I am usually good at tests; I don’t know why. But nothing is quite as annoying as knowing what you know, and having questions posed so poorly as to be almost unanswerable. It is completely possible that I ‘read into’ questions too much. And it’s also possible that posing questions to test someone’s knowledge or skill level is a skill of its own. I have noticed poor test questions on a couple fronts: matters of context, analogies and antiquation. There are things that are simply a matter of context and personal preference. For example, who decides what browser cache setting is best? I don’t like to cache my pages at all, since it saves me the trouble of hitting the refresh button to preview changes I make. But for the average person, page caching can improve their browsing experience. So questions posed as “What is the optimal browser cache setting?” is totally dependent on the context the browser is used in. One of my favorite questions starts like this “Which is the best method to ______.” Then there’s the analogy question. Analogy questions should come with a level of accuracy that tells you exactly how precise they are trying to be. One case this crops up in is the difference between a LAN and WAN. My favorite question in this category is true or false (yeah, thanks for all the options) “The Internet is like a WAN.” Well, that depends on how technically accurate you are trying to be. In the end, if you look close enough, nothing is like anything else! <L> But best of all, I can’t stand having to learn about antiquated methods such as FRAMES. It’s been years since I have used frames, and I don’t plan of starting again anytime soon. My newest peeve in this ring of the circus is having to learn the menus and settings for Outlook Express and Netscape Navigator.
I’m sorry, Netscape Who?? Why, in the year 2008, would I want to learn anything about Netscape Navigator? I didn’t know this was a technology history test…
Or better yet, how to sign up for a hotmail account. Yikes, if someone can’t just figure out that on-the-fly, don’t go into the technology field, please. You could make an entire test just on how to sign up for every web service out there. (Please, no one actually do that!)
Then there are items that make you wonder about the entire course and its validity. The one I found today was “Twisted pair is unsuitable to bend around corners.” Please tell me why I am taking this certification test again? What really matters is that the test I am taking is considered by the business community at large to be reputable.