FAQs: Basic editorial test

Click any of the frequently asked questions below to see the corresponding answer.

How long does the test take?

The basic editorial test lasts one hour. Once you start the clock, you cannot pause or stop it, though you can go back to check or change your answers within the 60 minutes.

What is the pass mark?

The basic test has a pass mark of 75% and the advanced test pass mark is 80%. Pass certificates will show the actual mark gained.

When will I know the result?

You get the result immediately – you can print it out and you can then also see what you got right or wrong.

How many points do I get towards upgrading?

Depending on your score, you will gain points for continuing professional development:

  • 95–100% is worth 12 points
  • 90–94% is worth 11
  • 85–89% is worth 10
  • 80–84% is worth 9
  • 75–79% is worth 8
  • 0–74% does not gain points

Can I do the test on a laptop, iPad or smartphone?

The test has been successfully completed on PC, laptop and iPad, but a smartphone is not suitable.

Is the editorial test hard?

Yes: it has to be hard enough to mean something. But we don't want you to fail. If you know your stuff, the timing is not tight.

What do I need to know?

You need to be familiar with the material in the syllabus and typical practice in UK publishing. You need not study all the sources in the syllabus nor any one of them in its entirety. For example, you must be familiar with the code of practice but you need know only the parts that are relevant to you.

Why do I need to know about 'my blind spot'?

Perhaps you've never yet needed that, but you may do. Clients are entitled to assume that our members are fully competent in basic editorial work. SfEP can't say 'All our members are fully competent – oh, except some of them can't do tables' … illustrations, footnotes, quotations, references, proofreading marks or whatever your blind spot is.

Can I look things up that I don't know?

There is nothing to stop you looking things up during the test, but if you do so you may run out of time.

What if I don't finish the test?

You should do everything necessary to ensure that you will not be distracted or interrupted while taking the test. If an emergency prevents you completing it, contact the office as soon as you can with details of the emergency and supporting evidence.

What if I fail?

If you fail, or wish to improve your mark, you can resit the test once, on payment of the resit fee, which is £42 for 2017/18. When you resit, you must take a different version of the test or your result will not be valid; so, if you previously sat Test No. 1, you cannot take that test again as a resit. If the weblink offers you the same test again, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to arrange your resit.

Can I appeal?

There is no appeal against the result. If you tell the office that an emergency prevented you completing the test, you may be asked to supply more information and an appeal committee will be set up to consider the circumstances.

What happens if I tell someone what is in the test, or one of the answers?

This would be antisocial and unprofessional. It would harm the Society, causing major expense, inconvenience and delay while tests were suspended and new tests written. The Society would take appropriate action.