Assessment Questions

What Is An Assessment Question?

There are two definitions of an Assessment Question:

1. Assessment Question: In our opinion, an Assessment Question is also known as a KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) statement. Even though most vacancy announcements state you do not have to reply to the KSA, it is imperative to address the questions if you wish to earn a best qualified rating. Some text blocks only allow up to 250 characters where you can advise what position and dates on your resume answer the question or the question can be answered right in the text box provided. A thorough look at the vacancy announcement will determine the how to proceed.

2. Assessment Questionnaire: An Assessment Questionnaire is sometimes attached to a federal vacancy announcement with questions ranging from A through E on level of experience. You must identify the skill level, amount of experience or level of experience. This Assessment Questionnaire will determine if you are qualified for the position and your resume transferred to the HR agency.

Assessment Questions

The most common of these are KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Statements). These questions must be answered in a narrative statement, explaining in detail some specific experience, knowledge, or capability with examples from the candidate’s career. The best way to answer the question is in a Challenge, Context, Action and Result (CCAR) result. The length typically runs from a a mini-KSA about 250 characters or up to one full page or a specific character count limit  per question and each answer is scored by a reviewer.

Like other vacancy questions, KSAs might require at least one or two examples in the Challenge-Context-Action-Result (CCAR) format, and the reviewer will want to see details. Other mandatory statements include Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs), and Technical Qualifications (TQs) [or Professional Technical Qualifications (PTQs) or Managerial Technical Qualifications (MTQs)]. Additionally, Assessment Questions are sometimes uploaded as a separate document or are entered into an online field during the application process.


If your Assessment Question answer is too long for an online format, either you will receive an error message requiring you to shorten your answer before you can submit, or your answer will be truncated, removing any additional information beyond the required limit.

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