NOTE: This content is currently being updated for the 2014 intake and is not yet accurate
All applicants who meet the entry criteria will be invited to Lancaster University on 13th February, 2014, to sit a written task under exam conditions. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by email by 10th February 2013. Further details about the test will also be issued at this stage, via email. A timely response will be required by applicants invited to attend.
The written task was introduced as part of a move towards competency based selection. A number of competencies and values (or attitudes) have been found to be important in the successful completion of a clinical psychology training programme. It is obviously in both the programme's and in the candidates' best interests that those who are selected have the ability, whilst using the extensive support mechanisms available, to complete the programme.
The written task assesses four competencies; analysis and critical thinking, relevant skills and knowledge, effective written communication and professional behaviour. Written communication skills and knowledge specific to Clinical Psychology are not assessed at any other stage.
We invite all applicants who meet the minimum entry criteria to undertake the written task as an alternative to the traditional short-listing procedure. The reasons for this are two-fold. We were not able to demonstrate that our previous short-listing procedure was reliable despite working hard to refine it and we feel this makes the procedure seem like a lottery both to candidates and qualified clinicians. Also, we want to make the process more equitable and open to as many people as possible who have the required qualifications. For example, we have found that having a postgraduate degree can make the difference between getting an interview and not. Often, people cannot undertake post graduate study because of financial or other pressures. Having a postgraduate degree may demonstrate a certain level of ability. Not having a postgraduate degree does not prove that you don't have the ability yet that was the logical inference we were making. The written task will give every candidate the opportunity to demonstrate their ability rather than us trying to judge that through the application form.
A full research report into the predictive validity of application forms and our written task is available here.
No, unfortunately that is not generally possible. The test is taken under exam conditions. Furthermore the evaluation of the results and selection procedure need to happen swiftly immediately after the test has concluded - thus we have to schedule the test for a particular time. This time is published by the Clearing House and on our admissions webpages for months in advance so there should be ample opportunity to organise attendance. If you have compelling reasons as to why you cannot attend the advertised test time, please contact Anna Daiches, Admissions tutor.
Yes - If you have specific support, ICT or access requirements please contact the programme office urgently on 01524 592970, if you have not already done so, in order for us to make any necessary arrangements. Relevant documentation should be received by the office by 5pm on Friday, 8th February 2013 - no arrangements can be made if you contact us after this time. Although invitations to attend the written task will not be issued until 10th February, we require information about additional needs as soon as possible (prior to invitations being issued) to assist with the scheduling of day. Those with a registered disability will proceed to the selection event when they score 60% on the written task, as this is an essential admission criterion, even if the top 70 scores are all over 60%.
Candidates who do well on the test tend to remember the obvious: write well and keep within the suggested word limit. As we are specifically assessing your written skills, we are very interested in whether you can write grammatically and to the point. If your work is littered with basic errors, you will not progress further. We also want to see some degree of critical appraisal. This does not mean drawing in real life articles of relevance but it does mean being able to reflect on the meaning of the abstracts in a critical (but not overcritical) way. You should also concentrate on the material presented - and not speculate too much on what is missing. We strongly advise all applicants to use the earlier versions of our written task, provided on this website, to practise before coming to sit the task on 26th February, 2013.
First and foremost let us be extremely clear that the written test is not a stats test. It does have some numerical questions and a couple of stats questions but the vast majority of marks are for performance on the paragraph-construction element. Everyone would probably agree that an ability to write clearly is essential for a career in clinical psychology. Those judged to have this ability are invited to the selection event. In order to progress to an offer of a place on the programme, candidates must demonstrate other competencies found to be important in the successful completion of clinical psychology training.
The test will be handwritten, pens and paper will be provided.
You are not allowed to bring anything with you into the test room.
There are samples of the written task at the top of this page.
No, we cannot provide past test answers. Only questions.
No. Iím afraid that we cannot provide this due to the high number of applicants attending.