About the Civil Service Judgement Test

The Civil Service judgement test is a situational test that measures your ability in decision-making and judgement on Civil Service behaviours. It consists of two parts, a self-assessment personality questionnaire, and a behavioural assessment.

The first section focuses on aspirations and desire to progress in a workplace as well as engagement and commitment to your organization. There is a range of statements that the candidate must rate on a 7-step scale ranging from completely disagree to agree. This makes up 15% of the final score.

The second section evaluates different types of behaviours. The behaviours are determined depending on the job and level.

This consists of three work-related scenarios per behaviour. The questions will be in the format of either video or text. The candidate is given multiple answers and must rate them as either counterproductive, ineffective, fairly effective, or effective depending on how well they resolve the situation

The test assesses nine different behaviours which are: seeing the big picture, changing and improving, making effective decisions, leadership, communicating and influencing, working together, developing self and others, managing a quality service, and delivering at pace.

Self-Assessment Personality Questionnaire

The first section of the Civil Service judgement test is the self-assessment personality questionnaire. This gives the candidate to reflect on statements about themselves and determine if they agree with the traits.

The question is presented with each statement and 7 options to choose from. These options are: completely disagree, strongly disagree, somewhat disagree, neither agree nor disagree, somewhat agree, strongly agree, and completely agree.

Statements presented can vary but often include topics such as helping others, teamwork, adaptability, and judgement.

The questionnaire is not timed, however, most people will complete it in under 30 minutes. The questionnaire must be completed within 5 days of submitting your application.

Behavioural Assessment

The second section of the Civil Service judgement test is the behavioural assessment. Each behaviour is looking for specific skills which will contribute to the job role.

Seeing the big picture demonstrates if the candidate recognizes the broader significance of their work. Changing and improving identifies if the candidate can improve their performance using both social and intellectual skills. Making effective decisions focuses on the candidates’ ability to use evidence-based decisions to make a decision.

Leadership looks at how much pride and passion candidates have for their work and if they can promote inclusion as a leader. Communicating and influencing look at how clearly and calmly the candidate can discuss and listen to others. Working together identifies teamwork regardless of different backgrounds.

Developing self and others is looking for ways to improve the organization through their employees. Managing a quality service looks like professionalism and efficiency within the job.

Delivering a pace focuses on meeting a deadline without impacting the quality.

The nine behaviours are assessed with three scenarios each. For each scenario, you are offered four actions and must rate each one depending on how effective or ineffective they are.

The scenarios may be displayed as video or text depending on the specific job you are applying for. The test is not timed, but the average time to complete each scenario is between under five minutes.

civil service judgement test

Example Questions

The self-assessment questionnaire includes questions like:

‘I help others when they are in trouble’

The candidate must decide how they identify with the statement. This demonstrates how helpful candidates are and the majority of employees would want someone who demonstrates generosity and good teamwork.

The behavioural assessment includes questions like:

You have been working on a project with 3 other employees for the past month and managed to finish the job two days early. The job has been done extremely well and you are very pleased. You go into the office to find everyone working and too busy to have a conversation or tell you what your next project is.

Rate the four options on their effectiveness.

1) Catch up on emails and keep yourself busy doing small personal tasks 2) Email your boss to let them know you are done with the project and able to start a new one. 3) Discuss the project with the team, and see if they were happy with the outcome and your contributions. 4) Research projects within the company to find out if any of them are interesting.

The first option is counterproductive. This doesn’t further your career or show any initiative.

The second option is effective. Letting your boss know you are done and open to starting a new project shows willingness and determination.

The third option is fairly effective. You will understand how well you did, but as it has been finished and done well, this won’t be the best use of your time.

The fourth option is ineffective. Even though this shows initiative, unless you are in a high-up position you won’t be able to choose your projects.

How to prepare for and pass the Civil Service judgement test

To prepare for the Civil Service judgement test there are multiple things you can do. This includes the lead-up to the test as well as during the test.

Stay calm. If you are calm you are more likely to do well as your brain can focus on the test instead of being stressed or worried. The best ways to stay calm are to practice meditation or strategic breathing.

Practice questions online. There is a range of online practice tests before sitting the real thing. Make the most of the online resources and practice the types of questions you will be faced with in the test.

Avoid distractions. It is so easy to get distracted, but put yourself in the best position away from other forms of technology, other people, and any other form of distraction you may face.

Read the question. It is easy to misread a question and misunderstand the task. Take your time and read every question a couple of times to ensure you fully understand.


What is the pass mark on the Civil Service judgement test?

The pass mark varies depending on what job you are applying for. The pass mark can be as low as 40% or as high as 60%

How accurate is the Civil Service judgement test?

Situational judgement tests are extremely reliable as they use evidence-based information to determine how suitable candidates would be for a specific job.

Can I retake the Civil Service judgement test?

If you do not pass the test you can not retake it for that job application but will be able to retake it for as many other jobs as you apply for.

What jobs can I get after I pass the Civil Service judgement test?

There is a range of jobs the Civil Service judgement test can help you get such as a job in the home office, ministry of defense, HM Revenue, and customs.