RE: Writing test

Subject: RE: Writing test
From: "Keeley, Bill" <KeeleyB -at- wipp -dot- carlsbad -dot- nm -dot- us>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 14:39:17 -0600

I strongly recommend that you contact your HR folks before proceeding with
pre-employment testing. A pre-employment test can be a highly effective
selection tool provided that it is valid, reliable, and non-discriminatory.
Pre-employment tests should directly relate to the knowledge, skills, and
ability (KSAs) necessary to perform the job to the greatest extent possible.
KSAs should be determined through job/task analysis and defined in the job
description. If a individual is expected to edit multiple-choice test items
on the job, it is reasonable to ask the person to edit multiple-choice test
items in a pre-employment test. If the person will not be editing
multiple-choice items on the job, the case can (and probably will) be made
that the test is invalid. Is the test reliable? Does it reasonably predict
on-the-job performance? Is it standardized? Does it discriminate on the
basis of race, creed, color, gender, national origin, or physical

I'd also be cautious about hoisting up web-obtained documents as examples of
bad writing (your next customer or employer?). Stick to sanitized,
names-and-events-changed-to-protect-the-guilty, in-house stuff, or make it
up. If all of this sounds like too much hoo-ha, use a psychometric firm.

Bill Keeley
Former Catbert

We're recruiting some new technical writers and I wanted to give a short
writing test to each applicant. I was hoping to find a really bad piece of
technical writing on the web and ask them to edit it. A multiple choice
test of some kind might be okay too. Believe or not, I can't find what I'm
looking for despite spending like an hour on the web. Anybody have any


Dave Strausfeld
eMotion, Inc.

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