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SO/PD (Systems Operator/Power Dispatching Positions Selection System) Test

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Systems Operator/Power Dispatching Positions Selection System (SO/PD): Used to evaluate applicants for jobs in energy control centers such as system operator, system controller, and power dispatcher.

System Operator/Power Dispatching Selection System (SO/PD)

A nationwide research study sponsored by the Edison Electric Institute led to the development of tests to select and evaluate candidates for System Operator/Power Dispatcher positions in energy control centers of electric utilities.

The study was completed in two phases. The first phase, conducted by Advanced Research Resources Organization (ARRO) of Bethesda, Maryland, involved the participation of 37 investor-owned electric utility companies and hundreds of company officials, supervisors, and system operators/power dispatchers working in dozens of energy control centers. Two tests from the Phase 1 research are included in the selection system. The Applied Arithmetic Test measures the ability to solve practical arithmetic problems and the Electrical Concepts Knowledge Test measures knowledge of electrical concepts.

The second phase of the research was conducted by EEI. It led to the identification of three additional job-related selection tests: Mathematical Usage, Numerical Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. The Mathematical Usage Test measures the ability to solve and manipulate mathematical relationships. The Numerical Reasoning Test measures the ability to analyze logical relationships and discover underlying principles in the information or facts provided. The Verbal Reasoning Test measures the ability to organize, evaluate, and utilize verbal information. The selection test battery requires approximately two hours to administer.

The SO/PD battery consists of the following aptitude tests:

Applied Arithmetic Placement Test (Phase 1). This test assesses whether the job applicant can solve everyday problems. The test contains 25 multiple-choice questions, and is designed primarily for individuals who have had little or no instruction in algebra. The questions involve the ability to solve word problems relating to percentages, proportions, rates, and averages, as well as the ability to interpret data involving graphs and charts. The test has a 20-minute time limit.

Electrical Concepts Knowledge Test (Phase 1). This is a knowledge test developed by subject matter experts under the guidance of the test developer. This test consists of 46 multiple-choice items covering both elementary and advanced electrical concepts. Some of the items also involve making calculations or applying mathematical formulas. The test takes approximately one hour to complete, but is not timed.

Mathematical Usage Test (Phase 2). This test measures skill in solving and manipulating mathematical relationships. There are three sections: formula conversion problems, basic algebra problems, and word problems. The test contains 46 multiple-choice items and has a 17-minute time limit.

Numerical Reasoning Test (Phase 2). This test measures the ability to analyze logical relationships from information or facts provided and discover principles underlying such relationships. Essentially this is the process of inductive reasoning — making valid generalizations from specific instances. The important feature of this ability is the discovery of principles, which is distinct and separate from the ability to apply principles. The test has 20 multiple- choice questions and a 5-minute time limit.

Verbal Reasoning Test (Phase 2). This test measures the ability to analyze facts and to make valid judgments on the basis of the logical implementation of such facts. An important feature of this test is that it measures the ability to decide whether or not the available facts provide sufficient information to support a definite conclusion. This ability to organize, evaluate, and utilize information is an important aspect of administrative and technical decision-making as well as everyday judgments. This test contains 30 questions which require true/false and no conclusion responses. There is a 5-minute time limit.

Scoring and InterpretationL The SO/PD battery is scored by combining the scores from each of the tests. Scores on various test components yield a test result of "Recommended", "Acceptable", or "Not Recommended".

Federal regulations mandate that employment tests must be job-related. EEI’s employment test batteries are designed and validated for specific energy industry job families, including power plant operators, maintenance and craft positions, power dispatching positions, customer service representatives, and more.

EEI does not administer any of its employment tests directly to applicants. If you are interested in a position with an electric utility, please contact the utility directly for job and pre-employment testing information.

If you have previously taken an EEI employment test and are looking for your results, please understand that EEI does not provide results directly to applicants. If you have applied for a position with a utility company that requires an EEI test that you have already taken elsewhere, please be sure to notify the company to which you are applying.

You can find EEI Practice Tests for CAST, POSS/MASS, SASS, TECH, SO/PD here.
User Name : southern Password: testing
User Name : exelon Password: operator
User Name : entergy Password: practice test
User Name : aep Password: aep
User Name: Reno Password: Tahoe

Duke applicants may retest every 90 days.
Southern Company applicants may retest every 45 days.
Entergy applicants may retest every 30 days, but not more than twice in 12 months.


--- Quote from: TGar on Dec 27, 2008, 03:53 --- I guess I'm  just wondering if anyone knew if the SO/PD test is designed to be more rigorous and selective than the Plant Operator test, since most of the information on this site is geared more toward the POSS test.

--- End quote ---

Yes, it is. That EEI test is sometimes referred to as the Relay Tech test, since many utilities use that as a filter for entry-level C&I techs. The doozy at the end, if they choose to have you take the entire test, is the series of timed inferential logic questions.

Guys, thanks for the info. I'll probably just work on developing a comfort zone with the test, push a bit further, and expect it to be as hard as possible - while hoping this particular utility omits some of the more demanding parts of the test. But, in any case, I'm up for the challenge.

I applied based upon the recommendation of a friend's father who has worked 20+ years as a plant operator at the utility, and apparently the ASO position opens up rarely. I've had a few years of experience interning and working in the industry so far (both electric and natural gas), so hopefully it all works out. Definitely a career worthy of pursuing.   

Just got a call from the utility and I passed! They actually had only 3 of the 5 EEI tests and a whopper of a test from PSP Metrics, thought my brain was going to explode at the end! Anyway, I'm elated and interview next week. I appreciate all the info this site has provided.

I have to take the SO/PD exam tomorrow and the POSS & BMST(hopefully) tests the next day.

First, can anyone give me some advice on the SO/PD test? I took the practice test and got everything done and correct in the time allowed except for the verbal reasoning test. I only got 70% of it done! My answers were correct but it worries me most.

Second, the two jobs I am testing for is a Aux Operator Entry Level position (POSS & BMST) and a Distribution Systems Dispatcher 1 position (SO/PD), both at EXELON-COMED. Can anyone tell me if one of these positions is more promising in the company or in any other way than the other?


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