The Editors Canada Editing Essentials qualification is proof of your ability to work as an editor, earned through a test that assesses your knowledge of the basics of editing. The test is designed for entry-level editors and evaluates basic competence in the areas of structural editing, stylistic editing, copy editing and proofreading.
If you’re thinking about taking this online test (visit the registration web page when you’re ready), you may be wondering where to start preparing. On this page we’ve provided some study resources, along with a couple of sample questions to help you practise.
Note that some of the resources provided below are geared toward preparing for the Editors Canada or other organizations’ certification programs, but it won’t hurt to use any of them when preparing for Editing Essentials.
- The first place to start is the Editors Canada Professional Editorial Standards (2016). All the questions in the Editing Essentials test are based on a selection of these standards. Study them closely and carefully and consider practical applications for each standard.
- Editors Canada has a subsection of its website dedicated to preparing for the professional certification exams. Many of the resources are helpful for Editing Essentials candidates.
- The certification test preparation guides (available for purchase) contain sample versions of the Editors Canada professional certification exams, but are also good practice for any editing test.
- The website also contains lists of useful books and courses, style guides and dictionaries and other relevant publications, including the Edit Like a Pro series.
- Editors Canada also has live webinars and previously recorded webinars that are available for purchase.
- The Australian Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) provides the following links to helpful resources:
- The United States Board of Editing in the Life Sciences (BELS) offers a free study guide on its website.
- The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) has a study guide and resource list for its Essential Skills certificate and other exams.
- Medical editor Katharine O’Moore-Klopf has written an article that includes many links to training programs and courses around the world (for both editing and writing).
- The United Kingdom Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) offers a suite of courses in proofreading, copyediting and editorial skills, at levels ranging from beginner to experienced.
- The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) provides many resources for editors, from business tips to editing academic texts.
- Take quizzes and tests!
- The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) has numerous quizzes to test your knowledge of editing and proofreading.
- If you’re interested in medical or scientific editing, try the American Medical Association Manual of Style quizzes.
- The New York Times offers some free copy editing quizzes online.
- Here’s an editing quiz from the University of Kansas.
- Try ProEdit’s “Ultimate Editing Test.”
In the Editing Essentials test, all questions are in multiple-choice and matching format. Here are examples of questions you might encounter during the test. The correct answers follow (don’t peek!).
1. Which of the following statements is punctuated correctly?
a. I like many of Margaret Atwood’s books, for example, The Handmaid’s Tale is a great read.
b. I like many of Margaret Atwood’s books; for example, The Handmaid’s Tale is a great read.
c. I like many of Margaret Atwood’s books for example, The Handmaid’s Tale is a great read.
d. I like many of Margaret Atwood’s books, for example The Handmaid’s Tale is a great read.
2. I love music. It’s always had a massive affect on me.
What is incorrect in the given sentence?
3. Match the sentences with the errors they contain.
|a. I’m so insulted; only the neighbour gave me $1 to shovel her whole sidewalk.
|b. Leading the meeting today is Joe and Mike.
|c. One morning I shot an elephant wearing my pyjamas.
- a. Misplaced modifier (should be: “I’m so insulted; the neighbour gave me only $1 to shovel her whole sidewalk.”)
b. Agreement error (should be: “Leading the meeting today are Joe and Mike.”)
c. Ambiguous sentence (Am I or the elephant wearing those pyjamas? Better would be: “One morning, wearing my pyjamas, I shot an elephant.”)