An alphabetical filing test is designed to test an applicant's ability to file names and titles according to alphabetical order. At its core, the test can be described as placing a document starting with the letter "A" before a document starting with the letter "B," and onward throughout the entire alphabet, until all names have been filed.
The filing test first requires a student to sort names by the first letter of each name. For example, "aardvark" comes before "bumbling." This produces categories of documents sorted by letter. However, documents must also be sorted within each category. As an example, once a category of documents contains only the letter "A" at the beginning, the documents must be sorted by the second letter of the word, then the third, until the entire word is complete.
For example, "ant" is correctly sorted after "aardvark" but before "azule." To further refine this, "antagonist" is correctly sorted before "antelope." An applicant on a filing test must sort documents not only by the first letter of the word, but also by each subsequent letter. The test also examines how efficient and accurate the person is when filing documents, measurements that are determined by an applicant's speed in combination with the degree of accuracy she demonstrates.