[Edprof] Editing Tests Needed for Research Study

Boettger, Ryan Ryan.Boettger at unt.edu
Thu Jul 22 07:36:49 PDT 2010

Thank you all for your comments regarding my study.

None of the 30+ tests that I have collected use a multiple-choice format. Most tests expect applicants to edit a technical narrative for grammar, punctuation, spelling, style, and consistency. This often makes the evaluation a bit more subjective; however, applicants are expected to edit using style guides, such as the Chicago Manual of Style. That said, all of these collected tests are used to screen prospective technical writers and editors. Many of the online copyediting tests for publishing positions do employ a multiple choice format. 

Thanks again for your comments. I hope my results will provide employers with ways for improving their tests and educators with ways for approaching how they teach error.


Ryan Boettger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Linguistics & Technical Communication
University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle #305298
Denton, Texas 76203

940.565.4458 (TEL)
940.369.8652 (FAX)
From: Gerald Grow [ggrow at longleaf.net]
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 7:54 PM
To: edprof at editteach.org
Cc: Boettger, Ryan
Subject: Re: [Edprof] Editing Tests Needed for Research Study

I have the sense that many organizations use multiple-choice grammar
tests in screening job applicants because grammar is one of the few
things they can easily test for.

Companies can usually make the argument that grammar is important for the job.

Such scores provide something that looks like an objective measure
that can be used to eliminate applicants when there are too many good
ones to distinguish among them easily by other means.

I used to tell students that they were likely to get multiple-choice
grammar tests as part of their job applications -- and possibly even
editing tests. It seemed to help focus students' attention on
learning grammar.

Gerald Grow

More information about the Edprof mailing list