NICS Preparation - Pass the Deputy Officer Exam 2022

Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) Aptitude Practice Tests

This PrepPack™ has an assortment of 16 analysing information tests, 13 critical thinking tests, 4 management decision tests and 7 study guides. Every test is specially designed to put you into professional shape. Begin your journey instantaneously.


What is a Management Decision Test?

The management decision test puts you into the role of management through various scenario situations. Thus, you are able to display your decision-making, problem-solving, interpersonal and organisation skills. Each of your answers will be formulated into an intelligent analysis of your qualities. This way upper management can better tell if you are a good fit for the company's role.

Here's a free Management Decision sample question:

You have been appointed manager of a customer service department in a large bank. You have been told by your superiors that the last manager of this department was laid off due to a sharp decrease in customer satisfaction. There was also a decline in employee discipline in the department. Nevertheless, no one knows what caused the problem. You know that you were brought in to change these irregularities.

What would you do in this situation?

Rate how effective you think each action would be. Each rating can be used more than once (Index: 1= Very Effective; 2= Somewhat Effective; 3= neither effective nor Ineffective; 4=Somewhat Ineffective; 5= Very ineffective)

Response #1: First, speak to your employees and tell them that changes are about to be made. Then, investigate working methods and personnel issues in the department until you reach the root of the problem.

1
2
3
4
5
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is 2.

Primary competency: Encouraging innovation and leading change 
Secondary competencies: Encouraging employees' development; Team building; Responsibility for subordinates

 
Explanation: This question deals with initiating change, specifically, how to incorporate effective change in your team. Therefore, it assesses leadership skills such as encouraging innovation, leading change, encouraging employee development, and team building. 

Response #1 seems somewhat positive. You prefer to do some research before making any basic changes, thus demonstrating you are a rational individual. The advantage of this is that you will probably make some wise changes. However, the disadvantage is that it will take time and perhaps you will be perceived as passive by your team members, which will undermine your authority. Furthermore, this response does not address the immediate problem of customer dissatisfaction and the decline in employee discipline. 

Response #2: Assemble your new employees and make immediate changes that may increase customer satisfaction. You want your employees to understand that you intend to make modifications and, if needed, make additional changes later.

1
2
3
4
5
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is 4.

Response #2is a hasty response that portrays you as assertive yet impulsive. While you make some immediate changes, they have not been thought out and therefore could be harmful to the company. Such sudden changes may also be received negatively by your employees. 

Response #3: Assemble your employees and ask them what they think caused the decrease in customer satisfaction and the department's discipline. Make changes once you feel you know something about the causes of the problems.

1
2
3
4
5
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is 1.

Response #3is similar to response #1 whereby you prefer to conduct some research before making any changes. However, here you also involve your team, showing them you care about input that will help in establishing a relationship with them. Involving them also demonstrates that you are able to utilise effective strategies to increase staff productivity, as you will be able to comprehend why there was a decrease in discipline, and fix this.You also decide to make changes once you establish the cause of the problem. This response allows you to appear calculated and establishes your authority with the team simultaneously. This response therefore allows you to make calculated choices as well as present yourself in an assertive manner. 

Response #4: Find out who the disobedient employees are and replace them, in the hope this will solve both problems.

1
2
3
4
5
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is 5.

Response #4is a hasty response. Here you may demonstrate assertiveness, yet you also show impulsivity. You make some immediate changes that may be detrimental to your team. Firing employees is a very drastic measure and may give rise to negative feelings amongst your other employees, rather than motivate them. You also do not try to investigate the root cause for the decline in employees' performance, which may consequently prove to be inefficient. 

Response #5: Assemble your new employees and tell them that you want the department to be the best customer service department in the bank a year from now.

1
2
3
4
5
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is 3.

Response #5 is neither effective nor ineffective. Although you give a motivational talk whereby you specify your goal which is to become the best customer service team in a year's time, you fail to establish and clarify how you will achieve this goal. You also fail to take any real action making this response neither effective nor ineffective.

What is a Critical Thinking Test?

In this test, you will be asked questions that assess your ability to comprehend written information and draw conclusions from it.

You will be presented with a paragraph and a statement and must decide if the statement follows logically (True) from the text, logically false (False) according to the text, or if the true/false value of the statement cannot be determined (Cannot Say) from the text.

Here is a Critical Thinking sample question:

Take a very commonplace, often discussed and critical topic: Are we detecting a greenhouse effect, and related to this, is it exacerbated by "anthropogenic factors," i.e., human actions? Most would be inclined to give a positive answer to both of these questions. But, if pushed, what would be the evidence, and how well grounded would it be for such affirmations? Within scientific communities and associated scientifically informed circles, the answers have to be somewhat more ambiguous, particularly when rigorous questions concerning evidence are raised. Were scientific truth to be a matter of consensus, and some argue that scientific truth often turns out to be just that, then it is clear that there is beginning to be a kind of majority consensus among many earth science practitioners that the temperature of the Earth, particularly of the oceans, is indeed rising and that this is a crucial indicator for a possible greenhouse effect.

Statement: 

The greenhouse effect is defined as an increasingly hot Earth and increasingly hot oceans.

True
False
Cannot Say
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is Cannot Say.

Pay close attention to the last sentence of the passage. The beginning ('Were scientific truth ...') is phrased as a hypothesis. Everything that is said in this sentence is only hypothesised. The fact that 'there is beginning to be a kind of majority consensus [...] that the temperature [...] is indeed rising and that this is a crucial indicator' is not enough to conclude that it is all definitely true. Therefore, it is not a strong enough evidence to contradict the statement. As we cannot contradict the statement, and as the passage does not really provide a full definition of the greenhouse effect, the best answer is 'cannot say'.

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