You have just embraced editing as your new career. You have some editing experience, just not the five years recommended to sign up for an Editors Canada certification test. How can you convince prospective clients or a potential employer that you do have editing skills?
The certification steering committee has come up with a new qualification just for you: Editing Essentials. In one hour, you can take an online test that consists of 45 multiple-choice questions. Passing the test (75 per cent) proves your ability to work as an editor. The test is $75 for Editors Canada members and $100 for non-members.
I did the test. Twice. The first time I got thrown out one-third of the way into the test because I wanted to google whether something was a Canadian brand. This would normally be a handy trick for someone who spent their formative years in other parts of the world. But not in this case, because the test instantly decided I was sourcing information I was expected to know as an editor, so I got booted out. And you don’t want that to happen to you, because you can take this test only once every six months.
Luckily for me, since I was considered an Editing Essentials test tester, the certification steering committee gave me another chance to complete the test so that I could actually give you my feedback.
I like the quality level of the test. “Just” reading the Professional Editorial Standards is not enough, as the test has many practical editing questions. You do need to know what course of action to take as an editor. And you need to have the judgment to decide the most pressing editing issue in a text.
During the test you are able to review your answers before you submit. This is helpful, as it certainly is not a “giveaway” multiple-choice test. The choices consist of mostly plausible answers that all need to be considered carefully. They are not, as you often see with multiple choice tests, three ridiculous options and only one plausible answer. This means you cannot buy yourself a certificate — you must really possess essential editing knowledge.
As soon as you have submitted the test, you can see your score. You can also see which questions you answered correctly and which you answered incorrectly. However, there is no explanation as to why the answer is right or wrong. The thought behind this is that if you can’t figure out why option X is the right answer, you’ll know where to focus your ongoing professional development.
When you pass your Editing Essentials test, you will receive an official letter from Editors Canada confirming that you completed the test successfully.
As a tester, I won’t receive that letter, but I am relieved to share with you that I passed the test.
Would you consider taking the Editing Essentials test? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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