Anyone interested in getting into clerical or administrative work will have to take a clerical test. If you don't pass, you may have to wait up to 90 days before you can take the test again. If you do pass, not only will you be able to get jobs that are open, but you'll be able to move on to more advanced tests that will get you higher paying jobs that require more advanced clerical skills.
Clerical workers have to know a variety of different standard office skills such as basic data entry, word processing and other written communication skills. Clerical workers also need to have some basic decision making/problem solving skills, according to Berkeley. Clerical tests are timed tests that measure these skills in a number of different ways.
Potential clerical employees usually take clerical tests on the employer's job site. This way the employer can make sure no outside sources are used to complete the assessment. The test can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
Oftentimes, a potential clerical worker is asked to answer questions on a computer screen about word processing or data entry. They may be asked to put names or numbers in order to test their filing skills. They may also be asked to quickly type numbers into a spreadsheet and answer questions on how to add the numbers in the spreadsheet together or create formulas using the spreadsheet.
Other clerical tests measure basic reading comprehension, your ability to follow written instructions, clerical proofreading and office math skills, according to Wayne State University.
Perhaps the most important part of the clerical test is the typing assessment. Many jobs want to know how fast you can type. Typing tests measure speed and accuracy. Many clerical positions that require typing are looking for a typing of score of 25 words per minute and up.
If you don't pass the clerical test the first time you take it, any employment positions you were interested in might already be filled by the time you retake the test, and your job search will last longer.
To avoid failing the clerical test, it may be a good idea to take classes on word processing, data entry and basic math. You may also want to explore basic word processing programs such as Microsoft Office and gain a good understanding of the different features and tool bars. You can find practice typing tests online to improve speed.
Based in Haddonfield, N.J., Liz Jacobs has been writing professionally since 2003. She started out writing for her school newspaper and since then has been published in "Philadelphia Magazine" and Progressive Business Publications. She also is an online content writer for various websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Cornell University.