What assessments will I have for IT sponsored degree programmes or higher apprenticeships?

What assessments will I have for IT sponsored degrees or higher apprenticeships?
IT employers aim to assess your potential. Here’s how you might be tested when applying for a higher apprenticeship or sponsored degree programme.

IT employers use a range of online tests and individual assessments to decide who they want to give a place on a higher apprenticeship, degree apprenticeship or sponsored degree programme. These tests vary between companies but we can give you an idea of what to expect.

What types of test are used by IT employers?

At this early stage many applicants have discovered coding but employers will not expect them to have the same technical knowledge as graduates. Therefore you will not be tested on your ability as a coder but rather your potential to be a coder, or any other technical role you are applying for.

IT employers usually look for a candidate who can display logical thinking and the ability to solve problems, including maths-based questions. You are likely to be asked to complete online psychometric tests, which are a method of assessing your strengths and weaknesses.

The different types of psychometric test and what they assess include:

  • Numerical reasoning – mathematics and the ability to interpret data.
  • Verbal reasoning – language skills and the ability to interpret written information.
  • Non-verbal reasoning (also known as inductive reasoning or problem solving) – the ability to understand diagrammatic information or recognise patterns.
  • Logical reasoning – the ability to use information to form a conclusion.
  • Situational judgement – decision making.
  • Personality questionnaire – how you usually think and behave.

See our advice on psychometric tests for more information and tips on how to pass them.

When will I be tested during my application?

The application process differs from company to company. However, typically you may be asked to complete one or more psychometric tests online after submitting your application. You might then be tested further if you are invited to an assessment centre for a day of face-to-face assessments alongside other candidates.

Examples of tests that are used by individual IT employers

CGI has previously required you to complete an online personality profile, which is used at your assessment centre to help build an overall report on your performance. At the assessment centre you complete a 30-minute written exercise based on a single question – this is to look at the way you present your work and structure your arguments. You then undergo an interview and group exercises.

Other large employers have more stages to the selection process. IBM asks you to take online tests if your application is accepted. Previously these tests have been designed to assess your logical reasoning and ability to process information quickly. If you pass, you may be asked to complete a video interview and successful candidates will be invited to an assessment centre for group activities, interviews and presentations. There is also a final interview stage.

Other IT employers hold different tests that are aimed at assessing your strengths and many give details of what to expect on their websites.

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