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Companies around the world use tech assessment tests to find and hire developers with specific skills. But code tests are also a great way for applicants to showcase their programming and problem-solving skills through realistic tasks. 

We’ve designed our code testing platform CodeCheck so that tech recruiters and developers can have a streamlined and positive code testing experience. However, we understand that taking such a test can create uncertainty and stress for you as a candidate – especially if it’s your first one. 

That’s why we’d like to give you some practical tips on preparing for a tech assessment test so that you can go into it more relaxed and achieve a better result.

Tip #1: Sharpen your problem-solving skills 

The key to mastering a coding test is to understand its real purpose. For example, recruiters often don’t expect you to know the ideal algorithm for solving a problem by heart. Instead, they want to test your problem-solving skills and hire developers who can think outside the box.

Problem-solving skills help you break a problem down into smaller parts that you can solve one by one – in your case, using code. Then, using a recruiting platform like CodeCheck, recruiters can follow the steps you’ve taken to solve the problem on a timeline. This helps them understand your approach and evaluate it for their purposes. 

You can find various lessons and training tasks in our Codility Developer Training app. Think of these programming tasks as puzzles – the more you work on these types of puzzles, the better you’ll get at solving them. This, in turn, will help you master future code tests.

Tip #2: Revisit programming 101

Tech assessment tests have the difficult task of reliably and realistically assessing developers’ skills. However, developers are diverse – they all have different education, experience and abilities. Hence, tech assessment tests often focus on fundamental capabilities that most devs should have. 

While tech recruiters may not expect you to know every algorithm off the top of your head, it’s still a good idea to brush up on the basics.

Revisit algorithms and data structures as they are helpful in understanding and solving tasks. Also, take a good look at Big O Notation again. You should not only write a working solution for a tech assessment test task but also a high-performing one. Big O Notation helps you calculate the performance of your program and identify bottlenecks. 

What you need to know when prepping for your next code test
Follow our tips on preparing for a code test so you can stay relaxed and get a better result. 

Tip #3: Take practice tests

For most people, taking a test is something utterly different than solving a few exercises and puzzles. Usually, the tests are timed and you work in your browser with an unfamiliar IDE. Also, it is probably a little more stressful because this test result may determine whether or not you get invited to an interview.

Code testing can put quite a bit of pressure on you – especially if you’re not prepared. So expose yourself to similar situations as often as possible to be more relaxed going into your next code test. 

For example, take our demo test, which is a good representation of what you can expect from the real thing. We also regularly host fun coding challenges, where you can compete with other programmers and win some swag too! 

Bonus tipLeverage these demo tests and challenges to practice reading and comprehending code tests under time pressure. After all, if you don’t understand the task properly, you can’t find a working solution, right?

Tip #4: Learn how tech recruiters evaluate tests

Finally, you may feel more confident if you know how recruiters use code testing and the respective platforms to hire developers. This will also help you understand that just because you couldn’t ace a programming test, it doesn’t automatically mean you won’t be invited for an interview.

Of course, there is more than one way tech recruiters use test scores. For example, the more applicants, the more important a good score can be. On the other hand, recruiters may not rely on test results alone if there are not many applicants or they need to hire a specific developer profile. 

Read more like this: Does Being a Great Developer Translate to Being a Great Leader?

CodeCheck scores tests on criteria such as correctness and performance and assigns an overall score for a task. But it also provides code progression timelines and other information that show tech recruiters how a candidate arrived at their solution.

Check out our product documentation, where you can learn how recruiters can create tests, how evaluation works, what metrics they get and what these metrics mean. 

Look over these tips, hone your skills, and practice taking time to understand and dissect coding problems. Also, check out our candidate FAQs to clear up your remaining questions about code testing with CodeCheck. 

Hopefully, this will help your experience of tech assessment tests go as smoothly as possible and increase your chances of passing. In any case, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for you!

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Sarah Mischinger is a freelance technical content writer for Codility. She leverages her knowledge and experience in web development & writing to convey technical content in an understandable and engaging way.

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