It would be nice to think that once your high school years are over, you would never have to take a test again.

It would be nice to think that once your college or industry training program years are over, you would never have to take a test again.

But that wouldn’t be true.

The reality is that there is only one way to make fair decisions about an individual’s ability to do a job, whether the job is working as an chemical engineer, as a teacher, a nurse, or a truck driver, and that is by giving tests.

Tests are everywhere. Tests ensure that people know what they say they know. So training organizations, college admissions officers, and employers (especially employers) have embraced tests, tests, and more tests.

For example, if two individuals are up for the same job in a corporate communications department, and each says they are great writers, how can an employer prove those statements but with a test?

If an electrician says he knows how to install a 20-amp breaker, how can an employer prove that statement but with a test?

Tests may vary greatly.

For example, a candidate for a job in a corporate communications department would probably have to take a standardized test that proves he knows the fundamentals of the language (like taking the English SAT but with an focus on industry terminology and technique). The candidate might also have to write sample essays on the spot and/or speak extemporaneously in front of a group of hiring managers at the company.

A candidate for the position of company electrician might have actually do the wiring of a 20-amp circuit breaker and have her work reviewed by qualified electricians already in the company. A candidate might also have to take an English test to ensure she could understand the language well enough to read directions, give directions, and communicate with others effectively. The candidate would likely also have to take a written test that asks questions about electricity and safety.

Understand that a college degree or industry credential has become THE TICKET into the employment test — a degree is alone is NOT going to get you the job. The degree/credential is not a guarantee of employment. Without whatever level of certification or education the job requires, you won’t even get a chance to take the test for the job you might want.

Similar testing events (written and practical) can be used by employers when an opportunity for a promotion is available.

There are laws that employers must follow if they use tests (and almost every employer does). These laws help ensure that the tests used truly represent the knowledge and skills that are necessary and directly relevant to the job and/or the interrelationships between the job, the company culture, and other factors.

As a result, employers can also test for a lot more than just content knowledge. They can and may test you to learn more about your personality, learning style, aptitudes, character, and many other things. The use of tests in the business world is ubiquitous and will only become more so as more and more people seek their first, or their next, job or promotion.

So, what can you do now to get ready for this constant-testing environment?

If you don’t like taking tests, get over it. You will have no choice.

If you get nervous when you take tests, take more tests. Sooner or later, you will become less nervous. Tests help you identify your weaknesses. You can use test data to develop a plan to get better in your weakest areas. Take every test offered to you. Learn how to use the results to improve your performance. GEMESA


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