Ramsay Basic Skills Test - Practice and Pass in 2021
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What Is the Ramsay Basic Skills Test?

The Ramsay Basic Skills Test (A4) is a short, entry-level pre-employment assessment for various processing and manufacturing positions.

The test contains 52 questions to be solved in 48 minutes. Four different topics are covered in the test:

  • Inspection and Measurement
  • Process Monitoring and Problem Solving
  • Arithmetic
  • Reading

Note that using a calculator is not allowed on the Ramsay Basic Skills Test.

The Ramsay Basic Skills Test Content and Topics

Here is a quick overview of the Ramsay Basic Skills Test:

Section Questions Time (min)
Inspection & Measurement 10 8
Process Monitoring & Problem Solving 12 14
Arithmetic 14 10
Reading 16 16

Now, let’s dive into each of the different 4 test sections or sub-tests.


Section #1 - Inspection and Measurement

This sub-test assesses your spatial perception and ability to read basic prints and measurements. It contains three different types of questions:

Multiview Projection

These questions present you with multiple views of a 3d element and assess your ability to mentally view it in full.


Which letter represents surface D?

ramsay basic skills sample question
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is K.

To understand how the 3D figure looks from the front view, you need to imagine you are looking at it from the eye’s perspective as presented in the illustration below. You can see that D and K are the same surfaces.

Let's briefly explain the other answer options (without illustration):

  • O represents surface E
  • J represents the surface parallel to E and is not visible in the 3d view
  • H represents surface C


Measurement Reading

Measurement reading questions include an image of a technical measurement tool (usually tape or gauge) and request you to read the correct measured value.


What is the length of the pencil?

ramsay basic skills sample question measurement
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is B.

The tip of the pencil is at the 1.5-inch mark and the end of the eraser is at the 2.75-inch mark. The length of the pencil is, therefore: 2.75 – 1.5 = 1.25 inches.

Note that this question also can be solved without needing to closely examine the exact point that the end of the eraser is at.

It can be seen fairly easily that the tip of the pencil is at the 1.5-inch mark, and that the end of the eraser is past the 2.5-inch mark, but does not reach the 3-inch mark.

We can therefore determine that the pencil must be longer than one inch, but shorter than 1.5 inches, making B the only reasonable answer choice.


Signal Flow

In this question type, you will need to correctly read a very basic (yet often intentionally confusing) schematic. It will usually entail following lines, pipes, or signals – hence the name.

No previous technical knowledge is required for this question type.


What is the endpoint of line 3?

ramsay signal flow sample question
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is B.

Carefully follow the line that starts at the number 3. The endpoint is at the letter B, on the lower half of the figure.

ramsay signal flow sample question



Section #2 - Process Monitoring & Problem Solving

This section assesses your ability to solve basic problems and to demonstrate common sense on a variety of fundamental physical and technical topics.

Two question types may appear in this section:


Mechanical and Electrical Aptitude

These questions revolve around basic physical and electrical concepts. These may include gears, motors, forces and torque, etc. Questions of this type are usually taken from the Ramsay Mechanical Aptitude Test (MAT).


Which liquid is heavier? (If equal, choose C.)

Ramsay basic skills sample question mechanical
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is B.

Any object floating in a fluid displaces the amount of fluid equal to its weight. Boat A and B are identical and they both float, therefore we can deduce that they have displaced an equal weight of the fluid. However, since boat B has displaced a smaller volume of fluid, it means that the fluid is heavier.

Intuitive explanation: Try and think of it intuitively as a wooden boat floating in water and in honey. The boat floating in honey will naturally displace less volume and will float higher in the liquid.


Following Rules

This type of question deals with making decisions based on a given set of rules, which may appear in various formats, including:

  • Flow charts
  • Work procedures and protocols
  • Gauges


Contamination Control

You are responsible for a clean room for running chemical tests. The following is the standard protocol in case of contamination.

1. If the contaminating chemical is not listed in the HCL-2017 list, contact a lab technician to run the NHC50P test:

   1.1. If the NHC50P test result is below 50%, contact the shift manager, cease work for one hour, and request a cleaning crew. Record the incident in the safety log.

   1.2. If the NHC50P test result is above 50%, contact the head scientist, cease work for three hours, and request a cleaning crew. Record the incident in the safety log.


2. If the contaminating chemical is listed in the HCL-2017 list:

   2.1. If the chemical has an STR ranking of 4 and below, contact the shift manager then begin extensive cleaning protocol. Record the incident in the safety log and the company's QA log.

   2.2. If the chemical has an STR ranking of 5 and above, initiate immediate lockdown before contacting the shift manager and head scientist. Record the incident in the safety log and the company's QA log and open an SI report.


3. If the contaminating chemical is a neutral substance, defined as water, oxygen or hydrogen, contact the shift manager, cease work for 30 minutes, and ask for a cleaning crew.


4. The following is the only exception to the above rules:

Declare emergency when:

   4.1. The contaminating chemical is from an external source, OR

   4.2. There is more than one contaminating chemical, OR

   4.3. The contaminating chemical was recorded in the safety log in the last 24 hours.


A contaminating chemical with an STR of 3 was found. You should call:

The shift manager
The head scientist
Both A and B
Depends on the NHC50P test result
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is A.

The text mentions specifically: “…If the chemical has an STR ranking of 4 and below, contact the shift manager." The head scientist is not mentioned.

Answer D is incorrect, as the result of the NHC50P test is relevant only if the contaminating chemical is not included in the HCL-2017 list and is therefore not checked for STR rating.


Section #3 - Arithmetic

The Arithmetic section of the Ramsay Basic Skills Test will test how well you interpret, calculate, and draw conclusions from quantitative data.

Although the subject matter of the Arithmetic section is rather simple, it is the section with the most rigorous time constraints, so it requires a lot of practice to perform in the given time frame.

Three question types are most common in this section:


Basic Numeracy

These simple questions assess your ability to perform basic math exercises (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) quickly and accurately. The questions will often include fractions and decimals and may appear in the form of a simple drill or a word problem.


320 x 0.7 = ?

Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is D.

320 x 0.7 = (320 x 7) / 10 = 2240 / 10 = 224


Table and Graph Reading

Each question of this type will present you with a very basic graph, table, or schematic. For each such graphic, you will be requested to answer one question related to the data therein.


If each pageview is worth £0.02 in advertising to Cooking.net, what was its income from traffic in July, if that month's gain from donations was £250,000?

Amazon Mechatronics and Robotics Apprenticeship Arithmetic Question
Cannot say
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is (C) – 1.05m

According to the graph, in July, Cooking.net had 40 million page views. In the question given that the income from advertising is £0.02 per page-view. Therefore, for 40 million page-views, the income from advertising, in July, was: 0.02*40*1,000,000 = £800,000.

It is also given that Income from traffic = advertising + donations and that in July, the donations' gain was £250,000. Therefore; add the income from donations to the advertising-income, and get the total income of Cooking.net in July:

800,000+250,000 = £1,050,000, which is 1.05m.

Therefore, add the revenue from advertising revenue donations, in order to get the total revenue of Cooking.net in July: 800,000 + 250,000 = £ 1,050,000 which is 1.05 million.


Unit Conversions

This topic is less common than the other two but is still a subject to consider. You will be required to convert from one unit to another (E.g., from inches to millimeters) using a conversion table.


  • 1 foot = 30.48 centimeters
  • 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters
  • 1 meter = 100 centimeters

Convert 3 feet and 10 inches to meters.

Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is C.

First, we will convert to centimeters:

(3 feet + 10 inches) = 3 x 30.48 + 10 x 2.54 = 116.84 cm

Now, we'll convert to meters:

116.84 cm / 100 = 1.1684 ~ 1.17 m


Section #4 - Reading

The reading section of the test contains 2 short passages, each followed by 8 reading comprehension questions – that is, 16 questions overall.

These questions will not require you to draw conclusions or test your general knowledge – but simply to demonstrate that you understand what you read.


Throughout the history of political thought, strong disagreement has persisted between two competing political positions in particular. According to one school of thought dating back to the ancient Greeks–conservatism–political principles are arrived at by asking the question, "How can the power of the state best be used to deliver the good and virtuous life to the people?" Philosophers of this school agree that political values should be considered but means to higher ends and goals, and that we judge political arrangements by their contribution to bringing us closer to the ultimate moral ends of the good life.

In this way of thinking there can be no "rights" belonging to individuals that trump the power of politics to make people virtuous. For what is right in politics is explicable only when we directly ask and answer the question of what is good for human beings, what fulfills or realizes or perfects our nature. Unless we first know what fulfills our nature as fully functioning human beings, we cannot possibly have a standard or ideal against which to judge political choices.

In the opposing school of thought, commonly given the name of liberalism, the political practice involves us in a paradox: on moral grounds of justice and fairness, the state must refrain from enforcing morality on the people. Instead, justice requires politics to bracket or put aside substantive moral issues, such as how people should conduct themselves religiously, sexually, or artistically.

The fact of the matter is that individuals give different answers to the question of what is good for them, answers that reflect first-order, ultimate commitments tied to differences in religion, tradition, family, and upbringing. It is not the mission of politics to resolve these strong moral disagreements by siding with the answers of some over others. This would be to treat persons unequally and deprive individuals of their equal capacity to "choose their own good in their own way." Thus a just state is a neutral state, devising procedures whose moral value derives precisely from the framework they provide for permitting persons to agree or disagree about their ultimate moral ideals.

The rights of the individual are protected.
At least two political parties will compete
The political arrangements are just.
Its people live a good and moral life.
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

"But they agree that political values should be considered but means to higher ends and goals and that we judge political arrangements by their contribution to bringing us closer to the ultimate moral ends of the good life" (Paragraph 1).

Note how key phrases in the question stem and answer choice are repeated or reworded in the passage quote, thus signaling that the answer is here:
"political power" = "political values"; "goal";
"live a good and moral life" = "moral ends of the good life."

Therefore, D is the correct answer.

How to Practice and Pass the Ramsay Basic Skills Test?

Here are three important tips to amp up your practice and chances of success on the Ramsay Basic Skills Test.


#1 – Don’t Overthink This, But Do Practice

The Ramsay Basic Skills Test is not a professional test. It is pretty simple and straightforward and will (usually) not use trick answers or intentionally complicated questions.

However, the test will present you with topics and content areas you have probably never seen before (especially in the Inspection, Measurement Process Monitoring, and Problem-Solving sections). So, you should be prepared for it, so you don’t waste time merely understanding the question during the actual test.

See more about this in the next tip – Context Matters.


#2 – Context Matters

As all of Ramsay’s tests, the Ramsay Basic Skills Test is used predominantly for technical positions (apprentices, technicians, operators, and manufacturing employees). As such, the context of the test will usually revolve around technical topics.

Find a way to implement these into your practice, and preferably, take them into consideration even before practicing – read some related professional material (Wikipedia articles about mechanical and scientific topics are a great place to start), learn the very basics of print reading, etc.


#3 – Score Well on All Test Sections

Although your overall score on the Basic Skills Test is “the bottom line” remember that your employer will also be able to view your score on each section.

Oftentimes, especially when the candidate pool is large, employers will start looking at sub-scores, and candidates with low scores on specific sub-tests may be disqualified.

Moreover, Ramsay Corporation’s method of Qualification Report will flag candidates with low scores in specific test sections as ‘unqualified’, even if their overall score is good.

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