Re: Testing for Editors

Subject: Re: Testing for Editors
From: Julie Jensen CIRT PUBS <jljensen -at- CARINA -dot- UNM -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 2 May 1994 17:05:42 -0600

Dear Laurie,

I recently developed a new editing test for a contract company
that uses a writing, proofreading, and editing test to screen
underqualified applicants.

The most important thing to us is whether the applicant is
intimidated by technical info. So, the editing test was really very
complicated text-wise. It contained many grammatical and organizational
problems. as well. Much of the information was really impossible to
understand if you didn't have the right background.

We think it's been very successful because it lets us know whether people
are willing to query things they don't understand and whether they're detail

The test is only 1 page long and you only have 15 minutes to complete it.
We generally give the editing test after the writing and proofreading
parts. That way, if the people are intimidated by the content of the
editing test, it won't stress them while they complete the other portions.

I guess you have to decide what is important for successful editors to do.
Organization was a big problem for the company. So, the text in the test
(say that 10 times real fast) is out of sequence, but not real obvious.

It was challenging to develop the test. The best part now is
seeing how everyone else makes corrections -- they're never what you would
expect. As long as their attempts to correct the problems aren't
incomprehensible, we figure their editing skills are good.

Good luck,

Julie Jensen

According to Laurie Miles temp: >
> We have recently had some bad experiences with technical editors. As a
> result, we have decided to create a test in the hopes of weeding out
> those applicants who don't have the necessary qualifications.

> I would appreciate any input from other tech writers and editors who have
> created or taken editing and writing tests for jobs. What was
> beneficial, what was or should be included, what was a good indicator?
> What is an acceptable length for a test?

> Our documentation is quite technical. Consequently, a mere grammar,
> spelling, and punctuation won't suffice.

> Thank for the input!
> Laurie Miles
> miles -at- brooktree -dot- com

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