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Why Reading Comprehension is Important in the Workplace

Reading comprehension skills demonstrate the ability to accurately interpret and analyze written information. Because reading comprehension is such a fundamental skill, it is relevant in any position for which verbal communication is routinely exchanged. Reading comprehension plays a role in an employee’s ability to understand what his or her coworkers, supervisors, or clients are trying to communicate. Beyond the ability to read and comprehend information, reading comprehension skills are indicative of an applicant’s overall communication skills, attention to detail, critical thinking, and general aptitude.

Employers who want to evaluate candidates for their reading comprehension skills may choose to administer a stand-alone reading comprehension test or can use broader assessments that measure reading comprehension along with other skills related to job performance. Reading comprehension alone is a rather narrow candidate skill to measure, and instead many employers choose to use the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST), a 20 minute test that determines job readiness and trainability by measuring basic verbal, communication, and math skills. The CBST contains questions that require analysis of a passage, as well as questions testing vocabulary and grammar. Verbal and math subscores are listed separately. The CBST is useful for a wide variety of entry-level jobs. For example, the CBST is an excellent basic reading comprehension test for legal secretaries, administrative assistants, and medical records technicians.

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Top Jobs That Use Pre-Employment Reading Comprehension Tests