To practice taking a competency exam, request sample test questions from your employer or organization's department of human resources. Competency tests often involve other testing components in addition to a written test; therefore, determine whether it is also necessary to practice public speaking or organizational techniques. For a competency interview exam, rehearse answers to questions commonly found on the test using the SOAR technique.
Competency exams are often based on actual organizational or work situations because their purpose is to help employees perform their duties well. An exam for an executive, for example, may focus on situations that occurred over the past year at her organization. Therefore, one way to prepare for a competency exam is to list work situations that required you to meet or exceed job performance goals. Apply the SOAR or CAR techniques to these examples in order to prepare for possible exam questions.
The SOAR technique for answering questions helps interviewees provide thoughtful answers in competency test interviews. There are four steps in SOAR. First, determine the situation the question proposes, and then examine your objective or goal in that situation. Analyze and explain the action you took to reach the goal. The last step is to identify the result of your action and explain its consequences.
The CAR technique is similar to SOAR and can help prepare members of an organization for an oral or written competency exam. First, identify the context of the testing situation, and then detail what actions you would take in that situation. Present a logical result of those actions in the final portion of the test. When an examiner or written test requests personal examples of situations, use different examples from work or personal life to answer different questions. Choose situations that are the most relevant to the exam question.