Pre-Employment Tests
For Government & Public Sector Employers

Employers in the public sector often use pre-employment testing to highlight candidates who can learn quickly and have the necessary skills to succeed in a wide variety of roles.

The Statistics

  • About 15.3% of the United States' labor force is employed in the public sector
  • Government employment grew by an average of 6,000 jobs a month in 2017

Why Use Pre-Employment Testing

City, county, and state governments and agencies use Criteria's employment tests to help make their hiring processes more objective, efficient, and transparent. The public sector can experience challenges with succession planning and employee turnover. Testing can help them identify candidates with the skills and abilities to successfully fill their job vacancies.

What Tests to Use

Government agencies use pre-employment testing most frequently to screen applicants for administrative and clerical positions. The most commonly used test for these roles is the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST). The CBST is a 20-minute test of basic verbal and math skills. It also measures attention to detail, communication, grammar, and spelling, as well as general trainability and job readiness.

Another test that's frequently administered for these positions is the Computer Literacy and Internet Knowledge Test (CLIK). The CLIK is a test designed to assess whether an applicant has basic computer proficiency, an important skill for many jobs in the public sector.

Some employers also choose to administer other various typing, data entry, and computer skills tests to assess the learned skills that are important for the day to day responsibilities of clerical and administrative positions.

The Criteria Attention Skills Test (CAST) is usually administered for correctional officers and law enforcement positions. The CAST evaluates an applicant's ability to concentrate and avoid distractions, which is important since correctional officers need to be able to remain alert and focused throughout their shift.

The Workplace Productivity Profile (WPP) is a personality test that looks at a candidate's attitudes toward rule following and overall integrity. It is commonly administered when correctional facilities are hiring for correctional officers since the position requires employees to enforce rules without abusing their power.

Why Criteria

  • State-of-the-art, cloud-based assessment platform
  • Unlimited access to all of our aptitude, personality, and skills tests
  • Tests backed by science and validated for employment
  • Flat-fee pricing model


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