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By Stacey Askew

Students in BUS100, strategies for success, are forced to take an $80 character assessment instead of using a text book for the class, or they’ll fail the course.

The results of the test told first-year business management student Aly Dharsee that he should consider a career in music.

“It would say you should pursue music just because you enjoy listening to music,” Dharsee said. The character assessment was run for the first time last semester as a requirement to pass BUS100.

Dharsee paid for the wisdom revealed in a 60-page-plus report based on an hour-and-a-half questionnaire.

The final report, generated with formulas and logic, was e-mailed to students. It contained an analysis of personality, future, strengths and other suggested careers.

“After doing it, I thought it was pretty much the biggest waste of money I’ve ever spent at Ryerson,” Dharsee said. Some aspects of the assessment were better than others, he added.

“A lot of people felt their personality made sense but their career was out of whack.”

Other students were also not impressed with the steep price for a document that confirmed what they already knew about themselves.

Nabiha Ankari, another first-year student, said the survey told her to go into the “people side” of business. “I already knew I wasn’t good at math,” she said.

Ken Jones, dean of business, said the test was adopted as a way to help students make important career decisions.

“We want to make sure students have another way of evaluating what they’re doing as well as another way to decide about it,” Jones said.

The assessment itself exposes students to technology they could face in the business world, he added.

Provided by Optimax Human Performance Inc., the assesment has been used by businesses to assess potential and current employee’s strengths.

An individual would pay $600 for the identical assessment. Peter Guy, president of Optimax, said the test is important even once students have chosen a major in university for a couple reasons.

“For those who know exactly what they want, it will confirm they are in the right program.” For those who don’t and may feel lost in the sea of choices available, “the tool can help create a focus on the most exciting part for them”.

He also believes it is incredibly accurate. He gave the test to a person 15 years ago, who was 15 at the time. The test predicted she would be a biochemistry professor.

Today, she is a biochemistry professor at Harvard Medical school, he said. “Tools like this are helpful because they’re objective, measurable and quantifiable,” said Guy.

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