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Trick Questions in Skills Tests

bryanconrad
Active Member
Bryan C Member Since: Feb 13, 2014
1 of 1
I'm wondering if the skills tests provide "trick questions". As an example, I had a multiple selection question where there were two correct invocations of a function, and two incorrect invocations of the same function. However, on closer inspection I noticed that all of the invocations were missing a closing parenthesis (buried in a pile of other non-alphanumeric characters because the samples were embedded in html templates). In this situation, I had to go meta-test, and decide whether the author intentionally left out the parentheses, or if it was a clerical error on the author's part. Which means there's two candidate sets of correct responses, even if you know the material (either the two answers that would be correct except for the syntax errors, or none of the answers since all of them contain the same syntax error). Either the question is invalid (the "correct" responses are not correct in reality), or it's testing your ability to spot unbalanced parentheses, which doesn't really reflect on your Rails knowledge (especially since parentheses are not often used in Ruby). So you're forced to gamble on QA process for these questions, which I've found to be generally poor. Of course, I reported this particular question, but there are other cases were the verbiage could make it a "trick question", or it could just be poor wording by the author. I think it would be reasonable for oDesk to disclose whether or not skills tests can contain "trick" questions like these. I'd prefer no trick questions at all, of course. But if oDesk is intentionally allowing questions like these, it would be nice to have some sort of notice about it. Even better, if oDesk could improve QA on the question pool, test takers could have confidence that the question is valid, and that it contains no errors on the author's part.
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