Clerical Exam

What Is Clerical Exam And How to Prepare for It?

A clerical aptitude exam may be taken by applicants for clerical positions such as bankers, cashiers, and secretaries in the United States. Office aptitudes and work habits that are important for these kinds of occupations are evaluated during clerical testing.

Employers want to be sure they are selecting the best candidates for clerical and administrative positions since they are crucial to the efficient operation of a firm. Some businesses decide to employ clerical aptitude tests to evaluate an applicant’s skills and talents before making these judgments.

To be considered for opportunities in their area, job candidates for clerical or administrative tasks should get ready to take these examinations.

What Are Clerical Skills?

Clerical and administrative workers frequently handle a variety of tasks, such as receiving letters, maintaining records, answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, and entering data. There are also certain personality traits that employers will look for, which include:

  • Communication – Answering phones, communicating with customers, and relaying messages are common duties for clerical staff. Accurate communication and comprehension of others’ words are necessary for effective conversation. Being clear, concise, and to-the-point are all vital for being an efficient clerical worker.
  • Helpfulness – Office workers are frequently required to help other people. Being kind and helpful will leave a positive impression. Subtle things like offering to hold the door or asking if you can help with any extra work will not go unnoticed around the office.
  • Discretion – Confidentiality and making ethical decisions are crucial traits for administrative staff to have. Workers in the administrative field usually have access to confidential information, so you need to be trustworthy, reliable, and sensitive.
  • Criticism – Being able to handle and take on board criticism is vital in any job, as it helps you to improve and learn. No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes, but if you’re able to remain composed without taking offense and listen to any criticism given, it’ll put you in good stead for the future.

What Are Clerical Aptitude Tests?

Financial Analyst

A person’s skills in areas related to administrative or clerical work, such as typing speed and accuracy, data entry, arithmetic reasoning, and critical thinking, are evaluated by clerical aptitude tests. Employers can use these tests to identify candidates who possess the skills and knowledge required for the position.

Before making an employment offer, an employer might ask candidates to take these tests and pass with a particular score.

While some examinations may need to be taken at a specific time and place, most firms give applicants a link to take the exam on a computer at home. Common criteria for passing aptitude exams include a total score of at least 70% across all test components.

Skills You Could Be Tested On In Clerical Aptitude Tests

The following is a list of typical clerical abilities that employers could assess using aptitude tests:


These sections of aptitude tests often rate your typing speed and precision while comparing your result to the industry standard. While 45 words per minute is typically appropriate for entry-level positions, others may call for 60 to 90 words per minute.


Some clerical aptitude tests measure your proficiency with various organizational systems for filing records and paperwork. Get ready to alphabetize the names of the documents, individuals, or businesses.


These exams evaluate your ability to maintain precise and effective records. You might be asked to arrange a piece of data or fill up a table using the data given in a question about record-keeping abilities.

Numerical Reasoning

Your aptitude for mathematics and your capacity for numerical inference are assessed by these questions. Prepare a pad of paper in case you are required to answer questions requiring numerical reasoning without a calculator.

You are often required to solve a mathematical equation and input the right numerical answer in these questions.

Spelling and Grammar

Some parts of the exam might test your written language proficiency in order to ascertain your capacity for written communication while performing clerical duties. You can be asked to select the word that is spelled correctly or the sentence that follows grammatically in the questions.

Attention to Detail

Questions in clerical aptitude tests that address attention to detail will assess how closely you can identify minor discrepancies in words, names, and addresses. These questions often ask you to find the difference among a group of words or phrases.

Accuracy and Efficiency

One of the most crucial clerical talents is accuracy and efficiency while working with data, and this ability is frequently tested through error-checking tests, also known as clerical checking.

With little time, you must search through data sets for inaccuracies and evaluate the right data in these tests. This demonstrates your ability to work efficiently under pressure while yet paying close attention to detail.

Another option is to take a typing exam, which measures your proficiency by displaying your words per minute and the number of errors made during the test.

Employers typically have varying requirements for this test, but since accurate and quick typing is a necessary ability in the modern workplace, it never hurts to get better at it.


When working in an administrative or clerical capacity, general organizational abilities are essential.

By mimicking the inbox of an employee who has fallen behind on their work, e-tray tests are a popular technique to measure this.

You then have to complete the tasks and manage the workload in the way you believe to be most effective. These are also referred to as tests for document management.

Interpersonal skills

Many clerical occupations require you to interact with many individuals from various departments and professional levels. Therefore, you should be a strong team player.

In order to ascertain whether you would make a good addition to their team, several organizations use personality assessments.

A situational judgment test may also be given to you to evaluate your interpersonal abilities and how you naturally respond to potential unforeseen difficulties.

Who Takes Exams Of Clerical Aptitude?

Typing on Laptop

Clerical aptitude exams may be used in a range of industries, from the public and educational sectors to commercial businesses in finance, operations, manufacturing, and marketing.

Professionals looking for clerical positions may take the exam, including:

  • Clerk typists
  • Receptionists
  • Office assistants
  • Transcriptionists
  • Data processing specialists
  • Stenographers

Employers who demand aptitude testing are likely to give the test results considerable consideration when making hiring decisions.

How To Prepare For Clerical Aptitude Tests

Knowing what to expect is crucial because being well-prepared is essential for performing well on a clerical aptitude test and impressing potential employers.

Going into a test without having prepared will significantly decrease your chances of succeeding. Here are some pointers on how to pass a test of clerical aptitude:


As is advisable before all tests, practice is often vital to success and ensure you are well-equipped to pass. A practice exam or two should be taken in advance as it’s one of the finest ways to feel at ease taking a clerical aptitude test.

We highly recommend Job Test Prep, which is a fantastic company specializing in getting people ready for their important exams. They have helped countless people study for tests in many different industries.

Job Test Prep has over 130 practice tests available, as well as covering all of the relevant topics, including checking, numeracy, verbal and non-verbal. They are available to access instantly, 24/7.

Even if your test is tomorrow, you’ll receive practice exercises and materials that are specifically intended to help you develop the abilities you’ll need to score highly.

Nothing will surprise you on the test if you are well prepared for it. With the help of their thorough study materials, you will learn every aspect of the exam.

Keep track of how long it takes you to finish the exams as you practice, as well as your accuracy percentages. Pay attention to your grade in each clerical subject so you may determine which areas need extra study and preparation.

Here is a comprehensive list of everything Just Test Prep will provide to help you prepare for your clerical exam:

  • 1 Civil Service clerical diagnostic test + guide
  • 8 Basic math practice tests (no calculator)
  • 5 Word problem practice tests
  • 12 Tables & graphs practice tests
  • 5 Applying information practice tests
  • 15 Reading comprehension practice tests
  • 11 Vocabulary practice tests
  • 6 Analogy practice tests
  • 10 Grammar and spelling practice tests
  • 6 Language Presentation practice tests
  • 18 Error-checking practice tests
  • 12 Filing practice tests
  • 3 Coding practice tests
  • Personality profiling
  • 10 SJT practice tests
  • 15 Guides
  • Money back guarantee

JobTestPrep. (n.d.). Clerical Aptitude Test: Online Practice Tests & Guides

Other Ways To Prepare

Woman preparing for exam

As well as the all-important practice tests, there are many other ways you can help give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding. See below for some hints and smart tips to help you get ready. Remember, it’s always better to over prepare than under prepare.


You can concentrate your efforts on extra testing preparation in other areas once you have a strong sense of the testing domains in which you shine. For instance, you can spend some time honing that talent if you observe that your practice scores in spelling are not as high as they are in other areas.

Make flashcards for words you missed on the practice exams, turn off spell checking, and set a challenge for yourself to find in stories or articles that have incorrect spellings.

Create an Environment That Works For You

Take some time to set up your workplace whenever you’re ready to take the test. Place yourself in a relaxing setting free from interruptions if you’re taking the test at home.

You can focus considerably better on the test by making a few minor adjustments, such as turning off the television, adjusting the thermostat, and putting your phone on silent.

Make sure you leave yourself enough time to complete the exam and take it when you’re feeling the most alert in the day.

Try to visit the exam place in advance if you’re taking the test somewhere specific so you’ll know what to expect. Bring everything you will need to finish the test, including pencils, pens, scrap paper, a calculator, and water.

Discuss what materials you should bring with the test proctor. Put on layers of clothing so you can adapt to any temperature changes.

Carefully Read Instructions

Read the instructions thoroughly before you start the test to be sure you’re doing it right. After you’re done, make a note of any additional actions.

Do you still need to provide your contact details? Provide any further information. Send the employer the results via email? To ensure that you have fulfilled the requirements, take all the necessary actions.

Manage Your Time Effectively

Most aptitude tests have time sections, meaning that it’s imperative you work through the exam questions as quickly as possible. It’s important to read each question fully to ensure you understand the question while still paying attention to how much time you have left.

If you have trouble with a question, mark it and move on to the next one so you can spend any extra time at the end of the test working through any challenging questions.

Keep Composed

There’s nothing worse than losing your cool during an exam, as this can cause you to underperform. You should strive to maintain your composure if you are having trouble with a few questions because you should be aware that aptitude exams might be deliberately difficult.

Be assured of your abilities and qualities because the examinations are made to demonstrate your skills to employers.

If you become discouraged during the test, it can be helpful to have a motivational saying or mantra prepared to repeat to yourself. You might tell yourself, for instance, “I am competent and capable, and I look forward to demonstrating it in this test.”


Deciding to move into the world of clerical and administrative work can be an exciting and fruitful one. It will open up a world of opportunities to work across numerous different industries.

You could end up working for the government, in the health industry, banking, retail, legal… the world really could be your oyster as clerical workers are in the background keeping everything going. You” have the chance to work with others, and the skills you’ll pick up on the way will be invaluable.

Having read through, you should now have a key understanding and knowledge of what is involved with clerical exams, what employers will be looking for, and how best to prepare for these.

We can’t recommend the practice tests that are readily available enough, as they’ll help you feel comfortable with the format, as well as help you to work out your weak areas that need more work before the real thing. Good luck!

Written by Ralph Levi

Ralph is a freelance writer specialising in the education and professional sector. With a Master’s degree and experience working in UK universities, Ralph enjoys guiding others up the career ladder.