Technical Admissions Assessment (TAA)

Overview

Candidates for the Hack Reactor Software Engineering Immersive are required to take a Technical Admissions Assessment. Previously, this was called a “Technical Interview.”

Are you prepared?

Be sure to read all the information below to make sure you’re prepared for the assessment. You can check out some example problems at the bottom of this page. Also, you might consider taking our Placement Challenge, located in the first section of our free prep course. You can enroll to view Basic Prep here.

Deadlines

In order to have enough time to complete the enrollment process and pre-course material, the latest you can schedule a TAA is four weeks prior to the start date of your desired immersive cohort.


Application Process

The Process

Prior to acceptance into our Software Engineering Immersive program you must:

  • Submit your initial application
  • Complete a coding challenge, after which you’ll be directed to book your TAA
  • Book an online Technical Admissions Assessment (TAA) session
  • Successfully complete the Technical Admissions Assessment (TAA)

After your assessment, an Enrollment Officer will relay next steps within three business days.

Restrictions

Some restrictions apply to the Software Engineering TAA:

  • You may only have one upcoming Technical Admissions Assessment or Technical Interview session booked at a time—multiple bookings are subject to cancellation
  • You may only attempt a Technical Admissions Assessment or Technical Interview a maximum of three times, network-wide (so we don’t recommend taking an assessment as practice)
  • You cannot attempt a TAA within two weeks of a previous attempt

The Format

Your TAA will be in one of two formats (assigned automatically):

A 75-minute online proctored group session:

  • A group introduction (in a group Zoom room - 10 minutes)
  • Individual work on the assessment problems while sharing your thinking out loud (by yourself in a recorded Zoom room, with help available - 55 minutes)
  • A group wrap up (in a group Zoom room - 10 minutes)

A 60-minute online session with an interviewer (in a recorded Zoom room):

  • A non-technical introduction (approx. 10 minutes)
  • Technical problem solving (approx. 45 minutes)
  • Wrap up (5 minutes)

More about the TAA

During the assessment, you will be asked to solve some coding problem using JavaScript and to share your thought process out loud. To be successful, you need to:

Be fluent with JavaScript basics. This is to demonstrate that you can grasp computer science thinking and abstraction.

  • Have a strong foundation in composing and using strings, booleans, numbers, objects, arrays, and functions
  • Understand what arguments are provided to each function, and what their types are
  • Recognize what gets returned from of a function

Know not only the basics, but be able to use JavaScript to solve problems. This is to demonstrate your ability to do work in the same way that professional software engineers do, just in miniature. It includes (but is not limited to):

  • Using good strategy, tactics, and ability to consider different levels of abstraction
  • Writing clean working code
  • Responding well to new concepts and material

Remain composed and communicate well. Soft skills are equally as important as technical chops. You’ll be asked to:

  • Explain your thought process as you work through problems, which is a key skill, both as a Hack Reactor student and in the professional world
  • Work pleasantly with your proctor or interviewer

Example Problems

Problem 1

Given a list of non-negative integers and a target sum, find a pair of numbers that sums to the target sum.

function findPairForSum(integers, target) {
  // your solution here
}

// example
var pair = findPairForSum([3, 34, 4, 12, 5, 2], 9);
console.log(pair); // --> [4, 5]

Problem 2

Write the function detectNetwork: - it should accept a string or a number for its cardNumber argument - it should return the appropriate network string (or undefined if there's no match), based on the provided cardData

var cardData = [{
  network: 'Visa',       // card issuer (network)
  prefixes: ['4'],	 // beginning digits
  lengths: [13, 16, 19]  // lengths of card numbers
},{
  network: 'Mastercard',
  prefixes: ['51', '52', '53', '54', '55'],
  lengths: [16]
},{
  network: 'American Express',
  prefixes: ['34', '37'],
  lengths: [15]
},{
  network: 'Diner\'s Club',
  prefixes: ['38', '39'],
  lengths: [14]
}];

function detectNetwork(cardNumber, cardData) {
  // your solution here
}

// example
var network = detectNetwork('343456789012345', cardData);
console.log(network); // --> 'American Express'

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