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clerical aptitude tests

Clerical Aptitude Tests

  • 24 tests
  • 502 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
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12 months access
  • 24 Clerical Aptitude Tests
  • 45 Numerical reasoning tests
  • 45 Verbal reasoning tests
  • 30 Diagrammatic reasoning tests
  • 30 Situational judgement tests
  • 25 Publisher packages e.g. SHL
  • 180 Employer packages e.g. HSBC
  • + 11 Extra packages including: Abstract, Inductive, Mechanical, Personality and more
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  • Tips, tricks, guides and resources
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Reviews of our Clerical Aptitude tests

What our customers say about our Clerical Aptitude tests

  • United States of America

    May 02, 2021

    1st time user

    I had no expectations, but appreciated the opportunity.

  • Canada

    April 30, 2021

    very straight forward

    Other than the time restriction, it was fine.

  • United Kingdom

    April 22, 2021

    How to read for meaning quickly

    The time pressure made me a little nervous as I didn’t know how many questions were remaining before I reached the end of the test – so was constantly worried I’d run out of time.

  • United States of America

    April 22, 2021


    The timed test really adds on the pressure.

  • United Kingdom

    April 20, 2021


    Good introduction to these types of tests

  • United Kingdom

    April 14, 2021


    The wording of the texts and possible questions were a little tricky, but its good to make you think!

  • Jamaica

    April 08, 2021

    Critical thinking

    Disliked the time allowed: it is unfair to give 15 questions to be answered in 15 minutes while at the same time there are short paragraphs to be read. Understand it takes time to read and to interpret the passage.

  • Canada

    April 06, 2021

    Test was only comprehension

    I thought it was be an array of subjects, not just comprehension

  • United States of America

    April 04, 2021


    I was nervous but I enjoyed taking a test under testing conditions

  • Ireland

    April 01, 2021

    nerve wracking

    this is an excellent way of getting used to these type of questions and worrying less about the time as you can time yourself as you go along and judge what you need to do.