What is a written exercise?
As the name suggests, ‘written exercise’ covers any exercise which involves you writing/ typing full answers, perhaps even up to several pages. It’s not a multiple choice or short answer test, but something that requires you to write proper paragraphs of text, structured in an appropriate way, covering your analysis/ proposal/ strategy/ recommendations/ pros and cons/ answers/ plans or whatever else the question paper asks you to provide (Sounds horribly reminiscent of school, doesn’t it?!)
Types of written exercise
- An analysis exercise
- An evaluative case study
- An inbox/ in-basket or in-tray exercise
- Strategy or proposal
- Business case study
And so on.
The similarity between these is that there will be information for you to evaluate and instructions on how to then respond e.g. with a memo, a recommendation, a proposal. The difference between them will be in the specific instructions e.g. you may be asked to ‘evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a business proposal and make recommendations’ or you may be asked to ‘complete the content of your in-basket, responding to each item appropriately.’
‘If you want a great new job, the chances are you’ll face a tough selection process. The written exercise is one of the most critical parts of any testing procedure’
Any selection test or assessment exercise is designed to evaluate how good a fit you are for the job and the company. A written exercise will be used to assess a range of competency skills such as communication, planning, analytical ability, prioritisation, team work, high standards, commercial awareness etc- depending on the role.
The way the information is presented may vary a little but what the assessors will be looking for will be very much the same. Don’t be put off by the name of the exercise, whichever one it is will require you to read and understand some background information and deal with the specific tasks outlined, whether it is to write a proposal, evaluate different options, prepare a strategy, create a plan, or resolve a certain problem or challenge.
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