Case studies and in-tray exercises

These exercises are usually closely related to the role. They are designed to examine skills such as communication, organisation, problem-solving, data analysis, planning, time management and decision making. There is usually a time limit on these tasks, and you may be asked to discuss your decisions. 

Inbox or in-tray exercises

Typically you are presented with a brief about your role and an inbox on a laptop with 10 or more emails. You need to sort through and prioritise, then respond appropriately to those emails based on the information given. This is a way that employers can see how you work - they will be looking to see how you organise your time, what decisions you make in light of the evidence you have been given and whether you can prioritise effectively. Approach the task logically and read through all the available information before you start.  Don’t worry if the subject is unfamiliar to you; the assessors are looking for your organisational and prioritising skills, as well as the way you analyse and interpret the information in front of you. 

Case studies

Tips for conquering case studies:

  • make sure you have read all the information provided
  • think about why the employer has asked you to do this exercise - what do they want you to demonstrate? 
  • think about the business itself - What are its aims? What does it value? It might be that this particular exercise will be relevant to the types of work you will need to do in your role
  • always keep an eye on the time

Written exercises

In any written exercise check and double-check your grammar and spelling.  Use professional language and set out your writing in a clear and logical format.

It is difficult to prepare for these tests, unless you are told what sort of test it will be.  Important things to remember are:

Before the Day

  • practice your comprehension skills – you will be tested on how well you can read and understand the brief and the case studies
  • ShuSpace ? Learning Essentials Tab ? Study Skills Workshops 
  • you can also practice comprehensive exercises at Assessment Day website

On the day

  • Read the instructions carefully and make sure you understand the task
  • Read all the information provided before you start the task
  • Use a logical system for the task so the assessors can see how you work
  • Check and double check for spelling and grammar when you have finished 

Example: You are the marketing manager of a leading hair care company. You will find here a range of information including market research on consumer trends, financial and budgetary data, competitor intelligence and potential courses of action. You have one hour to:

  • decide which of three new shampoos to launch

  • produce a report evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of two potential marketing strategies for your chosen product

  • recommend which of these strategies the business should adopt

Your report should include some financial analysis to support your recommendation.

Last modified: 
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 18:13