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ACER Applied Reading Test - Second Edition (ART 2)

The ART-2 is suitable for testing literacy for entry into technical and/or trade type positions or courses. Research has found that levels of literacy correlate with a person's ability to complete courses or perform effectively in certain positions.

The ART-2 assesses the ability to comprehend written information. The content deals with mainly work-related topics such as industrial safety and machine operation/maintenance. The ART-2 is independent of technical knowledge and reading speed. With the advantage of high face validity, the ART-2 works well as a tool for selection and development.

Three forms of the test have been developed with varying levels of difficulty and items relevant to specific types of occupations:

  1. The General / Clerical Form is a general applied reading test suitable for selection into administrative and clerical roles or courses.
  2. The Technical / Trade Form is an updated version of theApplied Reading Test appropriate for selection into trade and technical roles or courses.
  3. The Basic Literacy Form is designed to assess basic literacy skills for selection into operational roles or applied courses with minimal literacy requirements. It can also be used to test literacy levels of persons from a non-English speaking background.

Performance on the different forms is intended to be independent of technical knowledge or reading speed. Passages or diagrams with text from a wide range of relevant areas are presented to candidates. Each passage or diagram is then followed by a number of questions or statements that are based on the passage. Candidates respond to the questions or complete the statements in order to indicate the extent to which they have comprehended the text

The ART-2 is suitable for apprentices, trainees, technical, trade and administration personnel, and others who need to read and understand written work-related instructions, including Health and Safety information.


  • Key measure of reading comprehension
  • Updated Australian norms
  • Different versions to suit particular job roles

This test is available online.

Contact NZCER for further information.

Test Abbreviation: 
Registration Level: 
Country of origin: 
Online or Paper-based
25-30 minutes
Work Area: