The CSPA Exams

There are two types of exams: the CSPA Core Exam™, and CSPA Quizzes.

The CSPA Core Exam™ is a scheduled, proctored, and graded exam. The multiple choice and coding sections are autograded, while open-ended responses are human-graded. CSPA Quizzes are not proctored, and are autograded or potentially not graded. Quizzes are usually sent out by an employer to a potential job candidate.

CSPA Core Exam™

The CSPA Core Exam™ is a general software test that covers broad-based knowledge of seven topic areas.

It is a career-readiness exam intended assess both foundational computer science knowledge, as well as practical skills and experience in modern computing technology.

Insight into the former gives us an understanding of how adaptable and quickly the candidate is able to learn, as well as their ability to solve problems. Assessing the latter ensures the candidate is able to contribute to specific work environments with limited ramp-up time.

View sample exam View sample score report

Section Format Duration Topics Scaled Points
A Multiple Choice 50-70 questions 85 minutes FE, OPS, ARCH, DB, and SEC 100 to 400
B Essay and Coding 2-5 questions 1-2 hours Various, including front-end and/or back-end web 100 to 400
C Short Code Answer 3 questions 3 hours CORE 200 to 800
Total 5-6 hours 400 to 1600

CSPA Quizzes

CSPA Quizzes are not proctored, and are autograded or potentially not graded. Quizzes are usually sent out by an employer to a potential job candidate.

Algorithms & Data Structures

The Algorithms & Data Structures tests a candidate's ability to traverse and analyze complex data structures.

Candidates are asked to implement functions or classes that demonstrate their ability to process and manipulate data.

Skills tested:

  • functional programming
  • recursion
  • traversing nested arrays
  • stateful traversal

Candidates have two hours to complete the two questions, with an optional 30 minute break in between. They can use any one of our supported languages, and are graded on the number of test cases they pass.

Section Format Duration
Question 1 Coding 1 question 1 hour
Question 2 Coding 1 question 1 hour
Total Break Time Breaks can be taken between sections 30 mins
Total 2 hrs

Front-End React JS

This Front-End React JS quiz is suitable for junior and mid-level web front-end candidates. High scoring candidates:

  • are able to write vanilla HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • have some experience building React apps
  • are familiar with using and building React components
  • have strong coding fundamentals for algorithms and data structures
Section Format Duration
HTML and CSS Multiple Choice 10 questions 15 minutes
React Framework Mixed 7 questions 15 minutes
JavaScript Coding Short Coding 3 questions 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Break Time Breaks can be taken between sections 30 mins
Total 2 hrs

Generalist Web Developer

The Generalist Web quiz is suitable for junior and mid-level candidates who plan to work in a linux-based web tech stack. It covers the web stack from back-end down to ops and single machine architecture. The multiple choice section is predominantly knowledge- and experience-based, while the final section tests their ability to code in a language they are comfortable with.

High scoring candidates:

  • have solid coding fundamentals for algorithms and data structures
  • understand high level web architecture, including TCP/IP, HTTP and data storage systems
  • have some understanding of modern tools such as version control, remotely logging into machines, navigating shell, and transferring files
Section Format Duration
Section A Multiple Choice 30 questions 45 minutes
Section B Short Code Answer 2 questions 2 hours
Total Break Time Breaks can be taken between sections 30 mins
Total 2 hrs 45 mins

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