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Written Test

Career Preparation: Written Test


Written Test

aims at examining one’s language ability and / or logical thinking, it on average lasts for 1 to 2 hours. It is used by employers to recruit staff with special skills. Normally only those who meet the cut-off score will proceed to the next assessment stage.

The format can be highly diversified, examples include:

  • Translation (from Chinese to English/ from English to Chinese)
  • Essay Writing
  • Documents Drafting
  • Aptitude Tests

Essay Writing
Different topics are covered in the essay writing. For example,


  • Please describe yourself.
  • What was the hardest decision you have ever made, and how did you handle that?
  • What is your career goal?

Knowledge about company and industry

  • What do you know about our company?
  • Who do you see as our company’s competitor?
  • Which luxury brands in the Hong Kong market do you find the most successful?

Social Issues

  • Do you think female generally suffers more from sexual discrimination than male in workplace?
  • How is pollution affecting the lives of Hong Kong people?

Current Affairs

  • Please comment the “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong
  • More and more developing, low-income countries are becoming members of WTO, what will be the impact on these countries?

Case Studies

  • Product X will be launched later this month. How should company XX market this new product to maximize its profits?

Points to note:

  • The length of the passage varies according to different companies, bear in mind that the length of the passage has no linkage with your scores.
  • Every essay must consist of an introduction and a conclusion, regardless of the content. One of the most common formulas is: Introduction + Body [3 arguments/ points] + Conclusion.
  • Avoid using too many jargons, idioms, fancy vocabularies which gives you no credit, but a sense of show-off.
  • When dealing with social / current issues, the most important thing is that you should take a position, and develop your ideas with examples and details.

This section is designed to test your ability to write business letters, memoranda, minutes, report, proposal and fax etc.

Examples are as follows:

  • XXX Company is facing the problem of staff arriving late for work. As a personnel officer, please write a report discussing the current situation and actions needed.
  • You are the Assistant Public Relations Officer of a multinational logistic firm, your CEO has been invited to give a talk at the annual dinner, please help him draft the speech.
  • You are the marketing officer of XX Bank. Write an invitation letter to invite your clients to apply for the newly launched credit card.

Points to note:

  • Give a title for easy reference.
  • Avoid being too personal, e.g. “I think you are too …”, “I definitely agree …” Use “we” instead of “I.”
  • When a data file is given for reference, try to summarize the content, and use it when necessary; never copy word-by-word.
  • Proposal and speech are normally written in present tense.
  • When drafting a (spoken) speech, you should address the audience in the first place, use short and simple sentences.
  • Note the difference between “Yours faithfully” -if you don’t know the name of the person you’re writing to and “Yours sincerely” – if you know the name of the person you’re writing to.

Aptitude Tests

Many companies use aptitude tests to examine your ability to work with number, evaluate arguments, and master your languages.

Companies that use aptitude test include:

  • KPMG
  • Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
  • Bank of China (Hong Kong)
  • HSBC
  • NWS Holdings Limited
  • HKSAR Government – CRE

Below are some of the sample questions:


1. Sally started work 2 years ago. Her starting salary was 1/2 of Johnny’s salary at that time. Each year since then Sally has received a raise of 5% in her salary and Johnny has received a raise of 10% in his salary. What percentage of Johnny’s current salary is Sally’s current salary? (answer to the nearest percent)
A. 46
B. 48
C. 49
D. 50
E. 51

2. Which number should come next?
121 100 81 64
A. 17
B. 19
C. 36
D. 49
E. 50

3. Most of the kids enjoy reading these kind of novels during their spare time.
A. these kind of novels
B. these kind of novel
C. this kind of novel
D. this kinds of novels
E. those kind of novels

Verbal Reasoning:

Each passage below is followed by three statements. You have to assume everything stated in the passage is true and decide whether the statements are either:

(Box A)
The statement is already made or implied in the passage, or follows logically from the passage.
(Box B)
The statement contradicts what is said, implied by, or follows logically from the passage.
Can’t tell
(Box C)
There is insufficient information in the passage to establish whether the statement is true or false.

Meditation can help you focus your thoughts. Meditation can help you create art and inventions, brainstorm ideas, and solve problems. Many actors, scientists have used meditation to help them learn, solve problems and get inspired.

Question: Meditation cannot help people to focus.
A. True
B. False
C. Can’t tell

Answers: 1. A, 2. D, 3. C, 4. B

Points to note:

  • To save time, take a look at the answers before starting your work.
  • Time your work. Don’t waste too much time on a single question.
  • Make a guess rather than leave it blank when you deal with difficult questions.
  • Sometimes you are only asked to give an approximate answer, therefore, do not waste time to figure out the exact answer.
  • Keep track on the units, round off numbers when necessary.
  • Don’t make any assumption when dealing with verbal reasoning, assume what the passage says as universal truth. Concentrate on the structure of the statement instead.
  • Be familiar with the question types for different company tests.

All in all, there is no single method to help you pass the aptitude test, but practice makes perfect.