Author: Holly M
4th Year Medical Student
What is Situational Judgement?
To explain what situational judgement means, we will use the definition from the UCAT consortium website. The SJT (the part of the UCAT test that is focused on situational judgement questions) “measures your capacity to understand real-world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them.”
What the above quotation means is that these questions test if you can respond sensibly, reasonably and professionally to situations and events which could arise during your time as a medical student and a doctor. So really, it’s almost testing your moral compass, but it is definitely testing how much common sense you have!
You don’t require any prior medical knowledge to be able to answer the situational judgement questions.
Can a situational judgement question come up in my interview?
This article aims to give you a brief introduction, overview, and a few helpful tricks on how best to approach situational judgement questions. Situational judgement questions can come up both in your UCAT exam and in any interviews, particularly in multiple mini interview settings.
As with all articles, make sure to have a pen and paper handy. Make notes on things you find particularly interesting or useful as you go along.
How can situational judgement questions arise during my medical school interviews?
Situational judgement can arise in a variety of ways in your medical school interviews. As I mentioned earlier, it might be that in a multiple mini interview setting, you have a whole mini-interview just dedicated to situational judgement. This should be quite obvious, so as long as you stay calm and respond sensibly and professionally, you should be fine.
Be aware though, that situational judgement may arise less obviously during a discussion in different stations in a multiple mini interview scenario. Or in a traditional interview. Make sure you’re always taking the time to think before you answer questions and that you respond sensibly and reasonably!
Are you ready for your interview?
How best can I prepare for situational judgement questions that could arise during my medical school interviews?
Previous cases of misconduct
One really good thing to do is to read up about previous cases of doctor misconduct, gross negligence and medico-legal trials. You can do this quite easily just by googling for them, but make sure to stick to reliable websites such as BBC or Medical Defence Union websites.
This will not only help you to build your own personal understanding of good professional situational judgement. It also means you can quote and reflect on these during your actual interviews, which will make you seem very well-read and knowledgeable.
Practice answering situational judgement questions in an interview-style environment with either colleagues, family or teachers. This will allow you to respond in a time-pressured situation so that you can really pick up on weaknesses in your responses. Or even weaknesses in your knowledge and understanding of complex situational judgement scenarios
More interviews-related resources from Medical Projects
Ward Round Live – The UK’s only virtual hospital ward experience
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