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Applying for even a simple clerical job can also mean you have to undergo a test process. Today, the most commonly used is the Minnesota Clerical Test. Together, let us explore what it is and see what tips you can take home before you even take the test.
This test was introduced back in 1931, the main purpose of which was to measure the abilities of employees and applicants alike as far as their clerical abilities are concerned. Essentially, it measures a person’s perceptual skills and accuracy. The test, just like IQ tests, has been improved and has undergone several changes over the decades to consistently address the varying norms in relation to people’s abilities. The Minnesota Clerical Test is mostly used by applicants applying for positions such as data processors, cashiers, administrative assistants, bank tellers, and other positions that require speed and accuracy to execute.
The Minnesota Clerical Test is pretty easy since there are only two subtests involved. One is a numerical test and the other is text-based. Both tests are timed and all you have to do is to identify the right pair for every set of numbers or texts for each question. For a total of 200 questions, each question is in a multiple choice format. There is no likelihood of confusion because there is only one answer per question. As a side note, the most recent version of the test has 12 subtests. It is interesting to mention here though that a majority of employers still use the two subtest version.
The way it is designed is pretty simple: each question gives you a set of figures or texts and all you have to do is to find the identical set from the options or choices. What’s confusing is that there is a very slight difference between the right answer and the wrong answer. This means that rushing this test will make you susceptible to making mistakes.
This is where the challenge begins and gets really interesting. The Minnesota Clerical Test is a speed test. This means you have to accurately answer as many questions as you can within the time frame provided. Aside from being a speed test, it is also an accuracy test. For every wrong answer, you will be deducted two points instead of one. It is therefore important that you balance accuracy and speed to get the ideal results to pass this test.
Before you take the Minnesota Clerical Test, you need to know that along with other intelligence tests, it is also criticized and challenged. Some skeptics say that it is not accurate and it has a poor reliability rating. According to them, the test does not have a method in discussing or analyzing the significance of the test’s validity. In addition, the test does not measure any significant skill that is related to the job. There are hundreds of clerical jobs out there and yet the test is just made of numerical and textual pairs. Scoring high on the test does not really guarantee that you can perform well on the job’s expectations.
Today, the most updated Minnesota Clerical Test has a total of 12 subtests. The way you review will vary based n the type of test that you will take. Some companies have infused a typing test for clerical positions and this entails that you need to practice typing at home. This, however, is not standard but just in case, you may need to buy or download free software for practice typing.
Another tip is to improve your mathematical skills. This exercise is not meant to develop your ability to solve problems but to familiarize you with numbers, especially their sequencing or positioning. Most items in the Minnesota Clerical Test, as mentioned earlier, are comprised of numbers in which you need to find the corresponding pair. Another helpful practice is to solve crossword puzzles. Word-search puzzles are also good activities to enhance brain memory. Both activities will improve memory and they will also help you develop your logical aptitude.
Lastly, do not get panic. Although time is essential, it is also equally important that you get the correct answers. In this age of technology where aptitude tests are taken on computers instead of paper, there are tests in which you cannot go back to the previous question. In this case, a wrong answer is already accounted for losing two points. Make sure you carefully asses the question and pick the right answer.