Just in case I decide to take a job with UNICEF or the UN in the next three years, I took the United Nations General Services Clerical Exam yesterday. It was a relatively short aptitude test, though it included several things that didn't immediately strike me as useful to clerical workers.
There were proofreading and filing sections that were generally straightforward (though with just 3 minutes for 30 questions, they can hardly expect one to finish), but then there was a section called "Sorting" that seemed to be a test of spatial aptitude. The test required that you sort pairs of shapes with acronyms in them into 4 different bins. It seemed ridiculously simple to me, and completely useless in terms of being able to carry out an administrative job, but perhaps it's designed to trip you up. Then there was an obligatory simple math section and a section that asked absolutely inane questions about an organizational chart--questions that no one in their right mind would ever be struggling with in an office environment.
Finally, there was a transcription section, a natural task for administrative employees, requiring that we transcribe several paragraphs of barely legible handwriting. I felt for the several people in the room for whom English was not their mother tongue and tried to imagine myself taking the test in Spanish...<shudder>. English is my native language and it still took me several minutes and some serious contextual guesswork to decipher what, at times, appeared to be hieroglyphs.
I learned this morning that I passed, but I'm curious to actually get my results and see how I performed on each of the sections. It had been awhile since I'd taken a test, and I was surprised at how my heart rate went up and I began to sweat; a good reminder that I'd need some serious preparation before taking the GRE or LSAT!
Marian Martelli Wetsch August 26, 1926 - January 14, 2008
They came in droves to say goodbye A testament to your reach, though you alone were proof enough Living the dreams of those who came before you Making possible the dreams of us who remain You always made room in your home and in your heart For family, friends and anyone who needed love and understanding Tough as nails, and soft as a summer breeze Rock of strength, and soothing embrace As you cradled us in yours Rest now in His arms