Spelling and Punctuation Test

Test your ability to spell and punctuate correctly in CVs, covering letters and application forms.


A survey by forum3 found that spelling mistakes and basic grammatical errors in job applications were the biggest turn-off for employers. Candidates sending CVs and letters without spelling mistakes are 61% more likely to receive a reply and 26% more likely to be given an interview:

"In the age of the spell-checker, there is no excuse for spelling mistakes.  It is one of employers' main bug bears that some graduates, who are considered the most educated group in the country, make elementary spelling mistakes."

However, using a spell checker is not sufficient, as errors such as fro instead of for, grate instead of great and form instead of from will not be picked up, so you need to read your application carefully as well. See our CVs Page for more details of the above research.

"My pet hates: incomplete and inaccurate application forms, no covering letter, poor grammar and spelling, careless handwriting and letters written on scrap paper".

Partner in a solicitor's firm


The following test will test your ability to spell some common words and abbreviations used in applications for jobs. The test has 32 questions and you will have 10 minutes to do them. At the start there are two very simple example questions which are not marked. At the end of the test (when 10 minutes have elapsed), you will be given a score. You can still continue answering questions for practice after this point, but your score will not change. Please note that the spellings used are UK English, and that there are a few differences between this and American English spelling.



Time Left :






The answers to this test can be found at the end of this page.

Covering Letters

  • If you start with a name (e.g. "Dear Mr Bloggs") you should end with "Yours sincerely".
  • If you start with "Dear Sir or Madam" you should end with "Yours faithfully".

See our applications and interviews pages for further information on covering letters and CVs.

For further example tests and help with tests, see our Employer Aptitude Tests page with tips on how to pass tests. There are now several free practice aptitude tests available on the University of Kent Careers web site. The tests are Numerical Reasoning , Numerical Test 2 slightly harder graphs and tables test, Verbal Reasoning , Verbal (Synonyms) , Letter Sequences (logical thinking) and Diagrammatic/Spatial

If you want further help to brush up your spelling and punctuation see:


Please note that for questions 9, 21 and 22 spell checkers may pass (or substitute) these if they are set to US spelling.

The answers to this test are not confidential and are as follows:

Question Answer Explanation
Example 1 Great  
Example 2 Application  
1 Communication  
2 Business  
3 BSc Stands for Bachelor of Science
4 Personnel Personnel are staff, personal means private or one's own.
5 Curriculum Vitae Latin for ‘course of life’. Use CV if you can't spell it!
6 Currently Currants belong in buns .....
7 Committee  
8 PhD Stands for Doctor of Philosophy
9 Licence Licence is the noun, license is the verb (e.g. I license you to do it). If you are American then give yourself an extra mark if you chose license as the noun is spelt this way in the US.
10 MS Word Stands for Microsoft Word. Ms Word would also be acceptable, so give yourself an extra mark if you would have used this.
11 Accurate  
12 Principal Principal is an adjective which means most important. Principle can only be a noun.
13 Your You're is short for "You are".
14 Dissertation  
15 Necessary  
16 Communication  
17 It's Short for "It is"
18 Assessment  
19 Definite  
20 Accommodation  
21 Practise Practise is the verb, practice is the noun (dental practice). If you are American then give yourself an extra mark if you chose practise as the noun is spelt this way in the US.
22 Liaising It's common for the second i to be missed out.
23 Insight Incite means "to stir up"
24 Stationary Stationery means writing materials
25 Formerly Formerly means previously. Formally means stiffly or methodically.
26 Their hat was over there. Their means belonging to, they're is short for they are, there means in that place.
27 Dependent Dependent means depending on; dependant is someone who depends on you.
28 Separate
29 Commission
30 Embarrassed
31 Bureaucratic
32 Pharmaceutical


Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.


Back to our Aptitude Tests pages .......... Also see our applications and interviews pages