No, I don't mean diamond mods - I'm talking about the plain ol' moderation privileges.
Maybe it would be beneficial if, say, once you reach the edit review reputation level, you have to go through (and pass a certain percentage of) those fake edit tests before you actually get the privilege (and perhaps, if you do not pass, you have to wait another few K of reputation before you get the chance again). Then the original rep level could remain low, and people with low rep are still given a chance to gain the privilege.
Servy responded with:
Been suggested before. Personally I don't see it being effective. The audits, as they stand, are there to make sure that the reader is reading the post. No more than that. If you read it, and no nothing else about whether or not it's an appropriate edit, you ought to pass. Users should really have a higher standard than "I read the post" to be an acceptable reviewer. There are of course other problems with them as well.
I happen to agree with Servy on this. The audits are meant to be an extremely low bar - a threshold below which you are clearly a bad reviewer. Using these for training would not ensure graduates would actually be good reviewers.
But the idea resonated and, after thinking about it a bit more, I remembered our little About (aka Tour) page. If you are a new user and you read this page, all the way to the bottom, you get a badge. It's purpose is clear: help new users to understand important aspects of the site through an entertaining (animated!) overview.
Perhaps we could develop something similar to the "About/Tour" for users who have acquired moderation privileges, especially at the 2k and 3k levels. Just a basic overview of what the edit/close privileges are for and clear, easy-to-understand examples of the kinds of questions/answers that need moderation. Go for obvious, non-controversial (perhaps invented) examples so that the purpose of the mod tools are clear. (Obviously, gray-er posts require experience and judgment, which can't really be taught in this format.)
Reading the page all the way to the bottom could earn you an "informed moderator" badge. We could even go so far as to nag new moderators a bit to read our "Moderation Tour" when they visit the review page - at least until they are over a threshold - just like we nag new downvoters to consider leaving a comment.
I think a lot of users who gain these privileges (and actually visit the review page in an effort to use them) really want to do a good job at it. But, right now, the instructions on how to do so are difficult to find, polluted with old (obsolete) advice and are littered with gaps and contradictions. A clean, one-stop interface, just to help get new mods going, might go a long way toward improving the overall quality level of our community's moderation activities.