You call that an AutoCAD test?

Being presently between gigs, I was at an employment agency today. After an interview that seemed to go well they gave me what they laughingly called an “AutoCAD test,” which I, an AutoCAD power user since 1986 (Good God, has it been that long? I’ve wasted my life! :frowning: ), failed miserably.


Friends, as a former supervisor I would view the fact that one of my people had memorized the command sequence to change his screen’s background color as an admission that he needed more to do. Asking which of these wonderful services are provided by the AutoCAD Today screen seems more like a plug from AutoCAD than a realistic test of a user’s abilities. Finally, you can indeed create icons in AutoCAD, and if the test creator had ever customized a toolbar he’s know that.

I am royally pissed that I could miss out on a job because some clerk who took a Saturday class in AutoCAD has no idea how it is really used on the job. I have created AutoCAD tests that told me in 20 minutes–or 5–whether the candidate had a chance of succeeding, and you don’t learn this from a multiple-choice test on AutoCAD trivia but by giving him something to draw that incorporates the features needed on the job. Perhaps my first freelance job should be designing a more generalized test for that national agency. Whatever I produced could not be less useful.

I thought the test at your job in Lisle was pretty good, did you write that? I have lost almost all my Autocad skillz, all i do is draw rectangles and carp in model space. I haven’t created so much as a viewport in three years! Not necessary for what I do (sales) so I’m not stressing about it.

Why yes, I did, thank you, and I found it among some backup disks I’d brought home just in case the server and its backups got lunched, so I have stuff for my portfolio. The agency normally caters to advertising and marketing and they want things they can put on their website to show I know my stuff but I suspect Mch**l Dll would object to me posting the floorplan of his children’s bedrooms for all the world to see.

By the way, how are you doing?

When I graduated from college in 2005, I tried going the ‘tech temping’ route (I got my degree in Computer Science*). They sent me this link to their Word and Excel test that I could do at home. Okay, cool.

No, it was a retarded bullshit java piece of shit that mimicked how Word and Excel looked. They’d ask you to do something within “Excel” and if you didn’t click on EVERY SINGLE COMMAND RIGHT the first time, blammo, you’re wrong.

Sometimes there are things that I can never remember if you go to Edit or Tools (or what have you). In real life, if you’re asked to do such and such, you can click on Edit and skim for 1 second, go “oh yeah, it’s in Tools” and go there and get to it. Not here. You’d click Edit and WRONG ANSWER YOU FAIL.

You had to know exactly how to get to something. Heaven forbid you knew ANOTHER way to get to it other than what they programmed for. It’s still wrong. Heaven forbid you show learning skills (“I don’t know how to do that offhand, but one minute of a quick help search and bingo, I can do it!”). If you don’t know the exact click sequence, you fail.

How does that actually show if you can use software realistically? It sees if you’ve memorized Excel and Word for Dummies. It doesn’t see if you have a good general grip on the software and have enough brains to figure things out on your own. Morons.

  • and a second one in Humanities, but that’s not too relevant to the story.

They must use this same program at a lot of different temp places (which makes it even more pathetic), because your description matches a test I took pretty much exactly. It was a fucking joke. They had tests for several other programs, too. Some of them were hard for the BS reasons you describe, and some were so easy that I was able to pass them despite having never used the programs they were testing me on in my life! What a crock.

I recently took an Oracle Forms and Reports test in which about 50% of the questions were about things that would never be done in an actual workplace. Frustrating as hell. “Well, you see, the reason I don’t know how to do that is that I wouldn’t do that.” They must have lifted questions from the certification test.

I took an MS Access test for an employment agency with the same results. I’ve been using Access since 2.0 and I got 70%. This was basic stuff like creating a a query, adding combo boxes to a form, and so on. If you didn’t complete each task using the exact steps in preordained order, the screen would freeze. I told the agency employee and she let me retake the test with the same results.

Of course, to someone who doesn’t know Access, my carping about the test just sounded like so many sour grapes.

Actually, Microsoft’s test for Office certification was pretty good in that it was only concerned with the end result. As long as you completed the task in the allotted time, it didn’t care how you got there. It was scored as a pass.