Reading indicator: A Guide for employers

This tool can be used by employers to learn more about the reading skills of their employees. It gives an indication of skill levels by providing examples of Level 1 and Level 2 assessment questions. Using this tool allows employers to:

  • obtain useful information about the skills employees bring to the workplace;
  • identify current employees’ training needs; and
  • improve workplace training to target specific skill areas for improvement.

The questions duplicate actual workplace tasks performed in a variety of occupations but they do not require specialized knowledge to be correctly answered.

Instructions:

  1. Ensure that employees read and understand the instructions prior to completing the Indicator.
  2. Detach the correction sheet from the questions section.
  3. Set a time limit for employees to complete the Indicator. Typically, it should take no more than 20 minutes to complete.
  4. Mark the Indicator using the correction sheet, awarding one mark for each correct answer. Do not award partial marks.

Helpful tips:

  • Employers may want to give employees the opportunity to self-administer and mark the tool.
  • Scores should always be kept confidential.
  • Indicators are also available for other essential skills.
  • If employees do not achieve at least a Level 2 on the Indicator, you may want to consider offering training and support to improve reading skills.

Important note:

Administering this tool to employees will provide an indication of their skill levels. It should not be considered an assessment tool. The Indicator is meant to be a training tool that can be used to help you identify skills that may require upgrading in the workplace.

For additional questions or more information on essential skills, visit Literacy and essential skills.

Reading indicator: A guide for employees

The essential skills reading Indicator is a tool designed to help you better understand your reading skills. It consists of 10 examples of assessment questions to give you an indication of your skill level. The first 5 questions are easier (Level 1) and the next 5 are slightly more difficult (Level 2).

Essential skills levels range from Level 1 (basic) to Level 4/5 (advanced). You can use the Indicator to help identify if reading is an area where you might need some additional training. Improving your skills can help you perform your job more effectively or prepare for a career change.

The questions in the Indicator are based on actual reading tasks performed in the workplace. You do not need specialized knowledge to answer any of the questions.

Instructions:

  1. Allow yourself no more than 20 minutes to complete the Indicator.
  2. Write your answers directly on the Indicator in the space provided.
  3. If you are marking your own Indicator, use the correction sheet provided at the back. Give yourself one point for each correct answer. Do not give yourself partial marks.

Helpful tips:

  • If you do not know the answer to a question, skip it and move on to the next question. You can always come back to it later.
  • Use the Indicator to help identify areas in which you may need skills upgrading.
  • Indicators are also available for other essential skills.
  • If you did not achieve at least a Level 2 on the Indicator, you may want to consider upgrading your reading skills.

For additional questions or more information on essential skills, visit literacy and essential skills.

Reading indicator

Level 1

Question # 1

Look at the email below.

What does the grey filing cabinet contain?

Circle or underline your answer in the text.

Jennifer,

Please note that the DuBarry file has been placed in the wrong filing cabinet. The blue filing cabinet should only contain receipts. The grey filing cabinet contains all the customer files. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

John

Question # 2

Look at the instructions below for cleaning a gas grill.

What should be used to remove grease and fat?

Circle or underline your answer in the text.

Gas grill cleaning instructions

  1. Remove cooking grid and burner before full cleaning.
  2. Remove excess grease and fat from the grill bowl with a wooden scraper.
  3. For cleaning other residue, use hot soapy water and a cloth or a nylon-bristled brush.
  4. When finished cleaning, replace burner and cooking grid.
  5. Check burner operation after reassembly.

Question # 3

Look at the email inquiry below.

What is the employee’s usual paycheque amount (after taxes)?

Circle or underline your answer in the text.

Good afternoon,

I have a question about this week's paycheque. Every two weeks I earn $1,200. After taxes, I am usually left with a total of $935. This week an extra $25 was taken off, leaving me with a total of only $910. Can you please explain why this paycheque is different from the others?

Thank you,

Julie

Question # 4

Look at the hotel fax below.

On which day of the week is the client scheduled to arrive at the hotel?

Circle or underline your answer in the text.

Fax

To: Journey Hotel 604-555-4567

From: Lucy Smith 604-555-8910

Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2007

Pages: 1

I would like to make a reservation for a hotel room. My arrival date is Tuesday, June 13, 2007, and my departure date is Thursday, June 22, 2007.

I would like to reserve a non-smoking room with two beds and a view of the ocean.

You may contact me at the following phone number: 604-555-6235.

Thank you,

Lucy Smith

Question # 5

Look at the instructions below.

How long must floor installers wait before cleaning the surface with a sponge?

Circle or underline your answer in the text.

Grout

Instructions for use

  1. Prepare 1.8 kilograms of grout. When the spacing between tiles is 3.2 millimeters or more, use sanded grout. When the spacing is less than 3.2 millimeters, use unsanded grout.
  2. Mix the grout with 500 milliliters of water in a large bucket.
  3. Spread the grout and scrape off any excess grout. The grout will begin to harden after about 15 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, clean the surface with a sponge.
  5. After 40 minutes, wipe the surface with a paper towel.

Level 2

Question # 6

Look at the golf cart rental agreement below.

The player who rented the cart would like to take it to a different golf club.

Circle or underline the section of the agreement which forbids him from doing so.

Golf cart rental agreement 

Section 1: Not more than two persons and two golf bags shall be in the said car at any one time.

Section 2: Lessee expressly acknowledges personal liability to pay Lessor costs to repair all damages to said property and Lessor’s costs including attorney fees incurred in collection of payments due from Lessee hereunder.

Section 3: Lessee represents that he is familiar with the use and operation of said property.

Section 4: Lessee agrees to keep said property in the same condition as when received.

Section 5: Said property is not to be removed from the golf course and is to be returned promptly to the Lessor after use.

Section 6: Lessee agrees to keep said property in

Question # 7

Look at the inmate escort procedures for correctional officers below.

What item must correctional officers keep in their possession when escorting two inmates?

Circle or underline your answer in the text.

Red Lakes Institution inmate escort procedures 

  1. You are responsible for the safe custody and discipline of this (these) inmate(s). You shall under no circumstances allow inmate(s) in your custody out of your sight.
  2. You shall ensure that the inmate(s) is wearing a standard issue uniform clearly displaying the inmate register number.
  3. When escorting more than 3 inmates, you shall carry a firearm and pepper spray.
  4. You shall sit directly behind the driver during an escort in vehicles lacking appropriate protective shields.
  5. You shall apply handcuffs and leg irons. Other restraint equipment must be authorized by the Warden or officer in charge.
  6. You shall notify the officer in charge of the institution or Duty CS upon return of the inmate(s).
  7. You shall check bathroom facilities thoroughly prior to use by the inmate(s).
  8. You shall carry valid photo identification showing the inmate(s)’s photograph and register number.
  9. You shall report any contraband seized during the escort to the Warden. 
  10. You shall ensure the safe custody of the inmate(s) under your responsibility while maintaining the protection of the public.

Question # 8

Look at the brochure from an insurance company below.

A patient’s treatment is expected to cost more than $1,000. What does the patient’s dental centre need to submit to Apple Insurance?

Circle or underline your answer(s) in the text.

Apple Insurance

5589 Bank Street Suite 200

Ottawa, ON K1K 2K2

Apple insurance

Your health is our primary concern

Important notice about changes to your policy

Please note that there have been amendments to the Dental care Plus plan, effective immediately.

If treatment is expected to cost less than $300, the dental care centre does not need to notify Apple Insurance in advance.

If a patient’s treatment is expected to cost more than $300, the patient’s dental care centre must submit a treatment plan to Apple Insurance.

If the treatment is expected to cost more than $1,000, the dental care centre must also submit x-rays.

The reimbursement limit for dental procedures will increase on May 31, 2007. The new reimbursement limit is $1,500 per year, including spouses and/or dependents.

Question # 9

Look at the Emergency Code Manual below.

A patient at a hospital is angry and has thrown a dangerous chemical product onto the floor.

Circle or underline the two codes that the nurse aide must transmit over the intercom.

Emergency code manual
Emergency code Description Immediate action(s)
Code pink A child has been abducted. Contact security to provide a description of the abducted child.
Code white Hazardous materials have been spilled. Cordon off the area. Contact maintenance to clean the spill.
Code yellow The hospital will be receiving a large number of patients at once. Activate the disaster plan.
Code grey A patient or other individual is being combative. Contact security. If possible, contain the individual in an isolated area.
Code purple An adult patient is missing. Contact security to provide a description of the missing patient.
Code red There is a fire in the building. Pull the fire alarm. Close all doors and windows.

Question # 10

Look at the employment application form below.

A small business owner wants to fill a position which requires work experience in three areas. Which of the job requirement(s) does the applicant meet?

Check all that apply.

  • ❑ Providing information to customers
  • ❑ General administrative duties
  • ❑ Preparing written reports

Employment application form

Position applying for: General office clerk

Name: Chantal Perry

Address: 1544 Drake Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 0K0

Phone number: 613-555-3239

Employment history

  1. Former employer: Canadexx Software Inc.

    Position held: Administrative Assistant

    Main duties and responsibilities:
    • Verified and processed payment plan applications using computerized and manual processing systems.
    • Performed various administrative duties, including contract administration and payroll.
  2. Former employer: Hannah’s Day Care

    Position held: Early Childhood Educator Assistant

    Main duties and responsibilities:
    • Led and monitored activities designed for young children, such as storytelling, singing, and arts and crafts.
  3. Former employer: The World Traveler

    Position held: Receptionist

    Main duties and responsibilities:
    • Greeted and directed customers to the appropriate employee.
    • Provided information in person and by phone to customers.
    • Updated financial records.

Correction sheet

Marking guide

  • Award one mark if the key word(s) in the answer is/are circled or underlined, as indicated below.
  • The sentence containing the key word(s) may be circled or underlined. Other parts of the text must not be marked.
  • Do not award partial marks.
  • Add the total score for each level. A score of 3 out of 5 or less in either section may indicate that skills upgrading would be beneficial.

Reading – Level 1:

  1. “The grey filing cabinet contains all the customer files.”

    The key words customer files must be included in the marked text.
  2. “Remove excess grease and fat from the grill bowl with a wooden scraper.”

    The key word scraper must be included in the marked text.
  3. “After taxes, I am usually left with a total of $935.”

    The key number 935 must be included in the marked text.
  4. “My arrival date is Tuesday, June 13, 2007 [...]”

    The key word Tuesday must be included in the marked text.
  5. “After 20 minutes, clean the surface with a sponge.”

    The key words 20 minutes must be included in the marked text.

Total – Level 1:    /5

Reading – Level 2

  1. Section 5: Said property is not to be removed from the golf course and is to be returned promptly to the Lessor after use.”

    The key words Section 5 must be included in the marked text.
  2. “8.You shall carry valid photo identification showing the inmate(s)’s photograph and register number.”

    The key words photo identification must be included in the marked text.
  3. “If a patient’s treatment is expected to cost more than $300, the client’s dental care centre must submit a treatment plan to Apple Insurance.” and “If the treatment is expected to cost more than $1,000, the dental care centre must also submit x-rays.”

    The key words treatment plan and x-rays must be included in the marked text.
  4. “Code White” and “Code Grey”

    The key words white and grey must be included in the marked text.
  5. “Providing information to customers” and “general administrative duties”

    Both boxes must be checked off, with the “preparing written reports” box left unchecked.

Total – Level 2:    /5

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