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Please note that prior to 24 October 2016 candidates completed the Control Scale  in place of the Focus Assessment


The Control Scale is a self-reported measure of how candidates react when confronted with new and confusing problems. It measures whether candidates react systematically and deliberately or whether they react impulsively and erratically when faced with new, challenging problems.

Several South African corporations report that controlled and systematic approaches to solving new and confusing problems are highly relevant to workplace success. These are the skills the Control Scale measures. This is particularly true for jobs which require constant processing of new information and dealing with new situations.

The Control Scale is based on a more general survey instrument, designed to measure several dimensions of problem-solving ability (Hepner and Petersen, 1982).


Candidates were shown 5 statements and asked to rate whether they agreed that the statement applied to them, with answers ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” For example:


Sometimes I get so emotional that I am unable to consider many ways of dealing with my problems.


The answers to all 5 questions are then averaged to form the Control Scale. Candidates with high scores generally deal with new problems systematically and are not overwhelmed by the situation.

More Information


Hepner, Paul P. and Chris H. Petersen. “The Development and Implications of a Personal Problem-Solving Inventory.” Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 29, No. 1 (1982), 66-75.




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