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Community Member

How is better to deal with test assignments?

Hi, dearest collegues!

Wish you all the best in New Year!


I want to ask about your thoughts and experience with regard of test assignments.


So, recently, I had  experience when client posted a job, then I passed an interview and this appeared to be a paid test assignment. So I was asked to do a short task with very little payment. Ok, no problem, I accepted this.


Contract started and I have done the task. Client didn't say anthing about something he considerd to be wrong. I just had some time to ask questions and receive answers, but generally feedback was very good, so I felt like it is going in a right way and proceeded with the rest of the test assignment.


Then it suddently appeared that client comprared my job with others and decided to assign the the job to the freelancer who "won".


I wanted to mention that the job generally was completed, general first feedback was good (something like great work!), so it is not like I have done something completely wrong or something. Just few moments that needed to be changes a little bit, usually clients discuss  such things when I start a job. Like, ok, here should be done like this etc. It is not often, but generally I have this possiblity to do some part of the job, receive honest feedback and than proceed with.


Returing to the topic, than I was paid that 10$ and client left me crazy bad feedback...  I do not consider it to be fair at all. So, just 10$ contract spoil everything. neglecting my 1000+$ contracts more than year period of work and great feedbacks. So, just few days contact with 10$ payment can spoil a lot. 


I am wondering what should I do with test assignments on the competition basis. I am not confident the client will be adequate enough in his evaluation,   whether I will have a chance to receive feedback and fix something client want to see in another way. This is usually disscussible, but in case of test assignments I can't be sure, because for the  client there is no need to adjust anything, just choose from many. 


There is a danger for client with such way of thinking:


= freelancer didn't do something like I imagined (not explained) = bad work = bad feedback.


When the adequate way is:


= freelancer didn't do something like I imagined, oh, let's tell him about this = cooperation with the client = good results. 


So, we all know that all work should be paid and no free work/test assignments should be accepted. Clients know this and offer something liek first please do some work work 5-10$ ("and than I will spoil your JSS your worked on for years, just because I decided to do like this" )). 


This is not first my experience with "test assignments" in the way of competition. My previous bad feeback was left also because of "test assignment", so I consider this to be system and a  problem for me.   I noticed that clients do not treat such contracts as something that have a value, as well as efforts of the freelancer. So this is easy to give an unfairly bad evaluation and just easily get rid of the freelancer withought any discussions and possibilty to adjust and meet a client's need.


 I am really worried about that.  I do not want to start any test assignments like 10,20,30$ just to try and have a high level of risk, but I am not doing for for free, so it looks like such task are not for me anymore. 


Just wanted to know your experience and thoughts.






Community Member

Don't do them.  Anytime you take a very low paying job you are inviting bad feedback or open the door for a blackmail by them asking more.  

I completely agree with you.


I have noiced that low paid jobs are mostly with problematic clients.  

Community Member

No they are not problematic.  Those people are very shrewd and they know which buttons to push to get whatever they want for the least. 

yes, they are.


I am really do not understand why there is a need to leave dirty feedbacks...really. It is really out of my understaning. Is it a tool for their power expressing??


Community Member


How is it that you think a client who is shrewd and manipulative is not problematic for a freelancer?

Community Member

Don't fret. The contract was for a inconsequential sum of money. Feedback is weighted by the revenue tied to it. See this article on JSS calculation.


Also, don't do test jobs for less than they are worth. That is a common way for clients to get lots of work done for little money from hungry freelancers. It is also a technical violation - by the client - of Upwork's ToS. See subsection 3.3 of the Terms of Use Agreement.


Now I can't say that this was a scam, but if you haven't already, read up on scams and other jobs that violate the ToS.

Top Red Flags for Scams: From Community Member Wes C 

Scammers Know How To Get Money Transferred TO Them 

What kind of jobs aren't allowed on Upwork? 

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