Basic comprehension tests are designed to assess your basic English language skills and make sure that you have the required level of communication needed for the workplace. They are less complicated than verbal reasoning tests and focus on testing your vocabulary, knowledge of English structure and grammar, and solving fairly simple verbal problems. Although they may seem easy, it’s very common to have gaps in your knowledge, even as a native or fluent English speaker.

Why Do Employers Use Them?

Basic comprehension tests are very widely used nowadays and you will have probably come across one during your school years, so they’re very standardised and there are plenty of test publishers to choose from. Many employers use them for a huge variety of positions as a pre-employment screening tool because communication is a vital skill for most position, whether working with clients or just within your team.

Although they are straightforward, they are an easy and reliable way for employers to assess someone’s basic intelligence and attention to detail. This means that they can make the difference between you and the next best candidate, so it’s important to prepare properly and give your best performance at every stage of the hiring process, particularly in today’s highly competitive job market.

What To Expect

These tests are the most common aptitude tests, so it is likely you have already taken something similar. Typically, basic comprehension tests are of secondary school/GCSE level, so there is an expectation for fairly complex and comprehensive understanding of the English language. Some of the concepts that you will be expected to be familiar with are word association, idioms, metaphors, as well as demonstrating your vocabulary, providing synonyms, and identifying key information from blocks of text.

How To Prepare?

Although we use our language skills everyday, it is easy to forget some of the rules and particulars that may come up on a test, so of course, it is best to practice and fill any gaps you have. We have plenty of free basic comprehension practice tests, so you can get comfortable with the format and type of questions that will be asked.

Don’t forget to check out our top test tips and guide on how to ace basic comprehension tests, which can help you make a mental checklist for success. If possible, try and find out the test publisher or type of test you will be taking, so you can do more specific practice. For some positions, such as copywriting or content creation jobs, you might be asked to do more in-depth grammar tests and extended writing pieces, so the more information you can get prior, the better prepared you can be.