Hey! Please has anybody attended an assessment centre at the ONS in newport wales? I have an assessment center there in lke 6 days and I have no idea what to prepare for! the scary part is according to the info I got we would have 5 mins to prepare a presentation and 10 mins to give it…we’ll also have to sit for a test!!!
Please if anyone has any useful pointers or tips, it would really be appreciated!


Have you seen these articles?..

  • [[Assessment centre|What is an assessment centre?]]
  • [[Presentation|Preparing for and giving an interview Presentation]]
  • [[verbal reasoning|Practice Verbal Reasoning Test]]
  • [[Numerical reasoning|Numerical Reasoning Practice Test]]

What other information have they told you about the assessment centre?


…also have a look at - [ this thread] on the Office of National Statistics assessment centre], if you haven’t seen it already!


how did you get along? what was it like?

are you still working there now?


Yeah, I got the job… its really quite nice, although i’m working with loads of statistics- go figure!! Thanks blackwoodthom and redsuperted!


oh great. what is the job like? how is newport? have they allowed you to go on any courses to aid your learning?

can i ask how easy the assessment centre was?

from what i can see from these forums, it seems as if they are more willing to say yes to applicants than to reject them, as they are understaffed. obviously they won#t be desperate, but everyone who has posted on here has replied saying they got the job. i was just thinking that they must be lenient in case you don’t perform that great at the centre, or maybe you are all stars!

p.s. no offence meant by that, i just meant that if i get there and mess up, they might be lenient thinking i was just nervous? or isn’t there really much pressure on the day?

cheers, and sorry if that offends,

paul potter




HI paul,

The assessment was ok. There were four tests: written, team presentation, individual presentation and then an interview. I was sure that i didn’t do well in the stats part of the test and my voice was quavering in the individual evaluation, but I must have impressed them in the other tests! so my advice is just know a lot about the ONS, their products, the different offices and what they do; you would have been given a list of competencies that they will evaluate on the day, prepare answers to the questions and tr not to be too nervous, its okay to stammer and stutter but just make sure you get your message across!

Newport is not the greatest of places to live (no offense) and a lot of my colleagues live in cardiff or Bristol and then commute to work. I have been on a number of statistical training courses and even one on project management, so they do deliver on their promise to train you!

Hope this is helpful


wow yeah that was helpful man! i am sooooooooooo nervous about my interview but your calming words have done me a HUGE favour dude. i am like so happy now man!

cheers geeza!


Hi, I had an assesment centre a few weeks ago and found out last week I passed, letter said that someone would be in touch aftern25 sept to tell me where I was being assigned. I was wondeing if any would let me know how long it’s likely to be before being told where you were being assigned and when you started? Any info would be great



Hi all,

I have my assessment centre coming up soon for grad researcher/statistician and just wondered if anyone could offer any advice on the type of questions in the interview/test?




Hi Tom

The interview part isn’t too bad at all, they just ask you questions that relate to the competencies that they talk about in the letter about the interview, know a few of the stats ons produce that was one of the place I stumbled I knew one, and that related to my presentation. They asked me about the importance of ons in the current economic climate another one where I was shockingly bad. I don’t know what degree you have but I did social science and was not prepared at all for the technical interview, they present you with two data sets and give you 5 mins to look at them and then ask you questions. I didn’t have a clue on the second set, it was a linear regression and didn’t and still don’t have a clue what that is. The tests were too bad even though I didn’t think I did great I must have passed. If you’ve done plenty of stats it will be a walk in the park if not brush up on ya sampling cause that what they asked me when I didn’t know the stats stuff.

I had my assessment at the end of aug, and am waiting to here what department I’m going to be assigned, I’m soo impatient its killing me. lol

Good Luck



Thanks Paul, I really appreciate the help and hope you hear from them soon

Good luck



I found out today that I’m going to Social surveys divison, whens your assesment



thursday mate, ive probably been too been busy looking at all the stats stuff when i suppose i should be doing alot on the competency based questions!!lol


when do you start?


Still dont know have to get a a scottland disclosure done which takes 2 weeks minimum then send that in and then get a start date. Dont worry too much about the interview as long as you can talk about when you’ve worked in a time, managed work in the past and so on you’ll be fine.

I’m just glad that its progressing, I’m temping at the moment and my contract ends in like a week and a half.

if you get through the assesment it might be worth appyling for the disclosure then, as have to do it and pay for it your self.



Hello guys

Can please some one give an idea about what to expect in the written exam? do you need to know formulas and methodologies, for example are they going to ask you to perform ANOVA by hand or hypothesis testing or confidence intervals etc…?

Thank you



Hi Mike,

When is your assessment day? I’ve got mine on wednesday 14th (2days!) at newport office. I did psychology as my degree so did a bit of stats then but that was over 2yrs ago. Have u been sent the email with the link to the example exam papers? Ive been using those for revision. Currently trying to learn presentation. If youve already had your interview please let me know what you had to do. Many thanks


Hi Little princess

Not sure if you got the job - I hope you did! I got an assessment next friday and I am waiting for email to come through about all of the specifics. Did you take the tests? What sort of questions were on them? Did they ask about sampling etc or get really involved with combitorial probability etc.