General Coding Assessment Framework

The General Coding Assessment (GCA) framework described in this paper can be used to create standardized tests to measure core programming and computer science knowledge that is shared between most software engineers and is taught in almost all CS programs throughout the US. The research that has gone into it makes sure that the tests themselves are highly consistent and EEOC-compliant. In addition, basing the test on a framework allows the GCA to be scaled with a large pool of questions that adhere to the same guidelines. On each test administration, questions can be randomly selected from the pool, reducing the risk that a test-taker gains an unfair advantage by memorizing the questions in advance.

The Coding Score obtained from the test is a singular measure meant to give recruiters, hiring managers and educators — as well as the test-takers themselves — a quick view of the test-taker’s skills. It measures the test-taker’s code-writing and problem-solving skills as well as the ability to produce clean code at a reasonable speed. GCA and the Coding Score it produces are not language specific, and test-takers can choose any programming language to complete the tasks. The test should be administered in a proctored environment, and the solutions should be automatically checked for plagiarism.

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