Contributors Share What it’s Like Working on a Long-Term Appen Project

Crowd Spotlight on Project Shasta

Project Shasta, one of our most established remote work projects, is an ongoing project for contributors looking for a more stable and longer-term assignment with support from our dedicated project team. We spoke to a few successful contributors excelling on the project to tell us more: how they became part of the project, what they enjoy about the work, and what advice they have for anyone interested in applying.

What’s Project Shasta?

Matthew B on Project Shasta

Project Shasta is available to applicants across the globe. In the project, contributors are asked to complete map analysis tasks to evaluate the map’s search engine results for accuracy. The project aims to improve search relevancy and the geographic precision of one of the world’s most extensive map applications, affecting millions of users globally.

Contributors who apply and are accepted into the project should expect to commit at least 15 hours per week. This assignment is long-term, meaning contributors can anticipate consistent work for several years if they choose.

Tasks You Can Expect from Project Shasta

Many of Project Shasta’s tasks are rating-based, determining whether a search term and resulting geographic pin match closely enough for a potential user. Contributors unlock new task types as they spend more time on the project. The tasks are anything but repetitive.

Lorenzo M on Project Shasta

Appen contributor, Matthew B., spoke to the nature of working with maps all over the world: “I like the little perspectives you gain by learning and seeing a new place and culture, even if only on the screen and on the maps.”

Project Shasta tasks require critical thinking skills and attention to detail, which we evaluate as part of our qualification process for accepting candidates into the project. This process includes a final exam, but we provide a variety of resources to help you pass.

Top Tips for Passing the Exam

The Project Shasta exam is open-book and has two parts to it. You have two chances to pass and plenty of study materials you can use during the test:

  • Project Guidelines. This online document has everything you need to know about Project Shasta tasks. It includes visuals, diagrams, examples, and more.
  • Learning Center. The Learning Center features interactive activities (trivia, simulators, decision trees, and more) and practice quizzes to test your knowledge.
  • Shasta Academy. Completing this will give you additional, personalized resources, tips, and guidelines to prepare you for the exam.
  • Exam Simulator. Use this to get a feel for the final exam.

Advice for taking the exam from Matthew B. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn! Appen will be there to help you and guide you and has given you all the tools you need to succeed and do well with Shasta. The tests can be passed with patience, effort, and attention.”

Candidates spend about 10 to 12 hours in the qualification process, mostly studying for and completing the final exam.

Lorenzo M. highlights his path to success: “Study, study, study. Once you are done studying, practice, practice, practice. There really is nothing like making sure you understand the guidelines and then testing your ability.”

In addition to the advice from our contributors, here a few more tips to help you with the exam:

  • You can exit out of the exam and return to it at any time. Consider scheduling the exam over several days so you can take breaks to refresh your mind.
  • During the test, you can search your materials for help. Learn which keywords are most helpful to you, and practice navigating the sections in the Guidelines document using CTRL+F so you can find information quickly.
  • Take the sample exam, and carefully review any mistakes you made.

“The most rewarding thing to me,” summarizes Matthew B. on Project Shasta, “is knowing you are helping to mold and change real world issues that will affect and help possibly millions of people, and do even more than that in the long run.”

How to Apply

Are you interested in Project Shasta? Follow these steps to apply:

  1. Register on Appen Connect if you haven’t already. Once your profile and application are approved, you’ll gain access to the portal.
  2. When spots are available, Shasta will be listed on the “All Projects” page with the option to apply, or you may receive an invitation to apply if your initial Appen Connect application shows you may be a good fit.
  3. If your application is approved, you’ll be provided with the Project Guidelines, access to the Learning Center, and other study support tools. Review these carefully before your final exam.
  4. Pass the qualification exam in up to two tries.

For more information on Appen’s flexible work opportunities, see our How It Works page on Appen Connect.

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