The Civil Service Fast Stream contains 10 different graduate schemes across all Government departments and in areas such as Analytical, Commercial and Finance, Generalist and Digital and Technology. As one of the top five Time Top 100 Graduate Employers, the Civil Service Fast Stream is popular, with stiff competition for places. Find out more about how to approach each stage and prepare to succeed with our range of practice packs.

Civil Service Competencies

The Civil Service competencies run throughout the each recruitment process. They are listed below, and you must ensure that you refer to them at each point.

  • Setting direction - Seeing the big picture; Changing and improving; Making effective decisions
  • Engaging people - Leading and communicating; Collaborating and partnering; Building capacity for all
  • Delivering results - Achieving commercial outcomes; delivering value for money; Managing a quality service; Delivering at pace

Civil Service Fast Stream Online Tests

After registering with the Civil Service and selecting a Fast Stream Scheme you will need to take the Civil Service Online tests. The Civil Service gives you a week to practice the kind of tests you will receive as well as providing you with practice material. They highly recommend that you use this time to practice. The self assessed reasoning tests from the civil service include the Civil Service fast stream verbal reasoning test, Civil Service fast stream numerical reasoning test and a Civil Service Competency Questionnaire. These tests are provided by Cubiks.

Civil Service Fast Stream Numerical Reasoning Test

The numerical reasoning test is designed to assess how well you work with information provided in a numerical format. In this test you are presented with numerical data in the form of graphs and tables. Using ratios and percentages to answer the questions, you need to select the correct answer from one of the answer choices.

There are two types of Civil Service numerical reasoning test in use. Generalist and Northern Ireland Fast Streams will take the self-assessed reasoning tests, which involves 18 questions to answer in 22 minutes. Applicants to other schemes will take a 25 minute test with 20 questions to answer. 

Civil Service Fast Stream Verbal Reasoning Test

Verbal reasoning tests examine your ability to use and understand written information. In the Civil Service verbal reasoning test you have to make deductions from a passage of text that has many facts within it. After a careful analysis of the text you need to determine whether a statement is true, false, or you cannot say based on the information in the text. You will have four questions on each text.

There are two types of Civil Service verbal reasoning test in use. Generalist and Northern Ireland Fast Streams will take the self-assessed reasoning tests civil service, which involves 40 questions to answer in 20 minutes. Applicants to other schemes will take a 32 minute test with 16 questions to answer.

This test is extremely fast moving with 30 seconds per question, or two minutes to answer four questions on one text. Taking practice tests increase your reading speed and improve your ability to answer questions correctly. Get your Civil Service fast stream verbal reasoning test practice with our Cubiks style preparation pack.

Civil Service Situational Judgement Test

The Civil Service situational judgement test looks at how you respond in work based situations. The aim of this test is to assess whether your behaviours match those set out in the Civil Service competency framework. In this test you are given 15 scenarios and asked to rate a list of four potential responses according to how effective you believe each response is. This test will not affect your selection chances in 2015, but it is still important you do your best.

Prepare for this test by reviewing the competency framework and the job description for the Civil Service job you are applying to. Take our situational judgement practice tests to familiarise yourself with the test, and practise using your judgement in challenging situations.

Civil Service Competency Questionnaire

In the Civil Service competency questionnaire you will be assessed against the Civil Service competencies. There are a number of different statements and you have to choose whether you agree or disagree with the statements. This test is an assessment of your values, designed to measure your fit to the values of the department. Therefore it is crucial that you give some thought to how you would respond to the test in advance. Taking a practice personality test in advance is another way of ensuring that you know what to expect in the test. Our personality test pack provides that all important practice.

Although the Civil Service has some help and practise materials available, using outside preparation is very important for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Civil Service verbal and numerical reasoning tests are not actually the same level that you will take when you actually come to sit them for real. The reason for this is that the Civil Service doesn’t want to make things too easy for its applicants. They only want the best and this is a way of weeding out the weakest students. Moreover, although you may gain from taking the Civil Service provided tests, you won’t get feedback that helps you improve your score. This is one of the key reasons why people fall at this stage. JobTestPrep has thousands of online questions to help you prepare for all these tests and lets you practice at your own pace. You will receive score report feedback and detailed step-by-step explanations and this is the biggest reason we set ourselves apart from our competitors.


Civil Service Online Application

Once you have successfully completed your online tests, you can now move to the Civil Service fast stream application form. In this application form you are given the opportunity to input your scholastic qualifications as well as answer some competency questions. These questions centre on the key values of the civil service. In order to answer the questions correctly you need to incorporate the key values of the civil service into your answers.

Learning how to incorporate these values into your answers is an art form of sorts. 

Civil Service E-Tray Exercise

After you have completed the previous three Civil Service online psychometric tests, you are asked to take an E-Tray exercise. In this exercise you are given a list of emails, tasks and data and have to organise and prioritise your tasks in the same way you would in the role you have applied for. There are three different stages in the Civil Service E-Tray exercise: understanding and comprehending the emails; responding in the correct manner; and writing a response to a particular email. In the response to the email, you need to create a well written report that is written in the correct manner with an introduction, main section outlining your ideas, and a conclusion summing up what you have written along with a proposal or recommendation as to the best course of action. 

At this point if you are applying for Economist, Operational Researcher, Social Researcher or Statistician positions you will attend a half-day specialist assessment event.