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Pre Employment Basic Skills Test

Basic work skills will always be important, even with all the technology and AI we use today.  When you’re hiring for your team, make sure they have the basic skills they need to do well.

Your organization will always need people who can read and understand information quickly, do basic math, and pay close attention to details. This helps your team work better, because nobody wants to work with someone who can’t get things done.

Just because someone has a college degree doesn’t mean they have all the basic skills needed for a job. Having work experience might be more important than a degree, but it still doesn’t guarantee that someone can read, write, and focus on details well.

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Admin/Office Support
(Most Jobs)


Multiple Choice


Basic level


15 minutes

Common Basic Skills Needed for Employees

  • Read a multi-paragraph report (or instructions) and be able to summarize it?
  • Compare two basic sets of data and determine if they are the same or different.
  • Identify (or avoid) basic grammar/spelling errors in emails to customers or employees? (Spellcheck never catches everything…)
  • Calculate using basic math to solve problems and make decisions at work.
Hiring Tests for Job Interview

Basic Skills Test for Employment Topics

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Basic Math
  • Attention to Detail
  • Each topic also available as a separate, more in-depth test.

This test has timed sections and will take an applicant, start to finish, approximately 10 minutes. It’s completed online, via a computer or smartphone/mobile device.

You will just email the applicants a test link from your admin dashboard and that link will provide access to this and other tests that are important for the job positions (eg Microsoft Office skills tests, cognitive reasoning tests, behavioral personality profiles and more).

View Sample Score Report

Pre-employment assessments

How are the Basic Skills Tests scored?

Our system instantly emails the score report when the test is finished.  The test taker does not receive or view the results.  The reports are highly detailed and cover the below topics:
  • Percent of Correct Answers (80%, 50%, 100%, etc)
  • Skill Level: Beginning, Intermediate, or Advanced
  • Correct/Incorrect for each question
  • Time taken per question and more
Pre-employment tests for job applicants

How Basic Skills Tests for Employment Helps Avoid Bias

Using pre-employment tests, such as our basic skills tests, is one way to avoid bias in the hiring process. Bias can be conscious or unconscious and recruiters may not be aware that they have them.

But using research-based, validated pre-hire tests reduces bias that may come from work or educational experience.

All of our tests follow the guidelines of the EEOC and US Department of Labor’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection.

Pre-employment tests for job applicants

How does it work for the applicant?

The applicant will receive an emailed test invitation, which includes a web link that starts the test.
The test will begin in their web browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari) and they don’t need to download or install anything.
After the test is completed, the screen closes and our system emails the score report to the test administrator. The applicant does not see  the score.
Pre-employment tests for job interviews
EmployTest FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a basic skills test for employment?

A basic skills test for employment measures core skills needed for top performance, such as reading comprehension and attention to detail. These tests measure a candidate’s ability to perform essential job functions that are common in most jobs and industries. By assessing basic skills, employers can ensure candidates have the basic skills needed for top job performance.

What kind of questions are on the pre-employment basic skills test?

Pre-employment basic skills tests typically include questions on attention to detail, reading comprehension, basic math, grammar and spelling. Reading comprehension questions assess a job candidate’s ability to understand written information. Attention to detail questions measure their ability to focus closely on important instructions and perform work accurately.

How to test job candidates for basic employment skills?

To test job candidates for basic employment skills, employers should  administer standardized basic skills assessments. Candidates complete a series of timed questions or tasks that evaluate their basic abilities in job related tasks. Using these assessments, employers can objectively measure a candidate’s basic skills to know if they are a fit for the job.

How are the basic employment tests measured?

Basic employment tests are measured using standardized scoring systems that compare a candidate’s performance to benchmarks of other job applicants. Scores are typically presented as percentages or percentiles, indicating how well a candidate performed relative to others. The results help employers identify job candidates who meet the minimum skill requirements for the job.

How do pre-employment tests assess candidates' basic employment skills?

Pre-employment tests assess candidates’ basic employment skills by evaluating their proficiency in essential areas such as attention to detail, grammar, spelling and reading comprehension. The tests include questions designed to measure a candidate’s ability to read and comprehend information, perform basic math operations, among other skills. These assessments give a snapshot of a candidate’s skills, ensuring they can handle the basic responsibilities of the job.

What specific basic employment skills are covered in your pre-employment tests?

Our pre-employment tests cover specific basic employment skills such as reading comprehension, basic math, and detail orientation. Reading comprehension evaluates a candidate’s ability to understand and interpret written information. Basic math tests assess numerical skills, including arithmetic and simple calculations. Attention to detail measures their ability to focus on important tasks, without missing anything important. These skills are essential for performing everyday work tasks effectively.

Why is your pre-employment test valuable for assessing basic employment skills in candidates?

Our pre-employment test is valuable for assessing basic employment skills because it provides a thorough evaluation of a candidate’s fundamental work abilities. By measuring key skills like reading comprehension, basic math, and attention to detail, our test ensures that candidates have the key skills needed for effective job performance. This assessment helps employers identify the best candidates who can quickly jump into the job and perform well.

How can your pre-employment assessment ensure candidates meet our basic employment skills requirements?

Our pre-employment assessment ensures candidates meet your basic employment skills requirements by providing a standardized evaluation of key competencies. The assessment covers essential areas such as reading comprehension, attention to detail, grammar, and spelling. By comparing candidates’ scores with applicant benchmarks, employers can spot applicants who have the necessary key skills for the job. This targeted approach ensures that new hires are ready to work effectively from day one.

How to help an employee with their basic employment skills?

To help an employee with their basic employment skills, employers can offer training programs and access to learning resources. Providing workshops on workplace communication and workshops of detail orientation, among other topics, can improve these key abilities. Employers can also encourage the use of online courses and YouTube. Feedback and mentoring from others at the company can guide employees in improving these skills.

Why should businesses prioritize basic employment skills in pre-employment tests?

Businesses should prioritize basic employment skills in pre-employment tests because these skills are the key to great job performance. Making sure candidates can interpret information (reading comprehension) and communicate well (grammar, spelling), among other skills, helps build a great team. By testing these skills during the hiring process, businesses can reduce the risk of hiring mistakes and ensure that new hires can do the job from the start.

How does a basic pre-employment test help businesses ensure quality?

A basic pre-employment test helps businesses ensure quality by providing an objective, non opinion based measure of candidates’ essential skills. By assessing key areas such as detail orientation and reading comprehension, the tests make sure that candidates have the necessary foundational abilities. The testing process reduces the chance of hiring mistakes and confirms that new hires can perform their job tasks successfully.

Why are basic employment skills important for business?

Basic employment skills are important for business because they are essential for effective job performance and operational efficiency. Skills such as detail orientation and basic math proficiency enable employees to perform daily job tasks accurately and efficiently. Ensuring that every new hire has these core skills helps businesses maintain productivity, reduce errors, and provide great service. 

Which basic employment skills should business prioritize when hiring?

Businesses should prioritize basic employment skills such as reading comprehension, basic math skills and attention to detail when hiring. Reading comprehension ensures employees can understand written instructions. Basic math skills are crucial for tasks involving calculations and data handling. Attention to detail reduces the likelihood for errors when following instructions or comparing information. Having these key skills is a great step toward new hires doing well in the job.

Why do businesses use a basic exam for employment for job hiring?

Businesses use a basic exam for employment during job hiring to objectively evaluate candidates’ basic work skills. These exams assess critical areas such as attention to detail and grammar and spelling. By using these exams, hiring managers can more easily spot candidates who meet the minimum skill requirements for the job.

How does a basic pre-employment test benefit businesses in evaluating candidates?

A basic pre-employment test benefits businesses in evaluating candidates by providing an independent objective measure of their essential job skills. These tests measure skills like detail orientation and reading comprehension which shows if candidates have the key skills needed for the job. By using these assessments, businesses can reduce the risk of unqualified hires, and ensure that new employees can do their job well on day one of employment.