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POSS (Power Plant Operator Selection System) Test

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Plant Operator Selection System (POSS): Used to help select employees for operator jobs in electric power plants (fossil, nuclear, and hydroelectric). Examples of jobs covered by POSS are power plant operator, control room operator, and nuclear reactor operator.

Plant Operator Selection System (POSS)
POSS is a set of test batteries that were developed and validated to aid in selecting power plant operators. POSS is the culmination of a large research program sponsored by the Edison Electric Institute and carried out by the Personnel Decisions Research Institute. A total of 70 investor-owned electric utility companies initially participated in the project. Research information was obtained and analyzed from thousands of company officials, supervisors, and plant operating personnel working in hundreds of plants. The result of this extensive research effort is a battery of paper-and-pencil tests that predict the likelihood of success in various power plant operator jobs.

POSS can be used to select candidates for operating jobs in fossil, nuclear, or hydro power plants. The tests take about two hours to administer. Components of the batteries measure how a candidate compares with others on a number of important aptitudes or abilities. Each POSS test battery consists of a number of aptitude tests.

The aptitude tests measure the cognitive abilities found to be important to successful job performance for plant operators. The aptitude tests are arranged in two alternate batteries which differ slightly in the test components and time required for administration.

Although the content of the aptitude batteries differs somewhat, both batteries have been found to be related to success in plant operations work. Some of the aptitude tests included in the battery are described below.

Reading Comprehension. This test measures a person's ability to read and understand the type of material found in power plant operator training and safety manuals. The Reading Comprehension test consists of five reading passages, each followed by several multiple-choice questions about the passage. The test has 36 items and a 30-minute time limit.

Mechanical Concepts. This test measures the ability to understand mechanical principles. There are 44 multiple-choice items. Each item contains a pictorial description of a mechanical situation, a question, and three possible answers. This test has a 20-minute time limit.

Mathematical Usage. There are two versions of this test. The short version measures candidates' skill in working with basic mathematical formulas based on information provided at the beginning of the test. This version of the test includes 18 questions and has a 7-minute time limit.
The longer version of the test measures skill in solving and manipulating mathematical relationships. There are three sections: formula conversion problems, algebra problems, and word problems. The total test contains 46 multiple-choice items and has a 17-minute time limit.

Spatial Ability. This test measures the ability to visualize the properly assembled form of an object. In this test, candidates are to assemble the parts so that the places having the same letter are put together. The test contains 20 multiple-choice items and has a 10-minute time limit.

Tables and Graphs. This test measures speed and accuracy in reading tables and graphs. Part I contains a table of numbers which is used to answer 60 multiple-choice items. It has a five-minute time limit. Part II contains a graph which is used to answer 24 multiple-choice items. It has a four-minute time limit.

Scoring and Interpretation:
A job candidate's answers to the POSS tests are scored and converted to an Aptitude Index ranging in value from zero to 15.

Candidates' standing on the Aptitude Index should be interpreted as a measure of their cognitive abilities that are important in plant operations work. Candidates with high Aptitude Index scores should be expected to understand mechanical principles, comprehend written materials including tables and graphs, use and understand mathematical relationships, and perceive details quickly and accurately.

The Aptitude Index provides a prediction of overall plant operations effectiveness. The Aptitude Index is used to determine the probability of success or failure in plant operations jobs; as such, it can differentiate between potentially effective candidates and those applicants less likely to succeed.

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.

Good study guides:

Master The Mechanical Aptitude and Spatial Relations Test

ARCO Mechanical Aptitude and Spatial Relations Tests

Arco Mechanical Aptitude and Spatial Relations Tests, Fifth Edition

Barron's Mechanical Aptitude and Spatial Relations Test

You can find EEI Practice Tests for CAST, POSS/MASS, SASS, TECH, SO/PD here.
User Name : southern
Password: testing

The book Nuclear NASCAR listed is the one I bought.  I passed the test, so it must be a half way
decent study guide.:D  Good luck.

Roll Tide:
For what it's worth: TVA recommends using an ASVAB study guide. They are cheaper (perhaps even at the local library!)


--- Quote from: honeycomb on Apr 18, 2006, 12:13 ---
I got my test date today.  Test on May 5th, 2006.  Then I hope to get the interview.  And, then transfer when able.  Or, SRO anywhere TVA.

--- End quote ---


If you're going for the EEI P.O.S.S. test then you must practice taking the test.  I have seen brialliant people fail this test.  Search this message board for POSS or P.O.S.S. for guidance.

There are 7-8 modules that are timed.  Some you'll finish some you will not.  Tips for success...

1. Make sure answers you give are correct.

2. You must have 11 correct answers per module (each utility picks a different number and 11 is the highest I've heard of.  I also heard 15 is the max score per module)

3. The last module is math conversions and you only have 7 minutes to get your 11 right answers.  A legend is provided but it'll help if you have some (all) of the conversions memorized.

4. There is a module on print reading (follow the line).  Use a straight edge like half of your scratch paper or break the pencil they gave you in half.

Items 3 and 4 are what gives most people trouble.  I'm not sure if TVA will give this exam but most (all?) utilities give it and is an INPO standard expectation.  If you fail any of the modules you probably won't make the interview list.  Also, I'm not sure how the scores change on selecting incorrect answers.  I've taken it twice and gave the same advice as above to others who have taken it and passed.  I made sure all answers I chose were correct.

Here's the practice exam...

Roll Tide:

--- Quote from: M1Ark on Apr 18, 2006, 01:58 ---
I'm not sure if TVA will give this exam but most (all?) utilities give it and is an INPO standard expectation.  If you fail any of the modules you probably won't make the interview list. 
--- End quote ---

You must pass the POSS, or you don't make the interview list. TVA sets a high passing score (realtively). The Progress or TVA link to practice exams are good advice.


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