Microsoft OA Codility Test (2023 Guide)
Updated November 20, 2023
- What Is the Microsoft Codility Test?
- Sitting the Codility Test
- The Interview
- Potential Questions on the Microsoft Codility Test
- Passing Score for the Microsoft Codility Test
- How to Prepare for the Microsoft Codility Test in 2023
- Tips to Remember During the Codility Test
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Codility is an online coding platform that Microsoft uses to administer coding tests.
The Codility test is an online coding environment that assesses the programming skills of potential hires for various companies.
This article will discuss the test in greater detail, outline the question structure and state key tips for passing the Microsoft Codility test.
At the end of the article is a Frequently Asked Questions section if you have further queries.
The Codility test is part of Microsoft's recruitment process. It is an online timed coding test, with two to four coding questions.
The difficulty of the Codility test will depend on the role you are applying for.
Although there are only two or three question set, they are rigorous. Typically, candidates are given 60 to 90 minutes to answer the questions set.
Microsoft is an extremely well-known company who employs thousands of programmers annually to work on their software projects. The maintenance of Microsoft’s software requires strong and up-to-date coding knowledge.
This test is an efficient method to narrow down the candidate pool for potential new programmers to those who are skilled enough to fit in. The Codility test helps the recruiters understand how well you can perform for Microsoft.
If you are applying for a software internship, an SDE-1 (software development engineer level 1) role or an SDET (software development engineer in test) role, you will be required to take a Codility test. It will imitate the work you will be performing in these roles.
Codility was developed in 2009 to help other businesses hire candidates with the right technical skills to perform in software-based roles. It is now used by over 12,000 businesses including Microsoft, Tesla, Amazon and PayPal.
Microsoft uses Codility in order to the evaluate problem-solving skills of its potential recruits. Through this, it can find the right personnel to build strong engineering teams that help maintain the infrastructure of the company.
A Codility test will likely be part of an online assessment (OA); specifically for Microsoft, it forms part of the online technical screening (OTS) process. The OTS assesses the core competencies of all the candidates.
According to the Microsoft careers page you can sit the Codility test in any environment that is comfortable and quiet. Therefore, you can sit it at home or in an office space.
Before you take the test, you can choose the programming language most preferable to you. The test will be presented within the programming language of your choice. The languages on offer include:
Along with the Codility test, a candidate can expect to sit a phone interview.
Your screen will be recorded during the test, and the test may be discussed in greater detail during the phone interview. The combination of the two will show how eligible you are for the role.
Alongside the Codility test, you will also be sitting an interview. This is an opportunity to build rapport with the recruiter.
If you can build a relationship with the interviewer, then it will make explaining your answers easier. Practicing your interview skills will make this step easier.
Clear communication will ease any unnecessary pressure you may feel when outlining your work to the interviewer.
The questions chosen will vary depending on what role you are applying for. They generally examine a candidate’s understanding of algorithms and their knowledge on data structures.
The questions you will be presented with will be a mixture of:
- Debugging questions
- Coding questions
- Multiple-choice questions
Each question will test a candidate’s ability with Microsoft’s operating systems, database management and computer networks.
If you are used to coding and operating computer networks, then the questions will likely feel familiar.
Some common types of questions on the Microsoft Codility test are:
- Arrays and strings
- Linked lists
- Binary trees
- Search and tort
- Dynamic programming
- Bit manipulation
Here are some examples of the types of questions you will answer on the Codility test.
Given the integer N and the list ARR, sort the array using the bubble sort algorithm.
N = 5
ARR = 4, 1, 3, 9, 7
Find the length of the longest sub-sequence from the given array A of integers. The elements in this sub-sequence must be consecutive integers. You can have the consecutive numbers in any order.
Input: N = [10,4,20,1,3,2]
The difficulty of the Microsoft Codility test depends on the position you are applying for. This is because Microsoft must assure that you are competent with the daily tasks.
The more senior a position is, the harder the test will be harder to pass.
To pass the Codility test, you must score at least 60% to have a chance. If you score under 60% your application will be terminated.
If you score 100% on the Codility test, you will automatically pass. This is the best way to show the employers that you will be competent in the role.
If you score 60–99%, you may still pass the test; however, your test score will be subject to a review by the Microsoft recruiter.
The result of this review will depend on the scores of other candidates on the test and how well you have performed in other areas of the application process.
You will receive your results from the recruiter. Because this is an OA, the results for the Codility test should be available within just a few minutes.
Additionally, because the Codility test is one of the first parts of the Microsoft application process, it is likely that your interview will be taken into consideration.
Whether you can retake the test is dependent on the availability of the job role. Software engineering is a very competitive industry, so it is not likely you will be given another chance to take the test for the same role.
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How to Prepare for the Microsoft Codility Test in 2023
The best method to prepare for the Microsoft Codility test is by taking online practice tests. A mock examination can help you prepare for the question types and the amount time you have to answer them.
There are various websites where you can purchase an OA and study the question format of the Codility test. For example, Jobtestprep offers an up-to-date practice paper.
You will face two to four sets of questions on the Codility test.
Microsoft uses a common set of question subjects:
- Arrays and strings
- Linked lists
- Binary trees
- Search and tort
- Dynamic programming
- Bit manipulation
If you have a good knowledge of what to expect, then you will perform better.
If you have previously applied for another position in software engineering in another company, it is likely that you will have come across Codility elsewhere.
Understanding why Codility uses these types of examinations will help you communicate your answers to the interviewer.
Codility is an employment tool that aids the employer in choosing the right candidates. If you understand the needs of the employer, then you can display this better during the interview process.
Most people who fail the Codility test do so because they leave the answers blank.
If you receive a phone interview after your Codility assessment, you may be asked to explain your answers and methods – because your screen is recorded, they can also watch the way you work. If you did not leave any answer, then the interviewer cannot understand where you may have gone wrong.
It is better to get an answer wrong than to leave it blank. You will be able to explain to the interviewer where you have made a mistake.
Remember that Codility records your assessment, meaning that all errors and corrections will be available for the recruiter to see.
Do not feel rushed by the pressure of the time. Be aware that the test usually takes around 60 to 90 minutes to complete.
**Become used to working within this time limit through incorporating them into your practice papers. **
If you find yourself running out of time, make an effort to give any sort of answer to the remaining questions. Partial answers and showing your working for a question are better than leaving it blank.
**Ensure that you are in a comfortable environment with strong Wi-Fi connection that will not drop during the assessment. **
You must take this test on a laptop or computer, not a smartphone.
Take time out of your schedule to sit the test – trying to do it while doing other things will mean you are distracted and so do worse.
Remove all distractions and tell anyone you live with that you need to be left alone until the assessment is finished.
Finally, set up everything you may need to be within easy reach, such as water and snacks, and go to the toilet before you begin.
Remember that you can choose the coding language that you wish to take the Codility test in.
The languages on offer include:
When you take practice tests, make sure it’s in the language you plan to use in the real assessment.
The Codility test is a popular recruitment tool used by large corporations, including Microsoft, PayPal, Amazon and Tesla, for software-based roles. The assessment is administered online and usually takes around 60 to 90 minutes to complete.
There are usually two to four questions on the Microsoft Codility test. These questions will be reviewed by the employer’s recruiter and will dictate whether you move onto the next recruitment stage.
During the OA your screen is recorded, making it very difficult to cheat. Your recruiter will be able to watch your test back and know if you have cheated.
In addition to this, the recruiter may ask questions about the test during the initial screening interview. It will be obvious to the recruiter if you have cheated because you will not be able to explain how you have answered the questions.
First become familiar with what the Codility test is used for and why corporations use it as a recruitment tool. Then study the types of questions you will answer and sit any practice papers using the coding language you have mastered and will use during the assessment.
How long it will take you to complete the test is dependent upon how many questions you must answer. The more senior the software-based role is, the harder the questions will be.
On average it takes between 60 to 90 minutes to answer three question sets.
The best way to ensure success during the application process is to score 100% on the Codility test.
If you score between 60% to 99% you may still be successful, but your score will be subject to a review from a Microsoft recruiter.
If you score under 60% then you will fail the Codility test.
It is likely you will receive your results immediately after sitting the test.
The answers are recorded by Codility and used by a Microsoft recruiter to assess your performance.
Because of this, the answers must be readily available for discussing during the recruitment process.
You need a reliable internet connection, a computer and one of the following web browsers: Chrome 91+, ChromiumEdge 91+, Firefox 89+, Opera 77+, Safari 14+.
If your browser is unsuitable Codility will let you know before the test starts.
Provided your web browser is suitable, you do not need to install anything.
What happens after the test depends on the position you are applying for.
For instance, if you are applying for a software engineering internship, you must sit a phone screening interview. During this process you will discuss your application with the recruiter and some of the answers you provided in your Codility test.
Codility is a popular method that employers use in order to test if you are suitable for a software-based role.
Microsoft requires employees with strong coding skills and knowledge. Achieving a high score on the Codility test is the best way to communicate to recruiters that you have the skills to succeed.
Use this guide to prepare yourself for any Codility test. Having knowledge of the questions and format of the test will reduce any fears prior to taking the examination and allow you to concentrate on doing your best.