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The IBM FOCUS Test is preferred by recruiters to assess on-the-job skills of candidates before an interview. It reduces technical screening time by 80% by enabling employers to identify qualified candidates.

Screen candidates with a 30 mins test

Test duration:  ~ 30 mins
Difficulty level:  Moderate
Availability:  Available as custom test
Covered skills:
Database I/O
Data Sources
File Handling
Basic Components

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Adaface is used by 1500+ businesses in 80 countries.

Adaface skill assessments measure on-the-job skills of candidates, providing employers with an accurate tool for screening potential hires.

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Use the IBM FOCUS Assessment Test to shortlist qualified candidates

The IBM FOCUS 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:

  • Efficiently perform database I/O operations
  • Generate accurate and informative reports
  • Effectively use variables in a program
  • Retrieve and manipulate data from various data sources
  • Handle files efficiently in a program
  • Understand and utilize basic components of IBM FOCUS

Screen candidates with the highest quality 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

Test candidates on core IBM FOCUS Hiring Test topics

Database I/O: Database I/O refers to the input and output operations performed on a database. It involves tasks such as retrieving data from the database, updating or inserting new data, and deleting data. This skill is measured in the test to assess the candidate's ability to effectively interact with and manage databases, which is crucial in many software development and data analysis roles.

Reporting: Reporting involves generating and presenting data in a structured format, often using charts, graphs, or tables. It includes gathering relevant data, aggregating it into meaningful insights, and creating reports that communicate these insights to stakeholders. Measuring this skill in the test helps evaluate the candidate's proficiency in analyzing, organizing, and visualizing data, which is essential for making data-driven decisions.

Variables: Variables are used to store and manipulate data within a program. They can hold different types of values, such as numbers, strings, or Boolean values, and are used to store and track information needed for calculations, comparisons, or other operations. Assessing the candidate's knowledge of variables in the test allows for determining their ability to correctly declare, assign, and utilize variables in program logic and problem-solving scenarios.

Data Sources: Data sources refer to the various origins or repositories of data that can be accessed and used in an application or system. These can include databases, files, external APIs, web services, or other data storage systems. Measuring the candidate's understanding of data sources in the test helps assess their familiarity with different data retrieval methods and their ability to effectively extract, transform, and load data from multiple sources for use in software applications.

File Handling: File handling involves operations and manipulations performed on files, such as reading from or writing to files, creating or deleting files, or modifying file attributes. This skill is essential in various programming and system administration tasks that involve working with files, such as processing data from log files, generating reports, or managing file storage. Measuring file handling abilities in the test allows for evaluating the candidate's competency in file I/O operations and their understanding of file management concepts.

Basic Components: Basic components encompass the fundamental building blocks of a system, application, or programming language. These components can include user interfaces, data structures, control structures, functions, or libraries that are commonly used in software development. Evaluating the candidate's comprehension of basic components in the test helps assess their proficiency in utilizing these essential elements to design, develop, and maintain efficient and robust software solutions.

Make informed decisions with actionable reports and benchmarks

View sample scorecard

Screen candidates in 3 easy steps

Pick a test from over 500+ tests

The Adaface test library features 500+ tests to enable you to test candidates on all popular skills- everything from programming languages, software frameworks, devops, logical reasoning, abstract reasoning, critical thinking, fluid intelligence, content marketing, talent acquisition, customer service, accounting, product management, sales and more.

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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

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It's very easy to share assessments with candidates and for candidates to use. We get good feedback from candidates about completing the tests. Adaface are very responsive and friendly to deal with.

Kirsty Wood, Human Resources, WillyWeather

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We were able to close 106 positions in a record time of 45 days! Adaface enables us to conduct aptitude and psychometric assessments seamlessly. My hiring managers have never been happier with the quality of candidates shortlisted.

Amit Kataria, CHRO, Hanu

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We evaluated several of their competitors and found Adaface to be the most compelling. Great library of questions that are designed to test for fit rather than memorization of algorithms.

Swayam Narain, CTO, Affable


Have questions about the IBM FOCUS Hiring Test?

How does pricing work?

You can check out our pricing plans.

Can I customize the test?

Yes, absolutely. Custom assessments are set up within 48 hours 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. You can also customize a test by uploading your own questions.

Can I combine multiple skills into one test?

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.

What roles can I use the IBM FOCUS Assessment Test for?

Here are few roles for which we recommend this test:

  • FOCUS Developer
  • Business Analyst
Can I see a sample test, or do you have a free trial?


The free trial includes one sample technical test (Java/ JavaScript) and one sample aptitude test that you will find in your dashboard when you sign up. You can use it to review the quality of questions and the candidate experience of giving a test on Adaface.

You can preview any of the 500+ tests and see the sample questions to decide if it would be a good fit for your requirements.

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.

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.

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