themselves, the programme, and the public they will serve. That is what the NHS funds us to do after all.
This is something I have been thinking about because it follows on from Ell's point about being an awesome AP not being automatically equated with being the best trainee. If you pick a superselective cadre of highly experienced, academically brilliant, all singing-and-dancing individuals then unleash them on an NHS that has pay freezes, limited room for career progression and a terrible management ethos, may that have some unintended consequences?

They may do very well on training, write up their doctorates with ease and make life simpler for course staff, but why would these people stick around post qual when they would be capable of doing practically anything else? It's similar to the "IAPT effect" where you have people selected on being the best in a candidate pool, who inevitably get demoralised or bored in the role and jump ship because they can't go beyond a Band 5. What about the radical idea that clinical psychology doesn't need the best and brightest, but focus people just good enough to get through the course and perform happily at a rank and file Band 7/8a Psychologist level?
Shameless plug alert:

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olive
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by olive » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:56 am

Totally agree with you cberry.
It's really disheartening when people say you're 'lucky' or 'fortunate' enough to have done this.. it takes away from the hard work, passion and strive to get to those positions. As language is such a massive thing on this forum(!) and in our work I'd encourage more sensitivity in that respect.
I don't think cberry was suggesting experience as an AP be an alternative selection process, I think it's more frustration that it comes down to a score on a test that may prove you can complete a doctorate but that is not really relevant to Psychology (in my eyes!). I think situational judgement tests and research-based tasks seem more appropriate personally, but understand there is no perfect system and there's a lot of applicants for unis to get through. The forum is a great place to be able to discuss and share these opinions and frustrations.
It's a real shame that Staffs didn't let people know prior to applying so that people could make an informed decision, hopefully this wont happen again in the future.
Best of luck anyway :)

RJParker
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by RJParker » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:11 pm

It's important to regonise our own privilege, often well hidden from our own perspectives.

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maven
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by maven » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:37 am

Spatch wrote:That is certainly the line ClinPsy holds
I'd just like to point out that we don't have official lines, or group think like this. People who contribute here all have their own opinions. AP work has a lot of positives in terms of learning what CPs really do, and having exposure to CP style supervision and reflective practise, but I don't think anybody has said they are the best, let alone the only way to get onto training.

It sounds like staffs should have been open about the change in assessment early enough to inform candidates whether or not to apply there.

As a broader issue, I think the jury is still out on whether selection tests or short-listing from forms is more effective. But I can't say I'm against using standardised tests to select bright people to interview (though personally I think there is a definite role for application forms and expressing what you gained from your experience). But however we select, it is clearly in the best interests of the profession, the sponsor (the NHS), the clients and services and colleagues for CPs to be the best they can possibly be, not just people good enough to not fail a placement, scrape a pass on the other components and sit at the bottom of the grading structure for their whole career - even if the lack of funding in the NHS and for training means we are training fewer people and giving less career progression than we'd ideally want.
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

Siogamue
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by Siogamue » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:45 pm

I am also disheartened about the change of application measure, but I imagine that I would be over the moon if numerical reasoning was one of my strengths. I can firmly say however, that it is not! Has anyone tried the practise questions and stressing out about the time? Is it doable to answer all of them in the allotted time? The maths is fairly simple, but there seems a hell of a lot to do in 1.4 minutes per question :cry:

I only got in the 22nd percentile on the first run!

RJParker
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by RJParker » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:05 pm

You won't be surprised to know that the typical clinical psychology applicant has better verbal reasoning than numerical reasoning.

The practice tests are not an accurate measure of the difficulty of the live tests. They are just designed to give you an idea of the type of questions used and the interface. The scores don't mean anything in the context of a fixed question non-adaptive test which you can repeat as many times as you like.

hawke
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by hawke » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:14 pm

I am a bit cynical in thinking that a lot of universities might take them up as a short-listing time-saver, but equally I can see the merits of having the test. There is a conflict it seems about whether clinical psychology should just be for the academic and intellectual high-flyers (who would generally ace these tests), or whether the 'good enough' academic psychology graduate should be able to get there by ploughing a lot of time/effort/money into getting good work experience and becoming a skilled reflective practitioner in all of the other requirements to improve their application. Perhaps there needs to be room for both on different courses - but I agree that applicants need the information before they apply so they can do so to the right course for them.
Siogamue wrote:I am also disheartened about the change of application measure, but I imagine that I would be over the moon if numerical reasoning was one of my strengths. I can firmly say however, that it is not! Has anyone tried the practise questions and stressing out about the time? Is it doable to answer all of them in the allotted time? The maths is fairly simple, but there seems a hell of a lot to do in 1.4 minutes per question :cry:

I only got in the 22nd percentile on the first run!
I did the test last year for Cardiff and was short-listed, but ultimately unsuccessful at interview. Do not be put off by the practice test! I can't finish that practice one first time round either, and you get some really tough questions right from the off - I guessed randomly for one of the early questions as I didn't even understand what it was asking. The real test is different, as it starts off easier and then the difficulty increases based on how well you perform.

RJParker
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by RJParker » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:38 pm

hawke wrote:I am a bit cynical in thinking that a lot of universities might take them up as a short-listing time-saver, but equally I can see the merits of having the test.
It's not a time saver really... and I should know. However it is evidence based which is why it makes sense.
hawke wrote:There is a conflict it seems about whether clinical psychology should just be for the academic and intellectual high-flyers (who would generally ace these tests), or whether the 'good enough' academic psychology graduate should be able to get there by ploughing a lot of time/effort/money into getting good work experience and becoming a skilled reflective practitioner in all of the other requirements to improve their application. Perhaps there needs to be room for both on different courses - but I agree that applicants need the information before they apply so they can do so to the right course for them.
This is not an either/or. Using these tests allows you to get what you term "academic and intellectual high-flyers" and then interview them to select the ones who are the outstanding "skilled reflective practitioners". Programmes will always try to recruit the best possible candidates and I'm sure you'll agree that is in the best interests of the profession and the general public.

hawke
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by hawke » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:59 pm

RJParker wrote:It's not a time saver really... and I should know. However it is evidence based which is why it makes sense.
Fair enough, as I said, just my cynical side coming out! Good to be corrected.

RJParker wrote:This is not an either/or. Using these tests allows you to get what you term "academic and intellectual high-flyers" and then interview them to select the ones who are the outstanding "skilled reflective practitioners". Programmes will always try to recruit the best possible candidates and I'm sure you'll agree that is in the best interests of the profession and the general public.
I'm sure there are some all-round naturally gifted applicants out there. Unfortunately, also some people who think that they can wait their turn for a training post, when perhaps they just don't have the raw ability. Most of us probably fall on the spectrum in between, and use hard work to compensate for our weaker areas. My strength is in the academics, and short-listing tests at least give me the chance of an interview - someone of equal overall ability but with weaker academic ability might miss out on that same chance. Perhaps you could argue that neither of us are deserving of a place, and I just have to go through more of a drawn out process to find that out! But I think different ways of shortlisting allow for that variety - I like that some universities use the tests, but I also like that some don't - we just need to know in advance so we can apply based on our best fit to a university.

hannahsophia3
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by hannahsophia3 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:17 pm

Has anybody accessed the practice tests for this through the CEB website yet? I had to register and do a short questionnaire regarding demographics. It then took me to a page which invited me to start my evaluation; however there was no mention of a practice test here and it looked very formal. I just wanted to check this was definitely what the practice looks like, and i'm not going to accidentally stumble into the actual test?

Any advice would be appreciated :)

sockmonkey
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by sockmonkey » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:00 pm

hannahsophia3 wrote:Has anybody accessed the practice tests for this through the CEB website yet? I had to register and do a short questionnaire regarding demographics. It then took me to a page which invited me to start my evaluation; however there was no mention of a practice test here and it looked very formal. I just wanted to check this was definitely what the practice looks like, and i'm not going to accidentally stumble into the actual test?

Any advice would be appreciated :)
I have also had this experience- I have completed the verbal reasoning practice test with no confusion, however the numerical one does indeed give the impression you are starting the actual test, not a practice one. And as such, I haven't given this practice test a go through fear of messing up the real thing!

However, on a separate issue I cannot get the actual test link to work- although this might be due to the extreme security settings on my work computer :?

RJParker
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by RJParker » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:11 pm

The practice test site and live tests are on completely different systems and have different user accounts. The domains they are hosted on are also different. They are deliberately designed to look like real tests so you are used to how they are presented.

Look at the address bar if you are nervous - the live tests run from talentcentral.cebglobal.eu

However, you can't login on the practice site and somehow end up in a live test - it is not possible.

hannahsophia3
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by hannahsophia3 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:31 pm

Thanks for the replies! That has put my mind at rest :)

Esuma
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by Esuma » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:28 pm

I completely understand your fear I had the same thing - it really doesn’t help it says your employer set this assessment and then emails in case you lose connection during it

hannahsophia3
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Re: Staffordshire Selection Test 2018

Post by hannahsophia3 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:22 pm

I've just clicked to practice the verbal reasoning test and this one comes up much the same!

sockmonkey: how did the verbal one look different to the numerical one to you?

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