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Are the skill tests "open-book" tests?

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Active Member
Bill S Member Since: Feb 13, 2017
11 of 21

I agree with Douglas Michael M on this one. If these tests are intended to be "closed book tests", they should say so.

 

Those of you who disagree say the tests are meant to test your knowledge and skills. "Knowlege" might imply a "closed book test", but "skills" should include all the methods you've learned to perform the task at hand. And certainly, in the area I work in, ghostwriting and editing, that includes the ability to use all the research methods I have availble. - including the internet

 

Here are the official Testing Requirments per Upwork:

 

Upwork Test Rules.jpg

And just for the record, I took one test, U.S Word Usage, and scored a 4.10 in eleven minutes and not the forty minutes allowed, hardly enough time to do any searching over the internet. But I didn't look up any answers because I thought that was prohibited.  I didn't look them up because I'm lazy.

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
12 of 21

... on a practical note, the tests have a reasonably tight time limit per question and you would likely be hard pressed to find the answers in time?

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Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
13 of 21

Petra R wrote:

... on a practical note, the tests have a reasonably tight time limit per question and you would likely be hard pressed to find the answers in time?


In my area of copy editing, not really. Testable items typically have arbitrary answers, according to the relevant style guide. If I know there are a half-dozen approaches to using a semicolon, and the context of the question narrows those down to two or three, a quick glance at a results page can tell me which approach is preferred according to (for example) CMS or AMA style. That's how I work with clients' manuscripts, and it's how I would approach any further testing, should I ever find the time and need for it.

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Community Guru
Vince D Member Since: Feb 18, 2016
14 of 21

The skill tests are meant to test your current knowldge not what you might know next week after looking something up on the internet.

"Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
Buckaroo Banzai
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Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
15 of 21

My current knowledge includes knowing which style guide is appropriate and how to find what I need in it. It will never include the ability to memorise even just the Oxford and Chicago manuals which provide the bare minimum of what I need. Though I don't use that new-fangled internet for that...

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Active Member
Linda P Member Since: Apr 4, 2017
16 of 21

To be honest, I think the UpWork help center article needs to be much more clear on this topic.  I came across this forum thread after Googling because the article was unclear to me.

 

It says that you shouldn't be "looking up test questions or answers online," but refering the official documentation for something like Wordpress or PHP is not looking up answers.  It doesn't give answers to conceptual "how do I..." problems, it's just looking up syntax to make sure that you are implementing your solution the right way.  I refer to the PHP Manual all the time when I'm coding, but that doesn't mean that I don't know how to code.

 

edit: ok after taking some of the tests I see that they are really simple questions that could actually be answered just by looking at reference docs. But I stand by statement that UpWork needs to be more clear about their instructions. Those of us from a technical backgreound are used to much more complicated and conceptual tests which are typically open book.

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Ace Contributor
Saloria S Member Since: Apr 7, 2017
17 of 21

Here's my take on this subject. I've seen those test on Upwork and only took one twice. I'd say this: People can cheat or "sly by" on tests, BUT heres the thing: Apply for jobs that calls for Data Analysis in SQL, Excel 2016/365 or presentations in Powerpoint or anything, show those high scores and you my get the job. It all comes down to the job at hand. Get the job and not knowing what you're doing means a lot and that's why I say study, study, study which I'm doing a lot of these days. Showing your work whether it's an actual project from a client or your own little side project means way more than a test in my mind. My theory in a nutshell.

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Ace Contributor
Mina F Member Since: Jan 18, 2019
18 of 21

I was searching the forums and came across this topic which is exactly what I wanted. Apart from the fact that there are open-book tests/exams everywhere/anywhere (as far as I know), as a translator, don't I make use of dictionaries, online translators or any other kind of means to get the job done? The question I really would like to have an answer for here is, are the tests made solely to test if I can get the job I'm on Upwork for done, or actually to test my abstract knowledge or in other words; test my knowledge without researching for information (not answers), irrelevantly to how I'd actually do in a given job? From my opinion, as someone already previously stated, there's an obvious and a wide difference between researching knowledge and looking up pre-made answers, and certainly if one wanted to cheat, they wouldn't have to take permission to it.

 

I'm really looking forward to an answer from someone who would know about the essential purpose of those tests to be able to benefit from the whole thing properly. Thanks.

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Active Member
Joshua H Member Since: Feb 1, 2019
19 of 21

My thoughts on the testing are simple.

 

If you can research to find the answer within the 1 or 2 minute time allotted, then UpWork should make the timing shorter or make the question more complicated with variables. They can do this, and if they want to limit researching and cheating, then they should do this. However, they won't eliminate cheating by doing this, only limit it. Someone can well prepare if they truly want to be top 5% of whatever tests they take.

 

On the other hand, if you can find the answer within 1 or 2 minute time allotted, that is actually research it and find it, not copy it from someone else or cheat, then does it really matter? UpWork is a website for connecting individuals looking to utilize their skills to bring satisfactory work to clients looking to have jobs completed.

 

I've been managing for a couple years now, and I don't care if it's a high skill or low skill job, I want my employees to be able to get the correct answers quickly. If that means they do research, which is an essential part of most mid-level jobs, then that's fine by me. I'd rather have someone who knows less, but can get answers in 2 minutes and utilize that knowledge than someone who gets answers in 30 minutes. 

 

No one has all the answers, continuous learning is a part of life, having advanced researching skills only makes an individual more valuable. This isn't school, this is UpWork, this is real life.

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Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
20 of 21

TEST - something (such as a series of questions or exercises) for measuring the skill, knowledge, intelligence, capacities, or aptitudes of an individual or group. 

 

Looking up references in order to CLARIFY or FIND OUT or CLARIFY something in regards to work you are doing is two different things. 

 

One measures, and the other gives answers to clarify JOB related work. If a doctor looks up something before an operation he's NOT measuring his skills, he's using it for knowledge to make sure he has enough and the right information.

 

Upwork's tests are to measure the skills, knowledge etc of the freelancers. If a freelancer looks up something while working with a client, that's totally differrent. 

 

Let's face it, those who would cheat, yes CHEAT by looking up answers for Upwork's tests that measure skills are going to do it no matter what we say. 

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