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Certification dos and don'ts—enhance your chances

Registration for the 2015 Editors' Association of Canada (Editors Canada) certification exams is now open.

Exam date: Saturday, November 14
Exams offered: Copy editing and stylistic editing
Locations: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax

With the exams less than two months away and studying in full swing, consider these tips from certified editors to improve your chances of passing.


  • Familiarize yourself with the reference books you plan to use. You're allowed a dictionary and style guides. Know your way around them!
  • Practise your test-taking skills, including speed (time yourself), and writing in longhand.
  • Know the standard proofreading and copy editing symbols.
  • Budget your time. Look at the marks allotted per question, and spend more time on the ones worth the most.
  • Follow the instructions!


  • Assume you don't need to practice because you're a professional editor.
  • Wait until the last minute to begin studying.
  • Arrive late, flustered, hungry, or tired.
  • Stray outside the scope of the skill being tested. If you're taking the copy editing test, don't start
  • rewriting or reorganizing the text.
  • Leave questions unanswered. Keep an eye on the time so you don't run out.

Looking for more tips? Visit the Editors Canada website to learn more about preparing for certification.

Are you ready?

Try a sample stylistic editing question:

A manuscript you've been asked to edit, written by a philosophy professor from a local university, is full of biased language. You choose to:

a) accept it as common to the field.
b) suggest to the author that she change it.
c) change the terminology yourself.
d) leave it for the copy editor.




b) suggest to the author that she change it.