3 Example VA Tasks For You to Try

Three example Virtual Assistant tasks for you to try

Although the types of tasks you’ll be given by clients will obviously vary depending on what your services are and what these clients do for a living, I thought it might be a good idea to give you three examples of different Virtual Assistant tasks so you can get a basic idea of what to expect.

Example Virtual Assistant tasks

(Please read all the instructions carefully)

Below is the download button for an Excel spreadsheet which has a tab for each of the tasks.


  • Click the pink button above to download the spreadsheet to your computer
  • Enter the required information for each task in the relevant tab
  • If you’re not sure about a task then just leave it

Virtual Assistant task #1 – data sorting

a) On tab one of the spreadsheet is a list of companies and contact names
b) Data sort the spreadsheet into alphabetical order by company name
c) Highlight the cell of any duplicate company names in yellow
d) Google ‘how to sort data in an Excel doc’ if you’re not sure how to do this

Virtual Assistant task #2 – online research

a) Go to the book department on Amazon
b) Find the top best sellers in the History category
c) List the names of the top five books along with the publisher on the second tab in the spreadsheet

Virtual Assistant task #3 – proofreading

There are mistakes in the paragraph below:

“When Apple launched it’s first iPhone in 2007, it didn’t dissappoint. In fact, it immediately captured the collective imagination with a geeky allure driven by Apples slick design, the phone’s smart flexibilty and it’s inovative multi-touch approach.”

a) Find the mistakes
b) List them on tab three of the spreadsheet
c) Email the completed spreadsheet to jtmunro@hotmail.co.uk
d) Sit back and relax then make a cup of coffee/tea in return for all your hard work

Don’t do any of the three tasks I’ve given you.
Now click here to find out why I’ve done this.



I did the task but as I read your instruction down I laugh at myself thanks though I did it to practice how would I follow the task given if it’s on real work.
I learn a lot on this to be more attentive and always read first before doing your task.


After reading the last part, I got a bit confused as to why you don’t want the tasks to be done, so I read it again and clicked the hyperlink. I was surprised! I passed! In this test, I have learned that the attention to details are very important for a VA. Thank you so much! It gave me confidence to push through with my application. Wish me luck!


Good that I read up to the bottom, but at first I was eager to do the task for added learning. Nevertheless, I still download the sample task and plan to explore it.


thank you. i learn from my mistake but its good to try the test coz i learned from it.


I did the first task before I realized the trick, but I ended up doing the rest because I’m not too familiar with excel so I looked at it as practice. Thank you for this test! It was very informative and made me realize that I tend to jump first and look around later. I know better now.

Tanya Dennis

I found this task very interesting. I read through everything twice, noticed under the title in brackets the first instruction, then at the end when you said not to do any of the tasks…. I had to read this twice before clicking through. Thanks I laughed to myself at the end!


I just sent you my exercise and then read the note at the bottom. Great trick and good lesson! Thank you. I’m such a doer that it was a good reminder I need to read ALL the instructions.

Joanne Munro

You’re welcome. It’s better you make the mistake here with me than with a client – because clients can contradict themselves many times in just one email!


I have seen this before but actually think it is slightly misleading because you say please read instructions carefully. As it is split into separate tasks you can tackle them independently ensuring you read instructions as you go along carefully. No indication is given prior to commencement that you need to read ALL instructions FIRST just to read them carefully. I think therefore this is a good lesson to show how those givings you tasks don’t provide all or correct information to begin so you need to be aware of that but i don’t think it shows you haven’t paid attention if you read the instructions carefully as you go along. Thats how i see it but obviously this is just my opinion.

Joanne Munro

you are correct in saying that a client’s instructions need to be read carefully before you start because people often see what they expect to see. I wanted to show what it’s like to see instructions as a VA so they are deliberately misleading. It’s a VA’s actual job to not be caught out by this stuff! A client is never going to tell you to read all their instructions first – which is why I didn’t. x


Wow, I almost failed but I didn’t because I thought I should just finish the whole reading before completing the task

Kim Staley

Very funny! I did the first task and half of the second task. Then I said, this is easy, why is she asking us to do this? Then I read all the way through and saw the instructions to not do any of it and clicked on the link to find out why you did it. Good one!

Shaye Bomar

Haha good one! The most important thing we have to learn is how to follow the complete instructions and that requires taking the time to read all the way through. I almost did it.

Haley N Smith

Grrrr. I’m so mad I didn’t just read the whole thing. I kind of assumed, because the website is so helpful, that this would be an actual thing. So, I didn’t anticipate that there would be some kind of catch to it. However, I get the point. Read through everything completely: assignments, contracts, whatever. A lot is dependent upon our full understanding of the tasks we under take. If this was an actual assignment, then I’d have failed.

Joanne Munro

Hi Haley, then that’s good because you will know to pay 100% attention when you come to doing client work! You can never assume the client isn’t going to write something really confusing at the bottom of their instructions that may require you to query the whole task. Clients can be unpredictable! x

Deborah Northcutt

Ok I am guilty. I did read all the way down to the bottom of this task but the line that says do not do any of these tasks went right over my head. I am glad that this was a test and it let’s me know to pay better attention going forward.


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