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clerical aptitude tests

Clerical Aptitude Tests

  • 24 tests
  • 394 questions
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).

clerical tests

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
  • Proofreading
  • 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.

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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.

3Stay disciplined

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

Internal Website

1 min

Leaflet Drop

1 min

Find The New Word

2 mins

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  • 24 Clerical Aptitude Tests
  • 45 Numerical reasoning tests
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  • 35 Situational judgement tests
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Reviews of our Clerical Aptitude tests

What our customers say about our Clerical Aptitude tests

  • Uganda

    November 18, 2021

    The test

    Some passages were quite long. I liked that the time was counting on the screen, it gave me a chance to calculate my time.

  • Tanzania

    October 26, 2021

    To read the questions carefully and answer them accordingly

    I like everything about the test, but you need to be quick and accurate when answering the questions.

  • Australia

    August 25, 2021


    I enjoyed the test as it made me think about what I read and how it can apply in different circumstances.

  • South Africa

    July 29, 2021

    Know the customer's needs

    I like the test, as it gave me some clue about the role of a clerk. And I have learnt that time is important and you need to understand the paragraphs.

  • United States of America

    July 28, 2021

    Could use a little work but overall ok

    It would be better to let the user know when you change stories or how many questions would be associated with each story.

  • Australia

    July 22, 2021

    A good practice

    Similar to tests I have done for job applications – but the time limit is a little easier on this, so keep that in mind. A great practice test though.

  • United States of America

    July 19, 2021


    It was short and enough for someone to understand the passages and answer the questions as quickly as possible.

  • Philippines

    July 09, 2021

    Correct answers

    I like the test, but it's hard for me as an examinee to answer this kind of test in the form of paragraphs.

  • United States of America

    July 07, 2021

    A good test for jobs requiring a small amount of logic

    This test would be good for employees where the jobs require a small amount of logic. Where the ability to think might be more important than knowledge.

  • Canada

    June 19, 2021

    Not what I was expecting

    Lots of reading between the lines and trying to figure things out, regardless of how clear or unclear they were.