Computer use self-assessment

Computer use is the ability to use computers and other electronic equipment (e.g. fax machine, calculators, automated bank machines). The importance of strong computer use skills continues to grow as we become increasingly dependent on technology to carry out our work and daily activities. Complete this self-assessment to help you understand your computer use strengths and areas for improvement.


  1. Read each statement in Section 1 and place a check mark in the column that best describes how well you can complete that task. Tip: Think about your work and life experiences as you consider each task.
  2. Review your responses for each task. If you have checked five or more in the “Somewhat” and/or “No” columns, you may want to consider upgrading your computer use skills.
  3. Complete Section 2 to identify your training needs.

Section 1: Self-assessment

This table contains statements for the computer use self-assessment.
I can... Yes Somewhat No
Use a variety of electronic devices such as calculators, fax machines, photocopiers, and telephones.      
Identify the main parts of a computer and their functions.      
Enter a code into a system (e.g. using an automated bank machine or an alarm system).      
Use a mouse to open and navigate programs by clicking buttons, menus, etc.      
Easily locate and use keyboard keys.      
Log on and log off a computer.      
Use common desktop icons and menus to open programs and files (e.g. Internet browser, email).      
Send a basic email to one recipient.      
Identify and use different computer hardware components such as printers, scanners, and removable storage devices (e.g. CD, DVD, USB drive).      
Resolve basic technical difficulties (e.g. computer reboot, paper jam, ink cartridge replacement).      
Use word processing programs to produce simple documents and perform simple formatting of text (e.g. business letters or memos; font type and size, bold and underline text, bullets or numbered lists).      
Send emails with attachments to multiple recipients.      
Use spreadsheet software to enter and organize data.      
Manage electronic files (e.g. access shared files, save files to a specific location on a hard drive or disk, create folders).      
Browse Web pages to find information and download files.      
Use Internet search engines to find specific information by choosing the right search terms or adding operators (e.g. OR, “ ”, define:) to my search terms.      
Use spreadsheet software to prepare, edit, manipulate and analyze tables (e.g. create and modify budget reports, create various types of charts or graphs).      
Use word processing programs to produce documents with extensive formatting features (e.g. page numbering, headers and footers, table of contents, footnotes).      
Use presentation software to produce visual aids (e.g. slides, hand-outs, and/or charts).      
Give detailed computer-related explanations or training to co-workers (e.g. demonstrating features of commonly used or customized programs).      
Distinguish between different file formats (e.g. rtf, pdf, html, exe, jpg, mpeg).      
Successfully install and configure new software applications or add hardware devices.      
Identify and correct hardware or software problems by using manuals, on-line resources, etc.      
Use and create databases to manage client contact information.      

Section 2: Personal development

Completing this section will help you make informed training decisions.

  • Look at the “Yes” column in Section 1 to identify your strengths, and record them below.
  • Look at the “Somewhat” and/or “No” columns in Section 1 to identify the areas that you need to develop or strengthen, and record them below.

Computer use strengths

I am confident that I can…

E.g. use common desktop icons and menus to open programs and files.

1. ______________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________

Tip: Consider using your strengths to help a colleague, friend or family member improve their computer use skills.

Areas for improvement

I would like to improve my ability to…

E.g. install and configure new software applications or add hardware devices.

1. ______________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________

Tip: When developing your training plan, focus on improving one or two abilities at a time.

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