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About the test:

The COBOL Online Test uses scenario-based MCQs to evaluate candidates on their knowledge of COBOL programming language, including their proficiency in working with data types, control structures, file handling, and database access. The test also evaluates a candidate's familiarity with popular COBOL software tools and techniques for developing, maintaining, and deploying COBOL applications. The test aims to evaluate a candidate's ability to work with COBOL effectively and design and develop COBOL-based applications that adhere to industry standards and best practices.

Covered skills:

  • COBOL Data Division
  • File Handling
  • Conditional Statements
  • Error Handling
  • COBOL Procedure Division
  • Sorting and Merging
  • Subprograms and Functions

9 reasons why
9 reasons why

Adaface COBOL Test is the most accurate way to shortlist COBOL Developers

Reason #1

Tests for on-the-job skills

The COBOL Online Test helps recruiters and hiring managers identify qualified candidates from a pool of resumes, and helps in taking objective hiring decisions. It reduces the administrative overhead of interviewing too many candidates and saves time by filtering out unqualified candidates at the first step of the hiring process.

The test screens for the following skills that hiring managers look for in candidates:

  • Understanding the basic concepts and syntax of COBOL
  • Demonstrating proficiency in declaring and manipulating data in COBOL
  • Implementing logic and flow control using COBOL Procedure Division
  • Working with files and performing file operations in COBOL
  • Sorting and merging data in COBOL
  • Using conditional statements effectively in COBOL programs
  • Implementing subprograms and functions in COBOL
  • Handling errors and exceptions in COBOL
  • Writing efficient and optimized COBOL code
  • Understanding the structure and behavior of COBOL programs
Reason #2

No trick questions

no trick questions

Traditional assessment tools use trick questions and puzzles for the screening, which creates a lot of frustration among candidates about having to go through irrelevant screening assessments.

View sample questions

The main reason we started Adaface is that traditional pre-employment assessment platforms are not a fair way for companies to evaluate candidates. At Adaface, our mission is to help companies find great candidates by assessing on-the-job skills required for a role.

Why we started Adaface
Reason #3

Non-googleable questions

We have a very high focus on the quality of questions that test for on-the-job skills. Every question is non-googleable and we have a very high bar for the level of subject matter experts we onboard to create these questions. We have crawlers to check if any of the questions are leaked online. If/ when a question gets leaked, we get an alert. We change the question for you & let you know.

How we design questions

These are just a small sample from our library of 10,000+ questions. The actual questions on this COBOL Online Test will be non-googleable.

🧐 Question


Decision Control
Arithmetic Operations
Decision Structures
Data Types
Consider the following COBOL program:
What will the program display when it is executed?


Multi Dimensional Arrays
Data Processing
Consider the following pseudocode snippet in COBOL:
After executing this program, what will be the final state of StrArr?


VSAM File Processing in COBOL
File Handling
Consider the following COBOL code snippet. The program aims to read from a VSAM Key-Sequenced Data Set (KSDS) named 'CUSTOMER-FILE' which contains customer records. The program reads the file in ascending order by 'CUSTOMER-ID', performs some processing (not shown here), and then displays the 'CUSTOMER-NAME' of the last record read.
Assuming there are no syntax errors and the 'CUSTOMER-FILE' is present and accessible, what will the program display as the last customer's name after executing this COBOL program?
A: The program will display the name of the customer with the highest 'CUSTOMER-ID'.
B: The program will display the name of the customer with the lowest 'CUSTOMER-ID'.
C: The program will not display any customer name.
D: The program will display the name of the first customer in the 'CUSTOMER-FILE'.
E: The program will display an uninitialized or random 'LAST-NAME'.
🧐 QuestionπŸ”§ Skill


Decision Control
Arithmetic Operations
Decision Structures
Data Types

2 mins



Multi Dimensional Arrays
Data Processing

2 mins



VSAM File Processing in COBOL
File Handling

2 mins

🧐 QuestionπŸ”§ SkillπŸ’ͺ DifficultyβŒ› Time
Decision Control
Arithmetic Operations
Decision Structures
Data Types
Medium2 mins
Multi Dimensional Arrays
Data Processing
Medium2 mins
VSAM File Processing in COBOL
File Handling
Medium2 mins
Reason #4

1200+ customers in 75 countries

customers in 75 countries

With Adaface, we were able to optimise our initial screening process by upwards of 75%, freeing up precious time for both hiring managers and our talent acquisition team alike!

Brandon Lee, Head of People, Love, Bonito

Reason #5

Designed for elimination, not selection

The most important thing while implementing the pre-employment COBOL Online Test in your hiring process is that it is an elimination tool, not a selection tool. In other words: you want to use the test to eliminate the candidates who do poorly on the test, not to select the candidates who come out at the top. While they are super valuable, pre-employment tests do not paint the entire picture of a candidate’s abilities, knowledge, and motivations. Multiple easy questions are more predictive of a candidate's ability than fewer hard questions. Harder questions are often "trick" based questions, which do not provide any meaningful signal about the candidate's skillset.

Science behind Adaface tests
Reason #6

1 click candidate invites

Email invites: You can send candidates an email invite to the COBOL Online Test from your dashboard by entering their email address.

Public link: You can create a public link for each test that you can share with candidates.

API or integrations: You can invite candidates directly from your ATS by using our pre-built integrations with popular ATS systems or building a custom integration with your in-house ATS.

invite candidates
Reason #7

Detailed scorecards & benchmarks

View sample scorecard
Reason #8

High completion rate

Adaface tests are conversational, low-stress, and take just 25-40 mins to complete.

This is why Adaface has the highest test-completion rate (86%), which is more than 2x better than traditional assessments.

test completion rate
Reason #9

Advanced Proctoring

Learn more

About the COBOL Assessment Test

Why you should use Pre-employment COBOL Online Test?

The COBOL Online Test makes use of scenario-based questions to test for on-the-job skills as opposed to theoretical knowledge, ensuring that candidates who do well on this screening test have the relavant skills. The questions are designed to covered following on-the-job aspects:

  • Understanding the basic syntax and structure of COBOL
  • Knowing how to declare and use variables in COBOL
  • Ability to handle data manipulation and calculations in COBOL
  • Experience with COBOL data division and working with different data types
  • Knowledge of COBOL procedure division and writing efficient code
  • Understanding file handling in COBOL, including reading and writing files
  • Experience with sorting and merging data in COBOL
  • Ability to write and implement conditional statements in COBOL
  • Knowledge of subprograms and functions in COBOL
  • Capability to handle error handling and exception management in COBOL

Once the test is sent to a candidate, the candidate receives a link in email to take the test. For each candidate, you will receive a detailed report with skills breakdown and benchmarks to shortlist the top candidates from your pool.

What topics are covered in the COBOL Online Test?

  • COBOL Data Division

    COBOL Data Division is used to define data structures such as variables, records, and files. It is important to measure this skill to ensure that the candidate can effectively work with data and understand the different datatypes and data manipulation techniques in COBOL.

  • COBOL Procedure Division

    COBOL Procedure Division is where the actual program logic is written. It includes statements such as perform, if-else, and do-while, among others. Measuring this skill helps evaluate the candidate's ability to write efficient and logical program logic using COBOL.

  • File Handling

    File handling in COBOL involves reading, writing, and manipulating files. It is crucial to assess this skill as it determines if the candidate can work with external data sources and perform operations like record-level processing and file organization in COBOL.

  • Sorting and Merging

    Sorting and merging involve arranging data in a specific sequence and combining data from multiple sources respectively. Testing this skill ensures that the candidate can effectively use sorting algorithms and understand merging techniques to perform operations like matching records and maintaining data integrity in COBOL programs.

  • Conditional Statements

    Conditional statements in COBOL allow the program to make decisions and perform different actions based on certain conditions. Measuring this skill helps assess the candidate's ability to write accurate and efficient conditional statements to control program flow and make logical decisions in COBOL.

  • Subprograms and Functions

    Subprograms and functions in COBOL are reusable code segments that can be called from different parts of a program. Evaluating this skill is essential to determine if the candidate can effectively modularize code, improve code maintainability, and reuse logic in COBOL programs.

  • Error Handling

    Error handling in COBOL involves handling and reporting errors or exceptions that occur during program execution. Measuring this skill helps determine if the candidate can identify and handle errors gracefully, ensuring that the program continues to run smoothly and provides appropriate error messages or recovery mechanisms in COBOL.

  • Full list of covered topics

    The actual topics of the questions in the final test will depend on your job description and requirements. However, here's a list of topics you can expect the questions for COBOL Online Test to be based on.

    COBOL syntax
    COBOL data types
    COBOL variables
    COBOL literals
    COBOL constants
    COBOL arithmetic operations
    COBOL data definition
    COBOL file structure
    COBOL file access modes
    COBOL record handling
    COBOL I/O operations
    COBOL file organization
    COBOL file identification
    COBOL sequential file handling
    COBOL sequential file processing
    COBOL indexed file handling
    COBOL indexed file processing
    COBOL relative file handling
    COBOL relative file processing
    COBOL sort verb
    COBOL merge verb
    COBOL conditional statements
    COBOL IF-ELSE statements
    COBOL CASE statements
    COBOL PERFORM statements
    COBOL nested IF statements
    COBOL nested PERFORM statements
    COBOL subprograms
    COBOL CALL statements
    COBOL external subroutines
    COBOL internal subroutines
    COBOL functions
    COBOL error handling
    COBOL ON ERROR statements
    COBOL error codes
    COBOL error routines
    COBOL debugging techniques
    COBOL performance optimization
    COBOL code refactoring
    COBOL program structure
    COBOL program flow
    COBOL program execution
    COBOL program testing
    COBOL program maintenance
    COBOL program documentation
    COBOL coding standards
    COBOL program analysis
    COBOL program design
    COBOL code review
    COBOL program deployment

What roles can I use the COBOL Online Test for?

  • COBOL Developer
  • Senior COBOL Developer
  • Mainframe Developer
  • Legacy Systems Programmer

How is the COBOL Online Test customized for senior candidates?

For intermediate/ experienced candidates, we customize the assessment questions to include advanced topics and increase the difficulty level of the questions. This might include adding questions on topics like

  • Advanced understanding of COBOL syntax and language features
  • Expertise in COBOL data division and complex data structures
  • Proficiency in optimizing COBOL code for performance
  • Experience with advanced file handling techniques in COBOL
  • Ability to implement complex sorting and merging algorithms in COBOL
  • Expertise in writing conditionally complex statements in COBOL
  • Knowledge of advanced subprogram and function usage in COBOL
  • Capability to handle complex error handling scenarios in COBOL
  • Familiarity with COBOL debugging and troubleshooting techniques
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The hiring managers felt that through the technical questions that they asked during the panel interviews, they were able to tell which candidates had better scores, and differentiated with those who did not score as well. They are highly satisfied with the quality of candidates shortlisted with the Adaface screening.

reduction in screening time

COBOL Hiring Test FAQs

Can I combine multiple skills into one custom assessment?

Yes, absolutely. Custom assessments are set up based on your job description, and will include questions on all must-have skills you specify. Here's a quick guide on how you can request a custom test.

Do you have any anti-cheating or proctoring features in place?

We have the following anti-cheating features in place:

  • Non-googleable questions
  • IP proctoring
  • Screen proctoring
  • Web proctoring
  • Webcam proctoring
  • Plagiarism detection
  • Secure browser
  • Copy paste protection

Read more about the proctoring features.

How do I interpret test scores?

The primary thing to keep in mind is that an assessment is an elimination tool, not a selection tool. A skills assessment is optimized to help you eliminate candidates who are not technically qualified for the role, it is not optimized to help you find the best candidate for the role. So the ideal way to use an assessment is to decide a threshold score (typically 55%, we help you benchmark) and invite all candidates who score above the threshold for the next rounds of interview.

What experience level can I use this test for?

Each Adaface assessment is customized to your job description/ ideal candidate persona (our subject matter experts will pick the right questions for your assessment from our library of 10000+ questions). This assessment can be customized for any experience level.

Does every candidate get the same questions?

Yes, it makes it much easier for you to compare candidates. Options for MCQ questions and the order of questions are randomized. We have anti-cheating/ proctoring features in place. In our enterprise plan, we also have the option to create multiple versions of the same assessment with questions of similar difficulty levels.

I'm a candidate. Can I try a practice test?

No. Unfortunately, we do not support practice tests at the moment. However, you can use our sample questions for practice.

What is the cost of using this test?

You can check out our pricing plans.

Can I get a free trial?

Yes, you can sign up for free and preview this test.

I just moved to a paid plan. How can I request a custom assessment?

Here is a quick guide on how to request a custom assessment on Adaface.

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40 min tests.
No trick questions.
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