Reading Comprehension test

The purpose of the verbal comprehension test is to measure a candidate’s ability to read a passage of written information quickly and identify relevant information from the passage. A number of questions or statements are presented based on the passage, and the test taker has to say, on the basis of the passage alone, whether it is true, false, or cannot say (i.e., the passage does not contain sufficient information to say ‘true’ or ‘false’). It is important that the test is completed as quickly and as accurately as possible, as given enough time, many/most people could work out the correct answer.

Type
Cognitive ability
Duration
10 min.
Language
Cognitive ability
10 min.
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Covered skills
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Reading Comprehension
Philip Corr

Expert in Reading Comprehension

Philip Corr
Behavioural & Personality Scientist

Philip J. Corr is Professor of Psychology at City, University of London. He has published close to 200 academic papers and a number of authored and edited books in the fields of biology, personality, behavioural economics, and military role transition. Philip set-up the first MSc in Behavioural Economics in London, at City, University of London, and previously he ran the MSc in Psychological Assessment, at Goldsmiths, University of London. Philip is the co-founding President of the Society for the Psychology of Individual Differences (BSPID; 2009-) and he has been an elected President (2015-17) of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID). He is also The Founding Editor-in-Chief of Personality Neuroscience, a journal published by Cambridge University Press.

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Reading Comprehension Test: Assess and Hire the Best Candidates!

Employers are always looking for ways to improve their hiring process and make sure they are selecting the best candidates for their open positions. That's because making a bad hire can be costly - in terms of both time and money.

One way to help ensure you are hiring the right person for the job is to use a reading comprehension test as part of your screening process.

What is a Reading Comprehension Test?

A reading comprehension test is a tool that assesses a person's ability to read and understand written information. This type of test is often used to screen job applicants, as it can give employers insight into a candidate's ability to comprehend and process complex information.

There are several different types of reading comprehension tests, but they all generally involve presenting the test-taker with a passage of text and then asking them questions. The questions may ask about the main idea of the passage, specific details, or inferences that can be drawn from the information presented.

How to Use Reading Tests in the Hiring Process

If you're involved in the hiring process for your company, you may be wondering how you can use reading comprehension tests to screen candidates.

Here are some ways that you can use reading tests in your hiring process and get the most out of this type of testing:

Assess a Candidate's Comprehension

One of the most obvious ways to use reading comprehension tests is to assess a candidate's ability to read and understand written information. This is especially important for roles that require heavy reading or those in which employees will need to process a lot of complex data.

Gauge a Candidate's Interest Level

In some cases, you may also be able to use reading comprehension tests to gauge a candidate's interest level in the role they are applying for. For example, if you are hiring for a position that requires a lot of reading, you may want to give candidates a test that assesses their ability to read and comprehend long passages of text.

This can help you weed out candidates who are not genuinely interested in the role and may not be a good fit for the position.

Screen Candidates for Specific Job Positions

Reading comprehension tests can also screen candidates for specific job positions. For example, suppose you are hiring for a role that requires excellent writing skills. In that case, you may want to give candidates a test that assesses their ability to read and understand written information and then asks them to write a summary of the passage.

This type of testing can help you identify candidates who have the reading and writing skills required for the position.

Identify Candidates Needing Additional Training

Another way to use reading comprehension tests is to identify candidates who may need additional training to succeed in the role they are applying for.

For example, let's say you are hiring for a customer service position that requires excellent reading and comprehension skills. You give all candidates a reading comprehension test and find that many of them do not score well on that test, but they score well in other areas.

This may indicate that the candidates have the potential to be successful in the role but will need additional training in reading and comprehension skills before they are ready to start the job.

This can help you decide whether or not to invest in additional training for a candidate before hiring them.

How to Assess and Use Reading comprehension Tests for Hiring

When it comes to using reading comprehension tests for hiring, you should keep a few things in mind to make sure that you are using them effectively and using them to get the results you want.

Assess What You Want From the Test

First, it's essential to assess what you're hoping to learn from the test. For example, are you looking to evaluate a candidate's ability to read and comprehend written information? Or are you trying to gauge their interest level in the role they are applying for? Once you know what you want to assess, you can choose a test that will help you get the results you're looking for.

Use the Appropriate Test

Once you assess what you want to learn from the test, you can choose the appropriate test to give to candidates. There are various reading comprehension tests available, so it's essential to choose one to assess the right skills.

For example, suppose you're looking to assess a candidate's ability to read and comprehend long text passages. In that case, you may want to give them a test that evaluates their ability to read and understand written information and then asks them to write a summary of the passage.

On the other hand, if you're looking to gauge a candidate's interest level in the role they are applying for, you may want to give them a test that assesses their ability to read and comprehend long passages of text.

This can help you identify candidates who may not be genuinely interested in the role and may not be a good fit for the position.

Use the Test as One Part of the Hiring Process

When using reading comprehension tests for hiring, it's essential to remember that the test should only be one part of the hiring process.

The test results should be used in conjunction with other factors, such as an interview, to decide whether or not to hire a candidate. However, tests should not be used as the sole factor in determining whether or not to hire a candidate because they do not provide a complete picture of a candidate's ability or interest level.

Use an Online Testing Platform

When administering reading comprehension tests, it's best to use an online testing platform. This will allow you to easily administer the test to candidates and track and assess the results. 

Various online testing platforms are available, so it's essential to choose one that meets your needs. In addition, look for one that offers features such as the ability to create customized tests, track results, and assess candidate performance.

By using an online testing platform, you can easily administer reading comprehension tests to candidates and get the results you're looking for.

Recruiting for Reading Comprehension

While reading comprehension testing can be a helpful tool in hiring, it's important to keep in mind certain drawbacks to relying solely on these tests. Here are five of them:

Tests Only Assess One Aspect of a Candidate's Ability

Reading comprehension tests can only assess one aspect of a candidate's ability. For example, they cannot evaluate a candidate's ability to communicate, interpersonal skills, or problem-solving ability. Therefore, it's important to use these tests as part of the hiring process and not the sole factor in deciding whether or not to hire a candidate.

Tests Can be Expensive and Time-Consuming to Administer

Another drawback of reading comprehension tests is that they can be expensive and time-consuming. If you're looking to administer a test to a large number of candidates, the cost and time required to do so can add up quickly. Additionally, scoring and assessing the results of the tests can also be time-consuming.

Tests May Not be Accurate Predictors of Job Performance

Reading comprehension tests may not be accurate predictors of job performance. Just because a candidate scores well on a test doesn't mean they will be a good fit for the job or perform well. In addition, a candidate's score on a test may not indicate their actual ability.

For example, a candidate may score well on a test but struggle to comprehend long text passages when performing the job. Alternatively, a candidate may score poorly on a test but still be able to complete the job well.

Tests May Discriminate Against Certain Groups of People

Another drawback of reading comprehension tests is that they may discriminate against certain groups of people. For example, these tests may be biased against people who are not native English speakers or who have a different primary language. Additionally, these tests may also be biased against people with a learning disability or difficulty reading.

Tests can Create Test Anxiety

Finally, taking a reading comprehension test for hiring can create test anxiety for some candidates. Testing can be a stressful experience for some people, leading to them performing poorly on the test. This is particularly true for candidates who fear taking tests or who have test anxiety.

Test anxiety is a natural phenomenon and can impact a person's ability to perform well on tests. Therefore, if you're concerned that a candidate may have test anxiety, it's essential to consider this when administering the test and interpreting the results.

While there are some drawbacks to using reading comprehension tests, they can still be a helpful tool in the hiring process. However, remember to use them as part of the process and not the sole factor. In addition, use an online testing platform to administer the test and track results.

Reading Comprehension Test: Considerations for Recruiters

Job recruiters often face wading through a large pool of job applicants to find the best candidate for the open position. As a result, many recruiters rely on reading comprehension tests to save time and energy as part of the hiring process.

While reading comprehension tests can help assess a candidate's ability to read and understand written text, some critical considerations to consider when using these tests as part of the hiring process.

When giving a reading comprehension test, recruiters should consider the following:

All Applicants Should Be Tested Equally

When using a reading comprehension test as part of the hiring process, it's vital to ensure that all applicants are tested equally. This means giving the same test to all applicants and providing adequate time for them to complete the test.

Additionally, it's important to give all applicants the exact instructions for taking the test. For example, if you're using an online testing platform, ensure all applicants know how to use the platform and navigate the test.

Ensure the Test is Job-Related

When selecting a reading comprehension test, it's crucial to ensure that the test is job-related. This means choosing a test that assesses skills that are relevant to the job.

For example, if you're hiring for a position requiring the ability to read and understand complex legal documents, you would want to choose a test that assesses this skill.

Make Sure the Test is Fair

In addition to being job-related, it's also vital to ensure that the reading comprehension test is fair. This means choosing a test that doesn't discriminate against any group of people.

As we mentioned earlier, some reading comprehension tests may be biased against people who are not native English speakers or who have a different primary language. Additionally, these tests may also be biased against people with a learning disability or difficulty reading.

To avoid selecting a biased test, it's crucial to choose a test that has been validated. This means that the test is an accurate predictor of job performance.

Don't Skip the Interview

While a reading comprehension test for hiring can give you some insight into a candidate's ability to read and understand written text, it's important to remember that the test is just one part of the hiring process.

After administering the test, be sure to follow up with an interview. This will allow you to ask questions and get to know the candidate personally.

Additionally, the interview is an excellent opportunity to assess the candidate's soft skills, such as their ability to communicate and collaborate. These skills are important in many jobs and can't be set with a reading comprehension test.

Conclusion

Many companies use reading comprehension tests as part of their hiring process. These tests can help identify the best candidates by assessing their ability to understand and process written information. By using a reading comprehension test as part of your hiring process, you can ensure that you are making the best possible decision for your company and your team.

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