Understanding the Public Service Entrance Exam suite of products

The Public Service Entrance Exam (PSEE) is an innovative suite of recruitment and selection tests for staffing officer-level positions across the public service. The PSEE is used to assess two competencies:

  • Reasoning and problem-solving ability; and
  • Judgement for solving problems in work-related situations.

What is the PSEE suite of products?

The PSEE includes the following:

  • Supervised tests;
  • Unsupervised Internet Tests (UITs) as part of an optional two-step assessment; and
  • Flexibility to assess either both competencies in a single test or a single competency in isolation.

The optional two-step assessment process is an efficient way to manage large volumes of applicants, and identify qualified candidates in the early stages of a staffing process.

How to make use of the PSEE?

A major innovation of the PSEE is that each competency can be assessed:

  • In two steps with a UIT (Step 1) first, followed by supervised testing (Step 2); or
  • In one step with supervised testing (Step 2) only.

Unsupervised Internet Testing (Step 1) screens applicants, based on merit, at minimal cost to clients and applicants. Costlier and more time-consuming, supervised testing is limited to those who pass the UIT and those who have successfully met all other requirements for the position.

Supervised testing (Step 2) must occur prior to appointment, but hiring managers can choose at what stage in the selection process they make use of this test. Options include:

  • Inviting all those who pass the UIT (Step 1) to supervised testing (Step 2); or
  • Conducting additional screening and/or assessing other merit criteria first, thereby leaving the supervised testing to the final stage of assessment, with a smaller number of applicants.

When using a two-step assessment process, please note:

  • Applicants must pass both tests (Steps 1 and 2) to be deemed qualified for appointment on the assessed qualification(s);
  • Only applicants who pass the UIT (Step 1) are eligible for supervised testing (Step 2); and
  • Applicants with a valid pre-existing score on the supervised test cannot bypass Step 1.

Why opt for the two-step assessment process?

  • Less supervised testing saves time and money in the staffing process; and
  • Applicants who move on to supervised testing (Step 2) are more likely to succeed, having already demonstrated their abilities in Step 1.
  • For a more extensive list of advantages for both hiring managers and applicants, see Unsupervised Internet Testing.

Learn more about UITs

Unsupervised Internet Testing is an innovative merit-based tool that helps reduce the volume of applicants and identify qualified candidates in the early stages of a selection process.

UITs are only used as Step 1 of a two-step assessment process. An applicant's UIT results must be verified by administering a similar test in a supervised setting (Step 2) before an appointment can be made.

Applicants complete the UIT without supervision, on-line, at a time and location of their choice, within a specified time frame.

UIT results are non-transferable and cannot be re-used for another staffing process.

UITs can be administered to applicants:

  • On submission
    The UIT is part of the application process and must be completed before an application can be submitted.
    OR
  • By invitation
    Applicants are invited to take the UIT after the advertisement has closed.

The suite of PSEE UITs includes:

Learn more about supervised testing

Supervised testing involves administering tests in a supervised environment at a predetermined time and location.

It can be done by using traditional paper-and-pencil tests or by administering the test electronically using the Public Service Commission's On-line Testing Facility.

Supervised tests can be used on their own or as a follow-up (Step 2) to a UIT (Step 1) in a two-step assessment process.

UIT scores are non-transferable. However, existing supervised test results can be re-used by candidates in other staffing processes.

The suite of PSEE supervised tests includes:

Selecting the right combination of PSEE products

PSEE assessment tools can be selected and combined according to the needs of the hiring manager. Some options are as follows:

Competency Being Assessed Sequence of Testing Alternative
Reasoning and judgement Step 1: PSEE UIT 370
Step 2: PSEE 371
May choose to use only the supervised PSEE 371
Reasoning alone Step 1: TOR UIT 372
Step 2: TOR 373
May choose to use only the supervised TOR 373
Judgement alone Step 1: TOJ UIT 374
Step 2: TOJ 375
May choose to use only the supervised TOJ 375.

Candidate information about the tests

  • For technical questions, contact the HelpDesk; and
  • For more details about the job, contact the hiring manager or program.

Information for managers and human resources advisors