Practice Qualifying Test Tool


Qualifying tests are used in some exercises to test candidates’ ability to analyse information, identify issues, understand the law appropriately, apply sound judgement, and succinctly and clearly explain how decisions are reached. This practice qualifying test has been designed as a practice tool to help you get familiar with the format, software and question style used in qualifying tests. The questions used here are examples reflecting tests for legally-qualified applicants, but are not representative of any qualifying test for a particular role or jurisdiction. This practice test is also shorter than normal qualifying tests. 

Background: development of qualifying tests

Qualifying tests are designed to test a candidate’s transferrable skills in line with the competency framework and their potential to work effectively as a judge. Qualifying tests and their associated marking schedules are drafted by existing judges who hold positions relevant to the vacancy being recruited to.

For quality assurance purposes, qualifying test materials are reviewed internally by JAC Operations, Policy, and Diversity and Engagement teams to ensure that the tests are an effective tool to assess candidates. The tests are then reviewed by the JAC’s independent Advisory Group which is comprised of members of the judiciary and representatives of the legal professions and chaired by a lay JAC Commissioner. It offers its advice and guidance on the development of selection material and ensures that test materials do not unfairly advantage or disadvantage any potential candidates on the basis of their diversity characteristics or professional background. The effectiveness of a qualifying test is then assessed by means of a ‘dry run’ with a range of volunteer mock candidates from relevant candidate groups. This provides an opportunity to trial the test material and make any necessary amendments.

A qualifying test normally has 20 situational judgement and 20 critical analysis questions, and has a time limit of 40 minutes for each section.


The practice test  

This practice test has 5 situational judgement and 5 critical analysis questions, and you will have 10 minutes for each section. There will be a timer indicating how much time you have left and you can take a break in between each section.  In advance of a qualifying test, candidates can request or discuss reasonable adjustments. This practice qualifying test is set up in an accessible format and should meet the most frequently-requested adjustments apart from additional time. Please contact us if you require alternative reasonable adjustments. We recommend using Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Safari browsers. You should not use Internet Explorer as this does not support the test. 


Taking the test 

As soon as you press ‘start now’, the timer will go green and begin counting down. The timer will turn red when you enter the last 1 minute. The questions appear one at a time. You can choose to skip questions and you will have an opportunity to return to these at the end, provided you have time remaining. Read the instructions for each question carefully. When you have given your answer, press the purple ‘Save and continue’ button. At the end of the section, you can review your answers before pressing ‘Submit answers’. 

To complete the next section of the test, you can use the link under ‘Next steps’. 


Situational judgement 

Each question will present a different situation that could occur in the role of a judge. You will be assessed on your ability to identify how appropriate the possible actions are, not on your knowledge of rules or procedure. 

There are 5 answer options for each question. In each case, you need to select: 

  • The action you consider the most appropriate; and
  • The action you consider the least appropriate.

You will receive 1 mark for each correct answer. There are therefore 2 marks available per question. There are no marks for the next best or next worst answer.  


Critical analysis 

In a real qualifying test, you would be sent a written text to read in advance of the test day as preparation. In this practice version, the text will be given to you before you start the critical analysis test. You can spend as long as you need reading the text and can keep a copy to hand during the test if you wish to. The timer will only start when you navigate to the questions. 


All the information you need to answer the questions is in the text provided. Each question has 4 options and 1 correct answer. There is, therefore, 1 mark available per question.  


After the test 

At the end of the test, you will be given your score. If you would like to take the test again, you can do so as many times as you like. The scores are not recorded and there is no way for anyone at the JAC to identify who has taken the practice test. As this is a practice test, your result is not indicative of scores you may achieve on any future qualifying test on a live exercise. You should use this practice test alongside the range of other resources on the JAC website to assess your readiness to apply. 


Diversity data 

We are gathering some information for diversity monitoring purposes, to help us better tailor our approaches and support candidates from a range of backgrounds. This information will not be used to identify anyone taking the test and is purely for monitoring purposes. If you would prefer not to answer these questions, you can select ‘prefer not to say’.