How can you pass a written exercise?

You want to pass this test with flying colours. Problem is, most people go in without the slightest idea of how to do it. There are some great techniques and behind the scenes tactics which can give a definite advantage if you know how to use them

There are some simple strategies you can apply to help you perform more effectively in your written tests.

When it comes to gaining more marks, there are specific things you need to recognise and action, so once you know what to look for these are quite easy to apply. The great thing is, these strategies are actually really useful in the workplace too. Improving your performance in your inbox doesn’t have to be isolated to your ADC or promotion process. It can also have beneficial impacts on how you perform in your role.

There are certain perspectives you need to consider, actions you can suggest, systems you can identify and issues you can anticipate which will increase the number of marks you can get. There are not usually set ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers with this sort of exercise; however, there are certain actions the assessors would expect a strong candidate to demonstrate.

Most applicants fail this sort of test because they are unclear what is expected of them and because they misinterpret how to deliver the best results. They might go into the assessment with preconceived ideas and fail to properly understand what is required of them; or they might just be really out of their depth because they haven’t done anything like this before.

Either way, to pass you really need to prepare. You wouldn’t expect to do anything else first time and get it 100% right so now is not the time to start!

What should I do now?

You need to tackle these sorts of tests with calm and focus- it’s very easy to panic and waste valuable time. The best way of improving your skills and confidence is to get familiar with what is likely to be in the tests, see some practice questions, learn what would be good answers and bad ones (and most importantly, why) and figure out what skills you can bring to the event, and what weaknesses you need to learn to downplay.

A lot of the value of being prepared is in your mindset i.e. believing you have got a good shot at it because you have a pretty good idea what to expect and what you have to deliver. The opposite of this is being really nervous because you know you are winging it. That’s not a smart way to approach an assessment which could transform your career, increase your salary and make it a little easier going into work every day!

You’ll only achieve the right mindset and learn the crucial techniques by taking the right actions before the test itself. Click here to find out how to do this the fast and easy way.

Not what you know but how you do it

Your successful performance will not depend on what you know; it’s actually about how you use the information you are given and how you present this. We’re not talking about whether you use one paragraph or two, we are talking about the sort of structure than means you have considered all the key factors and drawn insightful, meaningful conclusions. It’s about being able to demonstrate that you can analyse, evaluate, plan, solve, collaborate, deliver….whatever it is that the exercise is designed for. The trick is in knowing a) what the exercise is looking for and b) knowing how to cover this, step by step so the assessors are under no illusions on what you are capable of.

Sound easy? It can be when you know how. The problem can be when you think you can handle it but actually you haven’t got a clue as it’s something unlike anything you’ve done before. We’ve marked a LOT of these sorts of papers and know exactly where people trip up and why (read more in this blog). It’s actually pretty frustrating from an assessor’s point of view having to fail good candidates because they are just missing the point. Sadly this is about 80% of candidates (don’t be fooled into thinking you’re so good you couldn’t possibly be one of them, we’ve had one too many of those conversations with shocked unsuccessful candidates too!)

Reading around the subject and learning more about the organisation is NOT the best way to tackle this problem – it WASTES your time and will not get you the results you need.

Next Page: Role-plays

A role-play is great at showing the assessors how you would respond in real-life to the problems or challenges you may encounter…..