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How to Prepare for a Clerical Exam

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Those looking towards furthering a career in banking, administrative work, clerks and stenography are likely to take a clerical exam. The federal government requires this exam before considering a candidate for employment, as do many other private companies and banks. These exams are written to assess general mathematical and reasoning abilities.

Study mathematics. All clerical exams will test mathematical ability. The math questions on clerical exams are largely addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, algebra and some geometry. The geometry sections mostly concern graphing functions and interpreting graphs.

Practice spelling. A spelling test is included on many clerical exams. Practice tests are available from many sources in print and online. You can test your spelling yourself by conducting “spelling drills” in which you take words you find difficult to spell and spend one day writing them out correctly many times. The next day try the words again and see if you can remember how to spell the words.

Develop your reasoning abilities. A reasoning test is included on all clerical exams. These questions test your ability to follow directions and order information. Typical questions will ask what does not belong in a list of items, or ask you to order objects or people based on the data provided. You will also have questions that ask you to follow instructions to achieve a correct result. This is usually mathematically based, asking you to keep track and manipulate values much as you do in algebra.

Study vocabulary. Vocabulary tests are common on clerical exams. You can build your vocabulary by reading complex writings or reading the dictionary. Both straightforward vocabulary definitions and fill-in-the-blank style questions will be on the exam.

Take practice tests. Many are available in print and online. Repeatedly taking these tests will go a great way to helping you understand not only the things on the test but how the test is made.


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