NB Old Post – NHS Scientist Training Programme in England – Applications Open

This was an old out-of-date post (information now deleted). Information on applying to the 2016 NHS Scientist Training Programme can now be found here.


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Elizabeth View All →

Careers Consultant (Postgraduate) at the University of Manchester, UK

8 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    I read your post and it seems you saw the numerical and logical tests. I found a website to practice but I’m not exactly sure about the format of the tests that I’ll need to do, would you be able to help me clarifying this?
    For logical there a different types like Raven matrices, etc, and for numerical more like arithmetic or tables, etc. I really hope you can help me with this, many thanks.

    • Hi Hector

      I’m afraid I didn’t actually have a go at the tests – I used to be pretty good at tests but I’m getting older now, and I don’t want to discover that I’m slowing down 😉 Therefore, I can’t tell you what they look like, other than the practice tests they recommend are from the PSL/Kenexa website (the link is in the blog post). I assume they use Kenexa to run the actual tests, so these practice tests should represent the real thing.

      Of course, there’s every chance they’ll change the tests for next year. One thing I’ve learnt with the NHS is that their recruitment practices are always in flux!

      PS. I did just try the logical reasoning practice tests – only got an “average” result. V. disappointing to have proof that you do slow down as you get older 😦 !

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    Many thanks for your reply. I talked today with someone who is going to start the training in September but I got confused by a few things:

    -He told me the numerical test takes 24min and the logical test 12min, however in the nhs website they say we should allow 40min for each test, is this a mistake then?

    -Does the choice of location matter to the chances of being selected?

    -He told me that we need 3 references, but in the screen shots of the application process that you shared in your post I couldn’t see anything about references, are the references separated from the main application process?

    Many thanks and kind regards,

    • Hi Hector

      Sorry for the delay – it’s holiday and prep time! I think you do need to use the NHS Facebook page for these specific queries, as I don’t have any real inside info, other than what I’ve posted above.

      However, you might find that you won’t get too far with them as (a) recruitment for the STP isn’t open yet, and (b) they do change things each year, so whatever you find out about last year’s recruitment process may be different in the coming year.

      I wouldn’t stress too much about the format yet. It would be much better to put in as much practice as you can on a range of similar tests if that is what concerns you.

      I always assumed that practising on your own, particularly doing timed tests was best, but I recently talked to a graduate who is now in a consultancy position, and he advocated starting out by doing those online practice tests in pairs, and discussing how to tackle the types of questions, at least at first when you’re learning how to do them well. The solo timed tests can come later, once you know what you’re doing.

      As soon as I’ve got more to report on the 2014 NHS STP, I’ll write a new post – but that probably won’t be for some months yet.


  3. Hi Elizabeth,
    Can you please tell me in International applications are accepted?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Margarida

      I’ve struggled to find anything which makes it clear whether the STP is open to international students, but the equivalent NHS General Management Scheme does say they are open to applications from those who would require Tier 2 visas, but that any offers would be subject to UKBA decisions regarding Certificate of Sponsorship – more here.

      I suspect they would apply the same criteria to the STP. The comments about the UKBA are probably to cover themselves in case UKBA won’t give a visa or they change the rules.

      For a more definitive comment, why not ask on their Facebook page (link in the main post)? Hope that helps.


  4. Is there a section in the application form for additional supporting information/personal statement on why you want to do the chosen STP, because 250 words doesn’t seem to be enough,Especially for me as i have previously studied Audiology for two years but had to drop out because of family problems and ended up doing another science degree closer to home, I’ve always wanted to be involved in the Audiology field and vowed to get back into it,since dropping out of Audiology i have had numerous work experience in Audiology department till this day,and lot of my friends are audiologist so am constantly around ‘Audiology talk’ and on top of that i have studied Audiology for two years so i have experience on procedures and what it takes to be an audiologist due to my placement in second year.And also how my new degree i choose can help me with Audiology.Basically as you can see i have a lot of experiences and reasons why i really want to get on the Audiology STP, but am going to need more than 250 words to explain why am passionate about it.I have read on some forums that there is additional supporting information but on print screen it doesn’t seem to be present.I have one final question can you apply via hard copy.

    • Hi Moses

      I can see you’re very keen on the Audiology programme, but I think there are two issues here:

      a) The 250 word limit is not only about telling them why you are motivated to do Audiology, but also a skills test, ie “Can you get to the point and get a complicated message across concisely and persuasively in a limited space?” When you’re dealing with patients, you will need to be able to do this. Therefore, you should aim to convince them in 250 words – I think it’s unlikely you’ll get any other space to do that, and even if you do, they’re more likely to think well of you if you can do it in 250 words, as requested.

      b) I suspect that most of what you need to explain about your background is coverd by, “I studied Audiology for 2 years but unfortunately, for family reasons, I had to leave the course to study closer to home, which was a great disappointment. However, my degree in …” – a total of 31 words. Then you can focus on the really important stuff ie. why you have chosen audiology (which obviously, your answer above doesn’t cover in any way). It would be good to refer to your experience, but focus on the insights you have gained into audiology, rather than using lots of space listing all the different pieces of work experience. You can probably summarise them, to leave space to focus on what you learnt.

      The other point to make is that we haven’t seen the application process for next year’s programme (this is an old blog post about last year’s programme), and things may change. However, I’d be very surprised if they allow hard copy applications.

      Hope that helps – even if it’s not quite what you wanted to hear! Learning to get a focussed message across is a key skill in applying for jobs.
      Best regards

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