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Talent Assessment | 6 Min Read

MCQs + Simulators: A Comprehensive Package For Tech Recruiters

Introduction to MCQs

Think about a test. Say, 500 students are appearing for it (common in case of campus hiring). Practically, essays, short answer types or any of the subjective type tests, though efficient, would unavoidably delay the whole process of the assessment. While, on the other hand, setting up an MCQ assessment would make the process whole lot easier for a recruiter. Auto-graded multiple choice questions make assessors grade the applicants quickly, effectively without any manual labor.

Multiple Choices.

Multiple Bloom’s Level.

Multiple Benefits.

  • Evaluate at Multiple Bloom’s Level

A very common and obvious way to boost and cross-check learning, be it for certification or hiring or anything else in the corporate world is to include questions. MCQs are one of the most useful types of questions to check the learning. When it comes to designing these multiple-choice questions, it is always recommended to write MCQs in a way such that they focus on higher and advanced levels of thinking, something out of the box and not just the simple go-to questions. We, at Mettl design MCQs based upon almost all the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. This includes essential knowledge, concept, application, and analysis. Our in-house team produces well-worded and smart multiple-choice questions that majorly focus on the latter two and relatively less on understanding and remembering the facts.

  • Measure the Breadth and Width of Candidate Knowledge

See, there is a reason why MCQs are considered as a default for most of the standardized testing. Naturally, MCQs offers quick and precise testing over a tremendous scope of the content. In addition, candidates tend to answer a multiple-choice question more rapidly than let’s say an essay question, these type of tests can ordinarily concentrate on comparatively vast course material. Our main focus, while designing MCQs is on looking into the breadth and width of the topic or skill. For instance, CSS>>CSS effect>>Box Shadow Effect, questions based on this kind of tree structure lets the assessor understand the candidate for even minute of the skill. Thus, increasing the validity of the coding assessment.

  • Single Choice vs. Multiple Choice

“It’s harder to recall an answer but easier to recognize one.”, is true up to an extent. Candidates do have an edge, unlike in case of other question types, to actually guess among the options provided. But, a well-crafted coding assessment has not only the best correct answer but beautifully designed and highly persuading false answers aka ‘distractors’. For assessors, this is a plus point, as it dives deeply into the knowledge base of the applicant and extracts the true potential out of it4. On the other hand, for applicants, it’s selection vs elimination, wherein they could either approach by selecting the correct answer or eliminating the wrong ones, whichever suits them.

MCQs provide a test-taker

Moreover, multiple-choice questions are versatile in nature. They are adaptable to different dimensions of learning outcomes from simple recalling the knowledge base to more mind blogging levels. Analyzing a phenomenon, applying principles or rules to certain situations, understanding several concepts, interpreting graphs, charts, tables and other or concluding summary from provided data; all these and more could be easily provided to the assessors through MCQs.

Woah! There is still something out here; to actually measure the candidate on the basis of how they code and approach to the problem statement. In that case, let’s discuss the coding simulators

Coding Simulators

No matter what you are learning or have learned, applying it practically on a certain platform is the most precise and apt method to evaluate its extent. The best way to analyze a candidate’s coding skills is to actually make them code and evaluate several parameters like code quality, efficiency, and others.

Coding Simulators are what you are looking for. A platform where you can actually make candidates code and evaluate them on the correctness of the code, the quality, and scalability of the code they wrote. You can actually assess them on the test cases that you want along with the effectiveness of code in terms of time and space complexities.

When it’s time to look for experts, Mettl’s revolutionary assessment technology helps you find them. Our platform takes prospective hires through advanced, hands-on coding challenges, giving you direct insight into their proficiency levels and on-the-job potential. Coding simulators help in evaluating the hands-on experience and capability of a candidate to solve a problem in his/her desired programming language.

Here are some of the key features of our coding simulator platform:

  • Detect Similarity in Codes

With a significant number of candidates giving the assessment, chances are relatively high that cases of at least two similar codes rise up. In that case, our coding simulator identifies candidates’ submissions and detect if they are similar, even partially, for better decisions. We use MOSS (Measure of Software Similarity) and a string comparison algorithm to keep a check on plagiarism. Usually, we prefer MOSS for longer codes (with relatively more number of lines).

  • Watch the Code-Movie

Have you ever thought of watching a code-movie for evaluating a candidate’s code!

Sounds interesting.

Well, we share the full video of code recorded at each keystroke to know the thought process of the candidate and by knowing how he/she actually executed the program. It is tightly integrated with the code editors like Emacs, Vims, and Sublime. Code Playback, basically shows you the video of the evolution of code at each compilation.

  • Never Underestimate a Coder

When it comes to evaluating a code, the assessor look at the successful test cases passed. Practically, not all the test cases are successfully run in a given frame of time. But, that does not depict that the candidate isn’t a great coder. So, our report clearly mentions what we do. We award points to each of the hidden and default test cases successfully passed on the basis of several parameters. These include code correctness, its difficulty level, time and space complexities, and other such key points. Based on all of these, a candidate is given a score that is considered as the benchmark for getting to the next level.

  • Beware of Cheaters!

Every assessment is designed keeping in mind the fact that there will be ways to cheat it. Copying code from the Internet or other candidates has already been taken care of by our plagiarism checker feature. In addition to this, our Remote Proctoring which is a comprehensive suite of anti-cheating solutions that includes live monitoring, authenticity and a secure browser.

In addition to this, since Mettl deals with businesses (a B2B company), there is a sense of guarantee that the programming questions we develop are exclusive. Unlike the companies who already have a candidate community, chances are high that questions are leaked, be it on websites or any social media, or others.

  • No Need to Remember a Lot!

You might have seen in modern editors like Eclipse or Visual Studio, a feature that enables the user to complete the syntax, keyword, function name, etc. to appear automatically. Our online coding simulators have a feature called Intellisense. It is an auto-complete feature that automatically recommends language-specific suggestions at certain syntax points. It provides the ability and comfort to complete coding tasks being assigned to the candidates, by giving them context-driven suggestions.

CTA coding Platform Mettl

Coding Simulator and MCQ Combination

Great news for all the tech hiring managers out there.

Go for an all-around comprehensive evaluation of your candidates before making any corporate decision. Along with evaluating candidates multiple-choice questions, leverage the power of a stunning real coding environment where a coder is evaluated only on the basis of what and how he codes.

Not only you get to understand a programmer’s capability to learn and comprehend, but also the extent of knowledge they can apply and analyze. Also, in some of the cases, especially for the newest technologies, there aren’t so many coding platforms developed. The best way, in that case, is to judge a candidate on all the four bloom’s level through well-crafted multiple-choice questions.

Hiring has now become much smarter with the use of automated tests for screening and interviewing candidates, and so is the tech hiring. With almost all the requirements fulfilled, Mettl should by-far be the top-most choice for all the tech hiring managers present.

Originally published December 5 2018, Updated July 15 2020

Ankur Tandon

Written by

Helping businesses beat content mediocrity by generate engaging content, both short and long form including blogs, social media, case studies, newsletters and more.

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