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Written Exercises in Assessment Centres

 
#1 Written Exercises in Assessment Centres
09/06/2008 14:27

wants to get hired

All

Is there a recommended approach to answering the written exercise task during Assessment Centres? I would consider myself a reasonably good written communicator but in the past I have struggled with this task due to the time pressure.

I'm interested in hearing from anyone with a bit of experience in preparing/sitting for this type of test on how to analyse, structure and time the response.

Many thanks

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#2 RE: Written Exercises in Assessment Centres
09/06/2008 14:32

Mars A Day to wants to get hired (#1)

Invent your own shorthand to save time in the exercise and then when challenged about what all these funny scribbles mean tell them it means whatever the right answer is.

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#3 RE: Written Exercises in Assessment Centres
09/06/2008 19:01

Village Idiot to Mars A Day (#2)

Assessors are looking for a few things in a written exercise:

1. Can you actually speak English?

2. Reasonable grammar & spelling?

3. Can you structure thoughts coherently?

4. Can you distill your message down to its salient points?

5. Have you demonstrated that you actually have some content, rather than being all fluff?

Most native English speakers get points 1 & 2 correct. Quite a few people fall foul of rule 3 and ramble on, forgetting the golden rules of introduction, body, and summary.

Getting rule 4 right becomes more important as you become more senior in your career. I don't expect the same level of polish from a new consultant as I do from a senior manager. It is an excellent way to impress if you can do it.

Rule 5 is a tricky one -- you need to demonstrate that you actually understand whatever you're being asked to write about, without simply writing everything you know about the subject.

Good luck.

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#4 RE: Written Exercises in Assessment Centres
09/06/2008 20:53

max to Village Idiot (#3)

Funny how rules 1-5 were in reverse order when I was a 21 year old taking my finals :D

I guess the rules always change as you go through life.

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#5 RE: Written Exercises in Assessment Centres
10/06/2008 00:20

wants to get hired to Village Idiot (#3)

Thanks - really appreciate some of the valuable feedback.

I think time constraints generally make me a bit anxious and my discipline goes out the window. I just need to stay calm and get the intro, body and summary in there.

I just need to put myself in a mindset that this is something I may have done a hundred times at my desk :)

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