Administrative Support Level Exams

Cognitive skills necessary for effective job performance are assessed through six individual tests. As a candidate for an administrative support position, you can expect to write at least one exam, the most common of which is the Office Skills Test (OST-200).


Office Skills Test (OST-200) Format

This basic administrative support exam is formatted in multiple-choice. The test itself takes 47 minutes, with an additional 43 minutes for instructions and other elements of administering the exam, totaling 1.5 hours.

There are 75 questions; and the “Pass” threshold is 35 correct answers. Your score is based solely on the number of correct responses. Therefore, it is beneficial to answer every question; guess if necessary.

You can prepare for Canada's Office Skills Test by working on OST practice tests. Stress has a negative impact on exam results. The more sample questions you complete, the more confident and comfortable you will be with the OST format and types of exam items, considerably decreasing that test-taking stress.


Content of OST-200

Expect to encounter five sub-tests, each with its own individual time frame. However, the number of questions per sub-test is uniform, totaling 15 items apiece. The Office Skills Test covers an overview of the main abilities necessary for the successful performance of administrative support tasks.

Speed and accuracy are the primary elements evaluated in every sub-test. You can increase both aspects by becoming familiar with the exam. The five sub-tests include:

  • Filing – This sub-test assesses your ability to organize data chronologically, numerically and alphabetically. Each item is comprised of a set of five names, five numbers or five dates. Your job is to select the alternative that correctly sequences the names alphabetically; the numbers from smallest to largest; and the dates chronologically, from oldest to most current. The time limit is 4 minutes.
  • Arithmetic Calculations – You will find basic arithmetic problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The time limit is 13 minutes.
  • Checking – The task is to determine whether an Original List has been correctly or incorrectly copied onto a second list. Keep in mind that the Original List contains no errors. The secondary comparisons are placed into four columns. The questions request that you tally the number of columns containing incorrect information. The time limit is 3 minutes.
  • Vocabulary – Expect a sentence or phrase that includes a bold-type word or phrase. Select the alternative that contains the word or words that most closely fit the definition of the bold-type word. The time limit is 5 minutes.
  • Following Directions – A 12-month calendar is presented along with a set of definitions and procedures. Your job is to answer each item pursuant to the calendar and written information. The time limit is 22 minutes.

What Are the Other Administrative Exams?

Office Skills Test (Filing-201) – The Filing-201 test assesses your accuracy and speed in organizing data and records chronologically, alphabetically and numerically.

Office Skills Test (Checking-203) – Your perceptual skills are evaluated in regard to the ability to identify similarities and differences in data such as names, numbers and addresses.

Office Skills Test (Following Directions-206) – Expect to encounter a calendar accompanied by a list of procedures that define the various aspects and markings on that calendar.

General Competency Test Level 1 (GCT1-207) – The three topics covered in GCT1 include: Understanding Written Material, Solving Numerical Problems and Drawing Logical Conclusions. Prepare for the GCT1.

Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Test (GSPAT-120) – As you can see from the title of this test, the focus is on your written language skills. Your speed and accuracy in identifying and correcting text errors are evaluated through the GSPAT-120.


Preparing for the Office Skills Test

JobTestPrep will soon provide all of the tools needed for the OST preparation process.


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