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I'm about to graduate and some companies are already offering job positions. Then one day, I was offered a job position at a company and they want me to take an examination first which I accepted immediately. But then, after much thought, I am not confident enough in taking the exam and I would like to cancel the scheduled date and tell them my reasons.

Is is considered rude to do this?

  • What Joe is saying is, be careful about burning a bridge. If you are just starting your career, even more so. – Jane S Feb 11 '16 at 12:35
  • "I would like to cancel the scheduled date" - does this mean you would like to be considered to take it at another date instead? If so, it might be possible to arrange if you give convincing reasons (you are about to graduate and there is a lot of pressure). – Brandin Feb 11 '16 at 12:50
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    @KaelJasper "Should I just take the exam even though I know I'll fail" - Yes. Think of it this way: even if you fail, what downsides are there? On the other hand, even if you are certain you'll fail, there are potential benefits - you'll learn what kinds of things they are testing you on, what you did well on, and hopefully what you did poorly on (so you can improve in those areas). – Brandin Feb 11 '16 at 13:01
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    If you don't take the exam for sure you won't get the job. So you think you will fail. There is a chance you might not fail. Your only chance of getting the job is to take the exam. If you cancel don't tell them the reason is "you thought you would fail". Say "some opportunities that seem to be a better fit have come up". – paparazzo Feb 11 '16 at 14:34
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    Are they offering you a job position, or are they offering you a job interview? Sounds like the latter, that is, the chance for a job position rather than a guaranteed job position itself. – shoover Feb 11 '16 at 20:57
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Although your question title focuses on whether it is rude/ethical to cancel an examination you agreed to, I believe your actual question hinges on this statement:

But then, after much thought, I am not confident enough in taking the exam and I would like to cancel the scheduled date and tell them my reasons.

As Jane S. mentioned in the comments, the company offered you the chance to take the examination because they saw potential in your ability. You agreed to take the examination, and now it sounds like you are having doubts about your abilities. This is completely natural. But it doesn't mean you should pull out.

"Should I just take the exam even though I know I'll fail it?"

The answer to this is almost certainly "Yes". Even if you know with 100% certainty you'll fail, it's still in your best interest to take the exam. Think of it this way: what's the worst that will happen if you fail? Answer: you won't get the job. But if you withdraw from the exam without taking it, you certainly won't get the job either. On the other hand, taking this sort of exam and failing still has potential benefits:

  1. Taking an exam like this is valuable practice for general hiring procedures. If you experience this one (and fail it), you will remember this experience for future applicatioins.

  2. This is not a university-style test. Even if you can't answer many questions, you won't know where their "passing mark" is for the position they're hiring for. You could quite possibly "fail" the exam by your own standards, but still be considered good enough for the position they're hiring for. You won't know unless you try it.

  3. If it's an oral test, you will probably get feedback during the exam of how you are doing, which areas you were good at, and which you need to improve on. If you don't end up getting the job, you can use this feedback to your advantage for future job applications/interviews/exams.

  • Very nice answer :) – Jane S Feb 11 '16 at 20:47
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Is is considered rude to do this?

Not rude, but it will definitely inconvenience the company since they will have made some arrangements. It's unlikely you will land a job there so long as they remember you.

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As others said: it will not be rude and it's normal to have doubt or unsure if you should take the exam. The decision is up to you but keep in mind that one way you have to be more confident of your skills or abilities is to try, don't matter the result. This will even give you more experience in how you should behave, for example.

As the great philosopher Aristotle said: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

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