Trying Out a Federal Job

Credit: 10 PDH Hours
Course Fee: $30.00
Pages: 76

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Attention PE engineers in the States of Ohio, Indiana, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

This course can not be used as a continuing education course to renew your license in any of the above States. The course material of this course is not within the guidelines of States requirements.

Course Summary

The purpose of this course is to examine the utility of job simulation assessments for use in the Federal hiring process. A job simulation is an assessment that presents applicants with realistic, job-related situations and documents their behaviors or responses to help determine their qualifications for the job. Job simulations include, but are not limited to, work samples, situational judgment tests, assessment centers, and job tryout procedures.

Learning Objectives

The participants in this course will learn that Job simulations present a number of important advantages as well as several significant disadvantages.


  • Higher Validity. Job simulation assessments tend to have higher predictive validity than many other types of assessments, meaning they should be better at predicting future job performance.
  • Better Job Fit. By exposing applicants to the types of events, scenarios, and challenges confronted on the job, job simulations help applicants determine if the job is well suited to their knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.
  • Positive Applicant Perceptions. Because job simulations replicate the types of tasks performed in the actual job, studies have found that applicants are more likely to view them as being fair and job-related.
  • Greater Degree of Fairness. Research generally supports the premise that job simulation assessments have lower rates of adverse impact (i.e., a different rate of employment selection that works to the disadvantage of members of a race, sex, or ethnic group), as well as a lower degree of exposure to discrimination lawsuits based on the selection procedure.


  • Cost. Job simulations are sometimes more costly because of the resources necessary to develop and administer the tests. The more advanced simulations require greater expertise to develop than other, less complicated assessments, and this expertise results in higher developmental costs. Plus, these advanced assessments can require
    more staff and training to administer and assess the results.
  • Limited Scope. While job simulations can be used to assess multiple competencies, a single simulation exercise will often focus on a limited number of tasks or duties performed on the job. Therefore, job simulations are best used as one assessment in a series of valid selection tools.
  • Not Suited to All Jobs. Many job simulations require the applicant to already have a certain level of knowledge, skills, or abilities (KSAs) to complete the assessment. Therefore, they may not be appropriate for some entry-level or generalist occupations.

Course Author

U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board

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Certificate of completion of the course

This course comes with a multiple-choice quiz. You can view the quiz and take the quiz if you are logged in your account. You can take the quiz for this online PDH course as many times until passed. The passing grade is 70% and above. After you pass the quiz simply follow the page, to pay for the course and print your certificate instantly. A copy of the certificate and receipt for this course will always be in your account.

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This online PDH course can also be used as a continuing education course for the following.

Business Skills