Basic Skills Test: Get Practice & Pass Easily
David Meshulam

David, Psychometric Testing Expert at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at:

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).

Create Your Own Assessment Prep Kit!

Job-seeking can be a long and frustrating process that can take several months. As part of this journey, you'll have to take a number of pre-employment tests or video interviews.

We've designed our Premium Membership to guide you through the entire journey: 

Mix & match 3 PrepPacks of your choice at a 50% discount for 1 month/3 months/6 months.


Looking for a new job?

Upload your CV into our AI, data-based CV Analyzer System, and get offers specifically tailored to your skillset and experience!

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 about 20 seconds for each question.

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

Choose the answer that best describes the sequence of events outlined in the question, without omitting any details or changing the meaning.

Event: Larry quit his job after the accident.
Event: He enrolled in college and received a full scholarship.
Event: 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 member.
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is A.

The sentence that best describes 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.


By adopting the right approach, you can cut down your solution time.

Remember when applying for a job you’re being compared to other candidates.
Only those with the top scores will have a chance to get a job offer, so good preparation is key.

Click here for more information about Wonderlic's basic skills test or take a practice test for free.


For more cognitive assessment tests, check out our Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam.


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.

To learn more about another popular Criteria assessment, which is similar in some ways to the CBST, visit the Criteria CCAT test page, or try the Free CCAT Test.


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 

Related Links:

Free IBEW Practice Test

Free WorkKeys Practice Test


Criteria, Wonderlic, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website.
Not what you were looking for?