General Clerical Skills Testing Program Summary


  1. Ensure a highly skilled and qualified clerical work force.
  2. Provide managers and bargaining-unit members with an objective tool to measure job qualification.
  3. Provide training opportunities for bargaining-unit members to improve their likelihood of passing the test, and for those who fail the test, to provide some training opportunities to improve their skill sets.
  4. Ensure that test-qualified bargaining unit members, who are otherwise qualified and who have the most seniority, are promoted within the university.
  5.  Adopt competitive hiring and promotional practices that are consistent with public-sector industry standards. 

General Clerical Skills Test - Implemented 2002

 Clerical and administrative support positions also require successful completion of a skills and abilities test.  The clerical skills test is administered on a computer and will identify applicants who have the skills and abilities required for the job. 

The test consists of four components: 

  • Basic Reading comprehension
  • Following Written Instructions
  • Clerical Proofreading
  • Office Math Skills

Tests are administered by appointment only and will take approximately 1 1/2 hours.  Tests are administered Monday - Friday at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. and are offered only when there are open positions that require the clerical test.  Testing begins promptly at scheduled times.  Testers should arrive at least five (5) minutes early to check-in.  Testers not checked in prior to the start of testing, will not be allowed to take the test(s) and must reschedule.  Testers must provide identification (i.e. picture ID) when they report for testing. 

Please note that the clerical exam must be completed on or before the position closure date, which is included in the posting details.  the last testing session is at 2:30 p.m. on the date of the posting closure.  Applicants will not be able to test after this date and time. 

For further information visit Employment Service Center. 


  1. Who developed and validated the test?

Aon Consulting Services developed the test. Aon validated the test in 1997 consistent with the requirements established by the EEOC in the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, 29 CFR 1607.

        2.  To whom will the testing apply?

The test applies only to those who seek a promotion to a position posted on or after 8/01/02 (or external applicants).

No current employee is required to take the test, unless the employee wants consideration for a promotion on or after 8/01/02 or external applicants.

Employees are not required to pass the test for lateral transfers or re-classifications or in reduction in force situations.

Once an employee passes the test, the employee does not have to take the test again unless the University’s HR Division increases the passing score. (This would require 60 days of notice to the Union.)

Employees who fail the test can re-take the test every 90 days (3 months)  

What do I need to do to take the test?

 Applicants who are interested in taking the test can follow these steps:

  1. Complete an application in the Online Hiring System
  2. Apply for an open position that requires the clerical exam
  3. Call Employment Service Center at (313) 577-2010 to schedule an appointment for testing

Upon request, persons with disabilities will be given reasonable accommodations to facilitate their participation in the testing process.  Only those candidates who provide acceptable picture identification will be allowed to test.

Where do I go to take the test? 

 Employment Service Center is located in the Academic Administration Building at 5700 Cass Ave., Suite 1900, Detroit, MI  48202.  For a map on campus click here.

There is parking available at the meters along Cass Avenue for $0.25 per 20 minutes.  Additionally there is parking in a lot behind our building as well as in Parking Structure 1 located across the street from our building on Cass, parking in the lot or structure is a flat rate of $4.75.  

Re-Test Policy

 If a candidate does not pass the clerical and typing tests the tester will be allowed to re-schedule and re-take the sections that were not passed after a minimum of 90 days.  Candidates will not be required to re-take the entire test, only the portions of the test that were not originally passed.  Candidates can reschedule by calling Employment Service Center after 90 days has passed and they have applied to an open position that requires the clerical test.  

I Passed, Now What Happens? 

If you are successful in the testing process, your scores will be added to your application in the Online Hiring System.  Continue to check for any open clerical positions, for which you feel you qualify, and submit your online application for consideration.

       3.     Can the University modify the test at its discretion?

The University may modify GCST to develop equivalent alternate forms of the test. The University may not use another type of test without the approval of the Union.


  1. An employee’s score will not be released to departments. The only information that will be provided to the hiring department is whether or not the employee passed the test. However, if the employee wishes to take advantage of the seminars on proofing and grammar on paid time, then the current supervisor will need to be aware that the employee is eligible to attend this seminar and to arrange the paid release time. This amounts to the supervisor knowing that the employee did not pass that one portion of the test. An employee could, if she/he wishes, arrange to attend the seminar on vacation or personal time to prevent the supervisor from knowing that the employee did not pass the proofing and grammar section.
  2. Employees who are promoted after the GCST is a promotional requirement will only be subjected to a 225 hours worked provisional period. This means that any time not worked during the provisional period automatically extends that period until 225 hours are worked.
  3. The first time that an employee takes the test, the employee will be paid for the time spent taking the test. Supervisors are required to release an employee from their normal working hours to take the test within one month of the employee’s first written request to take the test.
  4. Employees must coordinate with their supervisors to be released from work to attend the training programs and to retake the test. 

Additional Information

For more information about position postings or the application and/or testing process, please contact the Employment Service Center at (313) 577-2010. 

August 1, 2002: Passage of the GCST is a promotional requirement for jobs posted on or after this date. [Not for lateral transfers.]