In-Tray / E-Tray Exercise

This is a practice in-tray exercise that simulates a real in-tray aptitude test.

The test has 37 questions and you should aim to complete the test within 40 minutes.

Make sure you read a question in full before answering.

Answers and explanations to the questions are provided at the end of the test.

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    In-Tray Exercise: question 1 of 37

    Assume you are Margaret Johnson, working as a Store Manager for the departmental chain Garrods in Plymouth.

    • Teresa Sputnik is your manager.
    • John Statham is your deputy as the Assistant Store Manager.

    As you start the day on 21st September 2020, a Monday, you find the following set of emails in your inbox:

    MAIL 1:

    From: Phil Collins, Store Intern
    Date: 19.09.2020
    Subject: URGENT: Leave Request

    Dear Madam,

    I have been diagnosed with a severe bout of flu. The doctor has advised complete bed rest for a week. May I request you to kindly grant me leave of absence from 20/09/2020 to 25/09/2020.

    I will update the leave request on the company intranet HR portal once I am back in office.

    Thanking in anticipation,

    Yours faithfully,

    Phil Collins

    Emp Id: 908102

    MAIL 2:

    From: Susan Woodsworth, Internal Auditor
    Date: 21.09.2020
    Subject: Audit Committee Concern

    Dear Ms Johnson,

    On behalf of the corporate team entrusted with the ongoing Quarterly Fiscal Audit, I would like to raise concerns regarding absence of requisite support from your store team. Please note, we have not seen any representation from your team in the last two weekly core group meeting held every Friday.

    Furthermore, my mails dated 06/09 and 13/09 sent to John Statham, Assistant Store Manager, Plymouth, asking for detailed clarifications against ‘Sundry Other Expenses’ and ‘Discretionary Spending’ are as yet not responded to (ref. attachments #1 & #2).

    Would appreciate if you could kindly check and revert by EOD today. Otherwise, we would be constrained to raise this in the Steering Committee meeting with the MD on 23rd.


    Susan Woodsworth, CA, CFA,

    Lead, Quarterly Fiscal Audits,

    Regional Audit Team, UK Operations

    MAIL 3:

    From: Derreck Cottonball
    Date: 21.09.2020
    Subject: Feedback Request

    Dear Sir/ Madam,

    The first consignment of our premium organic cage-free chicken eggs has just reached your store over the weekend. We would appreciate if you could share your feedback on the ease of doing business with us and quality of service by responding to our online survey (it would take 5 minutes, we promise!):

    We treasure your continued patronage.

    Yours sincerely,

    Derreck Cottonball

    Account Manager, Corporate Sales

    CageFreeChicks Ltd., UK

    MAIL 4:

    From: Samuel Gonzales, Corporate HR
    Date: 21.09.2020
    Subject: Resource Planning


    Would it be possible for you to attend a quick call regarding resource planning for the next quarter slated for 04:00PM today? Steven from the Chairman’s office would like to address all store managers and senior staff.

    Sorry for the short notice!


    MAIL 5:

    From: Teresa Sputnik, Regional Manager
    Date: 21.09.2020
    Subject: Slow Moving Merchandise

    Prepare a summary on the following:

    1. Root cause for low sales figures for leisurewear (both male and female) for August
    2. Reason for increased returns in household electronic category in August
    3. Forecast demand for pre-cut vegetables for November-December

    We need to share it along with the weekly status report this Wednesday. Let us discuss the points around 5PM today.


    MAIL 6:

    From: Training & Induction
    Date: 18.09.2020
    Subject: Training Calendar

    Dear All,

    Please share the training requirements for your respective store staff by 25th September. The training calendar for October is attached herewith.

    Thank you.


    Terry Oswald

    Corporate Training

    MAIL 7:

    From: Corrie Magdalene
    Date: 21.09.2020
    Subject: Will be late today


    I will be late today due to some unforeseen personal exigencies. Have already called John and updated him. This is to keep you informed.


    Corrie Magdalene

    MAIL 8:

    From: Teresa Sputnik, Regional Manager
    Date: 21.09.2020
    Subject: Call

    I think one of the figures we prepared to present in tomorrow’s executive review meeting is wrong. Can you call urgently once you are in office.


    Which email would you prioritize first?