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Why Vocabulary is Important in the Workplace

The ability to read, write, and communicate effectively is important for nearly any job. Vocabulary is one indication of an individual's ability to express his or herself and to understand others either verbally or in writing. If employees cannot be appropriately articulate or understand their coworkers or customers, it can lead to miscommunications that can damage business relationships.

Vocabulary also affects reading comprehension, which is an important component of cognitive aptitude, one of the best predictors of future job success. Cognitive aptitude is related to a person's critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Because vocabulary is associated with more general skills like communication and reading comprehension, employers often administer a general skills test to assess vocabulary. The Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) is a test that measures basic math, grammar, spelling, and language skills, including vocabulary. The CBST evaluates a candidate's trainability and overall "job readiness." The test is often administered for clerical, administrative, and customer service positions where oral and written communication are important for success in the role.

The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) is another pre-employment test that evaluates a candidate's vocabulary. The CCAT measures a candidate's cognitive aptitude by assessing their vocabulary, math, logic, and spatial reasoning abilities. This test is generally used when hiring for positions that require a high degree of problem solving and critical thinking.

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