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About the test:

The Shell online test uses scenario-based multiple-choice questions to evaluate a candidate's knowledge and skills related to shell scripting fundamentals, file and directory management, text processing and manipulation, command-line tools and utilities, process management and control, networking and system administration, and shell scripting best practices and design patterns. The test aims to assess the candidate's proficiency in Unix shell scripting and their ability to perform system administration tasks using shell scripts.

Covered skills:

  • Shell commands
  • File Handling
  • Concurrent execution
  • Shell Scripting
  • Memory Management
  • Troubleshooting

9 reasons why
9 reasons why

Adaface Shell Assessment Test is the most accurate way to shortlist Linux Deveopers

Reason #1

Tests for on-the-job skills

The Shell 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:

  • Able to write shell commands and scripts to automate tasks
  • Proficient in handling files and directories in the shell environment
  • Knowledgeable in memory management and optimization in shell scripting
  • Skilled in concurrent execution and multitasking in the shell
  • Capable of troubleshooting and resolving issues in the shell
  • Familiar with common shell commands and their usage
  • Able to manipulate and extract data from files in the shell
  • Experienced in using shell scripting for automation and repetitive tasks
  • Knowledgeable in process management and job control in the shell
  • Proficient in shell scripting techniques and best practices
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 Shell Test will be non-googleable.

🧐 Question


Which of the following unix commands change the case of first three lines of file “classified” from lowercase to uppercase


What does this shell script output?


What are fourth and sixth lines output by this script:
🧐 Question🔧 Skill



2 mins

Shell Scripting



2 mins

Shell Scripting



2 mins

Shell Scripting
🧐 Question🔧 Skill💪 Difficulty⌛ Time
Shell Scripting
Easy2 mins
Shell Scripting
Easy2 mins
Shell Scripting
Easy2 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 Shell 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 Shell 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 Shell Online Test

Why you should use Pre-employment Shell Test?

The Shell 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:

  • Shell commands execution and navigation
  • Shell scripting and automation
  • File handling and manipulation in Shell
  • Memory management and optimization
  • Concurrent execution and process management
  • Troubleshooting shell-related issues
  • Operating system concepts and Linux architecture
  • Advanced shell scripting techniques
  • Network and system monitoring using shell
  • Security and access control in shell scripting

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 Shell Test?

  • Shell commands

    Shell commands refer to the commands that are executed in a shell or terminal to interact with an operating system. This skill is essential in assessing a candidate's knowledge and proficiency in working with command-line interfaces and executing various operations such as file manipulation, process management, and system configuration.

  • Shell Scripting

    Shell scripting involves writing sequences of commands in a scripting language to automate tasks and perform complex operations. Assessing this skill is crucial as it demonstrates a candidate's ability to create efficient and reusable scripts that enhance productivity and streamline system administration.

  • File Handling

    File handling encompasses the operations performed on files, such as creating, reading, writing, modifying, and deleting files. Evaluating this skill allows recruiters to gauge a candidate's understanding of file systems, their ability to manipulate files, and their knowledge of file permissions, file formats, and file system organization.

  • Memory Management

    Memory management refers to the management of computer memory resources to optimize the utilization of memory for efficient execution of programs. Assessing this skill helps recruiters assess a candidate's understanding of memory allocation, deallocation, memory leaks, and the ability to optimize memory usage in shell scripts.

  • Concurrent execution

    Concurrent execution pertains to the ability to overlap multiple tasks to improve overall system performance. Evaluating this skill is significant as it demonstrates a candidate's familiarity with concurrent programming, process synchronization, scheduling, and efficient utilization of system resources.

  • Troubleshooting

    Troubleshooting involves identifying and resolving issues or problems that may arise during the execution of shell scripts or system operations. This skill is vital to assess as it indicates a candidate's ability to analyze and debug errors, perform system diagnosis, and apply effective troubleshooting techniques to ensure smooth execution and optimal performance.

  • 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 Shell Test to be based on.

    Shell variables
    Conditional statements
    I/O redirection
    Regular expressions
    Command substitution
    String manipulation
    Error handling
    Process management
    Job control
    File permissions
    File manipulation
    Directory navigation
    Shell options
    Pattern matching
    Command line arguments
    Input validation
    Script debugging
    Shell environment variables
    Signals and traps
    Process substitution
    Background execution
    Command history
    Scripting best practices
    System monitoring
    Remote execution
    Error codes
    Filesystem manipulation
    Text processing
    Command-line utilities
    Resource monitoring
    Network utilities
    User management
    Environment customization
    TIMTOWTDI (There's More Than One Way To Do It)
    Handling signals
    File compression
    Stream editing
    Job scheduling
    String comparison
    Filesystem hierarchy
    IO redirection operators
    Shell configuration files
    Background processes
    Command substitution
    File permissions
    Directory permissions
    Memory usage
    Filesystem monitoring
    FIFOs (named pipes)
    Shell scripting security
    Shell script debugging
    Process synchronization
    Concurrent execution
    Troubleshooting techniques

What roles can I use the Shell Test for?

  • Linux Deveoper
  • Bash Developer
  • Shell Scripting Developer
  • DevOps Engineer

How is the Shell 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 Linux commands and utilities
  • Performance optimization and resource utilization
  • Diagnostic and debugging techniques in shell
  • Shell scripting best practices and standards
  • Working with system logs and log analysis
  • Handling file permissions and ownership
  • Efficient data processing and manipulation in shell
  • Automating system backups and recovery
  • Knowledge of shell programming languages
  • Experience with shell-based deployment and version control
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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

Shell 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.
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