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On errors in exams - Short rant

Blogging from a phone… first time ever. I don’t want to forget some specifics for this :)

I have just completed an exam to try to enter a postgraduate program (I’ll talk more about it once it becomes real ). The exam is administered by CENEVAL, the same evaluation agency Where I presented my graduation equivalency exam some years ago - Only this exam is for all of the postgraduate studies on many national universities and is thus basically just a psychometric test.

The exam had 162 questions, all to be filled in a optical reader sheet, on five subjects: mathematical reasoning, Spanish grammar and comprehension, Project management, Computers and technology, And English reading and understanding.

It was all in all a fun exam to take, mostly due to the math reasoning part. But… on the Subject I Know I am an expert, I have to complain (and intend to find a easy to do so formally). First, I spotted two absolute mistakes (and answered based on What I knew others would, but knowing the answer is wrong technically). One was a subtlety, on how and why have hard drives should be defragmented (and part of my quip is that it’s an obsolete habit, but besides, the answers were all erroneous), but a second one was… just wrong. It asked on what should not be part of an “Internet link” (can only guess they meant An URL). The 4 options were valid parts of a URL - including one very seldom used by most people, but very often by many of us: the @ sign.

Anyway, answered it, but my other main gripe is that most of the section was in specific use of Office software. Not only In Office-like, which would be bad enough to begin with, but on specific ways of using Mainly Excel And PowerPoint. Syntax issues, or the name of the menu under which to look for specific functions. Anyway, I will wait the stipulated 10 days for the exam to be rated, but will anyway look die a way to contact the very opaque and secretive CENEVAL. Not to demand to be better treated, but to try to correct those known mistakes and errors.


gwolf 2013-12-02 10:52:45

Even worse than even worse, I’d say

It was very clear to me that the explicit mention of “a spreadsheet program” and “a presentations program” instead of MSExcel and MSPowerPoint were there because somebody required them not to judge based on a specific implementation/brand — But they were unable to design the questions for a more generic reality.

rjc 2013-12-02 03:03:34

even worse

Not to mention the fact that when most people say..

… “The Internet”, they really mean “The Web” AND, especially with the advent of wed front-ends to email, IRC, etc. they don’t even realise that there’s more than just “the web” - thank you Microsoft for the INTERNET Explorer.

… “iPad”, they really mean “a tablet” (same goes for “iPhone”.

… the aforementioned “Word” they mean a “word processor” OR a “text editor” AND don’t even know the difference between the two; “text file” means “Word Document” (how many times have you been sent MS-formatted email, or worse, a Word document as an attachment?); and there can be only One True Office Suite.

… the list can go on…

… but the sad part is that we feed all of that to our kids.

vicm3 2013-11-30 13:06:56


At basic school, there are teachers showing the kids the icons and make them learn the names and functions last time I watched Office 2007, on version 2010 changed from place and on 2013 version again changed from place and tab, worse the ribbon UI is “adaptative” so changes with user resolution and use of the software, I share with you the pointless that is to learn the menu order of MS Software I think our children deserves better than memorize which icon is what on MS Word instead of be writing collaboratively with gobby, etherpad or lots of options…

Best vibe on your test score. I hope you will get on the program.