Tests

Page owner: Standards director

You are strongly advised to read this page carefully before you take an editorial test. Note that the content of all SfEP tests is confidential and must remain so. You may not reveal or hint at the content of the questions or answers to anyone.

Syllabus

The editorial tests are based on our editorial syllabus. To pass a test, you need to be familiar with all the material listed in the syllabus at the level relevant to you, and you should have studied the first three sources listed at the end.

Basic editorial test

If you are a member of the SfEP, you may take the test once without charge. Non-members may not take the test, and members may not divulge any information about it to non-members or to each other.

You need only your full membership number when you apply to take the test. You will then be sent a link to the test, valid for 30 days.

The basic test lasts one hour and the pass mark is 75%. Depending on your score, the test gains points that count towards your membership level:

Time limit

60 minutes

Pass mark

75%

Test score Upgrade points
95–100% 12
90–94% 11
85–89% 10
80–84% 9
75–79% 8
0–74% 0

I was really, really nervous. I hate tests … [but] don't be afraid of the test. It's tough, but if you think you need it to upgrade, go for it. The fear is worse than the reality :)

A successful candidate

The editorial tests are based on our editorial syllabus. The answers must be your own work; you may not consult any other person, whether individually, on a forum or otherwise. There is nothing to stop you looking things up during the test, but if you do so you may run out of time. At the end you can print out your result and then see what you got right or wrong.

Before you start the test, you are advised to disable any autocorrect/autocomplete option on your computer (or other device) or else monitor everything you type. You may wish to minimise your browser toolbars to allow more screen space. The opening page of the test contains the instructions. The clock starts only when you turn to the second page; you then have 60 minutes to take the test. You cannot pause or stop the clock, though you can go back to check or change your answers within the 60 minutes. If an emergency prevents you completing it, contact the office as soon as you can with details of the emergency and supporting evidence.

If you have just applied to join the Society or to upgrade your membership and you judge (or are advised) that you need to take an editorial test to be admitted to the grade you have applied for, you have 30 days to take the test, from when you receive your membership number or (if applicable) from when the Admissions Panel says that you need to take the test.

If you have taken the test once, you may pay a fee to resit (another version of) the test, again only once. The resit fee is £40 for 2016/17. Before resitting, you should revise thoroughly first. At present there are only two versions of the basic test, so people can resit it only once; that restriction will be eased when we have more tests available. 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 standards@sfep.org.uk to arrange your resit.

Log in and then take/resit an editorial test

Before resitting the test, you should revise your knowledge of the editorial syllabus.

Advanced editorial test

We are working on further tests that will help anyone wishing to join as, or upgrade to become, an Advanced Professional Member of SfEP.

Find out more

To learn more about our editorial tests, see more about editorial tests or the basic editorial test FAQs.

Other tests

On the website there is a simple proofreading test that anyone, member or not, can take. It assumes knowledge of British culture and is based on UK publishing practice.

We are also looking at the possibility of basic tests in the use of English.