Clerical Aptitude Tests
Clerical aptitude tests evaluate the skill level of candidates applying for clerical or administrative jobs. The skills assessed within these tests include verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, error checking, data filing and document management skills.
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Typical format & structure of clerical tests
Clerical aptitude tests incorporate numerous test types, since clerical jobs encompass a wide range of tasks and therefore require a number of different proficiency sections.
A typical test is 30–35 minutes long and is separated into short sections, usually around 2–3 minutes for each. Sections like verbal reasoning skills and data filing can be longer (perhaps 5–7 minutes).
Some employers prefer to use swift tests, which generally take fewer than 30 minutes to complete. As such, try to find out ahead of time the type of test you’ll be given.
SHL provides a clerical aptitude test known as the Personnel Test Battery, which sounds much worse than it really is. There are 12 tests in this category that assess the main skills needed in clerical and administrative work:
- Processing basic work correspondence
- Understanding written information
- Basic reasoning skills
- Straightforward calculation
- Data checking
- Handling multiple sources of information and filing them correctly
PTBs are around 18 minutes long, which means that they don’t take up too much time, but the time restriction can difficult.
Generally, a combined score of 70% is the pass level for employers, though it can vary.
I’ve practiced hundreds of numerical questions and still have plenty more to try.Ellen used Practice Aptitude Tests to prepare for her upcoming interview at HSBC. Start your success story
Clerical Aptitude Tests Tips
1Read the questions thoroughly
Don’t let yourself be caught out by the wording or skip over an important step. You might feel pressured by the time restriction to rush, but being accurate and thorough is more important.
Through practice, you should be able to understand the test structure and where your strengths and weaknesses lie in taking it. Gather all the information you can in order to improve your performance – which questions do you answer the fastest? Which ones take you more time? Where do you tend to make mistakes? Make a mental plan of action so you can work through the questions most efficiently for you.
Don’t let the stress get to you on the day and throw off the work you’ve done to prepare. Once you have your strategy worked out, stick to it. You understand how you work, so the way to do your best is to stay disciplined and trust your technique.
4Double-check your answers
When practicing, try to build in time to go through your answers at the end of the test. This can provide a crucial opportunity to spot any errors and make sure you've answered all the questions. Since many aspects of clerical aptitude tests are based on comprehension and analysing data, coming back to questions can give you the time you need to process and come to the right answer.
5Take the test with confidence
Any test can be a stressful event, but being confident in your skills and abilities can really impact on your performance. Trust your knowledge and attempt all the questions – even ones that initially seem most difficult. The best way to build confidence in your test-taking abilities is to practice, so the more you can do, the better you’ll feel.
Clerical Aptitude Video Tutorials
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