Clerical/Office Support Jobs Test Overview

All applicants for certain clerical titles are required to take and pass the Clerical/Office Support Jobs Examination. This one test is used for the following clerical/office support job titles, although not all titles shown may be open for application - you should check our current announcements:

*       Office Assistant 1, 2 and 3 (typing positions and non-typing positions)

*       Imaging Operator I

*       Secretary 1 and 2

*       Administrative Secretary

Please read job postings for every job classification very carefully. Some specialized support jobs such as Accounting Technician, and Customer Service Representative require a different examination. Also, some jobs require a typing test, and applicants for Data Entry Operator 1 and 2 jobs do not have a written examination but must take and pass the online typing test (see typing and data entry test information below).


Below is a general description of the procedures and topics covered in the Office Support Jobs (Clerical) examination.


The written test score is used for ranking and referral order. Applicants are expected to complete all 100 items. Although timed (you will have three hours to complete the written test), this is not a speed test. It is important to keep track of your time so that you can work at a steady pace. Don’t spend too much time on questions you find difficult. Try to eliminate one or two answers and make a reasonable guess (there is no penalty for guessing!).


Unless specifically stated below, no test study guide is available, and we cannot recommend specific study materials, nor can we provide more information about specific test sections or items. Textbooks and general test preparation guides covering the test topics may be available in libraries and bookstores.


For the job classes of Office Assistant 1, 2, and 3, there are both typing and non-typing position options. Applicants for office assistant positions which do not require a significant amount of typing are not required to take the typing (keyboard) test. More information on the typing test, and the separate data entry keyboarding test, is found below.




Applicants who require special handicap/disability accommodations for the testing process should call our Staffing Services unit at 304-558-3950 ext 0. 



*       Total Items: 100 question format consisting of 4- or 5-option multiple-choice answers (A, B, C, D, E) 

*       Test Time: 3 hours

*       Passing Score: 47 out of 100

Test Components - the test sections are described below:

1.     Reading Comprehension (12 items) - These items test your ability to read, understand, and apply written information. No previous knowledge of the material is required.

2.     Interpersonal Skills (10 items) - These questions related to your ability to deal with coworkers, customers, and office visitors. They deal with customer service, making objective decisions, following rules, showing interest and courtesy, and coping with conflict.

3.     Arithmetic (14 items) - These items pertain to basic arithmetic calculations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, averages, fractions, decimals, percentages, making change, and time calculation).

4.     Record Keeping and Forms Completion (9 items) - Questions in this area will test your ability to keep basic records and check form entries. No previous knowledge of the specific record, procedure, or form is required.

5.     Checking and Comparing (18 items) - To answer these items, you will compare pairs of information (usually 3-4 lines) to detect differences in the information (typos, format, transposition, punctuation, etc.). No previous knowledge of the information is required.

6.     Sorting, Alphabetizing, and Filing (18 items) - Items in this area indicate your ability to sort, alphabetize, and file information. Commonly accepted rules for alphabetizing and filing are used. Examples include names, addresses, titles, organization names, and abbreviations.

7.     English Grammar, Effective Expression, and Editing (19 items) - Knowledge of English grammar, effective expression, and editing are tested by questions on basic grammar rules, spelling, punctuation, word usage, and sentence structure.



The Division of Personnel’s Typing Speed and Accuracy Test is a three-minute timed test. The minimum passing score is 35 net words per minute, with 80% accuracy. NOTE: The same typing test is used for the clerical titles listed above and for data entry positions. To receive scores on all of the above-listed positions and/or data entry jobs, applicants need only take the typing test one time.


Typing tests are not administered at Testing Centers. Applicants for any clerical job (Office Assistant, Secretary, etc.) that requires typing skills or for data entry positions will have 15 days after completing the written test to complete a special online typing test.


You will not qualify for typing jobs until you have completed the online typing test. The typing test may be taken at any available internet-connected computer (home, WorkForce WV office, library, etc.). You may take the test at any time or place; however, you MUST complete the typing test within 15 calendar days of taking the written test. If you do not take the typing test, or if you do not pass it, you can only be considered for non-typing jobs.


Applicants who complete the written test will receive a Typing Test Instructions sheet from the test administrator. It is very important that you read and keep this sheet until you are ready to take the typing test. The instruction sheet contains complete instructions on accessing the special typing test website, and will contain a special access code. You must test within 15 days to avoid expiration of the Access Code. We cannot accept typing test results from any other source other than that described in the Typing Test Instructions sheet. 

At the testing website, you may practice typing before starting the actual test.

You must pass both the written test and typing test to qualify for typing-specific jobs. The final score is a combination of your passing written and typing test scores. Once you complete the typing test session your score is final. Do NOT attempt to re-test. You are not permitted to retake the typing test until you have re-applied and re-taken the written test. The waiting period for the written test is 90 days.

IMPORTANT: Any falsification in the typing test procedure, such as allowing another person to take the test for you, is a serious violation of State law. All applicants can expect to have their typing skills re-tested by the employing agency if contacted for an interview. Failure to meet your claimed speed and accuracy level may result in permanent State employment disqualification and possible prosecution of all persons involved.




All data entry operator jobs are located in Charleston. There is no written test for these positions; however, applicants who have applied for our Data Entry Operator 1 or 2 job class(es) will take an online performance (typing) test – this is the same typing test used for the other clerical job titles listed above on this page.


As with all other job titles, you should first apply online. Once you’ve completed the application process, you must then report in person to any one of our test locations to register and to obtain an online test instruction sheet and access code. To receive scores on data entry positions and/or any of the above-listed job titles, applicants need only take the typing test one time.




For jobs that require typing, the final score is the weighted average of the percent scores on the clerical written and typing tests. As an example: Let's say an applicant passes the written test with 68 of 100 items correct (68%), and passes the typing test with 45 net words per minute.

*       Typing percent score = 45 / 70 = 64% (rounded)

*       The written test counts 70% and the typing test counts 30% of the final score 

*       Therefore, the Final Score = 70% of 68 plus 30% of 64 = 67 (rounded) 

*       Veterans Preference points (5 or 10) are added to the final score, as appropriate.


*       Written Exam Passing - 47 of 100 (47%)

*       Weight with Typing Test: 70% of total score 

*       Typing Test Passing Score: 35 net words per minute (50%)

*       Weight with Written test 30% of total score