News

Think about it: ‘test’ is a four-letter word

May 18, 2016

I hate taking tests — always have. Especially math tests — even worse when they’re timed.

During my brief stint as a college student (and even less time as a hopeful accounting major) I took a course called University Math. Six weeks of algebra, six more of geometry, six weeks of calculus and six weeks of a math classification I hadn’t heard before or since.

We were graded on each section.

My grades were, in order, B, C, “Are you sure you’re in the right class?” and “You want to be an accountant? Really? You know there’s math in that job, don’t you?”

As I was sitting in the office of Twinsburg Public Library PR and marketing coordinator, Jodie Lyons, on May 3, learning about TalentNEO’s WorkKeys assessment pilot program from Lyons and continuing education librarian, Crystal Feyerchak, I became curious about the tests. I wanted to know if people like me who are visual learners and haven’t always done well on standardized tests could pass assessments that could mean the difference between getting a job interview or not for many Twinsburg area job seekers.

I took the math test first, because I knew it would be the most painful, and I wanted to get it out of the way. I went to OhioMeansJobs.com, clicked on “Online Training” at the bottom of the home page, which took me to the WorkKeys practice tests.

After clicking on “launch,” I chose to take the simulated timed test. I wanted to know if I could finish the test and pass it in 55 minutes, just as someone taking the test for real would have to do.

All of the tests are multiple choice.

The math practice test is 33 story problems. I don’t like story problems. I tend to over think them, which wastes time. My process goes something like this:

Question: “If John has 10 candy bars and Jill gives him two more, how many does he have?”

Me: “Where did John get 10 candy bars, and why would his parents let him have so many? And knowing that John has 10 candy bars, why on earth would Jill give him two more? Does she want him to go into a sugar coma? If someone walks by and sees me on this website, will they think I’m looking for another job? Oh, yeah, 12. The answer is 12.”

The test starts with general math questions and gets more complicated with each section. According to directions, you can use a calculator.

The first question is, “You are working for a florist that specializes in weddings. You are preparing the flower arrangement orders for three weddings this weekend. The three weddings ordered 120 arrangements, 85 arrangements and 46 arrangements. How many flower arrangements must you prepare?”

The last question is, “You are comparing prices at two local storage vendors. Rent-A-Space charges a monthly fee of 22 cents per cubic foot, plus 5.5 percent sales tax. Store-Ur-Stuff charges a monthly fee of 25 cents per cubic foot, plus 5.5 percent sales tax. If you pay the Store-Ur-Stuff bill prior to the first of the month, you’ll get a 4 percent discount, but you’ll still have to pay sales tax on the pre-discount cost. Assuming you pay the bill prior to the first of the month, how many cents per cubic foot are you going to save by using the less expensive company? Round your answer to the nearest hundredth of a cent.”

I didn’t get that far.

I scored a three on the math test, then it was on to “Finding information.” In that test, a receipt or sales order, or something else business-related, is used to find specific information.

I scored better on that one and the last, “Reading for Content.” I received a four on the second test, and a five on the third.

My levels were good enough to match with job listings on OhioMeansJobs.com. And with a little coaching in math, and less distractions, I’m sure I could bring up my scores.

Taking the tests was easier and more comfortable than I thought it would be. And I think the scores are a close match to my skills.

And while I have the computer skills needed to get to the website and take the tests, for someone who doesn’t, the Twinsburg Public Library can help with that, too.

You can find out what services they offer at TBLibrary.org.

And while you’re there, if you’re hunting for a job, think about signing up to take the tests.

Read original article here.

“think about it; test is a four-letter word.” Twinsburg Bulletin. Retrieved from  http://www.twinsburgbulletin.com/opinion/2016/05/18/think-about-it-test-is-a-fourletter-word (18 May 2016).