EU Aptitude Test of Competence

EU Aptitude Test.

The information on this page is for the EU Aptitude test only

The Test of Competence is made up of 6 stations, with a total testing time of about 2.5 hours:

Four of the stations are scenario-based and relate to four stages of the care process:

  • A – Patient-centred assessment
  • P – Planning care
  • I – Implementation
  • E – Evaluation

Embedded in each APIE station, there will be a typical generic Nursing skill around physical health care that you will be tested on. The typical skills that may be tested are:

  • A to E assessment and scoring
  • vital signs
  • hand hygiene and infection prevention and control
  • calculating drug dosages
  • subcutaneous and Intramuscular injections
  • basic life support – cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
  • safe disposal of sharps
  • medication administration
  • peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR)
  • wound care
  • all aspects of urinary catheterisation and care

The remaining two stations are silent stations:

  • Professional Values – This station will specifically assess the professional issues associated with professional accountability and related skills around communication.
  • Evidence-based Practice – This station will specifically assess critical appraisal of research and evidence and associated decision-making.

At each station you will be provided with the case scenario and any equipment you may need. The stations could be based around an actor, a simulation manikin or a written set of guidelines. The stations will be timed, overseen by a qualified assessor of practice and recorded on video.

Below you will find out more information on each station, as well as other useful resources in relation to this OSCE.

  • Assessment component 1: The Objective Test

    The objective test comprises three separate papers, totalling 115 questions. The candidates will be given 3 hours to complete the tests, with paper 1 taking 30 minutes, and papers 2 and 3 each taking one hour and 15 minutes. Paper 1 will comprise a 15-mark numeracy assessment made up of constructed one-number answers. Papers 2 and 3 will each be a 50-mark theory assessment made up of four-option, multiple-choice questions with one single correct answer.

    Assessment component 2: The Short Answer Paper

    The short answer paper will consist of five questions, each worth 20 marks. Each 20-mark question will contain five sub-questions. All questions must be answered (there are no optional questions). The candidate will be given 3 hours to complete the question paper.

    Assessment component 3: A Practical Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

    The OSCE is a practical examination, comprising six stations for all fields. Four of the stations are linked together around a scenario: the APIE (one station for each of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation, delivered in that sequence and with no stations in between). The APIE stations have skills embedded within them. The two remaining stations will be a paired skills station comprising one station assessing critical appraisal and one station assessing professional behaviours.

  • Your verbal communication and non-verbal communication, and the ability to establish a rapport with your patient based on the 6 Cs of nursing will be assessed during the assessment station. The 6 Cs are:

    • care
    • compassion
    • competence
    • communication
    • courage
    • commitment

    Within this station, you will have time to read any forms provided. This can provide you with a structure and a systematic approach, so use this to help you. Before completing the assessment station, you may need to take observations of the patient and record them on an observation chart (such as the national early warning score, NEWS, or the Glasgow coma score). It is important to complete and record all observations, if necessary, before the time has run out in order to pass.

    You will then need to consider activities of daily living within this station, as this information will help you with the ongoing stations. You will be asked to carry out a holistic assessment, including an airways, breathing, circulation, disability and exposure (A–E) assessment. You will be able to document any notes during your patient’s assessment. These notes will not be assessed or marked but will be for your future reference at the writing stations.

  • This is a silent written station, and you will be monitored by the invigilator or assessor. You must write two relevant aspects of care related to the scenario from the assessment station, which should include associated/relevant self-care. You will be required to complete this form in a black pen, which will be provided.

  • In this station, you will be implementing care, such as administering oral drugs. In the bay, your patient may either be represented by an actor or a manikin, and either the actor or assessor will respond to you from a script as though they are the patient. Please remember that your verbal and non-verbal communication will be assessed in this station. Communicate with the actor or manikin, NOT the assessor, as you would with a real patient.

  • This station is a verbal one and you will be monitored by the assessor. In this station, you will write notes about a transfer/discharge or other form of evaluation, such as a situation, background, assessment, recommendation (SBAR), and you will then be required to provide a verbal handover to the assessor. You will have access to all your previous written notes to help you in this station.

    In this station, you should avoid using unfamiliar abbreviations that are not universally recognised.

    You will be assessed only on the verbal handover (not on your notes).

  • You will have one Professional Values station and one Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) station. These are generic issues that are relevant to all fields of nursing. Typical areas that you could be tested on include, but are not limited to:

    Professional Values

    • Confidentiality
    • Drug Error
    • Signs of Possible Abuse
    • Professional Confrontation
    • Social Media

    Evidence-Based Practice

    • Diabetes
    • Female Myocardial Infarction (MI)
    • Prevention of Pressure Ulcers
    • Cessation of Smoking
    • Venous Leg Ulcers
  • ToC 2021 Candidate Preparation Materials (EU Aptitude)

    EU Mock Multiple Choice, Numeracy and Short Answer Question Papers

    Please note that this is for educational purposes only and serves as a guide. These are not the actual papers used on the test day.

    EU Mock OSCE TOC 2021

    We have developed this scenario to provide an outline of the performance we expect and the criteria that the Test of Competence 2021 will assess. Please note that this is for educational purposes only and serves as a guide. This is not one of the actual scenarios used on the test day.

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