We recommend that you download the exams and work through them under self-imposed exam conditions, with only the reference books you plan to bring into the exam. Then, check your answers against the answer guide and award yourself marks to see if you have passed. You might want to work with a colleague to mark each other's papers.
Consider forming study groups to work through the papers or discuss questions. If you are a member of an Australian society of editors, you may join the closed Facebook group Secret Editors IPEd study group. Not that in order to become a member of this group you must first join the Facebook group Secret Editors’ Business.
The Accreditation Board has also supplied an additional editing extract, like the Part 2 exercise in the exam, with a marked-up copy against which you can check your attempt.
Candidates should not assume because a subject area or editorial skill is included in sample exams that it will or will not be represented in the exam paper itself.
Sample onscreen exam
A sample onscreen exam is now available, based largely on
the original sample exams.
Using the sample exam documents
Before you start, read the document Note on opening and saving the exam documents.
This explains how to open the exam documents so that the macros and form
controls contained in them stay enabled.
Then download the actual sample exam documents. The exam is
spread across five Microsoft Word documents:
Download these five documents into a folder on your
computer desktop or other convenient place.
Start with the Instructions to Candidates which explains
how to interact with the documents. Then open each document in turn and try
working through the questions.
We recommend you time yourself to see if you can do the
questions in the time allowed.
Marked-up versions of the sample exams are available below for you to check your answers.
Sample Exam 2016 Part 1 marked-up
Sample Exam 2016 Part 2 Extract marked-up
Sample Exam 2016 Part 2 Style Sheet marked-up
Sample Exam 2016 Part 3 marked-up
A video has been developed to demonstrate how to use the documents for the onscreen exam. Even if you have already gone through a sample exam, it is worth watching the video as it gives a number of tips for making it easier to navigate through the exam documents.
Link to the video demonstration here
A note on suggested timing
These suggestions are for your guidance only. Record how long each task takes while you’re doing the test exam to work out timing before you take the final exam.
- Reading time: 40 minutes -- includes the time it takes to read the instruction booklet.
- Part 1: 30 minutes maximum, including time to review answers. Worth 20%.
You must answer 20 of 24 questions, but you may choose to answer up to 24 questions to give yourself a safety margin if you wish.
- Part 2: 1 hour + 15 minutes to review. Worth 40%.
You must edit the extract in accordance with the brief provided, and prepare a style sheet and list of queries for the author.
- Part 3: 1 hour (15 minutes for each of four questions) + 15 minutes to review. Worth 40%.
You must answer any four of 12 questions, covering general and specialist topics.
Preparing for the exam
Choose your reference books well ahead of the exam and ensure you know their contents well. You may tag the books. Bring at least a good dictionary and a copy of Snooks & Co., Style manual for authors, editors and printers, 6th edn, 2002, which is the assumed style. If you want to choose another style guide, you must note that on the first page of the exam paper. If your preference is a house style guide, you must provide a copy of it with the completed exam for the use of the marker (it will not be returned to you).
Once you have answered your chosen four questions from Part 3, we recommend you work through or study the remaining non-specialist questions to extend your knowledge. We also suggest you read through a general editing book, such as E Flann, B Hill and L Wang, The Australian editing handbook, 3rd edn, 2014, or J Mackenzie, The editor’s companion, 3rd edn, 2014, to refresh your memory of things you have not done for a while or to extend your knowledge.
Questions, queries, suggestions are all welcome. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.