Choosing the most effective test to measure applicants’ communication skills can be quite overwhelming for any recruiter. And for testing written skills, the options can be as varied as running BUPLAS Writing Assessmentonline grammar tests, multiple-choice vocabulary tests, electronically checked essay tests, essay-style exams and so on – the possibilities are endless!

So how does one choose a test that accurately captures the written skills required for the job while ensuring that it is easy and quick enough to adminster, and provides value for money?

The BUPLAS Writing Assessment is an industry-proven solution, used across the globe by contact centers and multinationals to assess written communication skills. This blog will help you understand what the BUPLAS Writing Assessment (WA) covers, the concept behind it, and how you can benefit from a BUPLAS license.

What is the BUPLAS Writing Assessment (WA)?

The BUPLAS Writing Assessment (WA) measures the written communication skills required for email support agents through a 30-minute email writing test that can be taken onsite or remotely.


It has 3 email scenarios – simple, moderate, and complex – that applicants respond to as a customer service email agent.  They submit their responses and the assessment is then scored by an accredited BUPLAS Writing Assessor.  The assessment is hosted on our online system, QUARTO [Quality Analysis of Recruitment, Training, and Operations], which is part of a BUPLAS recruitment license.

What does it measure?

The BUPLAS Writing Assessment (WA) measures the written communication skills required for email support agents.  While many writing tests measure language skills such as vocabulary, grammar, and mechanics, the BUPLAS Writing Assessment (WA) measures these domains together with other areas of communication critical for successful customer interactions, including:

  • Discourse Skills – the writer’s ability to organize ideas coherently and transition from one thought to another clearly and logically;
  • Audience Awareness – the writer’s ability to control the tone in writing, manage customer emotions, and adapt language to the audience;
  • Task Fulfillment – the writer’s ability to address the customer’s concern with the appropriate solution and relevant, complete supporting information

At the end of the assessment, the applicant receives four scores in total, one for each of the following communication areas:  language (grammar, vocabulary, and mechanics), discourse skills, audience awareness, and task fulfillment.  They are rated on a scale of 0.5 to 5.0, where 1.0 is a very restricted writer, 3.0 is a fair writer, and 5.0 is an excellent one.

Why is it effective?

The BUPLAS Writing Assessment (WA) adheres to sound assessment principles and linguistic theory as well as best practices in assessment task design.

As an assessment tool, the  BUPLAS Writing Assessment (WA) is built to address all four assessment principles in Bachman & Palmer’s assessment theory:

  • Validity – the test must measure the skills that it needs to test
  • Reliability – the test must be designed and delivered so results are consistent
  • Practicality – the test must make the best use of resources – time, money, effort
  • Authenticity – the tasks in the test must represent actual on-the-job tasks

So how does the BUPLAS Writing Assessment (WA) address these principles?

  • Validity – It tests all the four areas of written communication skills that it aims to test through the accurate analysis of a human writing assessor
  • Reliability – It makes use of detailed descriptors, scoring procedures, and calibration standards to ensure assessors score tests consistently
  • Practicality – It can be done onsite or remotely, online or with pen and paper, takes only 30 mins to complete, and operates on a license basis, not a charge-per-test model
  • Authenticity – All tasks are built around authentic customer service scenarios that many email agents are likely to encounter in their jobs

In addition, best practices in assessment task design ensure that the test is appropriate and valid. The email tasks are not random, but become progressively more difficult in terms of the demands of the customer and the emotions that need to be manage. This is done to “stretch” the test taker’s language ability, ensuring that scores truly reflect their competency level.

What comes with the BUPLAS Recruitment license?

BUPLAS AccreditationWhen you purchase a BUPLAS Recruitment license  a bundle of support services and tools will be set up for you so that you can run the WA in your organization:

Accreditation training

You will receive a 2-day accreditation training for your recruitment team to score the Writing Assessment according to BUPLAS standards.

Audit and BUPLAS Writing Assessment (WA) benchmarks

Future Perfect consultants will conduct an audit to help you set the proper BUPLAS Writing Assessment (WA) benchmarks for your accounts and advise you on how to integrate them to the recruitment process for maximum efficiency and results.

Monthly calibration and observations

Your assessment team will take part in regular calibration sessions to support their development and ensure team alignment.

Access to other BUPLAS Assessments

You will have access to other BUPLAS assessments such as the BUPLAS Online Screen Test which further supports your organization’s recruitment effectiveness.

Screen Test Listening.png

You will also benefit from having recruitment data tracking and analytics with the QUARTO Online System.

Recruitment-Applicant Assessment.jpg

Don’t want to use a license approach?  You can alternatively outsource the assessment for a fee.


I hope this blog has helped you understand what the BUPLAS Writing Assesssment is (WA) – what it measures, what makes it effective, and what you can expect to get with a license.  For more information, you may sign-up for a free demo walk-through by clicking on the button below.

Schedule a Demo