How to Pass an Online Spelling Test
When you hear the words 'spelling test', you may think back to middle school where you first learned some of the common rules about correct spelling.
For many people, it will have been years since they were tested on our spelling ability.
The everyday use of spell check, autocorrect and free plugins such as Grammarly means that, unlike previous generations, there is less need to focus on remembering to spell correctly.
These tests aren't just designed to see whether you can correctly spell industry jargon or terminology. Instead, they can give a recruiter an idea of who you are as a person.
For example, your ability to spell correctly could reflect on your wider communication skills.
It can show whether you can spot mistakes and that you are good at paying attention to detail.
If you have been invited for an interview, you will be informed in advance if you are required to participate in any pre-interview assessments.
These quizzes are becoming increasingly mainstream and are no longer the sole attribute of large employers.
Many smaller businesses are turning to aptitude tests during recruitment because they cannot absorb the costs if they hire the wrong person. Therefore, they need to have evidence to help their decision-making.
If you are invited to participate in an online spelling test as part of a recruitment process, you will typically be presented with a sentence that has a missing word.
You will be asked to select the correct spelling of the word from a multiple-choice selection.
This will confirm that you can identify the proper spellings.
For such a simple test, practice and preparation can seem overkill.
In actuality, they are still very important.
If it's been a long time since you've been in formal education or training, many of the spelling habits you learned may have been neglected.
Nowadays, many people rely heavily on autocorrect to check their spelling and may have forgotten some of the grammar rules taught in school.
Additionally, some people have become more attuned to using abbreviations or slang through the use of social media, which can impact their ability to spell correctly when in formal settings.
While teachers or peers may have corrected your spelling as a child, fewer people will do so when you're an adult.
If you are not told that you are wrong, you may repeatedly start to use incorrect spellings.
As a result, you may gain a reputation for poor spelling.
And in some scenarios, the wrong spelling or grammar could change the entire context of what you are trying to say and cause significant miscommunication.
For example, "he should grin and bear it" means he should keep his feelings to himself and handle an uncomfortable situation, whereas "he should grin and bare it" means he should smile and take some clothes off.
You need to be confident that you can spell the technical terms correctly and that there could be no misunderstandings in your written communication.
If we take the healthcare sector as an example, medical errors (which include misspellings) are the third-leading cause of death in the US, with more than 250,000 people dying each year due to a minor mistake.
Something that seems like a minor error — a misspelling, for example — can have consequences if that record is ever pulled as part of a malpractice suit. It can also mislead a future provider, influence how the office's service is coded and therefore billed, or even confuse or mislead the patient when he or she is reviewing records.
Source: Abby Norman, Huffington Post
If you are applying for job roles in these types of sectors, then you should regularly practice your spelling if you know that you struggle to spell industry terms correctly.
In today's multi-cultural society, many people regularly speak multiple languages at home and work.
This can broaden the horizons of a business to whole new markets of clientele.
Unfortunately, switching languages regularly can lead to confusion regarding spelling. Luckily, this can be overcome if you take the time to practice as much as possible.
Children today are more likely to be diagnosed with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD. There is much more awareness of these conditions, and if diagnosed early, children will be more likely to catch up to their peers.
However, if you are part of the Millennial generation, you may not have been formally diagnosed with these conditions.
You may feel that you are naturally a poor speller or maybe you've always struggled with formal academia.
If you think that you struggle with your literacy skills, you may need to make a conscious effort to use free online spelling assessments to help you learn new strategies to improve your spelling.
If used regularly, you may be able to enhance your working routine and boost your employability.
As mentioned earlier, adult spelling tests will typically present you with a sentence that has a missing word and you will need to fill in the blank with the correct spelling.
Others will present you will a whole sentence that has one or more misspellings in it.
Here are a few examples of the types of questions that you may find in a spelling assessment.
Question #1 – Select the correct spelling.
"We will (BLANK) go on vacation to Florida this summer."
Fun fact! Did you know that the word 'definitely' is one of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language? In fact, the use of this misspelling was a key plot point in the finale of the hugely popular BBC TV series, Line of Duty.
Question #2 – Which word is spelled wrong?
"When we travel to Florida for our vacation, we will need to find some affordable family accomodation."
Question #3 – Which word is correct?
"The children wanted to visit the swimming pool during (BLANK) vacation."
Children find it easier to learn how to spell correctly because they are constantly working on their spelling as part of their ongoing literacy.
However, without any formal help, it can be tricky to find the best ways to learn how to improve your spelling as an adult.
These tips may help you.
If you know that certain words trouble you, spend a few minutes practicing those particular words.
The more you spell a word wrong, the more you will subconsciously teach yourself that incorrect spelling.
Practicing the correct spelling of those tricky words counters this.
In addition, regular practice of your pain points will help to turn your weakness into a strength.
It's impossible to learn hundreds of spellings at once – you can only take in a certain amount of information.
If you are trying to understand technical terminology, you'll find it easier and less stressful to focus on a handful of words at a time.
Collect them into distinct groups, perhaps all starting with the same letter or to do with the same subject.
Then, once you have most of them correct, reduce the list down to just the ones you find tricky to hone your practice.
The English language has a lot of spelling and grammatical rules to help you to remember your spelling.
With these, even when you are unsure of a spelling, you can make an accurate guess.
Common spelling rules include:
- Q is always followed by a U.
- When the word has a vowel before a 'y', just add 's' to make a plural (e.g., toy = toys)."
- When the word has a consonant before a 'y', just add 'ies' to make a plural (e.g., story = stories).
There is the saying "rules are made to be broken".
The rules of the English language help, but there are exceptions to them.
These irregularities can cause confusion.
It helps to understand not just which words are "rule-breakers" but why they break these so-called rules.
Consider the famous saying, "I before E except after C".
This is generally true (and can be helpful to remember many words), but there are so many notable exceptions that many find its inconsistency confusing.
For example, words such as "weird", "neighbor", "forfeit" and "seize" all break this commonly cited grammatical saying.
You may wish to expand the saying to remember "I before E except after C or when sounded as 'A' as in neighbor and weigh". This will help somewhat but has exceptions itself.
At this point, it is necessary to simply study more to make the irregular words stick.
The more you study for an online spelling test, the more this will come naturally to you.
Children are taught spellings using phonics.
This is where they learn the sounds rather than the letters.
This is a helpful technique to help you remember how to spell specific words.
Let's take the word "difficulty" as an example.
It can be broken down into the following sounds:
- D (as in duck)
- i (as in if)
- ff (as in whiff)
- i (as in if)
- c (as in cut)
- u (as in ultimate)
- l (as in lit)
- ty (pronounced 'tee' but spelled with a 'y' at the end of a word)
By sounding out the word and breaking it down into the distinct sounds of the letters, it's much easier to remember how to spell correctly.
Here is a shortlist of some of the most commonly misspelled words.
Have a look at the correct spelling and see how it compares to the incorrect versions. This should help you to identify and spot any errors.
Lexico.com has published a helpful guide to some of the most popular misspellings.
Knowing how to communicate effectively in writing is an essential skill required in most job roles.
Consequently, if you regularly send emails or write documents littered with spelling mistakes or typos, you may gain a reputation for being unprofessional.
Your ability to spell correctly is crucial for more than passing the pre-interview spelling test.
Instead, it reflects who you are as a person and what impression you are giving of yourself.
Your ability to spell correctly could set the foundations for how others see you.
So, if you want to be seen as someone with the potential to lead and direct others and be a role model for junior colleagues, it could be hugely beneficial to spend time practicing improving your spelling.