Trainee train driver assessment day

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Daz1310, 29 Oct 2018.

  1. Daz1310

    Daz1310 Member

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    Hi there

    Not to sure if I’m posting for on the correct forum. I’m currently revising for a trainee train job, and have an assessment day booked in.

    Can anyone help me with what I will be walking into?

    What tests they do mainly?

    I have been revising tests but just feel some more info could really help me, if anyone is willing to share adsvise it would be really appreciate

    Many Thanks
     
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  3. Driver2B

    Driver2B Member

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    Hi and congratulations on getting through to your assessment day!

    I recently attended an assessment day with a TOC which accepts national standards.

    I understand that many TOCs have around 20-25 people taking the tests on that day. The TOC which assessed me, however, assesses fewer people at once (8 were due to attend but only 5 did). Of the 5 who attended, two worked for the TOC in guard or ticket office roles, and at least one of the absentees, too.

    The TOC should have e-mailed you an information pack telling you what tests would be conducted, the procedures for them and giving your ideas for practice before the day.

    The tests are designed to be psychometric, hence they assess your capabilities. I saw that when doing the tests. There are some people I know who I think could practice full time and still never pass. It assesses inate abilities, although, of course, some practice in advance can help you a little.

    Initially, we were asked to wait in a waiting room. We were asked 1-by-1 to go into an interview room where our identity, including NI number, was checked. We were also given a colour-blind test. In this test, you have to read the numbers which you can see in circles made of different colours. Warning: There are some trick ones! There are no numbers on some of them - don't try finding one, just say you can't see one!

    When that was conducted, we were taken to a room where we each had a desk with stationery provided. I brought my own pens which I usually use which I find comfortable.

    The first test was the Group Bourdon Test. There's a downloadable online tool you can find as a sticky on this forum. I initially started doing it online and then moved on to printing and doing them on paper. You do get used to the patterns of dots on the tool, and they are different on the actual test, although the skills are transferrable. There are various people on this forum who quote how many lines you need to complete and how many errors you can make to pass. I was doing about 9 or 10 lines on the printouts from the tool with only 1 or 2 mistakes per page and I passed. Be very sceptical of people who say you need to complete 14 or 15 lines with no more than one mistake! (Of course, some TOCs require enhanced testing, which may require slightly more.) There was also a practice section at the start. The practice grids in the information booklet were less helpful than the tool (using letters rather than dots).

    We then had a break while the test was marked. One person was asked into the interview room to be told that he failed so he was sent home.

    The next test was the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA-Occ). This measures attention to multiple things and how well you can multi-task.
    Part 1 required us to listen to beeps (some with low tones, others with 'high' but I'd call them moderate-to-low). You will need to count just certain tones (can't remember if it was low or high). An example is available here, but there weren't so many tones for each question: https://traineetraindriverinfo.com/low-tones-test-track-1/
    Part 2 required us to do some simple telephone directory work. I think it was finding companies in a particular trade with a rating of three stars and with a phone number with a particular area code. It wasn't rocket science and probably doesn't need much practising, but it is designed to make you work quickly. You might not finish and don't need to.
    Part 3 was the hardest, combining both part 1 and part 2. You hear number 1 read out and a number of beeps (only one tone this time). You need to write the number down when told. This continues. At the same time, you have a telephone directory task similar to part 2. You are told that both parts are of equal importance. You must use different pens for both tasks. When doing it, I got a good sense that I was truly multi-tasking. It's a good test, actually!
    The booklet gives you some activities to help you. Recognising symbols probably isn't too difficult for most people. If you have somebody who could play patterns of two tones on a keyboard or piano (written down first so the answers can be assessed), that might help you, and also if they can play similar tones while they asked you to do a reading task / telephone directory task / wordsearch. However, I didn't practise much for this test and I know some others didn't either, and we passed.

    The next test was the Trainability for Rules and Procedures Test (TRP), Part 1 which assesses how well you can learn new things. The railway rulebook is huge for a start, and you will also need to learn about fault finding and repairing, not to mention route knowledge. We were given a two-page information sheet explaining how "GLOP" is applied to the rails using a locomotive and application vehicle operated by a driver and a guard, including what controls there are, the colours and locations of them, when they should be used, the signalling system between the driver and guard, etc. We also heard a recording of this. We then had to hand back the information sheet and answer questions on the procedure. I found this quite easy, but some people don't pick up new information well, especially when there is lots of details. They give a very clear example in the booklet sent before the day.
    Part 2 is sometimes known as the dials test. You get sets of 3 dials with pointers pointing to the number on each dial, and you have to order them in order (I believe starting with the largest). However, each dial has a different number range (one might go from 0-150 and another might go 0-500) so in that example, halfway on the dial going up to 500 would read '250' but the whole way on the dial going up to 150 would be only '150'. You have 43 questions to complete in 8 minutes and I don't think that anybody ever completes them all. Apparently, you are scored for correct answers but not downgraded for any wrong answers.

    The final written test was the Written Communication Test (WCT), although I understand that this is no longer compulsory and some TOCs no longer do this. We were given a cartoon strip showing a taxi booking, a taxi picking a person up on time, delays on the route, and arrival at destination late. We had to write what happened. The only thing that matters is clarity so your writing needs to be legible but not neat. You do not need to write in sentences - bullet points are acceptable. Grammar and spelling is not important if it does not obscure meaning. You can continue to look at the cartoon strip during the test - you do not need to turn it over or have it collected. I have been told that almost 100% pass this test - if your handwriting is legible and you can convey a simple story, even just in bullet points, you're fine!

    Again, we were sent to the waiting room while the tests were marked - this took a long time (almost an hour, I think)!

    The final tests were the computerised tests. There might not be one computer per person so some people might have to take the test while other people are waiting.

    I think the first computerised test was the ATAVT Perception Test. You will view a picture of a street scene for approximately 0.5-1 second. You will then have to choose from the list what was in the picture from: pedestrians; motor vehicles (excluding motorcycles); bikes, motorcycles or scooters; road signs; traffic lights. There might be as few as one or as many as five in any one picture. Many pictures are busy scenes and you will notice the presence or absence of some things, but for most of the time, you will not be certain that you have got them all right - there will be some guesswork or subconcious decision-making involved. This will suit people who are observant and can process quickly.
    This video will give you a good idea of the test, but I think the pictures disappear more quickly in the assessments than shown on this video:
    Asking a friend or family member to download some pictures from the internet and test you on them (giving you only a brief peek) might help.

    I think the second test was the 2Hand Co-Ordination Test. You will have two joysticks, one will only go up and down, and the other will only go left and right. You have to control a ball around a track trying not to let it go off of the grey track, which includes curved sections. You will hear a screech when it does. This is repeated many times. It is aimed to be difficult and most people will not keep it on the track all the way around. We all thought we did really badly on this!

    The final test was the WAFV (Vigilance) Test. You will see a grey square flashing on the screen. When it changes colour to a different shade of grey, you press the large green button as quickly as possible. This continues for 30 minutes, sometimes for long periods between changing. Also, your eyes imagine it changing when it doesn't. It's a good assessment because if you can't concentrate on being vigilant for 30 minutes, being in charged of a train might not be a good idea! When your eyes lose focus, move closer to or further away from the screen. Also, surprisingly, the colour changes aren't random but pre-programmed. Therefore if one person starts their test, another starts two seconds later and another starts to seconds later, you will hear the first person press their button, then about two seconds later the next person, and another two seconds later the next person.

    We were then asked to wait in the waiting room again while the results were generated.

    Finally, we were congratulated for passing the tests and advised about the next procedures in the application process. We were also given some basic pieces of advice for the DMI.

    Hope that this is helpful. Feel free to ask any further questions!
     
  4. William04

    William04 New Member

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    Hi everyone. I’m due for my train driver assessment in a few weeks and I just wondered if anyone had any tips on how they revised for memory tests. I.e test of everyday attention. In particular there is a test where you read a passage of information then answer questions about the passage you can not relate back to it so it’s all done on memory. Did anyone find a good way of memorising a passage and inmortant info. Many thanks.
     
  5. Bridger

    Bridger Member

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    The only advice I can recommend is practice makes perfect. Lots of examples available to practice on the web. :)
     
  6. Topcat999

    Topcat999 Member

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    The thing is i do not think i would pass all this now.I do not know it is purely down to lack of practice....or age. But my concentration is no what it was. I know that for certain.
     
  7. William04

    William04 New Member

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    ok thanks. I’ve got 3 weeks so lots of practising till then. Cheers.
     
  8. MostlyHarmless

    MostlyHarmless Member

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    Its not as difficult as you think - write what you think are the important bits down (you'll be able to do this) as it will help hugely. You can then revise those notes in the time you have left. The important bit is to keep the notes you make concise and relevant - which is the hard bit!
     
    Last edited: 19 Mar 2019
  9. William04

    William04 New Member

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    Ok many thanks. When did you pass yours?
     
  10. MostlyHarmless

    MostlyHarmless Member

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    Last February with SWR - still waiting for a DMI :|
     
  11. Peeler

    Peeler Member

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    To be honest read and re-read the pre-information pack you were given. That is the best prep I thought. Don’t get too destracted with other kits and assessments out there.

    Short term/ working memory is one of my weaknesses but it is something I have had to improve over time. I am confident I got 100%
     
  12. LuckyJackal

    LuckyJackal Member

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    Excellent information, this has help me with my preparation. But can I ask what TOC you did the assessment with, thank you
     
  13. Bridger

    Bridger Member

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    I did this exact set of tests with South West Trains, before recently passing my MMI with GWR. I believe all TOCs use the exact same first set of tests. :)
     
  14. Adam Mcgregor

    Adam Mcgregor Member

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    Hi
    Got an assessment this wednesday for Freightliner. In regards to the reading the passage test are the answers multichoice or do you write the answers
    Cheers Adam
     
  15. Peeler

    Peeler Member

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    Multiple choice!
     
  16. Adam Mcgregor

    Adam Mcgregor Member

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    Thanks for that appreciated are they all multichoice the reason I ask I have seen a practice paper and there are a mixture. Sorry should have asked that the first time.
    Cheers
     
  17. crebbs1

    crebbs1 Member

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    They are all multiple choice.
     
  18. Adam Mcgregor

    Adam Mcgregor Member

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    In terms of the train ability test part 1
    Is the tape played first then the sheets given out. How long do you get in total to adsorb the information
    Cheers Adam
     
  19. Railweigh

    Railweigh Member

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    Plenty of time. I found the assessments easy, but the course itself involves taking in and learning huge amounts of information. IMO the assessments are probably just about enough to determine if people are likely to make it ok.
     
  20. Adam Mcgregor

    Adam Mcgregor Member

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    Thanks for the reply
    Got the assessment day on Wednesday and havent done very well on the example. Is the tape played before the sheet given out. Can you recall app how many minutes you get before it is taken away
    Thanks Adam
     
  21. Peeler

    Peeler Member

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    You are really worried about this one aren’t you? If it helps to reassure you short term working memory has been one of my weaknesses but I’m confident I got this section 100% correct. I confidently knew what each answer was.

    They play the tape. You are not allowed to make any notes. You just listen. Then you get the sheet & I think 5 minutes to study it and make notes. Then they take your notes and sheet off you. You then have to wait a few minutes before you answer the questions. I think it was 2 minutes or it could have been 5?
     
  22. Adam Mcgregor

    Adam Mcgregor Member

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    Thankyou if there is 5 mins to study it that makes me feel better
    Cheers.
     
  23. Zalepa

    Zalepa Member

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    Hi, just want to ask whether Opc can provide wrong results by mistake after Stage 1? Let's say send an email saying that a person is unsuccessful, however, mixed his/her results with someone else's ones. Has anyone experienced this?
     
  24. martin2345uk

    martin2345uk Established Member

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    I’d say very unlikely... can’t see what would make someone suspect this either?
     
  25. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    I agree with @martin2345uk in that it’s probably very unlikely. What would prompt you to think this is the case?
     
  26. Zalepa

    Zalepa Member

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    The thing is I practiced a lot on all tests, doing 11-12 lines on dots without mistakes, knowing about GLOP train etc. and got my results saying I didn't pass both company and standard levels, which is very strange. Saying that I received my results 4 days later than everyone else in the group
     
  27. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    It depends how they work out the results I think. I don’t believe there’s a set standard, and the passmark will differ depending on the calibre of candidates undertaking the tests. I could be wrong with this, but that’s how I believe it works. As a rule, you know roughly where you need to be to pass the specific assesments in terms of how many you answer.

    I had to redo the Group Bourden assessment for Freightliner (I passed all tests for SWT over 3-years but they don’t test to an enhanced standard) as the pass mark I already had wasn’t to enhanced standard, which I found strange as it’s the one I found easiest, and I really couldn’t have done any better the first time round, Nor did this one differ. I passed all assessments to enhanced standard as required though.

    I also only completed 8.5 of the DFFT questions which I was sure wasn’t enough, but it was. It was borderline as most others were getting 11-13, however I was confident the ones I did do were correct. If I got one wrong, I think it would have been a fail given how few I completed.
     
  28. Zalepa

    Zalepa Member

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    I don't know how they calculate, but it's very strange. So, I've done at least 11 lines with dots (I'm sure they are correct as I've done lots of mock tests), low beep was also correct (lots of practice), maybe with telephone dictionary wasn't as good as I expected, only 75-80% finished; GLOP train - all questions answered, dials - 27 answered, but I made sure they were correct.
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2019
  29. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Deleted
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2019
  30. martin2345uk

    martin2345uk Established Member

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    You can't be 100% you got all the stuff right, but do the OPC tell you where you went wrong at stage 1 assessments? I don't remember if they do or not, but that would surely put your mind at rest?
     

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