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I am about to go back to college to pursue computer science hoping that someday I'll be able to establish a career in programming. However I've read on a few articles and forums that a lot of aspiring programmers are not able to get hired because they fail to pass the aptitude test. Regarding this I hope you can help me determine other non-computer related subjects in college I need to focus as well to establish efficient thinking and computational problem solving included on the tests.

I tried to take a sample of this test and I am not able to get an above average score which I would think is considered unsatisfactory by an employer. Below is the link for the test I took online:[^]

In this test I would like to know the areas of study included so I may be able to work my way from knowing those subjects i need to focus as well?

Thank You for looking into this.

Updated 1-Dec-14 21:54pm
Foryinath 14-Jul-15 9:05am    
First, you mentioned that previously you worked in customer service field. I'm not sure if others would agree with me but I personally believe that the skills you got there will be useful in certain degree. What I mean is that if you've been working with the clients (end users) on a regular basics then I believe it's safe to presume that you have good communication skills, patience, maybe even troubleshooting skills (I'm not exactly sure what your role was).

Now regarding the tests, efficient thinking and problem solving skills are improved over time so the experience is the key here. However you can improve these skills by practising, just like you improve your general knowledge of programming.
For example I would suggest you to visit this site with programming aptitude tests. The site provides a service for testing out programming skills, but you'll find a lot of publicly available tests in their "Test library" and you could use those tests for practising.

Aptitude tests are designed to test your aptitude, or inbuilt ability, not your level of knowledge. It is unlikely that any study course will improve this, even if it does improve things like your mental arithmetic.

But, if there are areas of the tests where you fared badly then you know where you need to improve.
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Member 11279105 2-Dec-14 5:17am    
Thanks You! Yes I am trying to figure out which fields of study these puzzles could be related to so I can practice problem solving in these disciplines
Richard MacCutchan 2-Dec-14 5:45am    
My advice, is don't waste your time, such studies are rarely going to help in your college course, or your future employment prospects. If you have the aptitude then the college course, if it's any good, will help you to develop these skills as you study. Focus on that as it will be of greater benefit in the long run.
Member 11279105 2-Dec-14 6:12am    
Definitely I'll focus on majors but I'm just afraid of having a hard time earning my first job as a programmer because of these aptitude test. Thanks for the advice! :)
Richard MacCutchan 2-Dec-14 6:25am    
The chances of you gaining a job just through aptitude tests is very low. Most employers looking for interns will be much more interested in your course work and grades, and a demonstration of your understanding of programming, and whatever languages you studied.
I'll try to be helpful in this very subjective and non technical issue.

First and foremost, if a company relies too heavily only on aptitude test and not on interviews, leave them alone. They don't deserve ANY employee at all. My aptitude test for example was written inside the company, contained several simple questions on VB6 (one of the requirements of the job), C, generic computer science (binary notation), signal analysis (not required but it was part of my study path) and Mathematical analysis (not requires, see the latter). But it served ONLY to understand if I was lying in my CV, that stated good knowledge of VB6 and C and a degree in Computer engineering.

Then I tell you that the kind of thinking required in aptitude tests is dumb. Much, much dumb. Because it is not logical: it is the exact opposite of logical, it's convoluted to the precise intent of making it hard to solve unless oyu spend $$ on exercise books that are useful only if you want to train monkeys in math.

As college subjects I'd suggest you Engineering, since it has a soild base of math and physics, both of which are useful in any environment other than incerasing your logical and critical capabilities.

All the rest comes with experience, not much else.

Hope to be of help,
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Member 11279105 2-Dec-14 5:26am    
Thank you!

I am just having fears of not being able to practice programming as a profession after I finsih school. Interviews are a major deciding factor whether an applicant gets hired or get admitted to an internship program. But in my country the competition is very stiff that before you even get endorsed for an initial interview you can already be shortlisted for failing an exam even if its reasonable or logical for a certain position applied for.
den2k88 2-Dec-14 5:32am    
Then broaden your horizons, look even outside your country - I am Italian, I am used to look abroad ;) improve your spoken and written English, maybe think about studying abroad, for example in Italy there are Politecnico di Torino (Polytechnique University of Turin) and Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnique University of Milan) that regularly accept foreign students from any part of the world and provide grants.

This two universities give a high chance of finding jobs worldwide, and the English taught lessons aren't particularly demanding, being that many professors aren't native speakers as well.

By the way, it is quite normal having fears before finishing school, we all passed through that :)
Member 11279105 2-Dec-14 5:40am    
Yes its normal to have fears but it gets more severe if you're someone who will be around 32-33 years of age before applying for an internship program.. I just recently decided to pursue a college degree for the sake of being able to get hired as a programmer (after working for 9 years straight in the customer service field), Late realization in life I guess..

Yep, maybe if I don't find any success looking for a job locally I'll try to see about getting an overseas job who is catering to overseas fresh graduate applicants as well.

Thanks for suggesting those schools. I'll make sure to have a look at it. :)

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