Overview of Unsupervised Internet Testing

What is an Unsupervised Internet Test?

An Unsupervised Internet Test (UIT) is a test that is administered in an unsupervised environment, accessible at any location where the test-taker has access to a computer and an Internet connection. A UIT is the first step in a two-step assessment process whereby an applicant must pass a similar assessment in a supervised setting before being appointed to a position.

Why are UITs being used?

Each year, the federal public service receives over one million job applications. Some job advertisements receive thousands of applications. UITs are screening tools that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the assessment process.

UITs are standardized tests designed to manage large volumes of applicants, based on merit. Whether used alone or in combination with other screening criteria (e.g., education and experience), a UIT can yield a manageable number of promising applicants for further assessment.

UITs save hiring managers time and money:

  • No need for test administrators;
  • No need to provide equipment;
  • One flat-rate charge per staffing process for unlimited testing;
  • Fewer resources needed to overcome potential barriers to assessment (e.g., national area of selection, adapted measures related to mobility); and
  • Focus resources on further assessment of qualified candidates who were identified early on in the staffing process.

UITs save applicants time and effort by:

  • Testing them at a convenient time and location over the Web, via an interface that meets Treasury Board Standards on Web Accessibility;
  • Inviting them to supervised testing only if they are likely to pass; and
  • Providing them with faster decisions on the status of their application.

Do UITs encourage cheating, thereby invalidating the results?

Cheating is discouraged by requiring applicants to consent to a “terms of use”. This serves as a contract that specifies that applicants must take the test honestly, by themselves, without assistance from other people or other resources.

To ensure that applicants have completed the test based on their own abilities, the applicant UIT results are verified by administering similar tests in a supervised setting. Research shows that cheating is minimal when applicants know that they will eventually have to pass a similar test in a supervised setting.

Are UIT results less important than the results of supervised tests?

UIT results are valid only for the staffing process for which the test was taken. In contrast, valid supervised test scores can be re-used when applying to a new staffing process.

Otherwise, UIT results are just as important as supervised test results. Once a manager has decided to use a two-step assessment process that includes a UIT, an applicant must pass both the UIT and a similar test administered in a supervised environment to be deemed qualified on the assessed competency. A valid score on the supervised test is not sufficient, even if it exceeds the pass mark set by the hiring manager. A passing score on both the UIT and the supervised test is required.