Civil Service Fast Stream Practice Tests [2024]

The FS Civil Service tests are unique and only recruits once a year, and only the top applicants get the desired civil service schemes.

The Fast Stream Test includes a Work Style Questionnaire and a Situational Judgement Questionnaire. The SJQ consists of 12 videos which require you to rate possible courses of action.

To get ahead of the competition for your desired civil service career path - we made a Fast Stream bundle pack covering the entire hiring process!

⦿ Accurate SJQ Practice simulating the real thing

⦿ Assessment Centre practice exercises to know exactly what to expect when you'll get there

⦿ Work-based scenarios and video interview prep to cover each step of the hiring process

⦿ Fully detailed solutions and explanations for every question- to help you learn as effectively as possible

Let JobTestPrep get you through the hiring process and make sure you get the job!

Keep reading for more info, free sample questions, and the full preparation pack.

Fast Stream Online Tests & Video Interview

Online Test:

  • Work Style Questionnaire Part 1
  • Situational Judgement Questionnaire – Interpersonal Skills Practice tests and Study Guide
  • Situational Judgement Questionnaire – Thinking Skills
  • 7 additional Situational Judgment Practice Tests
  • 5 Numerical Exercises

Coming Soon – Fast Stream Group Dynamics Study Guide


Arbel, Civil Service Tests Expert at JobTestPrep
Have a question? Contact me at:

Click here for our dedicated page on the Fast Stream Assessment Centre. This page has also the information you need for what comes after the online tests.

Fast Stream Civil Service Tests

After registering with the Civil Service and selecting a Fast Stream Scheme, you will need to take the Civil Service tests, provided by Cubiks.

The Civil Service gives you up to five days to complete these tests, providing you with practice material. We highly recommend that you use this time to practise as much as possible. 

The tests consist of a Work Style Questionnaire and Situational Judgement Questionnaires, which are both multiple-choice. 

The Work Style Questionnaire

In this assessment, you will be presented with statements regarding yourself, and are required to mark on a scale the point that best reflects the degree to which you agree or disagree with each statement. There are four statements per page.

Here are a few Work Style sample questions:

A. I keep everything in its place so I will know exactly where it belongs.

1 (Strongly Disagree) | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |6 | 7 (Strongly Disagree)

B. Helping is very satisfying for me.

1 (Strongly Disagree) | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |6 | 7 (Strongly Disagree)

C. I don't feel very energetic.

1 (Strongly Disagree) | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |6 | 7 (Strongly Disagree)

Subsequently, you will be shown the same statements again, but this time you will be asked to select one that most represents you and one that less so.

This is how it looks:

Which of the following two statements represents you more accurately?

Helping is very satisfying for me. | I don't feel very energetic.

Even though it may seem that there are no right or wrong answers, this section can be the deciding factor on you failing/passing the test. it is very crucial that you maintain the following 3 tips to acing the Work Style Questionnaire:

#1 There ARE right and wrong answers

There are right/wrong answers, even if the test instructions say otherwise. This test is part of an assessment meant to find the ideal candidates- you can find yourself eliminated from the hiring process due to your performance on this test!

#2 Your personality profile needs to make sense

As mentioned, you will rank questions individually before ranking them compared to one another. If you ranked a statement higher than another in the first stage but then gave it a lower ranking on the second one, you will be seen as inconsistent.

#3 It's about your work persona, not you as a person.

The test checkers do not care about your personality outside of work- you should answer each question regardless of how you act outside of a professional setting, and only address your behavior patterns as a worker.

The Situational Judgement Questionnaires (SJQ)

There are two SJQ tests you’ll need to complete:

  • Interpersonal skills SJQ
  • Thinking skills SJQ

Both tests have the same structure: You will be shown a scenario, and must rank the effectiveness of responses to it. The effectiveness rankings are:

  1. Counterproductive - an unacceptable action that would make the situation worse.
  2. Ineffective - poor action that will not help the situation.
  3. Partially effective - useful and would be of some help to the situation.
  4. Effective - a good action that will help resolve the situation

Both tests are comprised of 12 scenarios and 4 responses for each scenario.

For both tests, the rankings of each response are independent- this means you can rank up to all 4 responses equally effective, theoretically.

The interpersonal skills SJQ examines how well you make judgments and decisions involving other individuals in real civil service work scenarios. It consists of 12 video scenarios, each followed by 4 possible courses of action, that you will have to rate according to how effective you believe them to be.

Interpersonal Skills SJQ Sample Question 1

You and your team have been given a new project to complete with a two-week deadline. You are scheduled to start this project in a week's time. You arrange a team meeting to discuss the project, outline the tasks, and delegate these. In order to complete this project on time, you propose that each of your six team members take one of the outlined tasks. Katie voices that she is already struggling with meeting the deadlines of her current tasks and does not feel she can take on any new tasks. Jake reminds you that his annual leave was approved and that he is abroad during that time. Lisa is also on leave during this time as her children break up for half term.

Rate the effectiveness of the following actions:
Please rate each response independently of the others, whereby each rating can be used more than once (1=Effective, 2=Partially Effective, 3= Ineffective, 4= Counterproductive).

  1. Ask the team to help Katie complete her current tasks before next week and delegate the 6 tasks between the four available team members
  2. Encourage your team to share their thoughts on the project and propose possible solutions to the problem.
  3. Ask Jack and Lisa if there is any flexibility with the dates they have taken off.
  4. Ask the remaining members of your team if they have the capacity to take on two tasks each and deliver this project on time.

First, you need to identify the subject of the scenario — namely that your team members are not available to each take on a task as you proposed in order to meet the new project deadline. The context of this situation leads you to think about how to ensure that the project is completed on time. In order to do this, you need to discuss the options with your team members, consider them, and make effective decisions. We can therefore speculate that the strengths and behaviours assessed in this scenario are related to 'making effective decisions', 'working together', and being 'inclusive'.

1st response: partially effective. Katie is struggling to meet her current deadlines and is not free to take on any more tasks until she does. Though this may be of some help to the situation, you don't ask Katie or your team members for their input here. They may struggle to take on her tasks at this point, as they are not familiar with them, or may be preoccupied with their own tasks and deadlines. Secondly, Katie herself may find this detrimental rather than helpful, after all, this is her project and she can advise best on whether another team member can take on her work or not. This response fails to be 'inclusive' and fails to use the expertise and advice of your team members, which means you are not 'making effective decisions'.

2nd response: effective. It enables you to consider all the options and implications by involving the entire team and allowing them to voice their ideas which can help you come to the best possible solution. This response demonstrates 'making effective decisions', 'working together', and being 'inclusive'.

3rd response: ineffective. You have been told that both members of staff are unavailable and that both have legitimate reasons as to why they cannot take on this workload. This response is not an inclusive one and it shows lack of support for the needs of others. This response does not achieve anything and is therefore ineffective.

4th response: effective. This response allows you to make an effective decision about a solution. This response enables you and your team members in the meeting to consider what proportion of the task they can manage according to their professional insight. This is an inclusive response that demonstrates your ability of 'working together' and 'making effective decisions'.

Interpersonal Skills SJQ Sample Question 2

You manage a small department in a large company. A few weeks ago your department was assigned to work on an important project. As the deadline approaches, it seems that the department is very far behind and the pressure is rising. You announced that in the upcoming week you need everyone to put in extra efforts and stay extra hours to close the gap. You begin to feel that employees' morale is dropping – you notice that employees take longer breaks, make more errors and you even overhear someone saying that staying extra hours for this mission is an overreaction as it’s not important enough.

Rate the effectiveness of the following actions:
Please rate each response independently of the others, whereby each rating can be used more than once (1=Effective, 2=Partially Effective, 3= Ineffective, 4= Counterproductive).

  1. Increase the working hours to 9 hours a day so workers will finish more tasks.
  2. Ask other managers about the number of tasks their employees finish a day to know if your team is doing fine in comparison to other teams.
  3. Tell your employees to have shorter lunch breaks or disciplinary actions will be taken.
  4. Talk with Mark about his absence and the low number of tasks that he has completed.

Response A: Ineffective.

Increasing the working hours doesn’t necessarily mean your team members’ work will be more effective or productive. having a longer working day of 9 hours instead of 8.5 hours will not necessarily help employees finish more tasks.

Response B: Partially Effective.

Asking other managers about the number of tasks their team members finish a month can help you get a better understanding of the average number of tasks you should expect to be completed. The problem with this response is that it doesn’t help make your team more productive.

Response C: Counterproductive.

This action would probably make the situation worse. Shorter lunch breaks will give the employees more time to work but their work will likely be less productive because a break helps workers gain energy. You can also see that the team member that takes the longest lunch breaks finishes more tasks than the others, which shows that longer breaks don’t always harm productivity. Threatening your employees with punishment can make them feel less motivated and even decrease their productivity level.

Response D: Effective.

Mark is the team member with the least tasks completed. He also has the highest number of absences. It is important to talk with a team member that has a lot of absences in order to understand the reason for them, to show your empathy, and to check if there is a problem you should know about. This is a positive action that will help resolve the situation.

The Thinking Skills SJQ assesses your thinking skills, in particular how well you can make judgments in a civil service work context, involving limited information that is given in the form of tables, charts, and graphs. It also comprises of 12 scenarios, with 4 different responses you must rank.

Thinking Skills SJQ Sample Question

You are part of the management team that oversees Manchester's job centres. There are 10 job centres, each processing 100 new job seeker applications per week. You are aware that there are approximately 66,000 unemployed individuals in Manchester. Based on recent audits, you know that each staff member can process 2 additional jobseeker applications per day. You have just been informed that a well-known travel agency is closing down, making 2000 of their employees redundant.


Rate the effectiveness of the following actions:
Please rate each response independent of the others, whereby each rating can be used more than once (1=Effective, 2=Partially Effective, 3= Ineffective, 4= Counterproductive).

  1. Have each centre process 200 new jobseeker applications this month.
  2. Let the staff proceed with their applications as usual.
  3. Request a temporary transfer of processing staff from other centres.
  4. Locally advertise the unfilled posts and recruit staff on a permanent basis.

Response 1: Counterproductive
This response is counterproductive. You are told that each centre processes 100 applications per week, meaning 400 applications per months. Asking them to process 200 applications this month means that you are reducing their applications by half. You should be looking for ways to increase the number of applications being processed, especially now that you are told more individuals are being made redundant.

Response 2:
This response does not help the situation. This is a passive response that fails to take any action to ensure maximum efficacy when processing jobseeker applications. You fail to do anything regarding the unfilled posts even though you know there is an increase of unemployed individuals. Furthermore, you are told that each staff member can process an additional 2 applications per day, yet you are happy for them to continue working as usual.

Response 3: 
Partially effective
This is an active approach that can help the centres better deal with the upcoming overflow of unemployed individuals. You fill the posts temporarily, meaning that you increase your work force and the amount of applications that can be processed. However, you do not utilise your own staff to their maximum, and you fail to fill the positions permanently which would be more effective.

Response 4:
 Partially effective
This response is partially effective. You make a good decision recruiting permanent staff members to fill the position, and you do so locally, which reduces the amount of unemployed people in Manchester. However, you are told that each of your current workers can process an additional 2 applications per day, meaning you are not utilising your resources to the maximum and thus this is only a partially effective response rather than effective.

Should you pass successfully the online tests, you will have an additional 5 days to complete the next stage.

Tip: Deciding between giving a statement the Ineffective/Partially effective rankings can be quite difficult. It is usually more efficient to decide whether either of the extreme rankings (Effective/Counterproductive) apply: If one of them does not apply, try to think if the other does. If the other does, partially- You should give the statement closest to that one. This applies to both types of SJQ!

The Fast Stream Assessment Preparation Pack Includes accurate simulations of the SJQ, specifically built for this assessment.

Practicing with realistic materials is the most effective way to boost your performance on the real thing.

Get the preparation pack now and land your dream job in civil service!

What's Next?

After passing the online tests, you will be invited to take a video interview as well as an e-tray exercise. Following that, you will be invited to the FSAC - Fast Stream Assessment Centre, to take part in several other exercises. If you want to learn more about the assessment centre, click here.