Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program Assessment Preparation Guide Introduction

:
This Assessment Preparation Guide is intended for applicants to the PMF Program who have been nominated by their school's Nomination Official and covers the Program’s assessment process. After the application process, those applicants found eligible and successfully nominated are referred to nominees. Nominees are invited to participate in the first phase of the assessment process, the un-proctored, timed on-line assessment. Based on scores, semi-finalists will be selected and invited to the second phase of the assessment process, the proctored in-person assessment. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers both phases of the assessment process. The online assessment consists of a Situational Judgment Assessment, Life Experience Assessment, and a Writing Sample. This assessment is designed to assess competencies that are critical to success in the PMF position. This guide is designed to familiarize you with the on-line assessment process and its key features so that you:    Know what to expect on the assessment and are prepared to do your best. Have a better chance of success. Can take the PMF On-line Assessment feeling more confident and at ease.

The second phase of the PMF Program’s assessment process is a proctored in-person assessment, also referred to as the Assessment Center. The proctored Assessment Center puts semi-finalists through a day-long assessment which consists of three components: individual presentation, group exercise, and a writing exercise. Your performance is observed by a three-person panel. Finalists will be identified based on their performance at the Assessment Center. More detailed information regarding the Assessment Center begins on page 4 of this guide.

On-Line Assessment Preparation:
The following is for nominees preparing for the on-line assessment.

DISCLAIMER
The sample questions provided are neither practice assessments, nor simulations of actual assessment conditions for the PMF On-line Assessment. However, they do resemble the actual assessments in style and format. Completing the sample questions does not ensure an increase in your assessment score or in your aptitude to perform work as a Presidential Management Fellow. Neither does attending workshops nor studying the exam techniques.

Why OPM Assesses Potential PMFs The PMF On-line Assessment provides a screening process on job-related criteria and allows semi-finalists to compete in the PMF In-person Assessment. PMFs serve in a broad range of positions that will prepare them to be leaders of tomorrow. Certain skills and abilities like problem solving, adaptability, integrity, service motivation, relating to others, and writing are needed to perform well in these positions. The PMF On-line Assessment helps identify individuals with important job-related abilities and personal characteristics. General Test-Taking Tips 1. Get a good night’s sleep. To be rested and prepared, it is important to get adequate sleep the night before you take the assessment. 2. Eat a light, nutritious meal. Although you may be a bit nervous before taking the assessment, it is important to eat a light and nutritious meal. By doing so, you will increase your energy level. 3. Pay careful attention to all directions before beginning. 4. Answer the easier questions first. Skip questions you find to be very difficult and come back to them later. 5. For each question, read the entire question and all response options carefully before deciding upon an answer. PMF Assessment Preparation Guide Page 1 of 5 Updated: 12-17-2010

During a project meeting a colleague gives you a task that you do not feel qualified or trained to handle.6. Through a series of multiple choice questions you’ll be asked to select an option based on how you would likely respond or least likely respond in each situation. Which of the following actions are you least likely to take? PMF Assessment Preparation Guide Page 2 of 5 Updated: 12-17-2010 . Directions: In each of the following situations. Which of the following actions are you most likely to take? A) B) C) D) Complete the task as best you can. Life Experience. Ignore any patterns of A’s. Sample Question 1. or volunteer organizations. You are a member of a project team in your office.48 125 N/A Time Allowed 30 . including instructions and sample questions are described in the sections that follow. you can answer the questions based on experiences you may have had in previous jobs or in school. Situational Judgment Sample Questions Four sample questions are provided below to give you an idea of the types of questions you will encounter when completing the Situational Judgment Assessment. and Writing. eliminate the response options that you know to be incorrect or probably incorrect and then guess from the remaining response options. Explain to the colleague that you do not feel qualified to work on the task and you would prefer that the task be given to someone else. Assessment Part A. In each of the questions in this section. If you finish before time is up in a given assessment part. Life Experience C. Questions in the Situational Judgment section draw primarily on your experiences in working with and relating to others in a work setting. No special training or experience is required to answer these questions. You are a member of a project team in your office. athletic. These correct answer positions are chosen randomly and there is no way to improve your chances by guessing based on response patterns. you are asked to indicate how you would respond in a given situation.15 minutes Preparing for the PMF On-line Assessment Descriptions for each assessment part. Identify from the response options the one that best represents how you would handle the situation. D’s. Sample Question 2. If you do not know the answer to a question. Ask someone in the office who knows how to do the task to help you. B’s. This section of the preparation guide will provide you with useful information about how to do your best on the Situational Judgment Assessment. Complain to your supervisor. Select the response that is closest to how you would actually handle the situation. The table below provides the approximate number of items and time allowed for each assessment part. Part A.40 minutes 45 minutes 10 . Situational Judgment B. Each assessment is timed. Writing Number of Items 30 . The questions place you in realistic situations that you are likely to encounter as a PMF. C’s. social. Part A. or E’s. go back and check your answers. not the response that you think others might select or the response that you think is expected. 8. During a project meeting a colleague gives you a task that you do not feel qualified or trained to handle. Situational Judgment Assessment The Situational Judgment Assessment requires you to read through a series of scenarios relevant to PMF work. If you are not currently in a work group. you are asked to indicate how you would respond. 7. Contents of the PMF On-line Assessment There are three parts of the PMF On-line Assessment: Situational Judgment.

I was likely to have prepared ahead of time: A) much less than others did B) less than others did C) about the same as others did PMF Assessment Preparation Guide Page 3 of 5 Updated: 12-17-2010 . classmates. In this assessment you will be instructed to select one answer from among the alternatives presented. or in your academic pursuits. When completing this assessment.and education-related experiences. Life Experience Assessment The Life Experience Assessment contains questions involving work. who is not at her desk right now. No special training or experience is required to answer these questions. or other close associates. Which of the following actions are you most likely to take? A) B) C) D) Find out what the customer needs and interrupt the meeting. Explain to the colleague that you do not feel qualified to work on the task and you would prefer that the task be given to someone else. One of your customers has arrived at your office and wishes to speak with your supervisor. Find out what the customer needs and assure the caller that your supervisor will get the message. Some questions will ask you to consider your experience in working with and relating to others in a work setting. In the past when I have given a speech or presentation. it is in your best interest to answer every question. Life Experience Sample Questions Two sample questions are provided below to give you an idea of the type of questions you will encounter when completing the Life Experience Assessment. Which of the following actions are you least likely to take? A) B) C) D) Find out what the customer needs and interrupt the meeting. Part B. Complain to your supervisor. remember:    Do not skip questions. Sample Question 4. Please note that your responses are subject to verification and deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not being selected or for being dismissed after beginning work. The customer is frustrated because she has left several messages on your supervisor’s voice-mail in the past week and has not received a call in return. You know that your supervisor is attending a meeting that will last for at least another hour. Ask someone in the office who knows how to do the task to help you. who is not at her desk right now. You know that your supervisor is attending a meeting that will last for at least another hour. The customer is frustrated because she has left several messages on your supervisor’s voice-mail in the past week and has not received a call in return. If you are not currently employed then you will be instructed to answer questions based on experiences you may have had in previous jobs. Tell the customer that your supervisor is not available. Tell the customer that the manager is not available. A response of “I don’t know” means that you would expect the other person not to know or to have no basis for making a judgment if asked to describe you. Ask the customer if someone else in the office can help her. Sample Question 3. Part B. Sample Question 1. The term “peer” refers to co-workers. One of your customers has arrived at your office and wishes to speak with your supervisor. Find out what the customer needs and assure the caller that your supervisor will get the message.A) B) C) D) Complete the task as best you can. Ask the customer if someone else in the office can help her.

CA Washington. You will be evaluated on the following dimensions during the three components of the Assessment Center: Individual Presentation:  Oral Communication PMF Assessment Preparation Guide Page 4 of 5 Updated: 12-17-2010 . IL San Francisco. These panel members are trained PMF assessors. The individual oral presentation will last a total of 5 minutes. and opinions. Sample Question. I prefer to: A) B) C) D) E) do less complex tasks keep a low profile always take the lead take on challenging tasks but not take the lead take the lead at times Note: There are no correct responses listed for the Situational Judgment and Life Experience sample questions because answers to these questions will depend on your individual experiences. organization of content in a clear and appropriate manner. When working as a member of a team. This is a very straightforward assessment that will require you to simply type a written response to an open-ended question or prompt. The PMF Program provides many potential opportunities and challenges for individuals interested in working for the Federal Government. You will participate in three activities: an individual presentation. You will complete the writing exercise on a laptop computer using a basic word processor without spelling or grammar checking features. The writing sample will be used to measure your ability to communicate an appropriate message in writing. Superior written communication skills are critical for being an effective leader or manager. preferences. Accordingly. group exercise. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a career in public service. The writing exercise will take 45 minutes.D) more than others did E) much more than others did Sample Question 2. DC The Assessment Center will take place during an 8-hour day in one of the specified locations. a full day is needed to ensure all semi-finalists participate in each activity. you will be invited to one of the four identified locations for the Assessment Centers as follows:     Atlanta. Writing Sample The Writing Sample requires you to provide a written response based on a question or topic provided to you in the assessment. the writing sample measures your ability to communicate in writing. Example of Writing Sample An example of the kind of question or prompt you will encounter when completing the Writing Sample is provided below. Part C. Due to the number of semi-finalists participating in the Assessment Center. The Assessment Center panels will be composed of three Federal agency representatives. You will have 25 minutes to prepare for the individual presentation. Your group exercise will last approximately 30 minutes. and a writing exercise. and proper grammar usage. You may bring along a pocket (paperback) dictionary for your use during the writing exercise. GA Chicago. Part C. The Assessment Center: Based on the preference you selected during the application process.

Additional information about the Job Fair will be posted to the PMF website sometime in March 2011. You are responsible for monitoring any email communications regarding the in-person assessment. Problem Solving Group Discussion:  Interpersonal Skills  Oral Communication  Problem Solving Writing Exercise:  Written Communication  Service Motivation Your schedule will include sufficient time for breaks during the day. The Assessment Center will conclude in the late afternoon. inclement weather) the Assessment Center will also be closed. All applicants should regularly check the PMF website for any updates. You will be notified of your finalist status by late March 2011. Given the variety of employment opportunities offered to graduate students. You should be aware that the program which you are applying is based on rigorous standards and that the selection process is highly competitive. DC. specifically. Please note that dates are subject to change. PMF Assessment Preparation Guide Page 5 of 5 Updated: 12-17-2010 . have already been informed on how their in-person assessment will be conducted.g. Semi-finalists will receive the Test Admission Notice approximately two weeks prior to their scheduled Assessment Center and will begin promptly at the time stated in the Test Admission Notice. The PMF Program is a unique and rewarding beginning to a public service career. You will receive further guidance via email (from FedTest@opm. You will be responsible for your travel expenses to attend the Assessment Center. We welcome your interest in the PMF Program and wish you well in the assessment process.gov) on when the Assessment Center reopens and when your in-person assessment is rescheduled. As the Federal Government strives to meet the challenges of managing and administering sound public policies and programs. Applicants who requested special accommodations for the in-person assessment and have been adjudicated. and to complete all semi-finalist assessments in time for Federal Agencies to have a list of Finalists from which to make job offers in the spring. If the Federal Government closes for any reason (e. we are happy that you have placed the Federal Government among the potential employers for whom you may choose to work. the “News” section from the homepage.. You may bring reading materials (school work or leisure) to occupy your time during the day. Although the day may include some down time for you. the opportunities available to PMFs are extraordinary. this scheduling is necessary to maintain test security during the course of the day. including time for lunch. The PMF Class of 2011 Finalists Job Fair will be held in Washington. while other semifinalists are working through their exercises. Late arrivals cannot be admitted and stand-bys are not allowed. in mid/late-April 2011.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer: Get 4 months of Scribd and The New York Times for just $1.87 per week!

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times