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Spelling Test Online Preparation & Free Practice Questions

Aptitude Tests Preparation

What Is a spelling test?

A spelling test is a type of a verbal reasoning exam used by employers and some educational institutions to test your aptitude for performing under pressure as well as your knowledge of English vocabulary.

A psychometric spelling test differs from a school spelling test. The main differences are that you will sometimes be timed, and the words will not be read aloud to you. We will go over the two most popular question formats in this article as well as tips to help you improve your spelling speed.


Tips for Preparing for Spelling Tests

While the spelling test may feel daunting, following these tips will help you be successful on test day!

  1. Auditory practice. One great way to prepare yourself is to listen to words being read aloud while you spell what’s being read out (without looking at the source text). You can use online flashcards for this, or you can find an enjoyable eBook or podcast! Simply turn the recording on, have paper and a pencil ready, and spell what’s being read out to you. Most eBooks and online flashcards have the option to slow the reading speed if you need to start out that way before upping the speed.
  2. Reading. Habitual reading is also a great way to improve your spelling! Your brain will recognize spelling patterns the more it’s exposed to new vocabulary, so sitting down with a favorite book or magazine is one way to passively improve your spelling capabilities.
  3. Utilize practice tests. You’ll find one below for free! Take advantage of practice tests and don’t forget to time yourself.
  4. Study grammar rules, particularly rules about conjugation! The next section in this article will walk you through some basic grammar rules you should study. The more you practice and ingrain these rules, the more instinctual they’ll become.


How to Recognize Grammatical Structure in the Spelling Test?

While there are a ton of grammar rules in the English language, the spelling test relies on your knowledge surrounding the rules about conjugation and verb tense. The spelling test also measures your knowledge on basic spelling, but for now we’ll go over the basics of conjugation as well as the irregularities to aid in your preparation!

Conjugation refers to how verbs (words describing action or state of being) are changed to reflect things such as person, time tense, number, or mood. Person refers to the point of view, in which English has six options: first person singular, second person singular, third person singular, first person plural, second person plural, and third person plural. Verbs must be conjugated to reflect each tense. In the below table, you will find the conjugations for the verb to be. This is an irregular verb!

To be conjugations

First Person Singular Second Person Singular Third Person Singular
I am You are he/she/it is
First Person Plural Second Person Plural Third Person Plural
We are You are They are


Tense refers to when an action is happening (past, present, or future). There is a standard pattern for regular verbs. Take a look at the following example for an explanation:

Verb: to walk

  • Present tense: no change to verb. (I walk across the room.)
  • Past tense: add -ed to the end of the verb. (I walked across the room.)
  • Future tense: no change to the verb. (I will walk across the room.)
  • Present, past, and future continuous: add -ing to the back of the verb. (I am walking, I was walking, I will be walking.)

Again, all regular verbs follow the above pattern with the same endings. However, there are over 100 irregular verbs in English, all with unique conjugations. While we can’t cover each one of them here, you can find lists of irregular verbs in dictionaries and through online resources.


Adjective Forms of Nouns in the Spelling Test

Another set of grammatical rules you should be aware of are those referring to when a noun (a person, place, thing, or idea) is turned into an adjective (a descriptive word).

Typically, to create an adjective from a noun, you simply add a suffix to the end of a noun.

Example: stress → stressful

However, there are a couple of rules for irregularities you need to be aware of in order to spell certain adjectives correctly:

  1. If the noun has a short stressed vowel, double the final consonant (sun → sunny)
  2. If a noun ends in -y, change it to an -i (duty → dutiful)
  3. If the suffix being added begins with a vowel, remove the final -e unless the ending is -ee, -oe, and -ye (fortune → fortunate BUT agree → agreeable)


The Two Main Types of Spelling Test Questions

Spelling tests come in many forms, but there are two main question types that you may come across. Note that the format of these may vary depending on the test, but the general idea remains.

Question Type One: The first type comes in the form of identifying general mistakes. In these questions, you will be given a block of text, a sentence, or a series of words and asked to identify the mistakes or number of mistakes. The example below will demonstrate two potential sets of answer choices for the same question.

Example: “There has been a recent push to reduce the amount of single-use consumeable products in the restaraunt industry. Eco-scientists are saying that, without a major change, continueal use of these products will only hasten environmental degradation.”


Question option one:

How many spelling errors are in the above text?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

Question option two:

Identify the correct list of misspelled words in the above text.

  1. consumeable → consumable; restaraunt → restaurant
  2. consumeable → consumable; restaraunt → restaurant; continueale → continual
  3. consumeable → consumable; degradation → degradeation; environmental → environmentale
  4. consumeable → consumable; restaraunt → restaurant; degradation → degradeation

There are three misspelled words in the given text: consumable, restaurant, and continual (note the incorrect conjugations and adjective forms). This means that the correct answer for the first option would be C: 3, and the correct answer for the second option would be B. Again, while the question options are different, they both ask you to identify the misspellings in the given text.


Question Type Two: The second type is not limited to a single question. Rather, this type comes in the form of lines of series of words in which you are given a certain amount of time to identify the correct spelling in as many of these series as possible. These types of questions are where practicing the aforementioned tips come in especially handy.

Example: You have two minutes to answer as many questions as you can. Circle the correctly spelled word in each series.

  • misleadeing | misleading | missleading
  • undoubtedly | undoubtdly | undoubtedley
  • defendant | defendent | defandent
  • tommorrow | tomorrow | tomorow

The correct answers for the above are: misleading, undoubtedly, defendant, and tomorrow. Note that this question type usually involves a higher time limit and much longer lists of words (i.e. 10 minutes and 75 sets of series), but the concept of speed and accuracy remains. For this question type, the best way to prepare to answer them is to practice timing yourself when it comes to spelling!

Again, these questions vary greatly in format depending on the test, but you can expect the same general ideas to apply. Be sure to practice your conjugation rules and sight words in order to adequately prepare for the spelling test!


Sample Questions and Answers

Now that you have an idea of what to expect for the spelling test as well as how to prepare, it’s time to put those skills to the test. Below you will find eight free sample questions and answers you can use in your preparation for assessment day. As mentioned above, question types vary greatly, so these sample questions have been created to reflect some potential formats. You can find an answer key at the bottom. Best of luck!


  1. Which of the following is the correct spelling of this weather phenomena?
    1. lightening
    2. lightning
    3. lightly
    4. lightely
  2. The food at the restaurant _____ my expectations.
    1. excided
    2. exceded
    3. exceeded
    4. exceedid
  3. How many spelling mistakes are in the following sentence?
  4. “The recuring winner of the annual chess tournament was surprised to be faced with a challengeing new opponent.”
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
  5. Identify the correct list of misspelled words in the below text.
  6. “Tensions between the waring countries rose as the opposeing political leaders were each found to be guilty of adultry and embezzlement.”
    1. opposeing → opposing; were → was; adultry → adultery
    2. waring → warring; political → politikal; adultry → adultery
    3. opposeing → opposing; adultry → adultery; embezzlement → embezzlment
    4. waring → warring; opposeing → opposing; adultry → adultery
  7. “The CEO has ____ to promote the general manager to assistant CEO in the next fiscal year.”
    1. decided
    2. decisioned
    3. decide
    4. decidid
  8. “It became ____ quickly that a change in pace was needed.”
    1. apparant
    2. apparrent
    3. apparent
    4. aparent
  9. Which of the following series of words is correctly spelled?
    1. acosted | determined | recklessly
    2. accosted | determined | recklessly
    3. accosted | detirmined | recklessly
    4. Accosted | determined | recklessley
  10. Which of the following series of words is correctly spelled?
    1. outrageous | equivalent | mischievous
    2. outrageos | equivalent | mischievous
    3. outrageous | equivilent | mischievous
    4. outrageous | equivalent | michievious


Answer Key:

  1. B
  2. C
  3. B
  4. D
  5. A
  6. C
  7. B
  8. A