A Guide to Master Your Application: Problem-Solving Assessment, Part-2

Hello Learner!

If you're visiting this blog post, you're probably about to approach your course application and are curious about the HackerRank problem-solving assessment portion of the application process. In part two of mastering your problem-solving assessment, we'll dive into example questions to get a feel of what you will be tested on. Read part one here.

Why does LaunchCode have a problem-solving assessment in the course application?

The course application problem-solving assessment is only one of the factors considered on your application. We also use the information that's included in the initial application — including your short-answer questions and reasons why you're taking the course — to determine whether or not applicants are admitted into the course. However, the completion of the assessment is required. We cannot consider your course application unless you have completed the assessment.

You do not need any prior coding knowledge to complete the problem-solving assessment.

What types of questions are in the assessment?
The 10 questions touch on logical reasoning, problem-solving, computational thinking, and abstract reasoning. It is intended to gauge your aptitude in these areas, which are a critical component of computer programming. It does not cover any explicit programming concepts, and previous programming experience is not required to be accepted into the course.

Sample Question 1
Including 0, how many total items, including repeated numbers, are in the sequence below if all of the missing terms (indicated by ...) are included?
0, 4, 3, 7, 6 ..., 22

Sample Question 2
A man has 80 cents in his pocket in nickels, dimes, and quarters. He has the same number of each type of coin. What is the TOTAL number of coins that he has in his wallet?

Sample Question 3
For this question, the following rules should be used.
Rule 1: The "←" symbol assigns the value on the right of "←" to the variable on the left of "←"
For example:
Step 1: x ← 2
Step 2: y ← x + 1
Step 3: x ← x + 10
In this example, the final value of y is 3, and final value of x is 12.
Rule 2: "If (f), then (g)" means if (f) is true, do (g)
"<" means "less than" and ">" means "greater than"
"≤" means "less than or equal to" and "≥" means "greater than or equal to"
Using these rules, follow this procedure:
Step 1: x ← 4
Step 2: y ← x - 2
Step 3: z ← y - x
Step 4: if (z > 0), then (z ← z - 2)
Step 5: if (z < 2), then (z ← z + 3)
What is the final value of z?

The most important thing — don't stress! 

Have fun with it! Problem-solving and logical thinking, finding new solutions to problems, and flexing your brain in different ways are what coding is all about. Much of what is taught in our courses revolves around understanding different types of logic, so the more you can build the reflex for this type of thinking, the more successful you will be!


So you've started your LaunchCode application. What's next? Check out this brief video on tips for your HackerRank problem solving assessment. Interested in more general information about the Problem-Solving Assessment, read part-one here.