Test Preparation Strategies What to expect and how to prepare for the Classified selection process at LAUSD
This is not “Magic 101”… <ul><li>There are no magic tricks on how to succeed </li></ul><ul><li>LAUSD employment tests are ...
This is Test Preparation Strategy! <ul><li>You can score significantly higher if you have prepared yourself adequately by ...
Let’s go through the process… <ul><li>Where to find the job? </li></ul><ul><li>What to look for in the bulletin? </li></ul...
Before anything else… <ul><li>Make sure your email works </li></ul><ul><li>Be comfortable using email.  ALL  correspondenc...
www.lausdjobs.org
READ  the Job Bulletin <ul><li>The LAUSD job bulletin is an excellent way to gain valuable insight into the examination yo...
Pay special attention to: <ul><li>Minimum qualifications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you meet them?  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><...
Competency based testing… <ul><li>What is a competency? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A competency is a cluster of work behaviors ...
How is a competency measured?  <ul><li>Written tests </li></ul><ul><li>Computer tests </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></...
What is a Written Tests?  <ul><li>Usually first part of the process </li></ul><ul><li>Measures specific knowledge needed f...
Sample Test Item <ul><li>General Accounting Principles  </li></ul><ul><li>Which of the following is a balance sheet item? ...
How can you prepare for a written test? <ul><li>Refer to the  job bulletin  for job requirements, knowledge, skill, compet...
On the day of the test…. <ul><li>Arrive early </li></ul><ul><li>Read the instructions in the invitation letter carefully <...
At the beginning of the test… <ul><li>Plan how you will use your time during the test </li></ul><ul><li>Estimate how many ...
While taking the test… <ul><li>Answer every question </li></ul><ul><li>If you absolutely do not know the question, make a ...
At the end of the test… <ul><li>When you have answered all the questions, use the remainder of the time effectively! </li>...
What is a Training & Experience Evaluation (T&E)? <ul><li>A T&E is a scored evaluation of application material submitted b...
More on T&E:s <ul><li>It is a test part. However, you do not have to be present. </li></ul><ul><li>It is usually the first...
Application material will be evaluated and scored based on… <ul><li>Recency </li></ul><ul><li>Level </li></ul><ul><li>Comp...
IMPORTANT! <ul><li>Only information that you have submitted will be evaluated </li></ul><ul><li>Everything is submitted “a...
How is a T&E scored? <ul><li>Two qualified raters with no prior knowledge of the candidate will assess the application mat...
Raters are NOT expected to… <ul><li>Read between the lines </li></ul><ul><li>Make sense of disorganized, unfocused, or ram...
Raters are NOT expected to… <ul><li>Compensate for a rushed or carelessly prepared application packet </li></ul><ul><li>Ad...
Bottom Line! <ul><li>It is up to you to communicate your qualifications by following instructions and submitting thorough ...
With that in mind… <ul><li>Provide the information that is being requested </li></ul><ul><li>Be specific, clear, and accur...
Before you submit… <ul><li>Double check everything </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it clear, organized, neat, complete…? </li></u...
What is a Performance Test? <ul><li>A real work situation is replicated to test a candidate’s skill in performing critical...
Most common performance test… <ul><li>Job Task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Candidates are given instructions to perform a specif...
Another type of performance test… <ul><li>  In-basket </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Candidate is asked to sort through a manager’s...
How can I prepare for a performance test? <ul><li>This is an applied test where previous  hands-on and “how-to” skills are...
The Job Interview <ul><li>“ It takes a well thought out strategy, proper mental preparation, and insight into the prospect...
The typical LAUSD interview is… <ul><li>Commonly the last test part of the selection process </li></ul><ul><li>Tape record...
Different types of interviews… <ul><li>General fitness  </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Presentati...
Different types of questions… <ul><li>General fitness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asks about general preparation for a job </li>...
Different types of questions… <ul><li>Situational  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asks about hypothetical situations and your sugge...
The Three-Step Process to Answering Questions Step # 1: Understand what is really being asked. Step # 2: Answer the questi...
S ituation  T ask  A ction  R esults   <ul><li>Give a brief overview of the  situation . Provide concise background inform...
Are  YOU  prepared? <ul><li>Keep an on-going journal or examples that demonstrates your successful accomplishments </li></...
DO   DON’T!! <ul><li>Answer the question </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare by having a well rehearsed mental outline </li></ul><ul...
DO   DON’T!! <ul><li>Know your audience! (research the department, “who is who”) </li></ul><ul><li>Provide clear and conci...
DO   DON’T!! <ul><li>Be positive   ! </li></ul><ul><li>Make them smile  </li></ul><ul><li>Convey confidence and show enth...
The rule of 12-12-12… <ul><li>You will be judged by:  </li></ul><ul><li>Your appearance  </li></ul><ul><li>12 feet away </...
Be Professional!!  Your behavior is viewed as a demonstration of how you will act on the job… <ul><li>Dress professionally...
Good luck as you prepare for your next test!!
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Test Preparation Strategies

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What to expect and how to prepare for the Classified selection process at LAUSD

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  • Good Afternoon! My name is Anna Forsberg and I will be your tour guide through the jungle of test preparation strategies. This training is designed to give you an insight into the selection process for the Classified Service and it will give you some great tips on how to prepare for your next promotional opportunity. *ICE BREAKER  Before we start, I am curious how many of you have gone through our selection process? I would like each individual to describe your experience with our selection process using three words. I have heard these words many times before. Although this is my first time teaching this class, I have given tiny versions of this class numerous times over the phone, per email, in meetings with candidates etc. I am currently a SR HR Specialist and for the past 6 years I have called the Personnel Selection Branch my home. I also have a MS in I/O, which has given me a thorough foundation in test and measures used in HR.
  • Before we dig into the material…let me just point out some bad news and good news. Bad News – there are no magic tricks to on how to succeed Good News  Our tests are always job related and if you have the skills AND prepare for the test, you will do even better!
  • This training will show you what you can do to prepare yourself by knowing…
  • Make your computer your best friend… If that is not possible… Introduce your best friend to your computer so that your friend can help you
  • Check several times a week Make it your default page
  • Has anyone gone through a T&amp;E before? What was your experience? This can be a very confusing test part for candidates
  • We have talked about different types of questions, now let’s look at how you can answer them This is a good approach that works for all questions
  • This is a great approach to sharing your work related examples
  • Talk about your job to yourself and others. Talk to yourself in the car – in front of the mirror Tell others about your job, what you do, why you like it, challenges and how you overcome challenges etc. BE COMFORTABLE TALKING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO WITH OTHERS!
  • Transcript of "Test Preparation Strategies"

    1. 1. Test Preparation Strategies What to expect and how to prepare for the Classified selection process at LAUSD
    2. 2. This is not “Magic 101”… <ul><li>There are no magic tricks on how to succeed </li></ul><ul><li>LAUSD employment tests are always job related </li></ul><ul><li>If you have the job skills, you are likely to be successful on the employment test </li></ul><ul><li>If you prepare, you will do even better! </li></ul>
    3. 3. This is Test Preparation Strategy! <ul><li>You can score significantly higher if you have prepared yourself adequately by knowing… </li></ul><ul><li>What to look for… </li></ul><ul><li>What questions to research… </li></ul><ul><li>What material to prepare… </li></ul><ul><li>Where to look for answers… </li></ul>
    4. 4. Let’s go through the process… <ul><li>Where to find the job? </li></ul><ul><li>What to look for in the bulletin? </li></ul><ul><li>What is competency based testing? </li></ul><ul><li>What test parts are commonly used at LAUSD? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the characteristics of the different test parts? </li></ul><ul><li>How can you prepare yourself for different test parts? </li></ul>
    5. 5. Before anything else… <ul><li>Make sure your email works </li></ul><ul><li>Be comfortable using email. ALL correspondence is done via email </li></ul><ul><li>Check our website daily. ALL our jobs are listed on the website </li></ul><ul><li>Upcoming & Current examinations </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention to special messages related to the job (e.g., recruitment dates) </li></ul><ul><li>You can register for jobs you are interested in (emails will be sent out when exam opens) </li></ul>
    6. 6. www.lausdjobs.org
    7. 7. READ the Job Bulletin <ul><li>The LAUSD job bulletin is an excellent way to gain valuable insight into the examination you will be taking. </li></ul><ul><li>This is your only insight into the test process. </li></ul><ul><li>It is your guide to success – use it! </li></ul>
    8. 8. Pay special attention to: <ul><li>Minimum qualifications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you meet them? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Competencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have them? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can you show that you have them? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What test parts are included? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are you prepared for this type of test? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test dates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mark your calendar and clear your schedule! </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Competency based testing… <ul><li>What is a competency? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A competency is a cluster of work behaviors that share a common theme (e.g., oral communication, leadership, teamwork, listening, negotiating, handling stress etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is a competency based exam? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A test that is designed to assess core competencies needed for the job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HINT: Core competencies are listed in the bulletin!! </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. How is a competency measured? <ul><li>Written tests </li></ul><ul><li>Computer tests </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Technical projects/ </li></ul><ul><li>Work samples </li></ul><ul><li>Performance tests </li></ul><ul><li>Training & Experience Evaluations (T&E) </li></ul><ul><li>Reference checks </li></ul><ul><li>Background checks </li></ul>
    11. 11. What is a Written Tests? <ul><li>Usually first part of the process </li></ul><ul><li>Measures specific knowledge needed for a specific professional field (e.g., tools, materials, applicable laws, common methods, safety regulations) </li></ul><ul><li>Paper pencil or computer </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple choice (50-150 questions is common) </li></ul>
    12. 12. Sample Test Item <ul><li>General Accounting Principles </li></ul><ul><li>Which of the following is a balance sheet item? </li></ul><ul><li>A) Accounts payable </li></ul><ul><li>B) Cost of goods sold </li></ul><ul><li>C) Gross profit </li></ul><ul><li>D) Sales </li></ul><ul><li>(Correct answer is A) </li></ul>
    13. 13. How can you prepare for a written test? <ul><li>Refer to the job bulletin for job requirements, knowledge, skill, competencies needed. </li></ul><ul><li>You are likely to be tested on these areas. Study!!! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Books (practices, laws, rules, technology…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trade journals (current trends, latest methods…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet (LinkedIn, professional organizations…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other professionals (ask professionals in the field for information about the job, common challenges, solutions to typical problems, recommended work methods etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gathering knowledge and storing facts in your memory is the best preparation for a written tests! </li></ul>
    14. 14. On the day of the test…. <ul><li>Arrive early </li></ul><ul><li>Read the instructions in the invitation letter carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for details that will tell you exactly how to proceed </li></ul><ul><li>You must show a valid ID </li></ul><ul><li>AND </li></ul><ul><li>Your Social Security Card OR District ID </li></ul>
    15. 15. At the beginning of the test… <ul><li>Plan how you will use your time during the test </li></ul><ul><li>Estimate how many minutes you have for each question so that you can finish within the time allotted </li></ul><ul><li>Bring your own watch (clock on cell phone or other electronic device is not permitted) </li></ul>
    16. 16. While taking the test… <ul><li>Answer every question </li></ul><ul><li>If you absolutely do not know the question, make a strategic guess and move on. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not linger over difficult problems – you will loose time </li></ul><ul><li>When you begin a new section, focus on that section </li></ul><ul><li>Use scrap paper or write on the booklet (if allowed) </li></ul><ul><li>Do not hesitate if you need to draw out a problem, create lists, or use symbols </li></ul><ul><li>Writing or drawing can help you focus your mind and answer the question correctly </li></ul>
    17. 17. At the end of the test… <ul><li>When you have answered all the questions, use the remainder of the time effectively! </li></ul><ul><li>Check that you answered all the questions </li></ul><ul><li>Review the most difficult questions </li></ul><ul><li>Cover your answers, work the problem again, and compare with your first response </li></ul><ul><li>Change answers ONLY if you are certain </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE!! </li></ul><ul><li>The answer that comes to mind first is often the correct one… </li></ul>
    18. 18. What is a Training & Experience Evaluation (T&E)? <ul><li>A T&E is a scored evaluation of application material submitted by the candidate </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: resume, application, work samples, cover letter, transcripts, responses to job-related questions, letters of recommendations… </li></ul>
    19. 19. More on T&E:s <ul><li>It is a test part. However, you do not have to be present. </li></ul><ul><li>It is usually the first test part and it can sometimes be the ONLY test part. </li></ul><ul><li>It is not a determination of whether or not you meet the minimum qualifications. </li></ul><ul><li>It is often based on responses to technical questions (READ bulletin). </li></ul><ul><li>A T&E can be very competitive. Preparing for the T&E is critical for success! </li></ul>
    20. 20. Application material will be evaluated and scored based on… <ul><li>Recency </li></ul><ul><li>Level </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Scope </li></ul><ul><li>Quality/quantity </li></ul><ul><li>Depth/breadth </li></ul>
    21. 21. IMPORTANT! <ul><li>Only information that you have submitted will be evaluated </li></ul><ul><li>Everything is submitted “as-is” </li></ul><ul><li>You will not be able to change/add your information once submitted </li></ul>
    22. 22. How is a T&E scored? <ul><li>Two qualified raters with no prior knowledge of the candidate will assess the application material </li></ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul><ul><li>You score yourself by filling out an online questionnaire </li></ul>
    23. 23. Raters are NOT expected to… <ul><li>Read between the lines </li></ul><ul><li>Make sense of disorganized, unfocused, or rambling information </li></ul><ul><li>Know or research the curriculum and course content of your degrees, certificates etc. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Raters are NOT expected to… <ul><li>Compensate for a rushed or carelessly prepared application packet </li></ul><ul><li>Adjust for candidates’ deviations from the required or expected structure of information </li></ul><ul><li>Interpret illegible, ambiguous, or incompletely stated information </li></ul>
    25. 25. Bottom Line! <ul><li>It is up to you to communicate your qualifications by following instructions and submitting thorough information in a clear and organized way </li></ul>
    26. 26. With that in mind… <ul><li>Provide the information that is being requested </li></ul><ul><li>Be specific, clear, and accurate on the recency, level, complexity, scope, and depth/breadth of your education and experience </li></ul><ul><li>Organize your information so that it is easy to read and understand </li></ul>
    27. 27. Before you submit… <ul><li>Double check everything </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it clear, organized, neat, complete…? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Put yourself in the raters’ position. What does your application say about you? </li></ul><ul><li>Ask a colleague for feedback before you submit it. </li></ul>
    28. 28. What is a Performance Test? <ul><li>A real work situation is replicated to test a candidate’s skill in performing critical and frequently performed job duties. </li></ul>
    29. 29. Most common performance test… <ul><li>Job Task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Candidates are given instructions to perform a specific task that highly resembles “real work” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>While they are working, they may be asked to explain what they are doing and why </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two raters will evaluate the candidate’s skill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Safety is very important! </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Another type of performance test… <ul><li> In-basket </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Candidate is asked to sort through a manager’s inbox (emails, memos, descriptions, scenarios etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Candidate is asked to prioritize and respond to the content of the in-basket </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two raters evaluate the result </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. How can I prepare for a performance test? <ul><li>This is an applied test where previous hands-on and “how-to” skills are invaluable </li></ul><ul><li>There are no short cuts, no books to study, no manuals to read… </li></ul><ul><li>If you have extensive experience performing the duties of the job, you are likely to be successful on the test! </li></ul>
    32. 32. The Job Interview <ul><li>“ It takes a well thought out strategy, proper mental preparation, and insight into the prospective employer to pull off a winning interview” </li></ul>
    33. 33. The typical LAUSD interview is… <ul><li>Commonly the last test part of the selection process </li></ul><ul><li>Tape recorded </li></ul><ul><li>Conducted by a 2 rater panel </li></ul><ul><li>30-45 minutes long </li></ul><ul><li>Structured and consistent in content (everyone is asked the same set of questions) </li></ul><ul><li>ALWAYS job-related (no surprise questions) </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluated against structured and consistent rating standards </li></ul>
    34. 34. Different types of interviews… <ul><li>General fitness </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Role-playing </li></ul>
    35. 35. Different types of questions… <ul><li>General fitness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asks about general preparation for a job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Tell us how your background has prepared you for this job?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Behavioral </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask about previous behavior that is similar to behaviors necessary to perform the job. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assumption: previous behavior is a predictor of future performance. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ As a Job Supervisor, you will have to manage your own time, priorities, and resources to complete your assignments in an effective and efficient manner. Please give us a specific example from your current (or previous) job that demonstrates your ability to manage your own time and work load effectively.” </li></ul></ul>
    36. 36. Different types of questions… <ul><li>Situational </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asks about hypothetical situations and your suggested actions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Assume you are the project manager at a construction site. All of a sudden, the contractor starts arguing loudly with the inspector and you fear that it might become physical. What will you do?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asks about specific technical answers to specific technical questions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common in Technical Interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Discuss the legal and practical significance of the pesticide label in structural pest management.” </li></ul></ul>
    37. 37. The Three-Step Process to Answering Questions Step # 1: Understand what is really being asked. Step # 2: Answer the question effectively, yet briefly. Step# 3: Answer the real question by presenting your related skills and back it up using EXAMPLES FROM YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE!
    38. 38. S ituation T ask A ction R esults <ul><li>Give a brief overview of the situation . Provide concise background information if necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the task at hand </li></ul><ul><li>Give a detailed account of what you did using action words </li></ul><ul><li>Give a short summary of the result of your action. End on a positive note (even if the result was negative). </li></ul>
    39. 39. Are YOU prepared? <ul><li>Keep an on-going journal or examples that demonstrates your successful accomplishments </li></ul><ul><li>Review them before each interview so that they are fresh in your mind </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize “I wish I had thought of that-moments” after the interview is over and done </li></ul>
    40. 40. DO DON’T!! <ul><li>Answer the question </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare by having a well rehearsed mental outline </li></ul><ul><li>Ask to have the question repeated if you don’t understand </li></ul><ul><li>Site specific examples from your work experience whenever possible </li></ul><ul><li>Use “I” statements </li></ul><ul><li>Ramble/go off on a tangent </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat something you already talked about if you don’t have a good answer </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer unrelated information (e.g., marital status, religion, country of origin etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Use “we” or “my team” statement </li></ul>
    41. 41. DO DON’T!! <ul><li>Know your audience! (research the department, “who is who”) </li></ul><ul><li>Provide clear and concise answers. It is better to “spell it out” than to “leave it out” </li></ul><ul><li>Be tactful and professional </li></ul><ul><li>Make assumptions about what interviewers know or don’t know </li></ul><ul><li>Use jargon when answering a questions unless it is commonly used in the field and you are CERTAIN the interviewers are familiar with it </li></ul><ul><li>Do not be rude or pushy </li></ul>
    42. 42. DO DON’T!! <ul><li>Be positive  ! </li></ul><ul><li>Make them smile </li></ul><ul><li>Convey confidence and show enthusiasm and passion for the job </li></ul><ul><li>Show that this is more than a job for you </li></ul><ul><li>Whine or complain about a past or current employer </li></ul><ul><li>Display a flat demeanor or non-caring attitude </li></ul>
    43. 43. The rule of 12-12-12… <ul><li>You will be judged by: </li></ul><ul><li>Your appearance </li></ul><ul><li>12 feet away </li></ul><ul><li>Your appearance </li></ul><ul><li>12 inches away </li></ul><ul><li>Your 12 first words </li></ul>Never underestimate the impact of your first impression!
    44. 44. Be Professional!! Your behavior is viewed as a demonstration of how you will act on the job… <ul><li>Dress professionally (you cannot over dress for an interview) </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of the hand shake! </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain eye contact with both raters throughout the interview </li></ul><ul><li>Answer the questions honestly and positively (don’t lie, guess, or use derogatory/negative statements) </li></ul><ul><li>Turn off your cell phone </li></ul><ul><li>Provide clean copies of work samples, resume (if applicable) </li></ul><ul><li>Thank the raters when you leave </li></ul>
    45. 45. Good luck as you prepare for your next test!!

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