Wednesday, February 15

Writing job, math exam

"You put on make-up to fail an algebra test today, huh?"
So said my husband, in his eternally supportive fashion, putting to words the irritation that I dealt with this morning. Yes, yes, there actually was algebra in my testing appointment today. ALGEBRAIC WORD PROBLEMS.
The online exam was in three parts: the first consisted of letter sequencing, and figuring out which letter would come next in several surprisingly involved letter lines. I had 15 minutes to finish this portion. (All questions were multiple choice on the exam.) The second section was shape sequencing, where I had to figure out which shape came next in the sequence or pattern. I had 15 minutes for these questions, too. And then came that which I had been waiting for, and not really dreading: the 30-minute algebra portion. I actually put my sense of humor to work here, and enjoyed the continued ridiculousness of a mathematics test used to gauge my abilities for a writing job. I didn't disregard the questions, and did my best, but I also did giggle several times at the what-the-hell-ness of my experience.
Brian's advice before I walked into the building: "Try to figure them out from a common sense perspective. Don't pick the highest or lowest number, as it's probably not right. If all the other choices are too close, then, well, you're screwed." (I love how, when I told Mom last night about the algebra, she laughed about it; and how today, Brian didn't even bother suggesting I try figuring out the word problems in a mathematical fashion. They know me too well.)
The test is points based, in that for every correct answer, I would get one point, for every blank answer, I'd get no points, and for every wrong answer, I would be deducted a half-point. So they encourage you to either get it right, or don't answer at all. I actually did do an amount of guessing, just for shits and giggles. I expect to have a score somewhere in the negatives.
However, the day I get an e-mail from them telling me that, yes, I did fail the exam and that they won't be needing me, I'll be sure to reply to them that, no, I don't know algebra, but I do know that they had a spelling error on one of their exam's introductory pages. Because finding those is something that an editor/writer does do well.

No comments: