Preparation for Pre-Employment Testing

Make sure you know where the test is being given, and the best way to get there. This will prevent anxiety on that day. Exercise is a great stress reliever so plan for some type of physical activity to relax. In addition, make sure to get plenty of sleep. Lastly, set your alarm at a time that will allow plenty of time to get to the test site without being rushed.

On the day of the session, try eating breakfast, even if that is not your usual habit. Studies have shown that cognitive ability is increased when there is some food in your stomach. Also, make sure you bring an identification document with a picture, such as a driver's license, California identification card, or passport. The test administrator will check for your identification prior to the test.
When the test materials are handed out, read all the directions carefully. Make sure you understand the instructions. If you are unsure about any part, get clarification from the test administrator. Follow the instructions carefully and be aware of putting the answer in the correct spot on the answer sheet. A common mistake is to fill in the wrong blank while knowing the correct answer.

Concentrate on ignoring distractions while the test is in progress. It is easy to notice that others may be turning in their materials before you, for example. People may be tapping pencils, rustling papers or muttering to themselves. All these sounds can prevent you from fully concentrating on what you need to do, so be aware and remain focused.
Here are a few tips for doing well on the test:

  • Read each question and possible answer carefully. Sometimes people answer the question they think is being asked, rather than the actual question being asked.
  • Go through the entire test and answer the questions that you know for certain. With the remaining questions, eliminate those answers that are clearly wrong to narrow your choices and perhaps illuminate the correct answer.
  • Most of these sessions are timed, so it is important to be aware of that during the test. Do not spend too much time on any one question. If you are stuck on one question, move on to the next.
  • Save the hardest questions for last. Some tests have a penalty for wrong answers. If you have no idea what the correct answer is, it could be best to skip the question.
  • The version of the POSS (Power Plant Operator Selection Test) test you will take does not contain the Tables and Graphs component described in the preparation guide. Instead of Tables and Graphs, it contains a component called Visual Pursuit. In the Visual Pursuit component you will be asked to trace a line from its beginning to its end point.
  • The version of the POSS test you will take contains only the short form (7-minute time limit) of the mathematical usage component. The long version of the mathematical component is not included in your test.

Please visit Edison Electric Institute (EEI), one of our testing partners, for test preparation guides on the following tests:
  • Power Plant Maintenance Selection System (MASS)
  • Power Plant Operator Selection Test (POSS)
  • Technical Test (TECH)


Site for Interested Parties: Edison Electric Institute
Site for PG&E Employees: Edison Electric Institute

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For the best testing experience, you should feel mentally and physically prepared to take your pre-employment test. If you feel that you will be unable to complete the test successfully or you have concerns about your ability to perform you do have the option to reschedule your test date.

You will not be penalized for rescheduling your test. Please note that a mjaority of our pre-employment tests do not allow any aids, such as calculators or crib sheets. Scratch paper will be provided. Cheating is not tolerated and your testing attempt will be disqualified and removed from consideration. Preparation prior to your pre-employment test may better your score. The below section may help to refresh your test-taking skills.

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