A 2024 Guide for the Civil Service Judgement Test (CSJT)

The Civil Service Judgement Test (CSJT) is a behavioural test used to screen Civil Service candidates. The test assesses nine behaviours and has six different levels corresponding to the relevant job grade (AO, EO, etc.). The CSJT is one of the most common civil service UK tests and probably the hardest. Therefore, proper preparation is crucial for success. 

Are you about to take the CSJT? Get everything you need to pass the uniquely difficult UK Civil Service hiring process and get into your dream job:

  • CSJT Test Practices and Study Guides - Split across the various categories, and hone your skills for everything that will appear on your test. Including Situational Judgement and Personality tests. 
  • Additional Practice Tests and Drills - to raise your skills further and maximise your chances of beating the competition.
  • Detailed CSJT-Specific Study Guides - full of in-depth practical explanations and tips that will give you a broader understanding of the Civil Service Judgement Test and how to master it - giving you an edge over the competition. 
Civil Service Judgement Test (CSJT)

New 2024 Updated PrepPack!

Situational Judgement Test Prep:

  • Dedicated CSJT Study Guide
  • 3 Situational Judgement Practice Tests

Personality Questionaire Prep:

  • Dedicated Personality Tests Study Guide
  • 1 CSJT Personality Questionnaire Simulation
  • 30 Single-Trait Practice Tests

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What Is the Civil Service Judgement Test?

The Civil Service Judgement Test (CSJT) is an online situational judgement test used to screen candidates for civil service positions. The CSJT assesses a candidate's match for a particular position in the civil service by evaluating how they would deal with situations that may arise in the workplace.

Different versions of the CJST exist, corresponding to the behaviours required for different civil service positions:

  • Level 1 - Administrative Officer/Administrative Assistant (AO/AA)
  • Level 2 - Executive Officer (EO)
  • Level 3 - Senior Executive Officer/Higher Executive Officer (SEO/HEO)
  • Level 4 - Grade 6 and 7
  • Level 5 - Deputy Director
  • Level 6 - Director/Director-General

Civil Service Judgement Test Overview and Samples

The Civil Service Judgement Test consists of two parts:

  • Self-Assessment Personality Questionnaire
  • Behavioural Assessment (SJT)

Let's go over each section briefly with one sample question.

CSJT Section #1 - Self-Assessment Personality Questionnaire

The first section contains questions about your aspiration and engagement – aspiration meaning your desire to progress in the workplace, and engagement meaning the level of your commitment to the organisation you are applying to work in.

This is a self-assessment section, and only takes up about 10% of the candidate's score.

I always keep a lid on my feelings.








View Explanation

Well, it's not actually that any other answer is incorrect. Sorry about that...

However, we're just trying to make the point that unlike the CSJT Section #2, where individual questions have correct or incorrect answers, in this section individual questions are meaningless.

Your aim in this section is to create a complete, coherent, and reliable profile that is relevant to the particular job you are after.

CSJT Section #2 - Behavioural Assessment (SJT)

The second section, which is the major part of the CSJT, evaluates different types of Behaviours. Different Behaviours are included in different tests, based on the vacancy being applied for – not everyone is tested at the same level, or even for all Behaviours.  You will be informed about the composition of your test when applying for work.

Here is how the Civil Service Judgement Test questions are formatted:

  • You will be shown three work-related scenarios for each assessed behaviour.
  • The scenarios may be in the form of video or text.
  • Rank 4 actions (responses), on the following scale:
    • Counterproductive - an unacceptable action which will make the situation worse.
    • Ineffective - a poor action that will not help resolve the situation.
    • Fairly Effective - a useful action that will help to a certain extent.
    • Effective - a good action that will help resolve the situation.


Civil Service Judgement Test Behavioural Sample Question

You have recently been recruited to the Civil Service and were assigned to a team of six employees. Your last personal project in the team ended today, a few days earlier than expected. You go into the team's office, but everybody is very busy with their projects, and no one is available to tell you what you need to do next.

What would you do in this situation?

Question #1

Use this time for productive things, such as organising your workstation and arranging your inbox clutter.





View Explanation

This response lacks achievement striving and organizational thinking, as you do not focus on advancing yourself professionally or completing work beneficial for the company.

This response also shows your inability to work under management, as you do not inform your manager of your early completion of the task and do not enable them to provide you with a new task.

This is a counterproductive response.

Although it seems a bit harsh to define this response as counterproductive, remember that in the CSJT, every response should be considered in comparison to the other ones.

Question #2

Send an e-mail to your manager saying you have finished your project early, and you will be happy to assist in anything he might have for you.





View Explanation

This response displays a strong work ethic and resourcefulness, as you take it upon yourself to inform your manager of your situation and let them know you will be happy to assist in other projects.

This response is effective, as it demonstrates you are a conscientious employee, who can take the initiative when needed.

Question #3

Speak to your team members to find out if there is anything you can help them with.





View Explanation

This response displays work ethic and resourcefulness since you don't misuse your free time; rather, you ask whether your team members can use your help.

However, you should still inform your manager you have finished your project, so they can allocate a new task.

This is a fairly effective response.

Question #4

Research new, upcoming projects within the department. See if any of them are interesting to you.





View Explanation

On one hand, you show initiative and investigate upcoming projects within the company.

On the other, you are focusing on your own needs and interests, instead of turning to your manager or teammates to see what the company needs.

This response is ineffective

What Behaviours Does the Civil Service Judgement Test Measure?

The Civil Service Judgement Test test assesses 9 typical behaviours defined in the official Behaviours guide of the Civil Service. Those are not meant to be official skills like speaking a foreign language or driving a forklift, but rather general ways in which a person may contribute to the workplace around them. These are also often referred to as "soft skills".

  • While the CSJT always assesses the same 9 behaviours, not every CSJT test will assess them all - only those relevant for the particular job will be assessed.
  • In addition, the manifestation of the behaviours in the actual questions changes based on the specific test level.

For instance:

  • CSJT Level 1 Leadership - enthusiasm for work, responsibility, and accountability.
  • CSJT Level 6 Leadership - developing strategy, inspiring employees.

Below are the 9 behaviours the CSJT test assesses.

Civil Service Judgement Test Behaviours

Behaviour #1 - Seeing the Big Picture

A civil servant must not just understand the specific instructions their superior issues them, but the broader significance of their work. This allows them to better motivate themselves and others for achievement, and to better understand how their work can be directed to accomplish the broader goals of their organization.

Behaviour #2 - Changing and Improving

An employee must be always working to improve their own performance and the performance of their organization. The social and intellectual skills necessary for figuring out what in the organization needs improving and providing appropriate feedback and suggestions are included in this Behaviour.

Behaviour #3 - Making Effective Decisions

Civil service employees are expected to make their decisions in an evidence-based manner making use of their experience and the available advice to produce an accurate, well-considered decision after taking into account alternative courses of action and the risks inherent in a decision.

Behaviour #4 - Leadership

Civil servants must have pride and passion for their work and have the ability to inspire others to work together towards the shared purpose of the organization. The civil servant must also work to promote diversity, inclusion, and opportunity in the workplace.

Behaviour #5 - Communicating and Influencing

In any workplace, the employee must be able to both communicate their ideas to others in a clear and passionate manner and to respectfully listen and understand the ideas that others are communicating to them.

Behaviour #6 - Working Together

The employee must be able to collaborate and share resources effectively with people from various backgrounds, both within and without the organization, to achieve the organization's goals.

Behaviour #7 - Developing Self and Others

Continuous learning and improvement are an integral part of work in the Civil Service, including the improvement of one's self and also the improvement of the organization as a whole.

Behaviour #8 - Managing a Quality Service

Much like in any workplace, a civil servant is expected to achieve the organization's service goal professionally and efficiently, while addressing the needs of the customers regardless of their backgrounds.

Behaviour #9 - Delivering at Pace

This Behaviour relates to the ability to meet deadlines in a professional and responsible manner without sacrificing quality.

Preparing for the Civil Service Judgement Test

Unlock your profetional potential with our carefully crafted CSJT PrepPack, designed by our industry experts and tailored to match the exact requirements of the CSJT exam. Gain a competitive edge with our extensive collection of practice tests, in-depth tutorials, and detailed answer explanations.

What Other Civil Service Exams I'll Likely Need to Take?

As part of your recruitment process for the Civil Service, you may be asked to take several testsת or just one - depending on the job and its requirements. 

Here is a list of all the Civil Service tests –