Re: What might a writing test be?

Subject: Re: What might a writing test be?
From: Tracy Boyington <tracy_boyington -at- OKVOTECH -dot- ORG>
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 08:53:57 -0600

> Last week I sent in a resume for a tech writer position I'd seen advertised
> in the newspaper. In yesterday's mail, I found an application from the
> company along with two "proofreading tests," with the instructions "Circle
> any spelling/typographical errors and write in the correct spelling." Hmm!
> Doesn't seem like a good sign. I know the definition of "technical writer"
> is both controversial and still evolving, but I've never known it to be
> synonymous with "proofreader."
> Think I would've preferred a writing test. :)

The problem is that proofreading is easier to measure than writing. We
put ten errors in this document and she caught nine. I imagine that in
an attempt to avoid lawsuits, HR prefers objective, "he scored 70% but
she scored 90% and that's why we interviewed her but not him" ways to
compare people. Of course, whether the test measures what you really do
on the job is another story, and will eventually be grounds for
*another* lawsuit...

Tracy Boyington mailto:tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org
Oklahoma Dept. of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, OK, USA

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