How do the tests work?
The standard, medical and teaching assistant Basic Skills Tests work in the same way.

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.

Our medical and teaching assistants tests include career-specific questions whilst also testing the candidate’s literacy, numeracy and IT skill levels.

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.

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.

What do I need to explain to the candidate before the test?
The candidates are allowed a calculator and a pen and paper to work out the answers. The candidate will be able to familiarise themselves with the test by answering two taster questions (one numeracy, one literacy) at the start. These do not count towards their results.

The Basic Skills Test is diagnostic and does not provide formal evidence of a qualification. The test results are private, and for your review only. It is your decision if you wish to enter into communication with the candidate about their performance in the test.

Can the candidate use a dictionary or calculator?
The candidates are allowed a calculator and a pen and paper to work out the answers. As some of the questions in the test will be spelling, it is not appropriate for candidates to be allowed dictionaries or other similar reference materials. We do feel however, that use of a calculator is entirely appropriate for the numeracy questions.

Can more than one candidate take the test at the same time?
Any number of candidates can take the test at the same time using different PIN numbers.

How long after the end of the test is the report issued?
Upon completion of the test, the results are emailed to your chosen email address immediately in PDF format.

In what format will I receive the report?
You will be emailed a download link to the report as soon as the candidate has finished their test. The report will download in a PDF format. In order to open PDFs, you will need Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader installed on your PC. It is free software that can be downloaded from the Adobe website here.

I don’t understand the test report?
The test report shows both summary and detailed information of the candidate’s performance. The summary gives our opinion of the candidate’s performance overall. The detail shows the specific skills in which they performed strongly, and which areas need improvement.

Can I see previous test results?
Once you are registered with Basic Skills Test you can view all of your transactions and previous test results on your homepage. To view this, you must be logged in.

Can I produce reports based on previous test reports?
Registered users of Basic Skills Test can search and sort details of the test results of past candidates. Results can be re-emailed if necessary.

The test results look odd (differ wildly from CV). What should I do?
As we are not a qualifications body it is possible that the test results will not match expectations (eg applicant GCSE results) in all cases. Should you be dissatisfied in any way please contact us!

A colleague is registered. Do I need to register?
Our system is designed to allow any number of individuals from a given organisation to register. If you have different requirements from your colleagues (i.e. you work in different departments), then it is probably worthwhile registering your own account.

What if our internet connection goes down during the test?
Our test software is designed to restart at the point of any loss of connection to the internet. This means that in such circumstances candidates will not be unduly disadvantaged. Similarly our software takes account of any slow speed of connection for the same reasons.

I’ve received the test report but can’t open/view it?
Reports are emailed as a link, and are downloaded as a PDF. To view PDFs, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your PC. This is a free piece of software available from the Adobe website for free: please click here to download a copy.

How much are tests?
A block of 5 test credits is £125 + VAT.

Can i purchase just one test?
Tests can either be purchased in blocks or if significant use is anticipated, we can simply invoice you monthly for amount of tests used.

Can I have a discount?
We are able to discuss costs for individuals who anticipate significant use of our tests. Please email us at [email protected] with details of your annual usage requirements.

How do I pay for tests?
When purchasing blocks of tests, we can accept card payments either online or over the phone. For customers using a significant amount of tests, we will invoice monthly.

Do I receive an invoice?
Upon purchase of a block of test credits you will be emailed an electronic VAT invoice for your transaction. This will be sent to your registered email address only. We do not send paper invoices to our customers.

How could I obtain a duplicate invoice?
Once logged in to your account, click on ‘Purchase History’ then follow the on screen instructions.

What is BSTs VAT number?
Our UK VAT number is 851 9322 22.

Can I get a refund for unused credits?
Test credits do not expire, therefore you are free to use them at any point in the future.

We currently create basic skill tests for the following areas:

School: Teaching Assistant
Medical: Nurse
Medical: Healthcare Assistant

Who sets The Basic Skills Test’s 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 skills level, the test is designed to ensure the test results represent the true skill level of the candidate.

Who sets Basic Skills Test for Teaching Assistant’s questions?
The Basic Skills Test for Teaching Assistants has been created in consultation with a team of educationalists and teachers. The Basic Skills Test for Teaching Assistants has been created with several aspects in mind; the most effective ways in which teachers and teaching assistants can work together, the changing needs of the educational climate as well as reflecting a demonstration of vital skills that every teaching assistant should have.

Who sets Basic Skills Test for National Healthcare Assistants questions?

To create our healthcare assistant test we worked with Revolutions Training Ltd. Revolutions Training specialises in providing vocational qualifications and training to people working in a wide range of health and social care settings.

They have particular experience in working in services supporting people with learning disabilities; mental health issues; drug and alcohol problems and HIV, as well as with older people, children and young people, domiciliary care services and in healthcare settings such as hospitals and GP practices.

With over 25 years’ experience working in health and social care, they understand the challenges faced by employers when working in the health sector. This has allowed them to of written, edited and contributed to 7 health and social care vocational qualification textbooks, 2 tutor resources and a monthly blog for Oxford University Press highlighting professional practice issues for those working in health and social care.