Law Career Guide

Situational Judgement Test: What is it and how to prepare for it

The situational judgement test (SJT) is an untimed, multiple-choice test designed to find out whether you’d be a good fit for the firm you’re applying to; if you align to their values and have the attributes required for the role you’ve applied for. 

It allows you to understand what kind of work you’d find yourself in, and what skills are required of a lawyer at the firm. In some instances the test might also include some numerical and verbal reasoning questions. Here are some dos and don’ts for how to prepare, along with top tips from some of our people.


Research the firm and learn about their values and what they seek to be important to them. All of this information can usually be found on a firm’s website.

Speak to lawyers and learn about the situations they find themselves in. You can do this through Insight days, attending legal careers events or signing up to programmes with organisations such as Aspiring Solicitors, UpReach and UpTree.

Prepare for the scenario-based questions by doing practice tasks on Forage, an online work experience platform. These are ready for you to work through.

Prepare for the verbal and numerical reasoning questions by taking practice tests online.

Answer authentically and honestly – select an answer that reflects how you would genuinely respond.


Second guess what the test wants you to pick; answer authentically.

Shy away from the reason you’re applying – be confident about your motivations and ambitions.

Forget your calculator, as you can use it for the numerical reasoning questions.

Here are some top tips for preparing for the SJT:

Try to imagine yourself in that particular work environment and consider the different outcomes attached to the possible answers. There are also many practice situational judgement tests on the internet so do as many practice assessments as you can to familiarise yourself with what types of questions you may be asked.

Saranya Barthe

Prepare by researching the competencies A&O Shearman likes to see in its Trainees, and link those together with typical trainee tasks. Consider, in light of these competencies, how you would react to typical situations that Trainees often face – such as conflicting deadlines or reacting to unknowns.

Hafsah Nawaz