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reichstephen
Member

Retiring All Skill Tests

Good riddance. Never mattered, never will.

Thank you Upwork.

Now fix our problem with clients who disappear and never close contracts.

Clients are to busy, get fired, leave jobs and don't care about our overall freelancer ratings.

Its not logical to assume all clients will play by the Upwork rules and finish what they start.

 

Thank you

 

 

20 REPLIES 20
pudingstudio
Member

That is not a real issue, though?

If, for whatever reason, you want the contract to be closed, do it.
You don't need a permission from client, client doesn't need to be online.

I so relish the fact that I will no longer need to think disparaging thoughts about people who come to the Forum and post:

 

"I started to take a test and my [power went out][mom called me][cat walked on my keyboard][computer crashed], and I couldn't finish the test. Could you reset it?"

 

I would never say anything about it publicly, but yeah... those posts really annoyed me.


Antun M wrote:

That is not a real issue, though?

If, for whatever reason, you want the contract to be closed, do it.
You don't need a permission from client, client doesn't need to be online.


We all know we can remove our bids but you are missing the point. Freelancers now spend money in making proposals and we all come across lazy clients that never even come back to view what they posted and don't close the job they posted. Freelancers lose money but UpWork still makes money from every Freelance that bid on the said project.

 

I guess being an Ace Contributor you must just get free connects?

I am just reading this now in 2020 and this still applies. The client posts a job, we freelancers lose connects to apply and the client never responds.

Sadly, it still does, and I often reflect on this with the responses from Community Members, and actually caused me to start looking elsewhere.

Looking back now, it seems like there's a lot of features defuncted or wonky.

ekojr
Member

This is probably going to be a catch 22, but what is UpWork going to do to give new freelancers a better chance? Between this and Freelancer site there were a few reasons for choosing UpWork, and the skill tests is what ultimately gave me hope for the site. It's also what encouraged me to recommend UpWork for others trying to get a Profession started.

I will admit, there were times the skill tests could of been inproved in one way or another, but it was better than nothing to try and validate yourself. Essentually, it allowed clients to avoid having to pay multiple individuals just as a basic test to see if they are knowledgeable in a particular field of study.

If UpWork can't get new blood, it's going to hurt all of us in the end. So, I would really like to know, what is UpWork going to do to give new freelancers a better chance?

Ben R, I sort of agree with you, the skills test was a way to differiate from other services.  And I believed for some clients, the skills test did weed out some Freelancers.  It would have been a good idea to keep the test up to date, but I assume money would need to fund this initiative and with UpWork being public pleasing the stockholders is important. I am wondering how UpWork plans to continue to retain freelancers as well as incentivise clients.  Given the high fees increase in credits, there's not much information in regards to direction.

I am guessing that the time I dedicated to taking 30+ skill tests repaid me as much as my MBA cost me. They helped me to win tens of $1,000's in freelancing revenue that I never would have seen otherwise.

 

I have been very open about having used Google freely to find answers, just to be on a level playing field with everyone else, but that practice eventually led me to abandon the tests. 

 

Early in my time here, dozens of clients selected me to interview based on my outstanding skills tests results. I would downplay the scores when they mentioned them in the interviews, telling them I had Googled any answers I didn't know already, and they enjoyed hearing that. They were happy that I could set myself apart from the crowd by being a fast and efficient researcher, and they were optimistic that I could use those same skills to find precious intel about their competition.

 

Then one day while taking a test and trying my proven technique of an exact match search for a rare term, I found the entire answer key to the test online. That was the last time I took an Odesk/Upwork skills test, but I'm tempted to take a few more before they retire them just for the fun of it. There must still be a few whose answers are not posted online. 

 

At the time, I was also a hiring manager on Upwork, and in that context, the test scores had begun to take on a perverse significance. I began to filter out anyone whose test scores were impossibly good, with impossibly low times to complete.  I would only consider freelancers who had taken most of the allowed 40 minutes to complete their tests.

 

I don't believe the test scores on my profile have helped me much since people began posting answer keys online. However, my scores have not moved down in the percentile rankings. This leads me to infer that those who post answer keys online are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. 

 

In all, I am quite sad to see the scores disappear from profiles, just because of how much they helped me to establish myself here. I have taken a screenshot of them and I intend to post them on my portfolio. 


Alan H wrote:

I don't believe the test scores on my profile have helped me much since people began posting answer keys online. 


That's the exact problem; all of the answers are available online and people were cheating; also, Upwork mentioned in their email that clients said that the test scores did not "reliably help them predict future job success". It's great that they helped you to achieve success on Upwork, but you also had skills to back them up, whereas a lot of freelancers are gaming the system and claiming to have skills that they don't possess, and the tests were just helping them to hide behind a smokescreen. They gave the false impression that Upwork vets its freelancers.

 

I'm also sure that - as Preston pointed out - it required a lot of admin time on Upwork's part to help all of the freelancers who were having trouble taking the tests in the first place. I'm glad they got rid of them.


Ben R wrote:

 Essentually, it allowed clients to avoid having to pay multiple individuals just as a basic test to see if they are knowledgeable in a particular field of study.


No, the test results have been meaningless for years.

 


Ben R wrote:


If UpWork can't get new blood, it's going to hurt all of us in the end


Every single day, 10.000 wannabe freelancers try to get onto Upwork. 98% are rejected, of the rest, the majority never win a job.

 

The chances of Upwork being unable to attract new freelancers are slim to nil at the moment. Not having any nonsenical skill tests will not make a difference.

 



 


Petra R wrote:

Ben R wrote:

 Essentually, it allowed clients to avoid having to pay multiple individuals just as a basic test to see if they are knowledgeable in a particular field of study.


No, the test results have been meaningless for years.

Well, there's already a few, including myself, that probably wouldn't be here without it. Plus, starting out, it did seem to make a significant difference; which others have noticed as well.

 

 


Ben R wrote:


If UpWork can't get new blood, it's going to hurt all of us in the end


Every single day, 10.000 wannabe freelancers try to get onto Upwork. 98% are rejected, of the rest, the majority never win a job.

 

The chances of Upwork being unable to attract new freelancers are slim to nil at the moment. Not having any nonsenical skill tests will not make a difference.

Wow...That's actually pretty bad. Is it really that saturated?!? Then again, I have seen new job postings go over 50+ applicants within the first 10-30 minutes. ...but how is removing skill tests going to improve it. I mean, is 99% a better number? Clients have to sift through all that, and their the ones who keep this company alive! ...discouraging to say the least. 

...Someone else mentioned cheating....not surprising, but there's ways to resolve that. Change the questions and keep them fresh would be the simplest solution. No one in their right mind is going to continually post the answers for free of charge. However, if it has been the same questions & answers...what'd you expect?


Ben R wrote:

The chances of Upwork being unable to attract new freelancers are slim to nil at the moment. Not having any nonsenical skill tests will not make a difference.

Wow...That's actually pretty bad. Is it really that saturated?!?


It is 🙂


Ben R wrote:

Petra R wrote:


No, the test results have been meaningless for years.

Well, there's already a few, including myself, that probably wouldn't be here without it. Plus, starting out, it did seem to make a significant difference; which others have noticed as well.

 

...Someone else mentioned cheating....not surprising, but there's ways to resolve that. Change the questions and keep them fresh would be the simplest solution. No one in their right mind is going to continually post the answers for free of charge. However, if it has been the same questions & answers...what'd you expect?


The tests may have been meaningful years ago and helped you when you were starting out, but that doesn't mean that they're relevant now. I suppose that Upwork could update the tests on a daily basis (and yes, that's how quickly the answers would be posted online), but even if this was feasible from a cost and admin perspective, clients have already lost confidence in test scores being a reliable indicator of performance and there's no going back, IMO.

 


Stephen R wrote:

"Never mattered, never will."

 

Not sure that's true. I have indicators that good test scores improved one's visibility. I am guessing that they are or were a part of the freelancer search ranking algorithm. During my first two years freelancing on Upwork, I received an average of four interview invitations per month. In mid September 2013 I took three or four marketing and management tests and scored very well on them all. One or two of those test scores "officially" validated certain profile skills. On September 18, 2013, I received four job interviews in a single day. Since then, I have averaged between 13 and 26 invitations a month. That was the tipping point for me in many ways here on Upwork.

Good to see the tests go. I started to take the PHP and Wordpress tests a couple of years ago and they were more like a History test of PHP and Wordpress.

 


Ron M wrote:

Good to see the tests go. I started to take the PHP and Wordpress tests a couple of years ago and they were more like a History test of PHP and Wordpress.

 


Like the Creative Writing test which doesn't involve any creative writing. (As a multiple choice test, how could it?) I scored in the top 20% despite being a hopelessly uncreative writer. 

 

Then there's the Italian to English translation test which I passed (just) without knowing any Italian. Smiley Wink

 

(I didn't cheat or Google.)


Stephen R wrote:

Good riddance. Never mattered, never will.

Thank you Upwork.

Now fix our problem with clients who disappear and never close contracts.

Clients are to busy, get fired, leave jobs and don't care about our overall freelancer ratings.

Its not logical to assume all clients will play by the Upwork rules and finish what they start.

 

Thank you

 

 


I liked the tests. I think they look awesome on my profile. 

Plus they could have been a wake-up call to all the hopeful newbies that have a profile devoid of all info and still come to the forum to ask why their proposals are not successful. I still believe they should be obliged to take at least 3 relevant tests to get their profile approved. But I guess nothing is going to deter them, sadly.

So the quality of freelancers is not going to improve by not having tests. 

ashishr_99
Member

No solution in retiring. Nothing proved when 10 people agree with you. They could all be wrong. Arrogating for yourself the right to decide? Ending something simplistic. Tests were a criteria for a freelancer to judge her abilities objectively. Now everyone has subjectivity, and free for all clamour. For example, me saying, I know Excel, I can claim, and you better give me work! Based on my word someone gives me an assignment, and after some time realising I was wrong. How can that be good? in any intelligent discussion!

Ashish Rai


Ashish R wrote:

No solution in retiring. Nothing proved when 10 people agree with you. They could all be wrong. Arrogating for yourself the right to decide? Ending something simplistic. Tests were a criteria for a freelancer to judge her abilities objectively. Now everyone has subjectivity, and free for all clamour. For example, me saying, I know Excel, I can claim, and you better give me work! Based on my word someone gives me an assignment, and after some time realising I was wrong. How can that be good? in any intelligent discussion!


Claiming to have a skill you do not have is a ToS violation. This is not about being right or wrong but about being a scammer or not.
The people that claimed to have a skill set they do not have were the same people that just copied the answers from the internet.


Ashish R wrote:

No solution in retiring. Nothing proved when 10 people agree with you. They could all be wrong. Arrogating for yourself the right to decide? Ending something simplistic. Tests were a criteria for a freelancer to judge her abilities objectively. Now everyone has subjectivity, and free for all clamour. For example, me saying, I know Excel, I can claim, and you better give me work! Based on my word someone gives me an assignment, and after some time realising I was wrong. How can that be good? in any intelligent discussion!


Did you actually read this thread? People were cheating on the tests, so they didn't prove anything. The false test scores actually made it easier for freelancers to mislead clients.

 

Even if Upwork somehow made it impossible to cheat, the tests weren't a good indication of ability in the first place. Someone could pass a spelling and grammar test, but that doesn't make them a good writer; someone could pass a Photoshop test, but that doesn't make them a good designer. Your overview, proposals, education, work experience, portfolio and feedback reviews are all much more important factors in getting hired.

 

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