Error Checking Test

What are error checking tests and why are they used?

An error checking test is a type of aptitude test that assesses your ability to quickly identify any errors in complex data sets such as codes, or combinations of alpha-numeric characters. These data sets are often referred to as 'strings'.

Generally speaking, error checking tests evaluate your ability to compare a string of figures or numbers and work out which of the options offered is the best match relative to the question posed. Error checking tests are conducted under severe time constraints. A typical test will give you 20 seconds per question. Therefore, without an understanding of how they work, what they look like and how to answer them quickly, you will not be able to do yourself justice.

With proper practice, you will be able to achieve a much better score result. Practice does not mean years or even months. In fact you could improve your test performance in a matter of weeks, if not days, so it is well worth putting in a little bit of effort beforehand.

Is an error checking test an aptitude test?

Error checking tests are commonly (and perhaps, mistakenly) categorised as an aptitude test (the latter referring to a candidate's ability to easily detect errors in complex data sets). However, practice shows that anyone can rapidly improve their error (data) checking skills by understanding types of data strings, errors, and through practice. Therefore, labelling it as an aptitude test is questionable; it is better to think of them as tests of ability.

Error checking tests

Success in error checking tests is about being able to identify abnormalities quickly.

Practice Makes Perfect

Since an error checking test is not really an aptitude test, it is possible to improve your performance much more quickly than you would for a numerical or logical reasoning test. Aptitude test tutorials, or 'aptutorials', can be used to achieve this goal. The best way to prepare is to use a combination of tutorials and practice tests.

What is a data checking test?

A data checking test is very similar to an error checking test, though there are some slight differences. One key difference is that you have less data to work with. As such, the data checking test is a more simple form of the error checking test, with fewer items to check through. For example, you may be given a table containing many alpha-numeric strings and have to compare them to one string that you have been given. You will then have to identify the correct match from the table of strings.

Who takes error checking tests?

Error checking tests are used by employers for applications in a variety of roles, including::

  • Administrative staff in the private and public sector

  • Commercial sales

  • Marketing

  • Business development and financial services

  • Call centre operations

  • Education

  • Health

  • Hospitality and leisure

  • Operational staff in engineering, construction, manufacturing and transport

Kenexa-style error checking test

In this type of test, you will be provided with two sets (or lists) of data strings to compare such as codes, currency values, credit card numbers, dates, car licence numbers, etc. For each given string of data, you should say whether the two sets contain the same or different items.

An example is provided below:

Error checking tests

Error checking test: tips for success

Potential employers/recruiters want candidates to perform to the best of their ability during their assessment. To that end, making sure that candidates are fully prepared and ready for their test is in everyone's interest. Bear the following tips in mind:

  1. Read all the instructions. Although it may seem like common sense, a surprising number of candidates skip important details in the instructions. The instructions may contain vital information regarding the test, which may be pivotal in correctly answering the questions. Always take the time to read every piece of information provided to you by the test publisher and the employing organisation.

  2. Practice beforehand. You can find cheap error checking tests online quite easily. Practising in advance will give you a much better chance of success.

  3. Use a current web browser. Modern psychometric tests use specialist online testing platforms to deliver tests to candidates. As such, make sure that your web browser is up-to-date, to avoid any issues with compatibility. Similarly, candidates may need to disable any popup blockers when undertaking an error checking test.

  4. Stay calm. Psychometric tests can feel particularly nerve-racking, and error checking tests are no exception. We recommend you make every attempt to keep calm during your test, as excess test anxiety may serve to negatively impact your performance. Get plenty of rest the night before, and keep the time in mind throughout.

  5. Work quickly and accurately. Accuracy is very important, as incorrect answers may count against you. Error checking tests typically have short time limits compared to other cognitive ability tests. Working quickly may require some practice to ensure top performance.

We hope this was useful. For further information on other aptitude tests, click on any of the links below.