Guidance

Managing online tests (vX)

How to add online tests to vacancies in Civil Service Jobs, and manage candidates taking tests.

There are three online tests available in vX:

  • Verbal Reasoning Test (VRT)
  • Numerical Reasoning Test (NRT)
  • Civil Service Judgement Test (CSJT)

Adding tests to a vacancy

A recruiter can add tests to a vacancy. The Online tests section will appear when Abilities is selected in the Create New Vacancy page.

  • Test grade - set the level required for the tests. It is not automatically set from the job grade.
  • Up to three tests can be used, in any order
  • When auto progress is selected, successful candidates will automatically progress to the next test. Select No if you want to review scores before manually moving candidates to the next test.

Candidates automatically get full instructions on Civil Service Jobs about how to complete tests.

Reasonable adjustments during tests

Some candidates may need assistance during test stages. Vacancy holders are responsible for making an informed decision about adjustments, taking into account departmental policy, the Workplace Adjustment Guide, and the test taker’s individual needs.

There is no time limit on tests, so candidates can take as long as they need, although there is a timeout after 25 minutes of inactivity.

Some common alterations are:

  • Adjustments to screen display, including text size, colour and contrast - applicants may be able to alter these themselves
  • Video alternatives - questions in video format (CSJT only) include a written transcript and optional subtitles
  • Paper-based alternatives for the VRT or NRT. The CSJT does not have a paper-based alternative, but using a personal reader’s support may be an option.

Extending a test deadline

To let a candidate take an online test after the test closing date:

  1. Find the candidate’s Application Summary.
  2. Select the Deadline options button.
  3. Select Yes for Bypass test/form deadline and enter the reason.
  4. Submit.

The candidate can launch their test, even though the deadline has passed.

Contacting a candidate

After making changes for a candidate, send them a confirmation.

  1. Select Communication, then Send Correspondence.
  2. Select the Blank template and enter your message confirming the new deadline or other change.
  3. Send Correspondence.

Resetting a test

The process to allow a candidate to retake a test differs between the tests.

Resetting Verbal or Numerical tests

Resetting a test will delete banked scores on the current vacancy.

Candidates can access the Numerical and Verbal tests on three separate occasions without needing to reset it.

  • Find the candidate’s Application Summary.
  • Select the Test Results tab, then the Reset link for the Numerical (shown as ONT) or Verbal (shown as OVT) test.
  • Select the Administration button, then Other Status.
  • Select either Invited to Numerical Test or Invited to Verbal Test.
  • Tick the Run Automatic Actions box, then Change Status.

The candidate can now retake the test. Contact the candidate to confirm the change.

Resetting the Civil Service Judgement Test

Candidates can access the CSJT on three separate occasions without needing to reset it.

  • Find the candidate’s Application Summary.
  • Select the Test Results tab, then the Reset link for the Civil Service Judgement Test.
  • Select the Move back to invited after manual reset button.

The candidate status will change to Invited to Civil Service Judgement Test and they can retake the test. Contact the candidate to confirm the change.

Rejecting candidates after the deadline

If a candidate doesn’t complete the test before the deadline, they are not automatically rejected, however they can’t launch a test.

Recruiters will need to reject candidates manually, which can be done in bulk.

Find your candidates

  1. Select My Tasks in the navigation panel, then View Saved Searches.
  2. Double click on the row Online test - deadline passed to view a list of candidates who have missed a test deadline.
  3. Above the table, select Recruiter/Superuser > Default Layout.
  4. From the Filter results dropdown, select Show Column Filters.
  5. Filter by your vacancy ID (or department) to find your candidates.

Change their status

  1. Choose Select All from the dropdown on the Selected field.
  2. Select the Status button, then Other Status.
  3. Select Rejected - Test deadline missed, and tick the Run Automatic Actions box.
  4. Select the Change Status button.
  5. Confirm.

Sending reminders to complete tests

Automatic reminders are not sent, but you can send manual reminders.

  1. Find the vacancy and select the Applications tab.
  2. Select the link next to the relevant status - Invited to (testname) - to show all candidates invited to that test.
  3. Choose Select All from the dropdown on the Selected field.
  4. Select Communication, then Send Email.
  5. Choose a template: Reminder to take Judgement test, or Reminder to take Numerical test, or Reminder to take Verbal test, then Submit.
  6. You shouldn’t need to edit the email. Select the Preview button to check how it will appear.
  7. Send Correspondence.

Reviewing scores

Candidates who score lower than the system-set minimum percentile for each test will automatically move to Rejected after (testname). They will not be invited to the next test.

If auto-progress is set to Yes, successful candidates will automatically be invited to the next test.

If auto-progress is set to No, your candidates will remain at On hold after first/second/third test if they have passed the test. This allows for a review of scores between tests.

Find candidates

  1. Find the vacancy and go to the Applications tab.
  2. Select the link next to the relevant status - On hold after first/second/third test - to show all candidates on hold after passing that test.

Add columns for scores to the table

Create a layout to include columns for scores. If you have saved one previously, you can select it to see all candidate scores.

  1. Select the Recruiter/Superuser > Default Layout, then the Customise Layout icon to the left.
  2. In the Please choose an item to add field, add one or more columns:
    • Flags Form > Civil Service Judgement Test Score
    • Flags Form > Numerical Test score
    • Flags Form > Verbal test Score
  3. Select Add Field.
  4. Highlight a row and select Remove to exclude any columns you don’t want.
  5. To save this layout, select the Save Options tab, enter the Layout title then Save Changes.

The table will show your candidates and their scores.

Moving multiple candidates to the next status

Successful candidates - with more tests

  1. Select all of the successful candidates.
  2. Select the Status button, then Other Status.
  3. Select Invited to (testname) for the next test.
  4. Tick the Run Automatic Actions box then Change Status.
  5. Confirm.

Successful candidates - all tests completed

  1. Select all of the successful candidates.
  2. Select the Status button, then Other Status.
  3. Select Sift Application.
  4. Tick the Run Automatic Actions box then Change Status.
  5. Confirm.

Unsuccessful candidates

  1. Select all of the unsuccessful candidates.
  2. Select the Status button, then Other Status.
  3. Select Rejected after (testname).
  4. Tick the Run Automatic Actions box then Change Status.
  5. Confirm.

Banked scores

Candidates with the minimum required pass mark will have their scores banked against the Civil Service Numerical Test and Civil Service Verbal Test only.

Civil Service Judgement Test scores cannot be banked as different behaviours are selected for each vacancy.

Banked scores cannot be transferred between v9 and vX in either direction. When an applicant has a banked score they are not asked to retake the same test, providing it is:

  • set at the same level, and
  • within the same system.

Scores will be banked for six months from the date of test completion, in the system the test was taken.

Viewing an individual’s scores

  1. Find the candidate’s Application Summary.
  2. Select the Test Results tab, then select the relevant test. The Numerical test is shown as ONT, and Verbal test is OVT.
  3. You can see test scores and the Date Valid Until (for banked scores) and download the CSJT candidate and recruiter reports.

Feedback for candidates

Candidates receive automated feedback in Civil Service Jobs to help them understand how well they performed.

Feedback is only visible after all tests are completed.

Technical issues

Online test technical issues should be directed to the test providers.

For other issues, contact the Product and Support Team: support.csjobs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

Published 9 October 2019