Test Taking Tips

If we ask you to visit with us on site, you may be required to complete pre-employment testing, if applicable for the position for which you are applying (see information below).

If you are invited to interview, be prepared to answer both general questions about your background, as well as specific questions about projects you have worked on or situations you have encountered in your previous employment.


The following are some suggestions to help you prepare for the Pre-employment Testing Process.

General Testing Suggestions

Before the Test

  • Eat well and get a good night’s sleep before the test. If you are tired or hungry, your concentration may be affected and so might your test performance.
  • Make sure that you have set aside enough time to complete the test battery. Once you start a particular test, you will not be able to exit the test and come back to it at another time.
  • Make sure the testing area you choose is quiet and free from distractions. Silence or turn off any pagers, cell phones, calculators, portable radios, etc.
  • Read the frequently asked questions regarding assessments located on the How to Apply page.
  • Go into the test with a positive attitude, determined to do your best. Focus on what you know rather than worrying about what you do not know.

During the Test

  • Read all of the instructions for each test and follow them step-by-step. If you skip the instructions, you may miss important information.
  • No calculators, cell phones, and other electronic devices may be used during the test. Scratch paper/pencil may be used if needed.
  • Keep in mind that some tests have time limits. Work as quickly and accurately as you can, but do not become discouraged if you do not complete any test. It is not expected that everyone will be able to respond to all of the test questions in the given time limits.
  • Carefully read each test item. Skimming over a test item may cause you to miss important information.
  • Try to stay relaxed during the test.

Strategies for Multiple-Choice Tests

Multiple-choice test formats present questions with several response alternatives. You are to choose the one alternative that is the correct or best answer to the question. Keep the following tips in mind when you are taking a multiple-choice exam:

  • Never choose an alternative based on the frequency or pattern of your previous responses. Do not assume that the correct answers follow any sequence or pattern, or that they are used in equal numbers.
  • Be sure to read every alternative. Even if one of the first responses is the alternative you expected to be correct, one of the others may be better or more specifically correct.
  • Eliminate alternatives you know are wrong. This will help you to focus on the remaining alternatives. If two or more alternatives seem correct, compare them to determine what makes them different. Evaluate these differences in relation to the question.
  • If you are not sure about any of the alternatives, use logical reasoning to rule out as many alternatives as you can. Then, choose between the remaining alternatives.
  • If you cannot rule out any alternatives, your first reactions often tend to be correct. Change your answer only if information remembered later or a strong hunch indicates that your first guess is wrong.
  • Try to answer as many questions as you can during the time limit. Do not spend too much time on any one question.

Other Tips

Several of the assessments will allow you to complete warm-up questions prior to the actual test. Take advantage of these items to familiarize yourself with the assessment format and content. This will allow you to get a feel for the assessment prior to completing the portion that will be scored. Once you have completed the warm-up questions, you may then begin the assessment.


Basic Skills Tests

Many of the Basic Skills Tests in the Pre-employment Testing online application process are multiple-choice tests. You will select the best answer to each question from the response options presented. The number of response options varies, ranging from two to five, depending on the test. The specific Basic Skills Tests you will complete depend on the job for which you are applying. Some of the tests are timed, and depending on the test, you will have 3 to 35 minutes to respond to as many of the items as you can. You should work as quickly and accurately as possible.

Specialized Skills Tests

In addition to the Basic Skills Tests, applicants for some jobs will complete a Specialized Skills Test. Administrative and secretarial applicants will complete a Microsoft Word test; administrative applicants will also complete Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint tests. Applicants for data entry operator positions will complete a data entry test. Applicants for pharmacy technician positions will complete an online Pharmacy math and dosage calculations test. Surgery Scheduler applicants will complete a surgery terminology test online. PBS Specialists will complete a medical terminology test online.