NHS STP Aptitude Test

What Is the NHS STP Recruitment Process?

NHS vets their candidates for the STP thoroughly. The process can be outlined as follows:

->Submission of Application
->Online Assessments
->Revision of Application
->Panel Interview

This guide may seem a little confusing. Unlike most companies, NHS uses psychometric tests as their initial screening rather than an application. If you meet their standard on the tests, they will review your application and notify you if you are proceeding.

Candidates will then receive an email titled: “interview”, “shortlist reserve”, or “shortlist unsuccessful”. The first means you have been selected for a panel interview, the second is a waitlist which gives you the opportunity to partake in a panel interview if another candidate drops out, and the last title means you have been taken out of the running for the STP.

What Is the NHS STP Aptitude Test?

The National Health Service uses aptitude tests as an initial screening while vetting candidates for the Scientist Training Programme, also known as the STP. If candidates do poorly or don’t meet a particular benchmark, NHS will not review their application.

Applicants will face two assessments: the numerical aptitude test and the logical aptitude test. These assessments each test the mental capacity of candidates in regard to their mathematical and comprehension skills. The numerical and logical aptitude tests are each timed and multiple-choice. If you are about to take an NHS aptitude test for STP, you can expect your assessments to go as follows:

->Numerical Aptitude Test
The numerical aptitude test screens the mathematical literacy of applicants. This is achieved by providing applicants with charts, tables and graphs–some are relevant to their particular field, while others are general—that must be evaluated for a solution. An understanding of basic math, as well as graphical interpretation, statistical analysis, percentages and the like, are necessary for success on this test. The numerical aptitude test will get harder as you progress.

->Logical Aptitude Test
The logical aptitude test, sometimes nicknamed the diagrammatic reasoning test, examines the problem solving and deductive reasoning abilities of potential candidates. Applicants must identify patterns and work through small puzzles that get increasingly harder. You will choose the shape or object that best fits the sequence. These problems inform NHS of your raw analytical capacity.

STP Final Interview

The Science Training Programme’s final interview takes place in front of four panels, each consisting of two healthcare professionals. The applicants must rotate every ten minutes through the panels with a two-minute rest period in between. Each panel covers a different topic including:

->Scientific Understanding and Knowledge of How Science Serves Society
->Technical Questions Relevant to your Scientific Field
->Technical Questions Relevant to your Scientific Field
->Behavioural Questions Concerning Values

Below are some common questions you may be asked during your panel interview with NHS:

->How would you define an error?
->What is the difference between a prokaryotic and a eukaryotic cell?
->What distinguishes bacteria from viruses?
->What makes you a suitable candidate for the Science Training Programme at NHS?

While a handful of these are technical questions that leave you to your own devices, it is important to discuss the last one. Prior to your panel interview, look at NHS’ company values and find out how you align with them. You will most likely receive that type of question during your interview, and it is best to be prepared for it.

How to Prepare for NHS STP Aptitude Test?

Preparing for such a significant test might induce a little anxiety, but it shouldn’t. All the material you need to study is right at your fingertips.

One of the most effective ways to study for NHS’s STP aptitude tests is using online practice tests. These are beneficial in two ways: they equip you for the content and the time limit. The content is going to be fairly difficult, and it’s only going to get harder as you move through the test. Online practice tests are like a warm-up for your brain. Additionally, you can become familiar with the time allotment on the questions. This is the best way to find the pace that works best for you while getting you where you need to be.

Another way to practice is by running through sample questions. If you are in the early stages of studying for the STP aptitude tests or need to briefly jog your memory, sample questions are a great tool. These allow you to take your time and really think through the question thoughtfully. Eventually, when you feel comfortable enough, you can start timing yourself to see how much progress you’ve made.