My university wants to develop an assessment procedure in order to evaluate the general (not for a specific topic or course) skills on computational thinking and programming languages of our students when finishing their degree. I am aware of code repositories containing programming challenges, such as ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest or Euler, that may be used for the assessment, but I was wondering if initiatives exist to define a common framework to assess these skills for computer science students.

I am thinking on something similar to the worldwide PISA study (which evaluates performance on mathematics, science and reading by 15-year-old students) but adapted to the context of computer science (in particular computational thinking and programming skills). Are there any attempts to have this kind of standardised assessments?

  • $\begingroup$ I suspect that there are few answers appearing because there really aren't any such tests. $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 13:41

2 Answers 2


There is the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Major Field Test for Computer Science, a standardized multiple-choice test. Scores can be compared to those at other institutions, presumably on a per question basis.

The ETS website includes some sample problems, which include questions about pseudocode, cache variables, trees, graphs, combinatorics, and regular expressions. It looks similar to the CS GRE, which was discontinued in 2013.


You can try Codility or Code Chef. I am not sure if this is what you are looking for, but both are good for competitive assessment of programmers.


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