Error Checking Tests

Advice, tips and sample tests to prepare for error checking tests

Free example Error Checking tests

Try one of our free tests to see how they help you improve.

Free Error Checking Test

This free numerical reasoning test contains just 5 questions and is considered easy.

What are Error Checking Tests?

What is an error checking test?

An error checking test is an aptitude test that evaluates your ability to spot errors in sets of data or text. The typical questions that arise during these assessments require an effective comparison of correct information alongside an adapted version of the original text.

The original and copied versions will appear to be very similar. However, in the altered text, some items have been transposed or swapped with other parts of the transcript. The aim is to identify the statements that have been written correctly, those that have been altered and the nature of the alteration itself. The texts provided will normally contain alphabetical and numerical characters in order to allow for an assessment of both fields and have a time limit for completion of questions.

Why are error checking tests used?

Error checking tests provide useful insights to both employers and candidates who are taking the test. Feedback given to the candidates that have taken the test shows their current level of ability and how much room there is for improvement, which can be motivational information for the candidate to better their analytical and error-checking skills. If the feedback is taken positively and the candidate acts upon this to make improvements, this could result in some real productivity changes at work, for example, making less mistakes in e-mails, which gives off to clients an air of professionalism, or perhaps less numerical mistakes are made when paying bills and handling invoices. Huge, costly mistakes can be avoided by ensuring that the correct amounts are paid out and received. Phishing scams will very often use similar e-mail addresses and websites to real companies, but will alter one or two letters. There have been costly mistakes when companies have updated bank details for their suppliers and paid lots of money into scammers' accounts!

Having made that the case for the benefits of error checking tests, now is the time to know how to tackle one by knowing what to expect. The main trick to these is to be able to compare an original piece of text with a modified version right next to it. Some changes will have been made to some of the letters, numbers and/or characters:

  • items could have swapped
  • items could have been removed
  • items could have been added

So, at first glance, the two pieces of text might look identical, but upon a close and careful inspection you might see that the company name, the account number, the telephone number, the e-mail address suffix and other details aren't identical and mistakes have been made. The time limit for these tests are usually quite tight and you will only have a few seconds.

Example Error Checking Questions

The best way to familiarise yourself with error checking tests and the types of questions you might be asked, is to try some example questions yourself. In real tests there will be a strict time limit, typically you will be given 14 minutes to answer 28 questions.

So let's go through a few examples, with the difficulty increasing with each question:

Q1: Identify if there are any errors in the column of numbers, and state what they are.

error checking example question 1

Q1 Solution: In this example the correct text is shown on the right and the candidate has been given a list containing alterations as well as the original number. The task is to state if there are any errors and to identify where and what they. For this example the amended numbers have been highlighted in red and are the typical "transposed" errors, in which items from within the original text have been swapped around, while the rest remains in the initial format.

error checking answer 1

Okay, that first example was pretty simple, but we're just warming up... Now you know how these questions work, let's try something a little harder

Q2: Are the items on the left transposed correctly, if not where are the errors?

error checking example question 2

Q2 Solution: This example is slightly different as there is only one alteration for each original item and it contains both alphabetical and numerical items, it also might seem more difficult at first because the two full columns make it appear more daunting. Once again the errors have been highlighted in red and are of the typical format.

error checking answer 2

Now let's try one more example question... This time there will be a lot more information for you to check through...

Q3: Are the items on the left transposed correctly, if not where are the errors?

error checking example question 3

Q3 Solution: This final example is a little more complicated as it introduces the idea of multiple "types", represented here as Company Name, Account Number and status, this type of question requires extra attention as there could be more than one error for each row. The task requires an accurate comparison of the two tables in order to detect the errors and state where they are. Questions that involve multiple possibilities for errors to occur may be the most useful as the error finding process closely resembles that which would be needed in day to day tasks.

error checking answer 3

How to prepare for an Error Checking Test

When preparing for an error checking test, or any other test, these pieces of advice may be helpful:

  • Be well rested - Ensure you get a good night's sleep the night before. Having had enough sleep your mind is rested and can focus better on the task at hand.
  • Remain calm - Arrive early to ensure you are not stressing about whether you'll catch the bus or subway in time. Use breathing exercises to relax.
  • Read instructions - Simple mistakes can be avoided by carefully reading the instructions. There might be specific instructions to tick certain boxes or different ways of marking your chosen answer.
  • Double check your choices - Have a quick eyeball before moving on to the next question just to see if the answer you've chosen makes sense with the question. Ensure that you have selected the answer you meant to.
  • Manage your time well - Carefully balance re-reading questions and answers, spotting errors, and checking your answers to ensure you do not spend too much time on one question and have enough remaining to answer all questions.
  • Ask for feedback - If you can, ask for feedback after the test. This will give you a good indication of your strengths and weaknesses.

Lastly, we wish you the best of luck!