Guess what guys.. I ranked in the top 5% in the country for the Dental Situational Judgement Test or SJT and I’m actually working at the same dental practice as Zoh this year!! That means I got my first choice at one of the best dental practices in London and in this video I’m gonna reveal all my secrets as to how I did and how you can do it too.
Tip 1: Pace yourself
My first tip is to pace yourself and don’t be a victim of something called decision fatigue. This is when the brain’s ability to make good decisions gets worse over time as your brain becomes tired from making all these decisions. Well this applies here. In the SJT, all you do is make tough decisions over and over again in a short amount of time. After a while your brain becomes fatigued and loses it’s ability to make the right choice no matter how important the choice is. So when revising for the SJT, you need to condition your brain to be able to stay in maximum focus for two hours without getting distracted. This will be VERY tough at the beginning especially since this type of revision is very dry. You can check out my video on Deep Work which covers this in a lot more details. But for the SJT, to be able to make the most of your revision, revise by doing practice questions only 2 hours a day BUT make sure you’re in 100% focus during those 2 hours with no distractions like music, mobile phone or having people around. Revising for more than 2 hours will be ineffective because your brain will have experienced so much decision fatigue that you will be answering the questions poorly and you will only end up disappointing yourself and thinking you need to revise more, which cycles again to more decision fatigue and even worse answers. Limiting your revision time also means you won’t run out of questions quickly. It’s no secret that there aren’t that many GOOD resources for the SJT. It takes a panel of dentists to create, modify and check which can’t physically be replicated by any one person. You need a big team of multi-disciplinary dentists, legal advisors and laymen to be able to create ONE SJT! So you want to make sure when you’re answering these questions, you’re on a fresh brain and not fatigued.
Tip 2: Take a Break
My second tip is going to sound crazy but it actually links back to decision fatigue and other ways to minimise it. I really strongly recommend that halfway through the exam, you take a full 5 minute break. Stop answering questions, sit back, relax, leave the room or go on a toilet break. Get your mind off the SJT and don’t focus on anything specific. This is something I honestly did in the exam and I recommend you do it too. This gives your brain a little break and again reduces decision fatigue. To take it to the next level, the night before the exam, you should set out exactly what you’re going to wear, what you’re going to have for breakfast, how you’re getting to get to the Pearson test centre and every other little detail, so that on that morning, the first decision you have to make is answering the first question on the exam.
Tip 3: Understand the logic to why a certain answer is correct
My third tip is all about understanding the logic and thought process you should go through when answering these SJT questions. I’ll be honest this stuff isn’t really taught at dental school and you’re definitely not born with this knowledge so you need to learn it somewhere before you sit this exam. The only course I needed to do was called “The Ultimate DFT Course” by Dental Training Consultants. It really is the ultimate course, they taught me everything from start to finish, how long you should spend on each question, what needs to be prioritised and most importantly they have over 250 questions which have gone through the same rigorous checks and modifications by a multidisciplinary team in a similar way to how HEE do it. They interactively give you the opportunity to answer and then they logically explain WHY one particular order is the best. You’ll know specifically what I mean when I go through an example question later in this video. They also give you a mock exam to do in your own time and because it’s a 2 day course, on the second day, they go through all the answers. What’s unique about this course is that because they’ve had thousands of previous cohorts, after marking your mock, they give you your rough rank compared to the previous cohort. It’s actually such an ingenious way of seeing how well you’re doing and how much more work you need to do to rank well.
I’ve reached out to Dental Training Consultants and explained that I was making this video and really believed that they were the reason I did this well and they agreed to support this video. They’ve generously offered to give 3 of our subscribers free access to The Ultimate DFT course. The way you enter is by subscribing to this channel, following both of us on instagram and commenting on the giveaway post and tagging three friends. For extra entries you can comment again tagging more friends or by leaving a comment down below with your Instagram handle. I’ll leave a link in the description to our Instagram giveaway post and winners will be announced in a weeks time on Instagram. I am aware that seats are limited though and that the first of their 2 courses has already sold out. It’s up to you if you want to wait to find out if you’ve won but if you’d rather not risk it, and would like to book on to do the course, make sure you use our discount code “TD15” to get 15% off the final price. I’ll leave a link in the description for that too if you’d rather secure a place before the second course sells out too.
Tip 4: The best resource
The fourth tip is to practice practice practice. The most valuable resource I found was a book called The Dental Foundation Interview Guide: With Situational Judgement Tests and once again I’ll leave a link in the description for you to buy it. Zoh and I have used other books and resources and have genuinely found that this book had the questions that were closest to the actual SJT. It has over a hundred questions and it explains every single answer so by the end of it, you’ve conditioned yourself to think with the same logic that they do. They’ve recently released a more up-to-date book called Situational Judgement Tests for Dentistry so that’s the one I’d go for if I was you. My recommended technique is to answer 5 questions and then flick to the back of the book and go through the answers. Any question which you score less than 16, highlight. These highlighted questions will be the ones you go through again once you’ve done all the questions in the book. As you’re answering the questions, make notes on the core principles that you’re learning. This could be on a word document or a piece of paper. These principles are little hints that you pick up from the answers. For example, Never assume parents have legal responsibility. Grandparents may be the legal guardian. There are many principles like this that you might come across. There’s a link in the blog post for the word document I made when revising. Check out the description for a link to the books and the document in our blog post.
Now let’s go through an example from the book.
Let’s say you’ve got this question here:
Here are the answers with their logic from the book:
Tip 5: Utilise the paper they give you
My fifth and final tip is to actually use the paper or whiteboard. As soon as you walk in, you’ll have a scrap piece of paper or a white board. Before the exam starts, during the 15min tutorial, find out how many questions there are and how much time you have. On the COPEND website it says 105minutes and it should be 56 questions. What you want to do is write down how much time you’ll have remaining after doing 10 questions, 20 questions, 30 and so on. That way you know if you’re working at the right speed. On the screen we’ve made the calculations for you based on 105mins and 56 questions. This means after you’ve answered ten questions, when you look at the top corner of the screen, it should say 88 minutes remaining. We’ve accounted for the 5 minute break and 4 minutes at the end for leeway.
You obviously don’t want to be behind schedule but you honestly don’t want to be rushing it either. Pace yourself. Also, in my opinion, there’s no benefit in flagging questions and going back to them later. Make the decision then and there. Be confident in making it and move on. I think you’re wasting time having to re-read the question at the end because the likelihood is, you’ll skim read it and miss something vital and then answer incorrectly. And if you’re going back to a difficult question at the end of your exam, you will have experienced even MORE decision fatigue, and so your new answer will most likely be even worse. So don’t bother flagging questions. Okay guys, those were my main tips and I hope you all do well. Don’t forget to enter our giveaway, to get free access to The Ultimate DFT course. You can enter by subscribing to this channel and following both of us on Instagram and commenting on the giveaway post, tagging three friends. For extra entries you can comment again tagging more friends or by leaving a comment down below with your Instagram handle. I’ll leave a link in the description to our Instagram giveaway post. If you’d rather book on to do the course now, make sure you use our discount code “TD15” to get 15% off the final price. I’ll leave a link in the description for that too if you’d rather secure a place before the second course sells out too. Thank you so much for watching and if you found this video useful, feel free to subscribe and share this video with your friends.
🎊 GIVEAWAY Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/p/CTppmucq4SE/
💰 To book the course, use the CODE “TD15” for 15% off at the checkout.
🛒 Follow these links:
📅 For the 2nd and the 9th: https://dentaltrainingconsultants.co.uk/product/the-ultimate-dft-course-2021/
📅 For the 2nd and the 10th: https://dentaltrainingconsultants.co.uk/product/the-ultimate-dft-course-2021b/
📚 Revision resources
📘 Book I used – The Dental Foundation Interview Guide: With Situational Judgement Tests: https://amzn.to/38Vs3L2
📔 Updated version of the book I used – Situational Judgement Tests for Dentistry: https://amzn.to/3l6F9L7
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