HMRC 2012 Graduate Scheme



I have just applied for HMRC Graduate Scheme for 2012 and got invited to take the tests. Has anyone done the tests? I d like to hear from people who ve applied last year and find out more about the recruitment process.

Thank you.


Hi there,

Also applied for this, and wow the time seems to fly on the online tests. Not getting my hopes too high for hearing anything back. Didn’t keep a close enough eye on the time and failed to complete the maths test, which sucked slightly as I feel that is definitely my strong point when compared to the verbal reasoning. I’d advise anyone doing the tests to simply quick work out the answer then go onto the next, the questions are relatively simple if you have had some form of experience in mathematics in recent years. I spent too much time double checking each one as I went along, don’t doubt yourself just go for it, if a question seems too easy it’s probably because it is!

Also prepare yourself for a 150 question personality questionnaire, which I am sure repeats a few questions. I’m assuming to check for consistency and that you aren’t just making it up.

Well I’ve rambled on enough and probably not been useful to anyone so I’ll finish now



Hi Ash,

Thanks for your post. I ve done the tests a while ago - i can’t even remember if there were easy or hard as i ve done so many applications lately! I haven’t heard back from them yet though. Do you know if they are processing applications on a rolling basis or they’ll wait until the deadline in November and then start sending out the answers to those who’ve applied?




Hi Alexa,

Do you have any advice on the verbal reasoning tests? I have practiced and practiced but I feel I am getting nowhere!!

If you have any tips that would be really helpful, also have you heard back from them yet?




hi Abbie!

i found the tests on really useful - you ll have to pay a bit of money on them but i think they re really useful because the give you the correct answers to tje verbal questions explaining the logic behind choosing that particular answer. it helps you understand how to approach the questions.

hope this helps - good luck with your tests!

do you have any idea when hmrc starts telling candidates if they passed or failed? i ve done the tests more than a month ago and still havem t heard back from them:(


Hi, I have the link to the tests but have no idea when the deadline for submitting them is. Anyone know? I still need some time to pracitse.


hi just wondering about these tests…do they use SHL? cos when i went on the hmrc website they seem to give u example run by kenexa which are really easy to tell u the truth…please help…is it the ones by SHL?


I’ve done tests yesterday. They are not SHL tests as I wasn’t transferred to SHL website. However, questions structure is very similar but yes, bit easier than SHL…
For numerical test you will get 20min and 20 questions, verbal test: 8 text passages and to each you get 3questions so all together 24 questions and again 20min. Last part is a personality questionnaire: 150 questions and they said that you have to complete it within two hours, but I haven’t seen a timer. Anyway, you can finish it in 30min.
The deadline is on 30th of November.
After all tests I have got email that I will be notified of the result in the coming weeks.

Good luck!


Thanks so much for your advice jojitto - On the website it does say we strongly advise to complete the tests as soon as possible so maybe its because they shortlisting as they go along?

Also does anyone have any idea what the pass mark for the tests are? do you think they are the top 20% or just anyone who passes them?

good luck x


look at this


look at this

have u done the test? was it hard/tricky? sucks i have so mnay deadline for cw at the same time…thinking of doing the test on 29…dealine is 30…dont think they will be shortlisting cause thats unfair…they say do it early so that if u have an technical problems they can sort it out before dealine


That’s very good link 2012swan. Looks like not many people are rejected after tests!
I think they will be shortlisting after 30th of November.
Good luck


OMG! Just completed the online tests…

Numerical: Did well in my practices and the one before the test but I have mo idea how I managed to mess up the real thing. I am definetly getting less than 50% for that and I blame me.

Verbal: Shocked to be invited to this as I did so bad in the previous one. Answered as best I could. Problem is you can’t tell how you’ve done really so hopefully I pulled in loads of marks in this. Completed with 1:38mins to spare.

Personality: I thought it started with practise questions like the others until I got to question 11 and realised ‘it must be the real thing’ (Lol). Anywho., not too bad. Tip- be honest otherwise you will confuse yourself. there are 150 questions. I found this the easiest part.

In summary. As I think judging by my math score, I suspect I am out. However, being admitted to the verbal questions may mean that there are worse results out there. So maybe they have an overall marking system in which case it’s anyones game really.

I am very relaxed about the outcome coz I would be shocked if I go through and not surprised if turned down (based on numerical).

Good luck all. It’s not the end of the world :slight_smile:


where did u do ur practices questions?


Books, shl, other general numerical tests online and just before the test launches it gives you practice questions (which I aced).

Not beating my own drum but I am very good with numbers and am doing a numbers degree. My downfall was perfectionism. I should have just breezed through without double checking as AshW suggested earlier. It’s 1 question I spent too long on thanks to my misplacing commas…

Anyhow. The few I answered were very correct so maybe that will help me instead of just flying through with loads of wrong answers and having a false security…

Don’t panic. I just wanted to tell you all that it can go wrong but don’tlet that affect you coz you can still go through and make up for it in the other 2 (according to psychomeric test text books). Watch this space, if I manage to go to the next stage then all this is true.

The problem is that when people fail or mess up they don’t let others on the forum know so people get the idea that everyone gets an easy ride.


Just did the numerical… went really badly in my opinion, seemed harder than the SHL ones which I was not expecting. I did the practice ones and found them quite easy but it just seemed to go really badly in the actual test, not sure if it was the difficulty of the test or just me messing up.


@VK, I think there are plenty of us in that boat and as I said, I am doing a degree with numbers and am on course for a first so…what of those who last saw nubers in GCSE?

I swear at least one of their questions did not have a correct answer or was badly worded!

Anyhow, let’s just wait and hope we get a second chance to the next stage.


I too think I did terribly at the numerical test - I seemed to do okay in the practice ones that I have been doing with SHL but I think the pressure got to me a bit.

The verbal reasoning I think went okay - but ill probably be dismissed due to my numerical result!.. could I ask 2010swan where did u get that link from?.. it has given me some hope lol…

Good luck to all!


I think you shouldn’t worry too much as some tests i think i did bad and get invited to the next stage. But the HMRC is automated it sends you the next stage but fingers crossed


@LadyP88… Those links are not to be taken too serioulsy. The civil service has a code for grading staff. The tables you see are for AA and AO. That’s admin assistant and admin officer. The next level would be EO. Graduate recruitment is above this and not indicaated in the links.

Still, if their recruitment is run along the same lines, applying and completing the test can guarantee the next stage… at which it becomes dog it dog…

I just want to get a second shot at this…when wiill we know?