Brainbench-a-thon, Part 2

For my second night of gratuitous Brainbench testing, I decided to start with something simple -- "Telephone Ettiquette". I've done tech support and political phonebanking (and done well enough at both), so I figured that would be an easy test. As it turns out, I passed, but with only a 3.49 out of 5, meaning I'm not a Master of Telephone Ettiquette -- a Master's Level certification requires a 4.0 or higher. Judging by the subsection scores, I'm strong on the basic skills, but weak on the theory. Who the hell knew that Telephone Ettiquette had theory?

I rushed through two more basic skills tests, "Math Fundamentals" and "English Vocabulary" before going to bed. The math test was strictly PSAT-level mathematics, but I'd rate the vocabulary test a little harder than the SAT's vocabulary questions. (I used to work for a test preparation company, so I know the PSAT and SAT well.) Still, I managed to achieve pointless Master's Level certifications in both subjects.

After four tests, I've established that I can read and write English at least as well as the average high school student, do math at the junior-high level, and not make a total idiot of myself using America's most ubiquitous communications device. Do potential employers really worry about that kind of thing? Do they refuse to hire people who haven't taken a fifty dollar test in using the telephone? Are there people in America proudly displaying certificates proving they can add, subtract, and spell? Are any of these tests real?

Tonight, I plan to start taking some possibly-real tests, or at least some computer-related ones. Those could arguably be useful -- I've never had an employer test my English skills, but they always seem to question my computer skills. Apparently, I just don't look computer-literate to most people.

Posted at 11:44:23 PM EDT on 06 July 2004 from Trenton, MI