E-tray exercises guide

E-tray exercises are online versions of in-tray or in-basket exercises.

E-tray exercises can be used for a wide range of jobs which require good planning and organisational skills, the ability to work in a systematic, structured manner and prioritise tasks.

E-tray exercises generally provide you with numerous pieces of information (typically emails and online memos). Your task is to prioritise the tasks by identifying the important and critical tasks that require immediate attention, against those that can take lower priority.

Often the various pieces of information link together; for example, there may be an email from management suggesting that all procurements activities must now be done by the procurement department as well as an email from a work colleague requesting you to authorise purchase of materials for a maintenance job.

E-tray exercises are typically provided to candidates to complete from home and are time limited.

How to prepare for E-tray Exercises?

Prioritise tasks and information -

To work through an E-tray exercise in an efficient and effective manner first define 3 task categories based on priority using the information provided.

The first category is urgent tasks. Include in this category all tasks and information which are crucial and require urgent attention in order to achieve your outcomes.

The second category is medium priority tasks. Include in this category tasks and information which need your attention but don’t have to be done urgently.

The third category is low priority. Include in this category all tasks and information which is useful to know but not essential to attain your outcomes.

Manage your time -

Keep a check on the time and spread your time accordingly across the tasks. Do not be bogged down by complex tasks or spend too long on reading all of the content. There is nothing worse than running out of time and having no or little time to complete the task.


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