Sunday, July 20, 2008

Life is funny

Friday I completed a prehiring training/assessment for the security company that I worked for in 2004-2005. This was a computer program that gave a lesson, followed by a series of practice exercises, followed by practice quizzes, and then a final quiz. Two tries were allowed to complete the final quiz, which had to be passed with an 80%. I don't remember exactly what the first section was about. I know the training session talked about main ideas and topics.

I eventually figured out that I could skip to the assessment part, and not waste most of my time. I made 100% on the first section. I also scored 100% on the second section, which was about mathematics. The third section was on observation. The final quiz had the trainee watch several grainy videos of someone working with a copier, and then describe what would happen next in a series, say of 10 double-sided, collated copies, barely darkened. I scored 87% on this.

The final section was about writing. The ending quiz forced the trainee to listen to some sentences on an audio track, and then choose the best of four sentences about the audio selection. Most of the sentences were bad, even the ones that had correct punctuation. I scored a 75%. Twice.

This is especially ironic, considering this will primarily be for close to minimum wage positions, and the job I almost accepted instead of working security in 2004- was as a writing tutor at Augusta State. Go figure.


Matt G said...

It makes you wonder who wrote the test. If a test allows you to skip ahead and make 100%, then it's not testing correctly for the abilities that they want to test for. I've always laughed at "which of the the following sentences is least awkward?" questions. The issue should be "which of the following questions is/are acceptable?"

Scroom. You can certanly write, John. They just can't test worth a damn. If they're that sloppy on their hiring process, how are they going to treat you? (...a graduate student, who writes daily.)

J.R.Shirley said...

I was actually just skipping the training and practice portions.

Matt G said...

My point exactly-- if the test was to check your ability to learn from a quick training session, then it failed. If you can skip ahead, then it's not testing your comprehension.