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PSNI Recruitment - Stage 1 - The Initial Selection Test

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  • reading tables and working out answers from them was part of it, i would say those brain trainer games would help a bit and keep an eye on the time i think i had a few questions unanswered in the last minute so it was a case of wild guesses towards the end




  • Thanks - thats useful to know.

    I get the impression the IST would be easy (in terms of working the correct answers out) if the time wasn't so demanding. The time limit seems to be the killer. Is the practice test a good indicator of the length of the test? What is the time limit roughly?

    Thanks a million for the information - much appreciated.




  • this may sound like a stupid question - but can you use a calculator in the initial selection test :o




  • Afraid not, only brain power allowed. I did it 3 times before I passed and on the 4th attempt I got through everything.

    So keep trying, it does happen.




  • Afraid not, only brain power allowed. I did it 3 times before I passed and on the 4th attempt I got through everything.

    So keep trying, it does happen.


    thanks PC in waiting - I just wanted to know cause I've been doing some apptitude tests for practice -- now I'll try them again without the calculator lol
    I'm grand with everything - but long divison is my achilles heel lol

    Congrats on getting through :)


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  • dark side wrote: »
    thanks PC in waiting - I just wanted to know cause I've been doing some apptitude tests for practice -- now I'll try them again without the calculator lol
    I'm grand with everything - but long divison is my achilles heel lol

    Congrats on getting through :)

    I'll give you some advice that people may or may not agree with. I took Maths at Cambridge and completed my part I before doing my part II in education. I admit that my mental arithmatic is not the best BUT, I was not even close to completing the maths part of the IST (without guessing).

    My advice would be to look at each question and if it requires you to discern more than 1 or 2 pieces of information to answer the question, leave it. Then when you have done all the 'easy' ones do the harder ones... then the last few mins as Morri says anything left use wild guesses.

    This isn't really new or secret... but I think a lot of people were just working through the question sequentially and wasting a LOT of time on harder, longer questions. We think they do actually use selected questions to help order the merit list in the end... but you do actually have to get into the merit pool to begin with. So get the best score you can overall and then pull out all the stops for the assessment centre.

    Hope that helps and as I say that's just my advice and how I did it. Others may not agree :)




  • DownMTBer wrote: »
    I'll give you some advice that people may or may not agree with. I took Maths at Cambridge and completed my part I before doing my part II in education. I admit that my mental arithmatic is not the best BUT, I was not even close to completing the maths part of the IST (without guessing).

    My advice would be to look at each question and if it requires you to discern more than 1 or 2 pieces of information to answer the question, leave it. Then when you have done all the 'easy' ones do the harder ones... then the last few mins as Morri says anything left use wild guesses.

    This isn't really new or secret... but I think a lot of people were just working through the question sequentially and wasting a LOT of time on harder, longer questions. We think they do actually use selected questions to help order the merit list in the end... but you do actually have to get into the merit pool to begin with. So get the best score you can overall and then pull out all the stops for the assessment centre.

    Hope that helps and as I say that's just my advice and how I did it. Others may not agree :)

    That's more or less what I did. You get one mark for a right answer, regardless of whether you have one calculation or five. Make sure you pick up the easy points, then use any time left to go through the more difficult questions.

    Make sure you get an answer down for all questions. Guess if you have to. There's a 1 in 4 chance it'll be the right answer.




  • Just a word of advice for the IST - I know everybody is different and won't have the same experience as me but everytime I did the test I found relatively straight forward. Yes I was a little under pressure on the tables part but Its all there in front of you. So..........

    -Just take your time and work through it.

    -There are no trick questions, the info is all in the tables.

    -Don't panic if you can't see the answer straight away.

    If you're really stuck at the very least take a wild guess, don't leave any unanswered - you have a 1 in 4 chance to get it right!!




  • thanks Bout ye, Carlty and downMtber,

    Got it, ans the easy on first, get the points go back to the harder ones then wild guess when the time is running out LOL :D




  • The initial test worries me a bit. I think that the idea of having to wait another whole year if i'm not successfull is horrendous so i'm determined to get through it. Is there anything that anyone would advise to do to get u used to the situation? I know there are tests on the consenis website but anything else would be greatly appreciated


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  • fact unt wrote: »
    The initial test worries me a bit. I think that the idea of having to wait another whole year if i'm not successfull is horrendous so i'm determined to get through it. Is there anything that anyone would advise to do to get u used to the situation? I know there are tests on the consenis website but anything else would be greatly appreciated

    Anything that gets the mind working is great. Athletes exercise their bodies to prepare for sports, so you should start exercising the ol' grey matter to prepare for the IST. Crosswords, puzzles, quizzes IQ tests etc. Eleven plus papers are particlarly good as they get your mind focused on the types of questions you'll be asked.
    Set yourself time limits, so you get used to rushing through the questions.




  • fact unt wrote: »
    The initial test worries me a bit. I think that the idea of having to wait another whole year if i'm not successfull is horrendous so i'm determined to get through it. Is there anything that anyone would advise to do to get u used to the situation? I know there are tests on the consenis website but anything else would be greatly appreciated

    Hi Fact unt - looks like we'll both be appying in the next round - its my first time what about you?

    what Carlty said is sound advise - I've just typed in apptitude test examples into google - and have been practicing a few of those -- its the time thing that messes me up - so I'm gonna practice practice practice




  • dark side wrote: »
    Hi Fact unt - looks like we'll both be appying in the next round - its my first time what about you?

    what Carlty said is sound advise - I've just typed in apptitude test examples into google - and have been practicing a few of those -- its the time thing that messes me up - so I'm gonna practice practice practice



    hey guys....i found that time was a real problem 1st couple of times i tried it,the last time i did and passed there, i skim read the paragraghes in the 1st half of the test..just reading the parts which were related to the questions...if u try reading the whole text and also reading and thinking about the questions you will find yourself really short on time




  • fact unt wrote: »
    The initial test worries me a bit. I think that the idea of having to wait another whole year if i'm not successfull is horrendous so i'm determined to get through it. Is there anything that anyone would advise to do to get u used to the situation? I know there are tests on the consenis website but anything else would be greatly appreciated


    Know the feeling mate.

    This is / will be my first time applying. The number of people I hear saying "after 4 attempts..." etc. I suspect it'll be difficult getting in on the first go!




  • yea this will be my first time doin this recruitment process - so cheers for all the advice as I said anything that helps is great for me and I presume anyone else new to this craic.

    I got started into a few practice tests there and they're good but i've discovered that it comes down to the timing - that seems to be the most difficult thing about it.

    I really wana get into this first time around and I know that sounds ambitious when I read posts of people saying that it took a couple of times to get through. Just hoping that I'm feelin lucky on the day.




  • How many Sections are there?! As in the table things, is there only one or what?! Cause it says 10.5 Mins for all twelve in the practice test...just wondering!!!




  • How many Sections are there?! As in the table things, is there only one or what?! Cause it says 10.5 Mins for all twelve in the practice test...just wondering!!!

    The practice test on the website is wee buns. Prepare for the real thing to be MUCH harder and more demanding time wise. Its designed to wipe as many people out at that stage as possible.




  • The practice test on the website is wee buns. Prepare for the real thing to be MUCH harder and more demanding time wise. Its designed to wipe as many people out at that stage as possible.

    I see, is there more then two sections?!




  • I see, is there more then two sections?!

    There wasnt last year but there had been three parts the year before apparently - the first part I think was an oral information test whereby you had to listen to a passage that was read out and answer questions on the information given and then the true/false/cant tell section and the data/maths section. It was just the two latter parts that we had last year. I had been told that they were introducing a spelling and grammar section to the IST this year as the standard of literacy in new recruits over the last year(s) was pretty appalling, i.e. using "threw" when it should be "through" etc. Just basic stuff.
    However this is not confirmed and the pratice IST on the website makes no mention of it. Still, I'd be prepared for anything on the day.
    I cant remember for definite the amount of questions in each section but I think the first part had 30 and the second part had 48 but really, do not quote me on that.
    The timing is the main thing and something you should be mindful of, they do not give you indications as to how the time is going, i.e. five minutes left etc, so its easy to get caught out. Lots of people complained about that at my test last year. I also sat up front in order to be near the clock on the wall though I did bring a stopwatch too which I ended up using. Its also easier to hear the instructions.
    You are provided with pencils, erasers and scrap paper for sums etc so dont worry about trivial stuff like that.
    Some locations have zilch in the way of parking so when you know where your test is, suss it out and make sure you get there in plenty of time to avoid arriving flustered. Ditto for the assessment centre.
    Bring your ID and your letter, they will ask for both as proof of identity.




  • mgh i didnt drive up myself but if its in aldergrove again this year, did parking cost much at the place where everyone seemed to park?


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  • smyff wrote: »
    mgh i didnt drive up myself but if its in aldergrove again this year, did parking cost much at the place where everyone seemed to park?

    Cant answer that one Smyff mate, mine was central Belfast and the parking was poo. I left v early to avoid rush hour and in the event there was an accident and also to get parked as where you can park fills up very very early on. I just chilled in the car while I was waiting.

    Also bear in mind PYGs sticky about locations and being discreet, especially after the events of last night. :(




  • indeed. im closer to the town than i am up where it was last year. but they must do it by district.

    yeah, its shocking isnt it. some people like.




  • There wasnt last year but there had been three parts the year before apparently - the first part I think was an oral information test whereby you had to listen to a passage that was read out and answer questions on the information given and then the true/false/cant tell section and the data/maths section. It was just the two latter parts that we had last year. I had been told that they were introducing a spelling and grammar section to the IST this year as the standard of literacy in new recruits over the last year(s) was pretty appalling, i.e. using "threw" when it should be "through" etc. Just basic stuff.
    However this is not confirmed and the pratice IST on the website makes no mention of it. Still, I'd be prepared for anything on the day.
    I cant remember for definite the amount of questions in each section but I think the first part had 30 and the second part had 48 but really, do not quote me on that.
    The timing is the main thing and something you should be mindful of, they do not give you indications as to how the time is going, i.e. five minutes left etc, so its easy to get caught out. Lots of people complained about that at my test last year. I also sat up front in order to be near the clock on the wall though I did bring a stopwatch too which I ended up using. Its also easier to hear the instructions.
    You are provided with pencils, erasers and scrap paper for sums etc so dont worry about trivial stuff like that.
    Some locations have zilch in the way of parking so when you know where your test is, suss it out and make sure you get there in plenty of time to avoid arriving flustered. Ditto for the assessment centre.
    Bring your ID and your letter, they will ask for both as proof of identity.

    Ah I See, and how much time do you get for all this?! It cant seriously be 10/12 mins for 48 questions.




  • Ah I See, and how much time do you get for all this?! It cant seriously be 10/12 mins for 48 questions.

    Obviously its not 10 minutes for 40 odd questions! :rolleyes: Its around 30 minutes from what I remember.




  • Obviously its not 10 minutes for 40 odd questions! :rolleyes: Its around 30 minutes from what I remember.

    Cheers, I had visions of people being human calculators with more processing power than the pentagon annihilating questions at a rate of 12 per second. PHEW.




  • Cheers, I had visions of people being human calculators with more processing power than the pentagon annihilating questions at a rate of 12 per second. PHEW.

    dont worry bout that. im not doin it this year. lol:D




  • Penis Eye wrote: »
    dont worry bout that. im not doin it this year. lol:D

    HAHA!

    A good tip (well I found it helpful) is to avoid lingering on a specific question too long. They all attract equal marks so skipping a really long/ difficult one in favour of answering 2 or 3 easier ones helps (this mainly applies to the last test).




  • Cheers, I had visions of people being human calculators with more processing power than the pentagon annihilating questions at a rate of 12 per second. PHEW.

    I think I remember along the same lines as MrsGeneHunt, I think one section had about 30 qu and the other more than 40. I think there was only about 20-25 mins to answer each section, although i can't remember specifics - you do have to be very quick though so do lots of practice to get used to reading the questions quickly and getting your thought process working on the right lines.

    The practice tests are much easier than the real thing, especially maths - be prepared for much harder on the day, but keep calm, read the questions properly, and keep an eye on your time (they won't give you 5minute or 1minute to go warnings) - as cpn said, if there is a question you get stuck on, move on to the easier ones and if you have time left at the end go back to the harder ones.

    A useful tip I got given was simple but handy - read the instructions carefully - if it says you will not get penalised for an incorrect answer, and you have 5 questions left to answer with 1 minute to go, it might just be worthwhile skimming the questions and taking an educated guess (but make sure in the instructions it says you will not be penalised for incorrect answers) - although obviously only use this as a last resort if you are really stuck on time!

    And good luck!




  • Took me 3 goes to pass IST missed the pass mark by 1 mark both years. I was pissed last year when they lowerd the pass mark from 52 down to 50 because I had passed the original pass mark that time and they didn`t lower it on previous campaigns. IMHO I would say people without GCSE Maths and English would really struggle however it all depends on how well you cope under pressure.


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  • aye thats true about the maths i know a few punters who went to the IST and they all failed it cause well. theyre dead on and all but theyre not really smart in that way


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