Programming aptitude tests: Your essential guide for hiring top talent

Programming aptitude tests: Your essential guide for hiring top talent

Do you need to hire an expert programmer? Are you searching for the best method to assess your applicants’ skills?

Evaluating your candidates isn’t always easy, but a programming aptitude test is an excellent option that simplifies your recruiting. If you want to find top candidates with the best programming and soft skills, now’s the time to learn about programming aptitude tests. Read on for the key facts.

Table of contents

What are programming aptitude tests?

A programming aptitude test is an assessment you can use to gauge how well candidates can solve complex programming problems. These tests assess logical reasoning, mathematical skills, coding knowledge, and algorithm abilities.

A programming aptitude test can help you determine if your candidates can apply linear thinking and use their coding skills in a real-world scenario. 

Why use a programming aptitude test to hire a programmer?

If you’ve tried to hire a programmer based on a resume, you’ll know about the difficulties of this approach. To save time, you should consider replacing CV screening with programming aptitude tests. These tests indicate which candidate’s programming skills best match your criteria.

There are several other reasons to use an aptitude test for programming candidates. You can review several skills simultaneously, for example by combining a Problem Solving test with a specific programming test in a single assessment.

Which skills can you assess with a programming aptitude test?

You can assess several skills with a programming aptitude test. Here are some of the critical skills you can review.

Programming languages skills

Since your candidates need to know how to code in the programming languages that match your requirements, you’ll need to assess them on these. For example, you may need to make sure they have the skills to code in C#, Python, or Go (or any programming language your organization uses). In that case, a programming aptitude test (such as our C# test) provides a quick and effective way to review these abilities.

Problem-solving skills

Can your candidates solve complex problems for clients? Can they handle the challenging process of designing, identifying, and implementing solutions for complex problems using coding methods? Can they analyze a situation, develop an algorithm, code a solution, and then test and debug the program? A programming aptitude test will review these skills quickly and effectively.

Sequence and patterns

Candidates must know why sequencing is essential and how the computer will execute the statements. Applicants should also understand that patterns are repeatable solutions to frequent problems in a software’s design. If you need to review your applicants’ sequence and pattern-related knowledge, you’ll find the evaluation process much simpler with a programming aptitude test.

Why is an aptitude test required for hiring programmers?

Programming aptitude tests can help you assess your applicants objectively, and as such they are essential for hiring programmers. You should use a programming aptitude test to prevent unconscious bias from affecting your hiring choice or avoid hiring the wrong candidate.

It’s also important because several factors and complex processes are involved in evaluating a programmer’s abilities. Not only must you consider their past knowledge, but you also need to consider how they fit into your organization and team. Being able to combine a programming aptitude test with other skill tests simplifies the assessment process.

What are the main types of questions in an aptitude test for programming?

What are the main types of questions in programming aptitude test?

The main types of questions in an aptitude test for programming include:

  • Timed questions related to entry-level algorithms
  • Debugging-related questions in specific programming languages
  • Querying-related questions for leveraging structured data in databases
  • Multiple-choice questions in which applicants choose one response from a list
  • Multiple-response questions in which applicants choose several responses from a list
  • Coding questions that require candidates to use one programming language to solve a real-world problem

What are the key examples of aptitude tests to use alongside programming tests?

As an HR expert, there are several tests you can combine with programming tests. Some of the main tests available with TestGorilla include the following types.

What are examples of aptitude tests to use alongside programming tests?

Cognitive-ability tests

Cognitive-ability tests will help you measure a candidate’s cognitive function or skills in specific subcategories. Some of the subcategories you can review when you combine cognitive tests with a coding aptitude test include numerical reasoning, attention to detail, and critical thinking.

Language assessments

If your organization requires spoken language skills for interacting with developers located around the globe, you may need to combine a computer programming aptitude test with a language test. Examples of these include Spanish (upper intermediate/B2), French (proficient C1), and Mandarin (proficient/C1).

Personality and culture assessments

Use personality and culture assessments with a programmer aptitude test to understand how your applicants’ traits and values match your open role. There are five personality and culture tests, including the 16-types, DISC, Enneagram, Big 5 (OCEAN), and Culture Add tests.

Role-specific tests

You can integrate some role-specific tests into the testing process to review additional skills when hiring applicants. For instance, you may choose the Algorithms for Software Engineering test to check their algorithmic knowledge or our Software Architect test to review their software design skills.

Situational judgment assessments

Some situational-judgment skills you may want to assess include time-management and communication skills. Select from the situational-judgment skills tests and use them with your programming aptitude tests to assess your applicants’ suitability for the role. 

Software skills tests

Using software skills with a coding aptitude test or computer programming aptitude test will reveal whether applicants have specific software-related skills to work in your team. Some software skills you may review include relational database knowledge, such as proficiency with PostgreSQL or Docker.

How do I prepare an aptitude test for my candidates?

To prepare an effective aptitude test for your candidates, follow these steps:

1. Think of a name for your assessment

Begin by naming your assessment and ensuring the name is distinctive. You may want to use or include the job title when naming the assessment.

2. Choose up to five tests

You can choose up to five tests, including your programming aptitude test. At this stage, if you’re unsure which tests to pick, you can consider the related tests that our system suggests. 

3. Add custom coding questions

Although you can add essay, multiple-choice, video, or file upload questions, custom coding questions may be the ideal option. This helps you create a unique test for the specific open role at your organization.

4. Review and add advanced options

Ensure you’ve included the necessary tests and check the details. You can then consider advanced options such as anti-cheating, qualifying questions, additional time for candidates, and other extra requirements.

Hire the best programming professional for your team with an aptitude test

We know it’s not always simple to hire a programming professional with the best skills. But remember that the right programmer aptitude assessment will make your job much easier.

For reliable coding aptitude tests and to hire exceptional programmers, sign up with TestGorilla today. Our programming aptitude tests are objective, effective, and reliable.

Hire the best candidates
with TestGorilla.

Create pre-employment assessments in minutes to screen candidates, save time, and hire the best talent.

Try for free

The best advice in pre-employment testing, in your inbox.

No spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

Hire the best. No bias. No stress.

Our screening tests identify the best candidates and make your hiring decisions faster, easier, and bias-free.

Try for free

Free resources