No judging, just learning – why you’ll love our coding exams

05/01/2022

6 min read

Want to know how a next-gen programming school approaches coding exams? We’re now bringing you the details of our tests and assessments. Learn why our method adds more value than traditional exams, and get to know the 3 main Codecool exam types.

coding exam

Always hated exams? We feel you. They’re necessary but unpleasant parts of the learning process. Universities, in particular, haven’t done much to make them too popular. You learn, stress, write the test, get a score, and then quickly forget that it all happened. Not many long-term benefits or useful feedback to learn from.

At Codecool though, you’ll meet a completely different setup, one where you’re not just learning to achieve a higher grade. Once you see how we disrupt tech education, including coding exams, you’ll stop dreading assessments and learn to enjoy the experience.

Let us show you the perks of our method and the types of exams you’ll tackle while you learn with us. Let’s dive in!

Why our method and coding exams rock

Contrary to traditional, standardised score-based exams which only assess a minimal part of your cognitive abilities and ignore all other relevant competencies, we love a more personalised approach. One that gives you tangible knowledge and valuable experience. Something that won’t break you, just because you’re not good at one specific type of learning.

While most students learn only to achieve good grades, Codecoolers are encouraged to learn because they:

a) Enjoy what they are learning.

b) Want to get better at the topic one step at a time, for their own benefit.

c) Have a long-term goal with said topic. It’s going to help them land a new career and achieve personal development goals, too.

Learning just for grades and attaching too much stress to your education can lead to a feeling of defeat. Plus, it kills the fun in the learning process. So naturally, we decided to take a different route. But how, and what does this mean? Well, for starters, at Codecool…

… we encourage a growth mindset

You’ll learn to love your mistakes and your own personal growth story. There are no grades to achieve here. You’ll only get a “go” or a “not yet” status on your tests, and you’ll always be included in the discussion surrounding your results. You’ll learn to look at mistakes as learning opportunities, and your study sessions will fuel your own growth, not your grades.

… our mentors focus on you as an individual

We all have our own pace and capabilities, and more often than not, individual support can make all the difference. This in essence is why our mentoring system is so effective. Pro developers with real experience will be there to guide you all the way, not just while you learn, but during your coding exams and assessments too. The feedback you’ll get from them during your entire learning journey will help you grow at an accelerated rate.

… we help you gain confidence and valuable experience

Our method and coding exams will help you grow into a confident, self-sufficient developer. One step at a time, you’ll expose yourself to new situations, experiences, interview scenarios, and more. We’ll help you step out of your comfort zone, and just like parents during their kid’s first bike rides, our mentors will be there to make you feel at ease and have fun, too. In the end, you’ll be a pro at handling stressful situations like interviews.

… you won’t be bored, not even during tests

What’s more, we want to make your assignments, projects, and coding exams as fun as humanly possible. Sure, there’s always a smaller part of tests where you’ll present a basic lexical understanding of a subject. Still, you won’t meet countless multiple choices or gut-wrenching oral exams. Generally, you’ll have lifelike scenarios and will get valuable feedback and encouragement when you need it, especially at the beginning of your learning journey. Plus, you’ll have a nice time with your mentor, without a stressful vibe surrounding you.

Now let’s see what all the above looks like in practice. Here are 3 important tests you need to tackle in order to finish our full-stack development course.

coding exam 2

Personal Assessments (PAs)

PAs are held at the end of modules in our full-stack development course, and they help your and your mentor to get an insight into where you are in your learning journey. Plus, they allow space for detailed feedback.

PAs play into our mastery-based learning model, where students can take their time to master each module to the fullest. So Codecoolers have the freedom to decide when they feel ready to attempt these coding exams and move on to the next module.

PAs are usually like hour-long joint coding sessions. The agenda goes like this:

  1. Introduction (where you get an outline of what will happen)
  2. Coding exercise (done by you on the spot)
  3. Theoretical questions (about the necessary basics)
  4. Feedback and evaluation (so that you’re not left in the dark)

 

Through PAs, you can also prepare for real live interviews, where you’ll need to demonstrate your technical knowledge, and soft skills, and have to handle the stress, too. 

In the first, so-called ProgBasics module, there’s full-on support from the mentor during a PA, and they also actively try to ease the student’s stress levels and answer any questions. This active help and guidance then become less and less prominent during coding exams in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th modules. By this time Codecoolers are more self-reliant, confident, and knowledgeable with time, and tackle PAs without too much hand-holding on the mentor’s part.

Tech trial interviews

After receiving a ‘go’ on all previous modules and finishing the last Advanced module’s projects, you can try your hands at closing off the course. The 1st step to do this is by acing a tech trial interview, which lasts for approximately an hour and determines if you are in fact ready to go to a real tech interview. A tech trial interview is still a PA in its essence, however, this is already a simulated interview situation, only with immediate feedback at the end.

To assess your knowledge and skills, mentors try to create the atmosphere of a real job interview with trick questions and by asking for clarifications. But, unlike in real interviews – you get prompt, detailed feedback on your performance in the end.

Who receives a ‘go’ status on their last test? Well, it’s going to be students who:

  • are confident in their knowledge and cannot be caught off guard,
  • practice honest, open communication in every situation,
  • are sharp and quick with their answers, and
  • can see the big picture and get to logical conclusions.


But obviously, there’s more to getting hired than having superb technical knowledge. So we have another type of assessment that simulates another important step of the job hunt: the HR trial interview.

HR trial interviews

Before you get to a tech interview in real life, you’ll have to make it past HR people on your first few rounds of any job application process. Your discussion with them can determine if you get to the next round, since HR people are the ones trying to determine if you could be the right fit for the company and any position in it as a person.

Our HR trial interviews will help you prepare for the questions and methods of even the trickiest interviewers. They will give you the confidence and the experience to know how to sell your skills and knowledge effectively.

Soft skills are a lot more in focus here than technical knowledge, since HR people tend to be quite obsessed with them – and for a reason. 

To help students ace HR interviews, we create real interview scenarios where Codecoolers need to submit their CVs first. Then, our career coaches with heaps of recruitment experience conduct the interview, just like any other HR professional would.

They assess the candidate’s motivation and dedication, as well as soft skills and English skills. HR people will evaluate these, too, so it’s better to prepare in advance!

The trial interview lasts for 30 minutes. 20 minutes are allocated for the actual interview and then 10 remaining for the feedback session. And you have the chance to do this test as many times as they’d like to. The goal is to learn and improve, not to get to the finish line the fastest!

Students usually get invaluable advice on their behaviour and communication style at these trial interviews. They help them figure out which one of their answers would count as a no-go at real interviews, and develop a routine for taking interviews by then.

Want to improve your tech and soft skills?

Becoming an excellent developer depends on more than just technical knowledge. If you’re interested in our courses and a new career, consider applying to Codecool.

We’re more than a bootcamp, and better than a university. The knowledge base you’ll gather here will help you land your dream job in a year, but you’re going to get a lot more than skills and a career.

With a university-like campus vibe, amazing mentors that support you, and a method that changes the way you’ve been looking at learning, you’ll get a boost in your life like no other. We have great payment options too, to help you start with us, so if you’re hesitating, be sure to check out our job guarantee, post-payment option and scholarships as well.

If you have any questions, reach out! We’re here to help and answer whatever’s on your mind. Can’t wait to get to meet you.

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