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?

Error checking tests are built with the idea in mind of evaluating the performance level of a candidate, regardless of whether they are seeking work or are already employed. The results of the test are used to help an employer or company make a decision to select candidates for employment, promotion or benchmarking. Error checking tests, specifically, are very commonly used when hiring for secretarial, clerical and administrative roles because these types of tests are seen as being able to identify people who have a high attention to detail, particularly when dealing with a large amount of written text or numbers. There is a correlation between scores on error checking tests and performance at work. Error checking tests are a reliable predictor of future productivity at work, which is why they have become more popular over the years with employers.

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 letters, numbers, characters might have been:

  • swapped
  • removed
  • 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

In the real test you will be given about half a minute per question. Below are a few examples of questions you can expect in an error checking test. Use these, along with our full free practise test to familiarize yourself with the format of an error checking test.

  • Question 1: The original number has been copied three times. Check if any mistakes have been made in the copies.
error cheking sample question 1
  • Solution 1: Scanning through the three sets of transposed numbers the first two have been copied incorrectly. Sacn through the sequence of numbers one number at a time and compare with the original sequence. In the first instance the 8 and the 7 have swapped places. In the second instance the 2 and the 0 have swapped places. This one is easier to see as the sequence of two zeroes in a row has been broken. Look below to see the errors highlighted in red.
error cheking solution 1
  • Question 2: Have the sequence of letters on the right been copied correctly? If not, spot the errors.
error cheking sample question 2
  • Solution 2: This example is different in that it uses both letters and numbers. The letters here are capitalized. This makes reading them slightly clearer, it helps to avoid confused between the number '1' and the letter 'l' and other characters which are similar. The key to this is to go through each sequence of characters one by one. Compare the character in position 1 of the original sequence with that in position 1 of the transposed sequence. Repeat with position 2, position 3, and so forth. The errors have been highlighted in red.
error cheking solution 2
  • Question 3: Table 2 is a copy of Table 1. Spot any errors that have been made during the copying process.
error cheking sample question 3
  • Solution 3: You have a few different types of data to check here, the account number which is solely numerical characters, the company name, which is only letters, and the status, which can be either active or inactive. These questions with multiple pieces of data to check more accurately resemble the error checking that would be done during everyday tasks. The mistakes in Table 2 have been marked in red.
error cheking solution 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!