Common Mistakes Pharmacy Students make in the OSJT

Oriel situational judgement test

Oriel Pharmacy Overview

The Oriel Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is an integral part of the recruitment process for pre-registration pharmacy placements. It aims to evaluate a candidate’s ability to exhibit professional behaviours and make effective decisions in a variety of pharmacy-specific scenarios.

The Oriel SJT is more about assessing a candidate’s aptitude for practical, professional decision-making, rather than their knowledge of pharmacy. This key distinction is often the source of several common errors that candidates make when preparing for and taking the exam. You can find more information through admissions tutors like BlackStone Tutors.

Importantly, the Oriel SJT is a gateway for aspiring pharmacists, enabling them to advance to the next stage of their career. Performing well in this exam can be the difference between securing your preferred placement and settling for an alternative that might not align with your career aspirations. As such, it’s a critical component of the recruitment process that demands serious attention.

Unlike traditional exams that require you to demonstrate your academic knowledge, the Oriel SJT is designed to assess your situational judgement – your ability to make sound decisions in challenging situations that you may encounter as a pharmacist. The test places you in various hypothetical scenarios, each requiring you to make a judgement call.

This unique format helps prospective employers evaluate your readiness to handle the challenges of the pre-registration year, providing them with valuable insights into your practical skills and professional behaviour.

This distinction – the shift from testing knowledge to assessing judgement – is not always well-understood by candidates, leading to preparation that misaligns with the test’s objectives. Consequently, understanding the true purpose of the Oriel SJT is fundamental to avoiding common mistakes and, ultimately, to performing well in the exam.

Therefore, it is crucial that all pharmacy students preparing for the Oriel SJT familiarise themselves thoroughly with the structure, content, and objectives of this unique assessment.

Common Mistakes in Oriel SJT

1. Misunderstanding the Purpose of the Test

The first common mistake is misunderstanding the purpose of the SJT. Some pharmacy students approach the Oriel SJT as if it were a traditional knowledge-based exam, studying factual content instead of focusing on situational judgement. The test is designed to assess how candidates would react in certain situations, particularly those they are likely to encounter during their pre-registration year.

2. Neglecting the SJT Framework

Another common error is neglecting the SJT Framework. The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) provides a comprehensive framework for the Oriel SJT, which outlines the domains the exam will cover. Ignoring this vital resource often leads candidates to focus their preparation on the wrong areas.

3. Poor Time Management

Time management is a critical factor in the Oriel SJT. The exam includes 70 questions to be answered within two hours, allowing just over 1.5 minutes per question. Some candidates spend too much time on one question, leaving insufficient time to answer the rest, which can lead to panic and rushed, incorrect answers.

4. Not Practising with Sample Questions

Lastly, some candidates underestimate the importance of practising with sample questions. Failing to familiarise oneself with the question structure and format can lead to confusion during the actual test and consequently, lower scores.

Oriel SJT Test Tips

1. Understand the Test’s Objective

Understanding the test’s objective is crucial for success. Remember, the Oriel situational judgement test is about decision-making skills in a professional context, not knowledge recall. Frame your preparation around this understanding.

2. Use the SJT Framework

Make the SJT Framework your best friend. It provides insight into the core domains that will be tested. Ensuring you are familiar with these areas will help you answer questions confidently and accurately.

3. Practise Effective Time Management

Time management is key. Practice answering questions under timed conditions to develop a sense of how long to spend on each question. This will help you pace yourself effectively in the actual test.

4. Use Sample Questions

Finally, practice with sample questions. This is essential for getting to grips with the test format and the type of scenarios you will be presented with. Reviewing model answers can also provide insight into what examiners are looking for.

Taking the time to understand the test, using the provided framework, managing your time, and practising with sample questions will help you avoid common mistakes and put you on the path to success in your Oriel SJT. Always remember, preparation is key.


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