How to Prepare for Scottish and Southern Energy Company (SSE) Apprenticeship?
If it is your ambition to work with an energy provider, then you may be interested in applying for an SSE apprenticeship. Formerly known as the Scottish and Southern Energy Company, SSE provides apprenticeships in all aspects of the work they carry out to guarantee the supply of energy in the UK and further afield.
Given that we are going to need energy far into the future, an SSE apprenticeship qualifies you for lifelong work if that is your ambition. However, getting on the apprenticeship programme will require some work on your part.
When you submit your online application for an apprenticeship, the company will review your submission. If your qualifications meet their standards, you will be asked to do a series of online tests.
Proving yourself in those tests will see you being asked to take a further test, this time a practical assessment followed by an interview. Proving yourself at all stages will win you admission to the apprenticeship, where you will have on-the-job training as well as block releases to attend college courses.
At the end of the process, you will work in the job you are trained for, either in power distribution, contracting or generation.
Quite simply, you are not merely applying for a training programme but a training programme where you will get hands-on training as well as college training. All of this, followed by a career that is going to keep you in work for a lifetime, must be a jobseeker’s dream.
But your first step is to ace the online tests.
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What Will I Be Tested on for the SSE Apprenticeship?
The tests you do will depend on the position you have applied for. You may, for example, have applied for a role in power distribution, contracting, or power generation. However, in general, you can expect to be tested on:
- Mechanical reasoning
- Fault finding, i.e. detecting faults within the energy supply system
- Mathematical reasoning
- Verbal reasoning
- Spatial orientation
You may also be asked to do Situational Judgement Tests (SJT) if your role has the possibility of you having to interact with colleagues or the general public.
What Is the Format of the Assessments?
Each assessment assesses a different aptitude, but in general, the tests are computer-based, and questions are multiple-choice.
This tests your ability to carry out mathematical functions and use arithmetic. As with all the other assessments, the difficulty level will mirror the difficulty level of the programme you are applying for.
It is advisable to revise mathematical material you have studied to date and practice your skills with sample papers.
Do not fall into the trap of assuming that because you did the subject during your education, you are sufficiently prepared. When you start practising, you will discover how much we are capable of forgetting in a very short space of time! Test yourself with this free sample numerical reasoning test.
This is another demanding test. Check out how demanding you find it with these free sample mechanical reasoning questions.
This tests your ability to understand and interpret written information. It also looks at your ability to present clear, grammatically correct information if, for example, you will have to furnish reports as part of your work.
For the non-reader, this test can sometimes be challenging, but with preparation, it can be done. Try starting your practice with a free verbal reasoning test.
This may possibly be your first time coming across this type of test. You will be assessed here on your ability to work with 2D and 3D objects and to identify how the object might change if, for example, it is folded. You can also be asked to identify patterns in a series of shapes.
This test demands a lot of practice but try beginning with these free sample spatial reasoning questions.
Situational Judgement Tests (SJT)
You may get this test to assess how you are likely to behave in a workplace scenario. You can expect to be presented with a number of scenarios that can occur at work and asked how you would respond to them. Read through the following SJT to get a picture of how this test works.
Are the Assessments Hard?
All pre-employment assessments are hard. SSE use SHL tests which are considered demanding, but there are other factors to take into account as well:
- Firstly the employer is seeking to find people who are the best fit for the apprenticeship and the work entailed in the position. In the online assessments, you have to prove to SSE that you have the aptitudes required both for the apprenticeship and the job that follows it.
- Secondly, SSE apprenticeships are very attractive to job seekers. Successful applicants are given paid training and access to colleges to develop their skills further with the added and very valuable bonus of a job for life. The apprenticeships attract a great many applicants, all of whom will be your competitors for a position, meaning you have to outshine many of them in the pre-employment process. This adds to the difficulty of the assessments.
You not alone have to prove you have the ability for the post but that you are better than many others. All of this means that you need to prepare thoroughly for the tests.
How Do I Prepare for the Assessments?
It is advisable to use a job test preparation company for any pre-employment testing. For this, we recommend Job Test Prep, who have been preparing applicants for pre-employment testing for thirty years. They have developed a custom-made preparation pack for SSE apprenticeship tests.
Their test prep pack will provide you with:
- All the information you need about the tests
- Sample practice tests for you to work on
- A scoring system to track your progress
- Helpful study guides
- Interview preparation guides.
Using their system, you can face the recruitment process thoroughly prepared.
Doing Your Preparation
Taking an organised approach to your preparation is the key to succeeding with these assessments. Try following these tips:
- Begin preparing as soon as you possibly can
- Work to a timetable, ensuring if possible, you leave the day before the tests free to get some rest and relaxation before the tests begin
- Use good study techniques. Studying for 50 minutes and then taking a 10-minute break is more effective than spending long unbroken spells at your desk.
Use Your Sample Papers
Make your sample papers the centrepiece of every preparation session. This will ensure:
- You are working on relevant material at all times
- You can check your results and monitor your progress as you work
- You are becoming familiar with the style of questioning on the papers
- You are learning to work within the time restrictions of the tests
And most importantly, you will know precisely what lies ahead when you have to do the real tests.
Doing the Assessments
When the time to do the assessments arrives, make sure you are well-rested and clear-headed. Your performance on the day of the test will benefit you far more than any late-night cramming sessions.
Having done the work, you can approach the assessments with the confidence of knowing you deserve this. Go in there, give it your best shot and look forward to joining the team that works at keeping the lights on!
If your ambition is to do an apprenticeship with SSE, click here for all the resources you need to ace the hiring process.
Written by Elizabeth O Mahony
With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.