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# NHS Scientist Training Programme 2016 applicants! watch

1. (Original post by MrB810)
Well just done the online assessments...

Kind of forgot how painful I found them last year!
Is the logical assessment mainly shapes with patterns?
2. (Original post by librarygirl)
Is the logical assessment mainly shapes with patterns?
Yer pretty much. There is a gap in a grid of nine sets of symbols and you have to find a pattern so you can workout what fits in the gap
3. (Original post by MrB810)
Well just done the online assessments...

Kind of forgot how painful I found them last year!
How many questions are there? Is it still 90 seconds per question?
4. (Original post by echelonprincess)
How many questions are there? Is it still 90 seconds per question?
There are 12 questions on each. On the logic its 75 seconds per question and on the numerical its 90 seconds for the first question per table and 75 seconds on the rest
5. (Original post by tsvety)
Hey, thanks so much for the info, very useful! And congrats for securing a place last year! I'm applying for Genomics and Genomic Counselling, my degree is in Genetics, and I've got a decent amount of experience in research, and in an international genetic diagnostic lab...what scares me are the tests. Been practicing for quite some time, but as you said, the time limit for the numeracy test is ridiculous. Do you have any idea what the average test score was last year? Is it more in the range of 60-70% or 20-30%?
It's ok! And thank you I don't know what the average score was, or the pass mark, unfortunately! I can't imagine it was very high. I'd just make sure you practice some basic maths (percentages, fractions, decimals especially) as much as you can and give the tests your best shot.

(Original post by librarygirl)
Hi. I'm actually very interested in Biochemistry after visiting an NHS lab but my background is more microbiology and immunology, so thought applying for those would give me more of a chance. Would you say that is realistic?
It depends on your specific experience - do you have a degree in a subject relevant to Clinical Biochemistry? My background was more microbiology and a bit of immunology too (they were the most 'clinical' of the optional modules I could choose from in my Biochemistry undergrad), but I don't think it really matters as long as you have a good enough background and you're passionate about the specialism you've applied for. A lot of what I've done so far on the STP has been nothing like the Biochemistry I did in my undergrad. I'd say go for the one you're most interested in, because it'll be the one you'll most naturally be enthusiastic about and be able to convey that best in your form. I didn't make a big deal out of my micro background unless I thought it was relevant, just wrote about how much I wanted to do Biochemistry.
6. (Original post by BlueSheep32)
It's ok! And thank you I don't know what the average score was, or the pass mark, unfortunately! I can't imagine it was very high. I'd just make sure you practice some basic maths (percentages, fractions, decimals especially) as much as you can and give the tests your best shot.

It depends on your specific experience - do you have a degree in a subject relevant to Clinical Biochemistry? My background was more microbiology and a bit of immunology too (they were the most 'clinical' of the optional modules I could choose from in my Biochemistry undergrad), but I don't think it really matters as long as you have a good enough background and you're passionate about the specialism you've applied for. A lot of what I've done so far on the STP has been nothing like the Biochemistry I did in my undergrad. I'd say go for the one you're most interested in, because it'll be the one you'll most naturally be enthusiastic about and be able to convey that best in your form. I didn't make a big deal out of my micro background unless I thought it was relevant, just wrote about how much I wanted to do Biochemistry.
Well I did a bit of Biochemistry in my first and second year, but I was young and too busy enjoying the uni experience to really appreciate it. Was fascinated thanks to my recent visit to a biochem lab but think they would see me as more suited to infection science since that's my specialty (undergrad is Virology).
7. (Original post by librarygirl)
Well I did a bit of Biochemistry in my first and second year, but I was young and too busy enjoying the uni experience to really appreciate it. Was fascinated thanks to my recent visit to a biochem lab but think they would see me as more suited to infection science since that's my specialty (undergrad is Virology).
Ah I see...in that case it might be best to ask the National School or the biochemists you spoke to at the lab you visited for advice? Having said that, the shortlisting score is out of 69 and only 5 of those marks come from your qualifications I think, but it might be worth seeing what they say. Once you're committed to a specialism you can't change if you don't like it without reapplying for the STP, so choose carefully. There's some crossover between Biochemistry & Immunology but Microbiology would be quite different.
8. (Original post by BlueSheep32)
Ah I see...in that case it might be best to ask the National School or the biochemists you spoke to at the lab you visited for advice? Having said that, the shortlisting score is out of 69 and only 5 of those marks come from your qualifications I think, but it might be worth seeing what they say. Once you're committed to a specialism you can't change if you don't like it without reapplying for the STP, so choose carefully. There's some crossover between Biochemistry & Immunology but Microbiology would be quite different.
Thanks for the the advice I have emailed them to ask. Clinical Biochemistry was a bit of a revelation for me, so I may not be in the best position to compete with those more familiar with it. But I will see what they say and may put it down as a preference.

Do you enjoy STP so far?
9. (Original post by librarygirl)
Thanks for the the advice I have emailed them to ask. Clinical Biochemistry was a bit of a revelation for me, so I may not be in the best position to compete with those more familiar with it. But I will see what they say and may put it down as a preference.

Do you enjoy STP so far?
See what they say, but to be honest I think only your degree subject would be an issue here. A lot of people in my year had never been in an NHS lab before applying, and, like I said in my last post, I did a Biochemistry undergrad and what I've done in my Clinical Biochemistry masters so far has been quite different. It's pretty much learning all the clinical medicine that you need to know, and the science behind the tests. You can look up the curricula on the NSHCS website to see what you would actually do: http://www.nshcs.org.uk/for-training...earning-guides. You just need to show on your form that you've done your research and why you've decided on that particular specialism.

I do like it, although as I'm only a few months in I'm getting a bit impatient, I just want to know & understand everything now haha! I think your experience is a bit different depending on which hospital you're in but I'm enjoying being in a big teaching hospital. With the rotations in first year it does feel a bit like you're just getting an overview of your specialism, but I'm really looking forward to doing the specialist training in 2nd & 3rd year once I've got those out of the way!
10. I've just come across this training programme and I'm really interested in the clinical microbiology stream. I've got a zoology degree and an MSc in Wild Animal Biology, but I have an avid interest in zoonoses and microbiology, and have a year's worth of microbiological lab experience; do you think they'll view my experience as relevant?
11. (Original post by Benjamin1982G)
I've just come across this training programme and I'm really interested in the clinical microbiology stream. I've got a zoology degree and an MSc in Wild Animal Biology, but I have an avid interest in zoonoses and microbiology, and have a year's worth of microbiological lab experience; do you think they'll view my experience as relevant?
They might be, if you explain your wanting to transition from zoological to human micro-pathology and emphasise dedication to the NHS as a prospective employer.
12. (Original post by doctorbetty)
Hi All,

Can anyone find the specific job/ person description tailored to the post? I can only find the generic description with 'insert pathway here' kind of text on the National School's website- wanted to double check incase I'm potentially missing anything!

Thanks
https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/exp...ences/genomics this is amazing.. really helped me see what the roles are very specifically and what you need to be able to do it..
the link i attached is for genomics but look down the left and all the specialties are there... good luck
13. for the practice tests - what score should you be aiming to get? it doesnt say what is a pass mark.. bluesheep before you sat the real one were you consistently getting As?
bluesheep some questions -
2) do you get to meet other STP participants in other hospitals/courses? like do you ever have training as a group?

thanks!
14. (Original post by nech)
for the practice tests - what score should you be aiming to get? it doesnt say what is a pass mark.. bluesheep before you sat the real one were you consistently getting As?
bluesheep some questions -
2) do you get to meet other STP participants in other hospitals/courses? like do you ever have training as a group?

thanks!
For the practice test just try to get the best score and use them to get a feeling for the test. The real test is harder then the practice one because the practice one isn't adaptive unlike the real test. There is no pass mark as such - the NSHCS will have a threshold score that if you get above you will be longlisted. Also it is not scored as you getting a point for each question you get right its based on the speed you answer the questions, the difficult of your questions, if you get them right.
15. In the tests, is each question individually timed, or is it an overall time limit displayed?
16. (Original post by librarygirl)
In the tests, is each question individually timed, or is it an overall time limit displayed?
Each question is individually times. In the logic its 75 seconds per questions and in the numerical its 90seconds for the first question of a data set and 75 for the others for that data set
17. (Original post by nech)
for the practice tests - what score should you be aiming to get? it doesnt say what is a pass mark.. bluesheep before you sat the real one were you consistently getting As?
bluesheep some questions -
2) do you get to meet other STP participants in other hospitals/courses? like do you ever have training as a group?

thanks!

Yeah, I did get straight in from my undergrad although my undergrad was an integrated masters, but I do know of people who got on straight from BSc.

You meet the other trainees in your discipline when you have teaching blocks for your MSc, and there are usually regional events and conferences to go to too.
18. (Original post by MrB810)
Well just done the online assessments...

Kind of forgot how painful I found them last year!
Can't agree more Finally got the courage today to do them. The logical one was okay-ish, there were some easy and some hard (impossible) patterns. But the numerical one! I didn't quite get what the question was asking for one of the tables, let alone have time to calculate it. I still don't understand why I'm supposed to know economic terminology, I'm a geneticist for God's sake! Oh well, it's done now...wish they would tell us whether we passed sooner (so I can start looking for other jobs), but I get it they need all the result to calculate the averages, etc....Good luck to anyone taking the tests!
19. (Original post by tsvety)
Can't agree more Finally got the courage today to do them. The logical one was okay-ish, there were some easy and some hard (impossible) patterns. But the numerical one! I didn't quite get what the question was asking for one of the tables, let alone have time to calculate it. I still don't understand why I'm supposed to know economic terminology, I'm a geneticist for God's sake! Oh well, it's done now...wish they would tell us whether we passed sooner (so I can start looking for other jobs), but I get it they need all the result to calculate the averages, etc....Good luck to anyone taking the tests!
Do you really have to know the terminology, or is more simple maths in disguise, so to speak?

Pretty sure I was told straight away that I hadn't passed, but that was a few years ago so maybe it's different now.
20. Hi everyone, I'm planning on applying for the neurophysiology course.
Does anyone know whether you have to send your application by the 12th, or whether you have to have sent it AND done the online tests by then?
And, is there anywhere you can practise the tests? I'm super worried about them!
Good luck to everyone!

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