Wow, what a trip down memory lane for me. While surfing the web this evening (not aimlessly however), I stumbled across Brainbench. I used to be a really big Brainbench user when it first came out, and had passed dozens of tests back then. Tests expire after 3 years (as they should), and so now my account is blank. *tear* But it’s surprising to see Brainbench still around 15 years later. Still looking the same as it did back then.
And so, in Coursemania style, I will give my review of the little-remembered but once big online training site – Brainbench.
Brainbench is not a traditional training site, the way Khan Academy, Udemy or Coursera offer training. Brainbench offers only tests. It is a way to prove your knowledge in a subject as definitely as you can online. If proving you know English is important to you, you can take several English tests (and be certified in it) to prove your skills in that. Same with other more technical subjects. In fact, I can see a potential employer buying a test for you, and asking you to take it, before extending a job offer as some employers do.
Brainbench started, in the early days, having free tests. You could take as many tests as you wanted, and they would even send you a paper certificate in the mail of your completion. There was a competition among students to see who can get the highest score, and achieving a perfect 5.0 was next to impossible. Man, I had a few of those paper certificates back then. They put several tests together, and called them certifications. So you could be certified in subjects such as ASP Programming, C Programming, and other tech subjects. Although they had many other subjects such as financial, accounting, and communication subjects. If you got a particularly high score, they’d call you a master at that subject.
Then, at some point they started charging for the certificates. And then at some point they started charging for the tests ($19.99 rings a bell as the introductory price), although most of the tests are $49.99 now. They also follow the monthly subscription model like Lynda.com would, where for $33 per month you can get unlimited tests. If one is $49, and unlimited is $33 (3 month minimum), the pressure is pretty high to just sign up for a subscription instead of taking a single test.
The site is unchanged in the last 15 years, more or less. I see new course subjects continue to be added, but the same old courses are there as well. The testing interface is also the same. The questions are often time limited, and the tests can take 30 to 45 minutes to complete. You only complete one question at a time before moving on to the next, and you can’t move back to previous questions. Since questions have a time limit, you can request a 15 minute break during the test (once). You can’t save your progress mid-test
The interface is not modern, but if you’re looking for a way to prove your expertise in a wide range of subjects, you might find this site interesting. Click the link below to go check out the site.