I joined Upwork last night, and since I have expert level skills in SketchUp, I decided to take the SketchUp test to let potential employers know that I'm qualified.
The test was so bad I don't even know where to start. I sent a message to Upwork pointing out the mistakes and problems, and I can't tell whether they're interested in a solution or not. My argument is that in providing a bad test, some clients use the test score to negotiate DOWN your pay rate, and since the test does not accurately reflect knowledge of the program, it can negatively affect your pay...and that's a problem.
Here is a rundown of the problems:
1) Sketchup 7, the version being tested, is FIVE versions back. Sketchup 7, SketchUp 8, SketchUp 2013, SketchUp 2014, and we're now on SketchUp 2015. There were major changes made when Trimble took over the program in 2013, after acquiring it from Google.
2) Trimble owns SketchUp now. So all of the training materials don't even reflect the correct owner. It says Google.
3) The version being shown on the test is the PC version...and doesn't reflect significant differences from the Mac version. This includes keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl and Alt vs. Option, Control, and Command on the Mac), and also screenshots of features that are completely different, and some features that were eliminated in the 2013 version. A new user of the program would not know what some of these icons were, because they're not even in the program. And those of us who have been using it for a long time don't even remember what those icons did.
4) There are two different versions of SketchUp...the Pro version and the Make version. A couple of the questions deal with a separate application called StyleBuilder that almost no SketchUp users ever touch. Also, the Pro version of SketchUp costs $590, and you can still do almost anything that a client needs with the free version and never touch LayOut or StyleBuilder.
5) The 3D Warehouse has changed significantly also, and there are test questions on the old version as well.
So what's my experience?
• Have taught SketchUp at the college level (Woodworking Design and Architectural Design) for three years
• Have been using SketchUp since 2006, and have done hands-on and web-based SketchUp training for almost ten years
• Have experience on both Mac and PC versions (but for the past few years I've only used the Mac version)
• Former Tech Trainer, Training Content Developer, and Systems Engineer for Apple, so I know how to write test questions that effectively measure student knowledge
• And finally, I did the SketchUp Toolbar help videos for the new version of SketchUp for Trimble, including the videos for tools that appear on the test.
Section Tool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqqxFWIL084 (on the test)
Mirroring Objects: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1AKDwyKk34 (on the test)
Copies and Arrays: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7jE2XpCnkg (on the test)
I have volunteered to help Upwork rewrite the test...but they won't let me retake the test until the middle of next month. Meanwhile, there are jobs that I'd like to apply for that require the test, but I'm afraid that they'll see my passing score of 3.4 as a negative (passing is a 2.5).
Oh, and also, while looking for others who might have had this problem, I found that there are a lot of sites on the Web that post all of the answers. So maybe it's time to update!
I felt similarly after taking a grant writing test. In that case, I suspect the test is either aimed at the US market, or there has been an attempt to draft a general grant writing test which would suit all markets. The expectations were much more formulaic than any grant I have ever applied for, and there was no reference to UK charity regulation or financial recording etc which in my opinion are very important things grant writers should be aware of. I passed, but not very well.
However, I will probably just seek proper accreditation elsewhere e.g. the NCVO and use that instead of this test to demonstrate my skills and experience in this area. Maybe there is something equivalent you can do for sketchup? I have only just joined so was quite surprised to find these tests at all. They could be really useful and I am glad they are there are a new member, but after all are free and not accredited so can only provide a vague indication. If I was a potential client, I would take more notice of your experience than an online multiple choice quiz.
Software tests are bad by default. Everybody has their own style of working and using the software and the questions are showing only one point of view. For example i'm using Autocad for more than 10 years and i can say i'm doing it pretty well, at expert level, but i cant pass the Autocad exam.. Anyways i think they can't give you more bids already and its a shame and its looking more like the other sites we don't want to work with..
You can set test scores so they won't be seen by potential employers. My recommendation is to do so until you can retake the test, and in the meantime be sure to highlight your excellent experience in both your profile and your proposals.
If the test score is required in a proposal, then you could keep the score visible, but explain the problems with the test, as you just did here. I think you give credible reasons as to why the test is defective as well as why you're an expert in the field.