Prepare for Clerical Checking Tests

Are you facing a clerical checking test as part of an upcoming assessment? Learn the finer points of this type of test and how you can prepare with JobTestPrep.

What Is a Clerical Checking Test?

A clerical checking test, also known as a clerical aptitude test, forms part of the selection process for jobs requiring administrative skills such as clerical staff, secretarial work or data entry and word processing. Clerical checking tests examine and evaluate a candidate's accuracy and speed when working through specially designed tasks to give an indication of potential job performance in clerical roles. The tests themselves are generally designed to be straight forward but require high levels of concentration to successfully pass, requiring the scrutiny and comparison of a range of data sets containing a substantial amount of information.

Who Uses Clerical Checking Tests and When?

Employers looking to fill roles in administration and clerical work often use clerical checking tests when screening potential candidates during the interview stages. Agencies may also ask you to take the test when first registering to work with them, in order to gauge what kind of jobs you would be most suited for. Specific jobs requiring clerical checking tests include general office clerks dealing with data input and record keeping, payroll clerks in the finance or HR departments of an organisation, brokerage clerks who work with investments, court clerks who perform tasks for judges or lawyers, and council clerks documenting council meetings and other council processes.

What Is the Structure of the Tests and Their Questions?

In the UK there are two main companies providing checking tests to employers - Saville Consulting and SHL. The companies' individual styles of test differ quite a lot. Saville checking tests are brief and contain numerous checks which have to be completed in a short amount of time, often around a minute and a half. SHL checking tests are usually more detailed and much longer.

The Clerical Test Battery

There are a range of checking tests that could be incorporated into the interview and selection process for clerical positions. Not all of them will be included, therefore the best way to prepare is to practice the whole range of tests beforehand. The checking tests generally cover:

  • Clerical checking - This test is extremely common and is very likely to come up during any clerical-type selection process. It looks at the candidate's speed and accuracy in comparing information. You'll be asked to compare a handwritten chart filled with numbers and letters with a computer printed copy, and check to see if both sets of information match and highlight where there are discrepancies between the two.
  • Classification - This involves sorting different bits of information and grouping them according to the instructions given in the test. These are usually simple, coded items.
  • Basic checking - Similar to clerical checking tests, you'll get five strings of letters or numbers and be asked to select two identical ones. Again, this tests both accuracy and speed.
  • Text checking - You need to spot and mark the errors in a text compared to its original version.
  • Audio checking - You'll hear a string of numbers and letters recited through headphones and have to identify which one you heard from the five given to you.
  • Computer checking - Another common test, you will be given a number of records contained in a spreadsheet and have to check the accuracy of the information against a separate set of records.
  • Clerical typing test - A very common test when interviewing for clerical roles, a typing test evaluates your speed in words per minute, while accuracy levels are measured through the number of mistakes made during the test period. Different employers will have different standards and amount of words per minute they expect the right candidate to achieve.

How to Prepare

A combination of practice and learning is key. Real clerical test practice beforehand will help you learn from your mistakes while training yourself to pay as close attention to detail as you can without compromising on your speed.

Thorough practice packages such as JobTestPrep's clerical checking test and personnel test battery not only contain a multitude of up-to-date practice tasks, test questions and learning materials, they also contain detailed explanations of correct and incorrect answers, useful test tips and a smart score report, in order to improve your understanding of how the tests work. To help you expand your learning scope and complete the preparation process, we have created a range of online practice tests, study guides and video tutorials available on our site.

Prepare for Success

Familiarising yourself with the way clerical checking tests are introduced and performed will help massively in your preparation for interviewing for a clerical role, and increase your chance of successfully passing and getting the job you want.