Psychological Situational Tests

The Psychological Situational Test forms another important tool of the Projective Technique to assess human personality traits. This test is made up of different situations which are confronted by THEO or Mr. X . Each situation will present several alternative courses of action and the choice of Mr. THEO or Mr. X. is to be indicated by the candidate. For this purpose the candidate will be asked to consider himself as THEO or Mr. ‘X’. Thus the candidate, having imaginarily stepped into the shoes of THEO or Mr. X’, will actually indicate his preference in choosing a particular course 01 action under a givens situation. The answer to the question will therefore reflect the candidate’s power of understanding, practical ability, initiative, temperament, imagination, resoluteness, social behaviour, consistency, stability under duress, etc., in varying situations.

Illustration with Sample Questions


Nearly 50 questions depicting a variety of situations are given in this test at the 1.S.S.B. and the candidate has to answer them all within 25 minutes. Although the questions by themselves may appear to be lengthy, the answers required are very brief and simple. Often the candidate may be asked to indicate his choice (in the garb of THEO or Mr. ‘X’) by placing a tick mark or a cross (x), against his choice. Therefore, this task can be completed within the given time limit without much difficulty. The time stress has been purposely introduced to ensure that the candidate records his reactions without detailed and prolonged deliberation. The candidate should therefore, be alert and work at a fairly fast pace.

The situations though presented on paper in theory, are based on practical conditions prevailing in everyday life. The candidate might often have come across such situations in his own life. In this sense they are not really imaginary. Generally, there is no particular correct answer for each question or situation. Several alternative courses of action are open and the candidate, as THEO or Mr. ‘X’, has merely to express his choice for one of them, according to his temperament attitude and aptitude. No special intelligence or technical skill is required to answer these questions

Occasionally the different alternatives may not be there for the candidate to choose. Instead, he may be required to write the answers his course of action. Similarly, in some cases, the candidate may be given the freedom to add his own line of action, if he does not agree with any of the alternatives already given. The candidate should, therefore, carefully read, understand and follow the instructions as given in the exercise and as explained by the examiner conducing the test.

Sometimes, the answers may be required to be recorded on a separate form or printed sheet. Here, the question numbers will be marked already. All the candidate has to do is write the number of choice answer, e.g., (a). (b), (c). (d), etc. against the relevant question number. In other cases the candidate may be asked to indicate his answer by putting a cross (x) against his choice in the 1itestiofl book itself. No separate answer forms will be provided in such cases.

Advice to the Candidates

  • Remember that you are actually expressing your own personal responses to the situations although it is written as the choice of THEO or Mr. X’.
  • Since as many questions as possible should be answered in the time limit provided follow the principle of tackling the easier questions and skipping over the difficult ones in the first instance. After all the easier questions have been dealt with return to the more difficult ones.
  • The psychologist is chiefly interested to observe whether the candidate reveals a co-operative attitude and not negative or obstructive behaviour, whether he places the group or general interest before selfinte1est if you critically analyse the questions you will notice that the answer being given has invariably some relation to one of these aspects. Therefore, carefully ensure that your choices and answers consistently reveal the tendency to cooperate, to be in company and to sacrifice your personal interest to general or group interest.
  • Finally, be careful to avoid contradictions and co-relate your answers with the statements you have made in the questions. If you have given your hobby as hiking or trekking, you must be able to answer the question relating to hiking with certain knowledge, as compared with the others.

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