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The Basic Skills Test for Business

The Basic Skills Test is an online literacy, numeracy and IT test, designed to help companies measure and assess the basic skills of potential or existing employees.

All questions are multiple choice and are presented in a randomised order. Candidates only receive credit for correct answers and are guided throughout the test to questions at their own level of achievement. Our software ensures that good candidates are not asked inappropriately simple questions, whilst at the same time ensuring that weaker candidates are guided to questions of a suitably revealing level.

How do I give the candidate a test?

The Basic Skills Test is conducted entirely online. As the employer, you simply complete a form giving the candidate’s name, their email address and the e-mail address for where you wish the test result to be sent. For accounts with multiple users, you can also associate or attach a candidate with a specific vacancy.

The candidate is then emailed a link to the test, and a unique PIN number, which will work in any browser, on any device. Once candidates have logged in and completed the test, the results are emailed to your chosen email address immediately in PDF format.

How long does the test take?

The test takes around 45 minutes. There is an option to turn off the time limit however, for candidates with learning difficulties such as dyslexia.


The Basic Skills Test for Business can be taken at home or in the office and measures skill levels in Literacy, Numeracy and IT to GCSE standard.

Upon a candidate completing the test you will immediately receive a report grading the candidate in the following areas:

The literacy questions within the Basic Skills Test gauge skill levels in the following areas:
Creating sentences and punctuating correctly.
Questions can vary from the candidate identifying correctly punctuated sentences to identifying verbs.
Demonstrating comprehension via reading.
Demonstrating an ability to spell words.
Questions testing the candidate’s spelling ability.
Recognising the meaning of words.
Questions testing the candidate’s vocabulary skills.
Understanding different uses of language.
Questions can vary from testing the candidate’s understanding of tense to understanding context and homonyms.
Understanding the structure of paragraphs.
Questions testing the candidate’s ability to structure paragraphs correctly.

The numeracy questions within the Basic Skills Test gauge skill levels in the following areas:
Calculating simple probabilities.
Recognising and calculating with numbers.
Recognising shapes and applying measures.
Solving problems with variable elements.
Understanding percentages and fractions.

IT Skills
The IT questions in the Basic Skills Test assess a candidate’s basic computer skill levels. This includes formatting documents, spreadsheets, using e-mail and the Internet. Questions are based around the following areas:
Word Processing.

Who writes The Basic Skills Test for Business questions?

The Basic Skills Test questions are drawn from a bank of multiple choice questions set and moderated by professional educationalists/UK exam moderators. Designed to test the candidate to GCSE skill levels, the test is designed to ensure the test results represent the true skill levels of the candidate.

Try our FAQ or please email [email protected] with any questions you may have.