Tips to Help You Pass the Leapforce Search Engine Evaluator Exam
Good news! The fact that you’re reading this additional ‘Leapforce Exam’ article indicates that you are taking this issue seriously enough to pass. That’s 90% of the secret. You’ve got the drive, now let me help you lay out a winning strategy.
Strategizing for the exam is partly an exercise in time management, plus some specific study techniques. Okay, let’s get down to it.
The Exam Period
You will be given one week to complete the exam and it is open book. You will be sent a link to the source material, (known as ‘the General Guidelines’), prior to your exam date. Start reading it immediately!
The Nature of the Exam
The exam is not an IQ test. The exam does not contain ‘trick’ questions. I really sweated about the exam, and not without reason. It IS a long test, but passing it is fairly straight forward if you follow one simple piece of advice: know the Guidelines. Don’t just casually read through it like a magazine – learn the concepts!
Read the CURRENT version of the Guidelines
While I realize that pirated copies of the Guidelines exist online, I wouldn’t recommend you download them. Why? The Guidelines change! Example: while the previous Guidelines are very similar to the current version, the outcome of their application will lead to different, (incorrect), results, something even seasoned raters struggle with. Save yourself the headache of having to unlearn retired protocols. Leapforce will send you exactly what you need to study. Simply follow their lead.
Once you have read the Guidelines, (or as you are reading them), make concise notes for quick/easy reference. Copy/paste the scales, and write down the official definition of each category, (this will make more sense later). Not only will these prove essential during the exam, but you’ll find yourself referring to them for long after. I still refer to my exam notes even now!
The exam will require your full attention, so plan accordingly. Once your exam date is scheduled, you will be giving a brief window within which to reschedule in the event of a conflict. After that window has expired, there’s no rescheduling, (I overlooked this and literally had to start my exam on Christmas Eve!) While it probably won’t take you the entire seven days to complete the exam, you’ll still need to schedule several days of uninterrupted time to both study for, and complete the exam. Rule of thumb: schedule time as you would for preparing your tax return. This could very well be your source of income for at least the next six months, so it’s every bit as important as your obligation to the government.
Schedule Plenty Of Time
Though you’re given an entire week to complete the exam, don’t lull yourself into thinking that you have all the time in the world. At most, Leapforce has given you three more days than is absolutely necessary. Not many of us can schedule a full seven days of uninterrupted time, so you probably don’t have as much extra time as it seems. Busy this weekend and Tuesday is your child’s birthday? Then you’re already behind the eight ball. I would plan five undisturbed evenings to both study the Guidelines and take the exam.
Don’t Wait Too Long
The most common cautionary tale on the forums describes waiting too long to take the exam. While it’s easy to discount the experiences of others, (surely we are smarter, faster, more efficient, disciplined, etc.), give yourself PLENTY of time to complete the exam…then allocate an extra day! That means if you budget four evenings to take the exam, you’ll need to be finished studying by day two. My advice: start studying immediately upon receiving the Guidelines.
If you budgeted your time effectively, you should have ample time to both study and complete the exam. Make the most of this. Once you submit an exam answer, there’s no changing it. Many questions will require you to review up to ten different webpages. Take your time and make sure you’ve selected the best answer. Do not rush. I’m not too proud to admit that I spent up to one hour on some of the more complicated questions. According to common sense, many answers seem obvious. But upon consulting the Guidelines in detail, you may find that the correct answer defies common sense. This is because the exam tests you on very specific and proprietary definitions of terms that have subtly different meaning in common speech. I changed my answers, (often significantly), many times after consulting the Guidelines in depth.
Check Your Work
I’m not offering this as common sense advice like, ‘Be sure to answer each question’, or ‘look both ways before crossing the street’. Until the concepts of the Guidelines become reflexive, checking your work can mean the difference between getting an answer correct, and evidencing a complete lack of understanding for the assessed concepts. That’s because many of the exam questions are compiled of up to ten small answers. The over-riding logic behind the question as a whole can often be gleaned through these individual components. It definitely pays to examine both the question and your answer a couple times. There will be many times both during the exam and as a rater when your overall answer will change 180 degrees after taking a second look. Warning: the devil is in the details!
Recommended Study Regime
While you may come up with a completely different schedule that works for you, let this suggested study schedule serve as a benchmark. If nothing else, it will provide a relative guide for budgeting your time. This schedule is based on 3-4 hours of study and exam time per evening.
Day One: Read the Guidelines, (157 pages plus numerous embedded web links)
Day Two: Make quick-reference notes from the Guidelines
Day Three: Review your notes
Day Four: Begin the exam
Day Five: Continue the exam
Day Six: Continue the exam
Day Seven: Complete the exam
I’d wish you good luck, but if you’ve read this far, I doubt you’ll need it. I managed to pass without any of this advice, but it was very stressful and I sure would have appreciated it at the time! That’s why I created this resource. I hope it helps you!