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Testing CAD Proficiency

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jonesy
I think this is being looked at from the wrong direction. It neednt be a test to see if you are good or bad, and there would be no pass or fail, but rather an assessment of skills to see how they can help you improve, therefore helping you and helping the company, everyones a winner.

 

When I started at my previous company I had all users sit an assessment so I could get an idea of where I was starting from, and providing it is 'marketed' correctly, so assessment to help them, rather than test to judge them then anyone who refuses to do it, or doesnt want to do it quite frankly has a bad attitude.

No I dont beleive I was looking at it from the wrong direction.

I have been in both situations, assessee and assessor. If you sit down and discuss CAD with people, while they are working, you are in fact giving them a test without them realising. That way you dont "upset" people. I get "upset" at the thought of tests/exams, whatever they are for. Its not always a user having a bad attitude, could be sheer nerves.

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rkent
OK, but do you work extra at the end of the day for the time you might spend in the kitchen, or on personal calls? Not saying you specifically, but just in general.

 

Also, this training isn't just benefiting the company, you are getting far more from it than they do, especially if you happen to leave in the next few months. Would you then reimburse them at a reasonable cost for the training?

 

Can't all be take take take....

 

I take responsibility for my own professional development. I buy books on AutoCAD and LISP and spend time at home and in night classes. I have my own license of AutoCAD and recently Inventor and spend time at home learning and writing customization for my own use at work. I read questions and answers on AutCAD in this and other forums on my own time and the companies. Check the time of this post. If I am paid by the hour then no one can tell me to stay an extra hour with out pay. If I am salaried they can make me stay. Not all take, take, take, just rejecting the nanny state at work.

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Strix

Every job I've done has been very different, so any tests a company has gone to the bother of setting (usually a 'here, edit this whilst I watch) is not best executed the way I worked previously, so I've wound up more or less interviewing them instead, asking sensible questions, and on occasions asking 'well why do you do it this way?' and 'why don't you have this set up?' - which seems to have been enough for them to know I'm a better bet to fit in with their way of working than somebody who professes to know it all already (given the fact that I'm a CAD operator, not an industry expert in anything, so it'd cost them more to find better :wink: )

 

I have gathered from this forum that toolbar entry is a huge no-no, but I usually do a job for a week, then set about creating a toolbar which enables me to work efficiently - programming new buttons and grouping them in routine sequences, then plonking this toolbar in the drawing area so it's quick to reach. It's a method that tends to freak collegues out if they try to use my machine, but when I show them what one button can do, they usually want it installed on their machine too

 

I guess what I'm saying is that a flexible working attitude and a willingness to learn can carry more weight than hitting the ground running

 

BTW - I'm usually a contractor, but if a company was offering me free training and sandwiches, I wouldn't be protesting at the loss of a lunchbreak (though I'd probably have to find somebody else to stretch my dog's legs :wink: )

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hay123

Hi, I looked at the previously stated Cadsmart site, which I personally would love to do. Unfortunatly price for company under 10 people was $600 or so AU, so a 'just for fun' exam is not really warranted.

 

I also did free tests on below web site (although they are flawed in regard to how you use autocad, what functions are general, and don't give any analysis at the end, apart from what answers were wrong)

 

http://www.docnmail.com/tests/computers/autocad.htm

 

 

This does give a basis on questions someone could put on there own test though.

 

Also, I have been thinking in my own job about what slows me down. And although certianly trying to achive outcomes in as few commands as possible is one thing, fast typing & mouse control is another. I find my biggest obsticle is reading the draft and local knowledge. I work for a team of six surveyors, some are neat, some are messy, some bring me scraps of paper with pencil scribble that has been in the rain. Some assume I know nothing, some assume I am a mind reader. And I know that an average job from one guy will take me 2 hours, and an almost identcal job from another will take me 3, so I think it's neccesary to include local knowledge in any tests and how well they comprehend draft information. If it takes 5 minuets to understand what needs to be drawn, then what does it matter if you waste 2 seconds moving your mouse to a toolbar.

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swestbrook60
Has anyone been able to find a test, either written or CAD based, that you can give to your drafters to see just how good they are? I'm going to be taking over as the CAD manager for the company I work for, and I've noticed that it takes some of the drafters a considerably longer time to complete their work than the others. I'm looking for a way to pinpoint exactly where they are falling short and what I can do to train them in being faster and more accurate.

 

If anyone has any ideas, I'm open to them.

 

Back in the late 80's, early 09's there was a test like this that was free on the Internet. I forget its name but I gave it to all my designers/drafters. As I explained to them, this was not an evaluation of thier worth, but rather an evaluation of what training was required and that it in no way would affect their job or pay scale. I do not think anyone was offended to take the test.

 

At first I was shocked at how poorly everyone did on the test until you stop and realize that most people need to only use a small fraction of AutoCAD's total capabilities. The test was too enclusive of speciality items such as LISP, VBA, and other programming and customization tools and also dealt with some CAD management issues as well. While it did illustrate some of the areas training was needed, its value was diminished because it was not focused enough on the areas of AutoCAD each specific person needs to know.

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blazerspeed

Wow, ok. I just got around to looking at this thread. I recently took over my department, as my boss left for a different job. I actually use two different CAD tests to test people's abilities. We came up with these when we needed a benchmark for new hires. Both are 20 minute timed exams.

 

The first is a 25 question, mulitiple choice written exam consisting of basic command knowledge (what does Fillet Command do?, how do you create a polyline from lines and splines? etc)and areas that are more specific to what we need in a CAD operator (XREF and Raster knowledge, binding, sheet sets, etc).

 

The second exam is an actual drawing test. it is an L shaped bracket in 4 views; PLAN, SECTION, ELEVATION, and an ISOMETRIC. There are notes, dimensions and a specific scale. The testee is only told to redraw everything on the page to the set scale, and that they have 20 minutes to finish. We tested this on some of our senior designers and found the range for completion to be between 11 to 15 minutes (also done to see where each of them were at respectively). None of them had seen this project before we gave it to them either. We went through a TON of applicants before we found someone who could even finish the drawing. This has worked out great for us, as it weeds out who can talk a big game, and who actually knows what they're doing.

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MBAUSCHKA

After working at the same place for nearly 3 years, I had my CAD all decked out with custom macros as well as shortcut keys on a 5 button mouse. When I went to an interview for a management position, they gave me a CAD test. (it was a simple little foundation detail) Without notice they gave it to me and said I about 10-15 minutes to get it done. I got it done quick, but it took me a good 5 minutes to set everything up; ie; right click button for menu's.

 

If you give a new hire a test, at least let him/her set up the desktop

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Strix

I've been set tasks to do to test if I was suitable for a couple of jobs

 

asking questions as to how they go about x and asking why they don't do y, and querying why they don't have an automated routine to do whatever has been a deciding factor in me getting the job

 

I may not be up to speed now, but they can work with me, and probably learn a few things too

 

We all know that AutoCAD has several ways to skin a cat, so careful what conclusions you draw from any tests you set :wink:

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SuperCAD

True, Strix, that there are many ways to do many things in AutoCAD. However, you'd be able to get a pretty good idea of the level of experience that the user may have depending on which methods he or she decides to use.

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Strix

I agree - but having seen how much I have been able to improve some of the ways an office goes about their daily business of CADding, given my level of incompetence with the package, I'd say fuzzy logic is a good way to go for judging suitability for certain roles, rather than hard and fast tests and the answers you've got on your sheet

 

shutting somebody in a room and telling them to get on with it may not be the best way to go unless you've given them the company standards manual a week before the interview

 

It all depends on the industry and the work being done though

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