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Connecting Wisconsin's Workforce

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Ability to Follow Directions

TIME: 10 Minutes

Name _____________________________________

The object of this exam will point out that directions are made to be followed. Trainees often find difficulty with an assignment not because they can’t do the work, but because they have not followed directions. They have not followed directions because they have not read them carefully enough to fully understand. This would not be wise, because the main direction is this:


  1. Print your last name in the space provided on this page where it says "Name".
  2. Circle the word "provided" in sentence one.
  3. Draw five small squares in the upper left-hand corner of this page.
  4. Put an "X" in each square.
  5. Put a circle around each square.
  6. Underline "ability to follow directions."
  7. After "ability to follow directions," write "Yes."
  8. Put a circle around "each" in sentence five.
  9. Put an "X" in the lower left-hand corner of this page.
  10. Draw a triangle around the "X" that you have just drawn.
  11. Draw a rectangle around the word "squares" in sentence three.
  12. On the reverse side of this paper, in the upper left-hand corner, add 50 and 40.
  13. On the reverse side of this paper, at the top right-hand corner, multiply 70 by 98.
  14. Write your first name before doing anything else on this test.
  15. If you think you have followed directions up to this point, write "I have."
  16. Now that you have followed the directions in the first paragraph to READ EVERYTHING BEFORE DOING ANYTHING, do only sentence one.


For some jobs, you may need to take a test. Usually, the job announcement or ad will say if a test is required.

There are several types of selection and job fitness tests:

Aptitude tests predict how easily you will learn the job and how well you will perform job tasks.

Job knowledge and proficiency tests measure what you know and what you can do in a job (for example, word processing speed for a secretary job, knowledge of street names and routes for a firefighter job, etc.).

Literacy tests measure reading and arithmetic levels.

Personality tests help identify your personal style in dealing with tasks and other people. Certain personalities can be well suited for other jobs. For example, an outgoing person may be well suited for a sales job.

Honesty and Integrity tests evaluate the likelihood of stealing and trustworthiness of applicants.

Physical ability tests measure strength, flexibility, stamina and speed for jobs that require physical performance.

Medical examinations and tests determine physical fitness to do a job.

Drug tests show the presence of illegal drugs that could impair job performance and threaten the safety of others.

How to prepare for tests

You can’t study directly for aptitude tests. But you can get ready to do your best by learning as much as you can about the test by taking other tests. Look for tests and quizzes in magazines and school books. Set time limits. By taking tests, you learn about the testing process. This helps you feel more comfortable when you are tested.

Brush up on job skills. For example, if you’re taking a typing test, practice typing. If you’re taking a construction test, review books and blueprints.

Get ready for physical tests by doing activities similar to those required for the job.

For literacy tests, review and do exercises in reading and math books or enroll in remedial classes.

It’s natural to become nervous about tests (some anxiety may even help you).

Here are some tips that will help you take most tests

  1. Make a list of what you need for the test (pencil, eye glasses, ID, etc.). Check it before leaving.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep.
  3. If you’re sick, call and reschedule the test.
  4. Leave for the test site early.
  5. If you have any physical difficulties, tell the test administrator.
  6. If you don’t understand the test instructions, ASK FOR HELP before the test begins.
  7. If there are strict time limits, budget your time. Don’t linger over difficult questions.
  8. Find out if guessing is penalized. If it’s not, guess on questions you’re not sure about.
  9. If you have time, review your answers. Check to make sure you did not misread a question or make careless mistakes.
  10. You may be able to retake the test. Ask about the retesting policy.
  11. Get a proper interpretation of your scores. The scores may indicate other career opportunities that should be pursued.