How do you make skill tests for online courses a great experience? 

It’s human nature. We all hate the idea of taking a test. The fear of failure or not doing well triggers all levels of dread and anxiety.

In this article, we discuss the differences between skill tests and skill assessments so you can make the best choice for your online course. And make the experience rewarding for online learners. Plus, we share ways you can use skill tests and assessments as a marketing strategy to increase course enrollments.

Increasing course enrollments is one of the main goals for course creators. You’ve done all the hard work creating a great course. Now you want people to signup and start learning.

If you want to covert your current traffic to paying customers, focus on conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies. By adding a skill evaluation experience to your course marketing, you can make recommendations and increase enrollment rates.


>> Click here to start testing online now with skillXchange


First, there’s a difference between a skill test and a skill assessment.

What is a skill test?

A skill test measures and scores knowledge, skill or ability. 

Skill tests measure learning outcomes. Online course content creators often include a skill test at the end of a learning module or course to measure learning progress. 

A certificate of recognition is awarded to the student for passing the course. Also, the student receives recommendations for continued learning. 

A skill test is a great way to give a positive learning outcome to your online learners.

When to use a skill test?

As the name suggests, a skill test is a measure of an individual’s ability to apply knowledge and skills. Skill tests often used for certification, evaluation and recommendation purposes. 

In contrast to skill assessments that require a learner to demonstrate their ability to perform tasks in real-world situations, skill tests require them simply to answer questions about facts or concepts that they have learned. 

Skill tests reveal whether or not students possess specific information (e.g., “Do you know what X means?”) Skill tests do not provide any information about whether or not learners have applied what they learned (e.g., “How would you use X?”).

A skill test can be anywhere from 30 to 75 questions and take 15 to 30 minutes to complete. It is shorter than an exam but longer than an assessment.

skillXchange has multiple options for creating skill tests:

  • Set a time limit, a minimum passing score and competency levels like novice or advanced
  • Allow options to give a student retry attempts to take the skill test again to improve their score result
  • Include recommendations for continued learning based on score results
  • Direct the student with en embedded link to a course and see increased enrollment rates.

What is a skill assessment?

A skill assessment is an online evaluation of a learner’s ability to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competencies required for a specific learning objective.

The results from taking an assessment help a learner decide which training resources or e-learning modules are the right choice.

A well designed skill assessment is generally 20-25 questions and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

When to use a skill assessment?

When you expect your learners to demonstrate a high level of proficiency, consider using a skill assessment instead. Any level of learner — beginners to experts — benefit from skill assessments.

When you’re not sure how much skill your student has, but think it’s somewhere between moderate and low, this may be the best option for you. If they can demonstrate a moderate level of proficiency with an appropriate resource, then they should be able to take your course as well.

Course content creators use skill assessments in skillXchange as a way for online learners to pre-test before choosing to enroll in a course. This lets a prospective learner see how their skills match up to the course choices, and gives them confidence in selecting the right course. 

Assessments are a great way to boost the marketing power of your courses and drive enrollments. 

  • Give students a way to choose an assessment
  • Offer assessments that cover a range of knowledge areas
  • Show knowledge gaps and make relevant course recommendations.

What are your course learning objectives?

The choice between a skill test and skill assessment depends on the learning objectives of your course. And tie into your marketing plans. Start to view tests and assessments as a powerful marketing tool to drive a conversion strategy for course signups. At the end of the day, they both create a positive learning experience for students.

  • Use skill tests to evaluate specific skills, test for learning outcomes and award certificates of achievement. 
  • Use skill assessments for measuring competency and making recommendations.

Read a little more on how to use skill assessments to reach new audiences for course signups, and how skill assessments boost course reviews and positive experiences for online learning. 

Make your courses standout with skill scores

We hope this article has helped you decide which type of evaluation tool is best for your course and learners. Creating a fun and engaging experience, one that rewards with a skill score and recommendations, makes your courses perform better. Checkout the free plan option for skillXchange and start creating skill tests and skill assessments for your courses today.