Nicole is a 1st year Clinical Psychology Trainee at the University of Surrey. On Wednesday 20th of January 2021, Nicole hosted a Twitter Q&A session on selection tests via the @BIPPNetwork account as part of the #NewFaceofPsychology campaign.
Check out her helpful tips and answers to aspiring psychologists' questions in the thread below:
What kind of selection assessments did you do?
I sat tests for 3 courses which used a combination of tests. All of them had research methods/stats MCQs and Situational Judgment Test. One course had additional non-verbal reasoning tests. One also had a written test.
The non-verbal reasoning I think involved a series of shapes/patterns - you had to complete the sequence using options presents to you on screen (I couldn't find a way to revise for this!). For the written test, we were presented with 5-6 abstracts on a similar topic and had to assimilate the information (I brought them together in an essay format with critical analysis).
Did you use a particular strategy to revise for the tests whilst working full-time?
Yeah I was working full-time as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) on all of the occasions that I sat tests. For me, taking pressure out of the process was key - I didn't spend ages prepping for them, and once I'd exhausted the MCQs I had access to, I kind of took it that I'd done what I could with the resources available.
I think the first time I was invited to tests, I only had a week's notice, so I did all of my prep that week because I didn't want to start only to find out I hadn't been selected! I felt okay revising on weekends/evenings as it was short-term. But it also wasn't during COVID and I feel like I need a lot more rest now that we're in lockdown, so I would probably spread the revision out over a few weeks and maybe use the time to test what I'd retained if I had to do it again now.
What types of tools helped you prepare? I’m using Andy fields textbook but are there any other useful resources?
Andy Field's Discovering Stats Using SPSS is definitely the resource I used most. Have you checked out its companion website? Most chapters have a dedicated MCQ section which you can find here: https://edge.sagepub.com/field5e2/chapter-specific-resources/4/multiple-choice-questions
The MCQs I couldn't answer flagged up a load of terms that I'm pretty sure I'd never heard of before lol, but that was super helpful for identifying gaps in my knowledge. Then I could go back to the book to read around those areas, or do a quick google search of the terms
Did you revise qualitative research/methods too?- if so how did you approach this?
I actually didn't do much revision on qualitative methods, but I would definitely recommend this because they do come up! The second time I sat tests, I basically googled IPA, thematic analysis, grounded theory as they're mentioned in the CCCU (Salomon’s) MCQ example. But I focused most of my time on quantitative revision. I definitely didn't feel as comfortable with qual during the tests (still don't!), but for me that was enough to get through them.
Did you do anything to prepare for the situational judgment task?
I actually didn't do anything to prepare for situational judgement largely because I couldn't find many examples online at the time. However, https://surveygizmo.com/s3/5434515/UEL-DClinPsy-Assessment-Day-Practice-Feb2020 gives examples of both the Research Methods and SJT so you might want to check it out!
Did you use any particular mock tests etc to test your knowledge of stats/research prior?
Andy Field's Discovering Statistics companion site was so helpful for MCQ practise. I've posted it below, but here it is again for easy access:
We hope you found this blog helpful in preparation for any selection tests that you may have!
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