Basic Skills Test: Get Practice & Pass Easily

What Are Basic Skills Tests?

Basic skills tests are a cumulative name for tests intended to assess basic math and verbal skills (sometimes additional skills will also be tested, such as mechanical or clerical aptitude, depending on the position). These tests are mostly conducted for applicants to entry-level positions and apprenticeships (the two most popular of which are the IBEW Aptitude Test for electricians and the EIAT for elevator mechanics).

On the private market, the two most common basic skills tests are the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) and the Wonderlic Basic Skills Test (WBST).

Criteria Basic Skills Test

The CBST (Criteria Basic Skills Test) is designed to evaluate your math and verbal skills. It paints a broad picture of your ability to learn, train, and pay attention to details. You’ll have 20 minutes to answer 40 questions on language skills, spelling, basic grammar and math.

Your final score report includes:

  • Raw Score – the number of questions you answered correctly.
  • Percentile Ranking – how well you did on the test in comparison to the entire group.

While the questions are not complicated, the time limit makes it harder to answer all of them correctly.

Try to answer this CBST sample question as fast as you can!

Solve for the positive value of ‘y’ for the following equation:

(1/2)y- x2 = x/2 where x=4 

A. 18.5
B. 4.5
C. 6
D. 9

 How much time did it take you?

Check if you got it right and see the full explanation here

(1/2)y2- x2 = x/2    \ x=4
(1/2)y2- 42 = 4/2
(1/2)y2- 16 = 2    \ +16
(1/2)y2 = 18    \ *2
y2 = 36 \ √ (sqrt)
y = 6
The correct answer is C.

With accurate training and specific solving techniques, you can significantly shorten the time it takes to answer any question.

Feel like you need more practice? Visit the Criteria Basic Skills Test page to solve more sample questions and come prepared with our full preparation pack. 

Wonderlic Basic Skills Test

The WBST (Wonderlic Basic Skills Test) assesses your cognitive skills. The test ranks your verbal and mathematical abilities and evaluates your potential to succeed in the workplace. It measures the ability to learn, adapt, solve problems, and understand instructions. 

You’ll have 40 minutes to complete the test: 20 minutes for 50 language questions and 20 minutes to solve 45 quantitative problems. Both can be very challenging since you have only 25 seconds for each question approximately. 

How fast can you answer this question? Try it out:

Choose the sentence that best joins the sequence of events as laid out in the question, without omitting any details or changing the meaning.

  • Larry quit his job after the accident.
  • He enrolled in college and received a full scholarship
  • He eventually became a faculty member


A. Larry left his job after the accident. He went on to study in college with a full scholarship and
eventually became a member of the faculty.
B. After he had an accident, Larry enrolled in college, received a full scholarship, and eventually
became a faculty member.
C. After his accident, Larry left his job, received a scholarship, went on to study in college, and
eventually became a faculty member.
D. After the accident, Larry left his job at college, received a scholarship, and became a faculty

On the real WBST test, you’ll have about 26 seconds per language question. Did you manage to stay within this time limit?

Check your answer and see the full solution here: 

The sentence that best joins the sequence of events stated, without omitting any details or changing the meaning is:
Larry left his job after the accident. He went on to study in college with a full scholarship and eventually became a member of the faculty.
The correct answer is A.

With the right approach, you can cut down on your solving time. You’re being compared to other candidates, and only those with the top scores will have a chance to get a job offer. So, it’s critical to come prepared for the test and reach the highest score you can.


Can you help me improve my Basic Skills Test score?

Yes! We absolutely can. Our customers improved their scores by 73% after completing the practice. We have conducted an internal survey among our customers, and the results show an enormous improvement of 73% between their starting score and their final score after finishing the preparation. 

Can I use a calculator on the Basic Skills Test?

No, you can’t use a calculator during the test. You must calculate the answers by yourself.

What is a passing score on the Basic Skills Test?

The passing score changes between different companies. Usually, just an average score is not enough, and employers continue with the candidates who score on the top percentile 

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