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atrimis
Member

oDesk Tests

What do you think about oDesk tests? Do you trust them? Do you think that they properly evaluate the tested skill? And If not, which are the main problems according to your opinion?
31 REPLIES 31
jpittenger
Member

FYI - Alexandros is doing a project on behalf of oDesk. If you've ever wanted to be heard on the topic of tests, he wants to hear from you now!

I have given some around 4 Test such as ERP Test, Office Skill Test, XP OS test, Network test and etc. All test I found that it's professional test without Experience and wide Knowledge it's not possible to pass the test. for Example I tried to Pass the Odesk Test without Reading the Odesk Rules and Polcy, But I was Fail to Pass the test I Tried even more Times but could not succed. Finaly I study the ODesk Rules and Policy and then gave the exame then I achived. So it's show that The persons who they have clear the ODesk tests they are Realy worthy and they can do the Job very well. how ever to get a contract it's depand on Price and cover Letter & belong country & luck as well.............. Try hard is only success story..................... Thanks.

Some of the test questions were irrelevant to the job functions. For instance, I had questions offered in the Office Skills where terminology for euphemisms were asked, terms that I have NEVER ever heard of, unless I worked in a New York corporate marketing company. Hello? This is not where I live or the environment where my 35 years of experience has put me. How would I, or most of us know those answers otherwise? (Please, read further before you answer the typical: many people pass these tests. This is not addressing the issue.) Why not have more questions on common protocols? For instance, in the Microsoft office 2007 tests, there were 2 questions devoted to graphs and their tab options. How many administrative assistants actually use graphs often? I rarely if ever, but I know my way around office to find everything I need and do what needs to be done. If you put Office in front of me and ask me to do something, I can make it happen. Ask me about a tab option for a portion I rarely use and I have no idea what you're talking about without looking at the application. Now, I have to wait a month to retake the test and place it on my profile to give "proof" of my validity. Even a physical job wouldn't put me through these types of questions. Who set these up anyway? oDesk needs more relevant and broader questions, please. Furthermore, I see several people asking for tutorials, practice, help, etc. on these tests. How about offering links or courses people can take to brush up, prepare, or get more thorough knowledge before taking these oDesk tests. The answers to these types of questions were vague and given as such: you can take it again in a month; or I assure you lots of people pass these tests. Really? On the first time? Most people, or a rare few? How well do they score? These test results make my experience look like I'm lying to a potential employer. Take the vocabulary test for instance. I have a fairly large vocabulary, but the words given were not common words that even college educated people use. I was raised on a large vocabulary, but most people like me would do better with other words that are more commonly used in the more educated circles. Are we writing technical papers for Creative Scientists? The words wouldn't be used because most freelance or creative writers know their audience isn't going to read or understand it otherwise. Making a test difficult and convoluted for the mainstream isn't helping the testees. How about having a true test of KNOWLEDGE. Sadly, I can wrap my brain around almost anything, and yet oDesk tests are making me look like an savant idiot just because I didn't work in Marketing Corp., NY, NY. Thanks oDesk for being comprehensive in ways that few of us need or use. My advice for those who wrote some of the tests: Don't write a test if YOU don't know all the factors involved and cannot see the overall, bottom-line goal. The few tests that I took did not look like much thought went into them. They looked as if they were desparate to make 40 questions. (Gee, let's see. Only five more questions to come up with. How can I make a difficult test question to REALLy test their skills? NOT.) As a result of some of these questions (and I won't even talk about some of the answer options given), most of us fail or get a low score, making finding a job here a more ridiculous, frustrating, and long drawn-out process. Is that truly necessary? Furthermore, a suggestion for oDesk: How about oDesk setting up a mock company module for newbies to sign into and use to get a feel for the application and process? I tried to ask this of the woman teaching the first webinar and for some reason she could not seem to understand my question and went around it on my three attempts to explain it further. Anyway, this would eliminate questions, problems, and errors when starting your first job. The apprehension for accepting new employment on that factor alone is very high. Just read some of the questions. Feel free to email me with concise, direct answers to any of my issues. Questions are welcome.

I agree with your statements above. The tests are way too technical and do not reflect a true picture.

Is it possible to answer 40 questions in 3 minutes. It means 5 seconds per question? Some contractors have such value.
metabiz
Member

Some tests are good, some are not. I think it is best to personally take the same tests as your contractors. Even if you don't know the subject, it will give you an idea of complexity level.
robertwillis
Member

As I have only just started using oDesk, I've so far taken the Readiness and SEO tests. I had no issues with either. The one thing that does concern me is that I am not someone who typically does well on tests. Never did. I'm sure I am not the only one here who, although they have the knowledge in their head (regardless of subject) and when they sit down at the computer to use it have no problem putting that knowledge to work, but who, when faced with a question on a test and a block of potential answers tend to go...huh? Same when asked cold questions that require an instant answer. I'm the type who likes to consider the question and formulate a response not just bark out whatever first comes to mind. That's why I tend to do email rather than cell phone. ...and that is why before taking the Google Adwords test I am taking the time to review the Google Advertising exam materials. Couldn't hurt, might help and probably something I should do on regular basis anyway.

I have given some around 4 Test such as ERP Test, Office Skill Test, XP OS test, Network test and etc. All test I found that it's professional test without Experience and wide Knowledge it's not possible to pass the test. for Example I tried to Pass the Odesk Test without Reading the Odesk Rules and Polcy, But I was Fail to Pass the test I Tried even more Times but could not succed. Finaly I study the ODesk Rules and Policy and then gave the exame then I achived. So it's show that The persons who they have clear the ODesk tests they are Realy worthy and they can do the Job very well. how ever to get a contract it's depand on Price and cover Letter & belong country & luck as well.............. Try hard is only success story..................... Thanks.

I think most of tests are fair, BUT the translation tests are horrible. (In particular the German/English and English/German translation tests.) Please fix this!! The tests were NOT written by a native speaker and are full of grammatical mistakes. I find it very difficult to pick a correct answer out of 4-6 wrong answers. Many people have complained about this before, please have 2-3 native speakers proofread them to ensure quality AND ACCURACY. Thanks!

Italian tests (translation, word usage, vocabulary...) are full of errors too...

that's what I thought...I'd love to know what I got "wrong"..

[quote=kugrin]I think most of tests are fair, BUT the translation tests are horrible. (In particular the German/English and English/German translation tests.) Please fix this!! The tests were NOT written by a native speaker and are full of grammatical mistakes. I find it very difficult to pick a correct answer out of 4-6 wrong answers. Many people have complained about this before, please have 2-3 native speakers proofread them to ensure quality AND ACCURACY. Thanks![/quote] Yeah, same problem here, and it even reflected on my result, because even the supposed "correct" answer was wrong German... Oh, yes, I apply herewith for the proofreading ๐Ÿ˜‰
expuser
Member

I know this is an older thread now, but I wanted to have more experience with the oDesk tests before responding. After taking a number of the tests, I have some feedback on them: First, the concept is great. It's very helpful to have an additional method for contractors to back up the claims made in the skills section. However, the specific test bank and/or testing service used by oDesk to provide the tests suffers from some deficiencies. 1) Too much duplication of questions between different technology tests. For example, the tests on "SQL", "SQL Server 2000", "SQL Server 2005" and "MySQL 5.0" have a relatively large number of the same questions. So a tester taking all four should score a bit higher than otherwise expected in later tests. This is obviously subject to being gamed. A tester whose goal is to score high in, say SQL Server 2005, could simply take all the other SQL-related tests first to get a good preview of much of the target test. 2) Too much tunnel-vision in the soft-skills test. I have noticed this in the language, management and systems analysis tests. The tests are written as if all the questions are generated from a single textbook. They may test OK for one single standard approach to the subject, but often there is not a SINGLE standard approach. If the tester is lucky enough to have learned and practiced according to the specific standard adopted by the test, then all is well and good. But an otherwise completely qualified tester who has learned and practiced according to a competing standard will not do well, simply because the terminology is different. Hope this feedback is still useful at this late date.

On my profile I actually have a note about not fully trusting the oDesk tests because I have run into too much trouble with questions that aren't relevant or well structured. I am a technical writer and have done instructional design, and I know what a well structured quiz looks like. The technical writing test contains several questions about particular reports that are not something that a technical writer for technology companies will ever come into contact with, so obviously we won't know anything about what goes in them (BTW, neither does Google). It should cover APPROACHES, not specific document types because those will vary widely between employers, and will be controlled by each organization's style guide. It also asks questions about procedures to do things in Excel 2003 or 2007 (not sure which)...well I now have 2010, and guess what? I don't remember where things were located on the menus in the older versions...precisely because I'm an expert with the program and keep it current! Worse, it is entirely possible to spend an entire career as a technical writer and never need to know how to use Excel (I used to be a bookkeeper and became addicted early on...I use it to manage information, and almost never in actual documentation). On the grammar test, I was expecting "fix the sentence" or "spot the bad construction" type questions and instead it focused on parts of speech and sentence diagramming stuff. I have been out of school for 30 years, and rarely encountered that sort of grammar teaching when I was there, so I barely remember it! I have style guides and can look something up when required, but my usual approach is 100% practical: "If your sentence is so complicated that we have to look it up, it clearly needs to be rewritten entirely and probably made into two sentences." That's because grammar that stumps a professional writer is going to be completely indecipherable to an ordinary reader. As a former corporate manager of technical writing groups, the "grammar nazis" were the least able to write things others would like to read and also wasted too much time showing off and annoying everyone else - so I actively tried to NOT hire people who walked in touting their mad grammah skilz. Resume + cover letter + samples = all I needed. So that test seems flawed in its very premise from my perspective; it is biased toward recent graduates and rewards an approach to writing that I know results in ego games, lost productivity, and indirect, hard-to-read documents. Oh, and on the vocabulary test, there is ABSOLUTELY a wrong answer that is being scored as correct. I reported it. I swear oDesk contractors are writing these questions, and using single sources as sloban mentioned. There are frequent job postings for writing test questions on oDesk...

Actually, none of the existing tests were created by oDesk contractors. All (except the ORT) are 100% the responsibility of ExpertRatings (our testing vendor). Creating tests for various training and online ed programs is fairly common type of job.

Those tests are a joke suited only for those who work as software technicians. So many questions completely irrelevant to common tasks. For example, one of the photoshop tests pertains exclusively to photographers when most people use it for a lot of other things unrelated to photography.
mode9
Member

I've done all the ones I want my contractors to have so I know how much to trust them. They suck and are of poor level. In most cases, if I wanted to google the answers I could. There's enough time. HOWEVER... 1. Getting a contractor to do a few tests is a great deterrent to a fraudster because they take time & it scares them as they don't know what to expect. One guy, *removed by admin*, applied for a Joomla experts contract with me. Little did he know I am a Joomla expert and just wanted someone to take the overflow. By the end of discussions I found out that he was a student living in Bangladesh and needed pocket money. He knew nothing about Joomla other than it was a popular job and he only could paste info I gave him which in the process of pasting to him I could paste myself. 2. You can see how long they take to do the test. If it's basic English spelling and you know you did it in 5 minutes, what the hell are they doing for 18 minutes? Smoking, having a coffee or googling the answer. Seriously! 3. If they don't want to do the test why should you hire them? Just some thoughts...

Lorraine A. wrote: "You can see how long they take to do the test. If it's basic English spelling and you know you did it in 5 minutes, what the hell are they doing for 18 minutes? Smoking, having a coffee or googling the answer. Seriously!" Maybe it's because they're just waiting for the questions to appear on the screen. I think it's always good to keep in mind that the internet connection speed varies widely among us. Here's an example: Two days ago an employer asked me to download a training video, which he said it's download in about 3 minutes. When I open the link, I see it's a 97 Mb video. Knowing my modem, I download it at an internet shop which have connection speed far more faster than my own modem. I download it in 60+ minutes. And I didn't accuse the employer cheated me because he said it's a 3 minutes download. Lol. Thanks...
basqueskayce
Member

(note: didn't want to start a new thread, figured this thread was relevant enough) If I retake a test on oDesk and do worse than I did the first time, is that score going to replace my older score?

It will post unless you choose to make it private, so it won't replace it, but it will show on your list of tests taken, along with the first one. You can go to your Settings icon to click on User Settings and then My Tests, and make it private, so the higher score shows, though. Thanks for posting! ๐Ÿ™‚
"Everybody is talented, original, and has something important to say." - Brenda Ueland

Ahh, very interesting system. Thanks for the reply. Cheers, Anth
expuser
Member

I'm a native English speaker. My mom was an old-school grammarian who taught diagramming. I've been a professional writer and editor for more than 25 years. I freelance regularly, with repeat business from clients--including other professional writers and editors. So imagine my shock after taking the Punctuation and Mechanics to find that I scored 50% on parentheses and brackets, 67% on single vs. double quotation marks, 60% on colons and semicolons, and ZERO in mechanics (capitals, abbreviations, italics, underlining). On the English Vocabulary test, I got a 71% in antonyms and 71% in commonly confused words. I passed both, but not with scores that I would find impressive if I were hiring. And I can't take the tests again for another month! I am not big-headed. I know what my skills are, and I know my level of expertise. Either I had an epic case of fat-finger syndrome, or there is something screwy with the test. Is there any way to review the questions and answers to ensure that matters of style (and thus may have multiple right answers) aren't being treated as matters of grammar?
maffett
Member

I recently took a Photoshop test. After 20+ years of using it, teaching it and knowing it inside and out - FOR MY PURPOSES - I bombed. Perhaps they should be split up? I am primarily a print designer and half of the questions simply did not apply to me. I'm a little afraid to re-take it!
sivavranagaro
Member

I can say test for English is extremely hard. It's like they expect you to read all Shakespeare's books.
____________
Don't correct my grammar!

if it's not your native language...and surely that's the reason for a test, so a client can have an idea of the level of your English. If you find the test hard, it's probably because your English isn't at native level.

There are several tests. While I'm top 30 % for basic UK, I'm bellow average for spelling US and vocabulary US. And vocabulary, this is what I'm referring to when I say it's like they expect us to read all Shakespeare's books. There are really untypical words which I'll probably never going to use in communication with my clients.
____________
Don't correct my grammar!
marciamalory
Member

The business management tests are awful. They seem like they are intended for someone who just graduated and has never worked a day in their life. They should be asking situational questions to test how you would handle real life problems, not "What is the name of the person who designed this chart?"

especially the software tests where most of the questions concern functions that most users rarely - if ever - use. Therefore, the tests useless and are not an accurate gage of one's abilities or talents.
flaviacaroppo
Member

Hi,

 

I'm a new member and I am experiencing a few problems with the tests regarding Italian language.

Is there somehow the possibility to check which answers are incorrect in order to evaluate the accuracy of the test?

 

Thank you

Flavia 

Hi Flavia,

 

We don't provide a comprehensive review of your test answers. However, you can review your results by topic. If you come across an inacurate question while taking a test, please use the flag option to report it. Your report will be reviewed by Upwork and our our testing vendor, ExpertRating.

~ Valeria
Upwork
qqsolutions
Member

Never trust on test results on upwork as there are many websites which are providing answers to test questions. Any one can complete any test with top rankings easily. Best practise is to ask for sample work or provide previous samples of their work.