Simulated Work Sample

Last Updated: June 30, 2018

Definition - What does Simulated Work Sample mean?

A simulated work sample is a vocational assessment tool which places an individual in an environment similar to that of a particular job or workplace. The individual is then asked to perform the tasks associated with the selected job and his or her performance evaluated.

A simulated work sample may be used to assess a person's aptitude to perform a job or selected job tasks or to expose that person to the requirements of the job prior to placement. Simulated work samples are just one type of work sample that may be used to assess a person's abilities and aptitude. Work samples may also be used as a method of gauging an individual's affinity for a particular job. The simulated work sample can serve as a trial run for the proposed job.

WorkplaceTesting explains Simulated Work Sample

Simulated work samples can take many forms. For example, an individual applying for a sales position might be asked by the prospective employer to prepare a mock sales presentation. A vocational training program might provide simulations of a variety of jobs from restaurant service to commercial vehicle operation to assess program participants.

To be effective, a simulated work sample should closely resemble the actual work environment and conditions. The work sample should include all of the essential job tasks identified for the selected job.

A simulated work sample is not the same as a work simulation, although there may be some overlap between the two. Vocational testing may be performed using computerized or pen and paper simulations which ask test subjects to answer questions, role play or otherwise indicate how they would perform in specific work-related situations. In contrast, a simulated work sample is "hands-on." This type of testing provides the actual physical environment and tools to perform the task.

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