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About the test:

The Software System Design Online Test uses scenario-based MCQs to evaluate candidates on their proficiency in designing software systems that meet functional and non-functional requirements. The test assesses candidates' ability to identify system requirements, choose appropriate architectures and design patterns, and create high-level design specifications. It focuses on database design, data modeling, system integration, security, performance optimization, and quality assurance.

Covered skills:

  • System Design
  • Network Protocols
  • Distributed Systems
  • Performance Optimization
  • Algorithm and Data Structures
  • Database Design
  • Cloud Computing
  • Microservices Architecture

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9 reasons why
9 reasons why

Adaface System Design Test is the most accurate way to shortlist Software Engineers



Reason #1

Tests for on-the-job skills

The System Design 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:

  • Able to design scalable and efficient system architectures
  • Capable of analyzing and optimizing performance in distributed systems
  • Proficient in designing and implementing database schemas
  • Skilled in understanding and utilizing network protocols
  • Expertise in cloud computing technologies and concepts
  • Knowledgeable in microservices architecture principles
  • Able to apply algorithms and data structures to solve complex problems
  • Capable of optimizing performance in system design
  • Experienced in working with large-scale distributed systems
  • Proficient in designing fault-tolerant and highly available systems
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
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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 Software System Design Online Test will be non-googleable.

🧐 Question

Medium

Session stickiness with ELB
Cookies
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Johnny Bravo is setting up a new e-commerce store for men's clothing. He set up session stickiness with ELB. But he does not want ELB to manage the cookie, he wants the application to manage the cookie. When the server instance, which is bound to a cookie, crashes what do you expect will happen?
A: ELB will throw an error due to cookie unavailability
B: The response will have a cookie but stickiness will be deleted
C: The session will be sticky and ELB will route requests to another server as ELB keeps replicating the Cookie
D: The session will not be sticky until a new cookie is inserted

Medium

Decryptor
Strings
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What does the following pseudo code print?
 image

Hard

Fibonacci codes
Time Complexity
Pseudo Code
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Here are three pseudocodes for calculating the Nth Fibonacci number. Which of the following statements about these codes are true?
 image
A: Time complexity/efficiency of CODE 1, CODE 2, CODE 3 is the same.
B: CODE 2 is more space-efficient than CODE 3.
C: CODE 3 is more space-efficient than CODE 2.
D: CODE 2 is more time-efficient than CODE 1.
E: CODE 3 is more time-efficient than CODE 1.

Hard

Palindrome Test cases
Strings
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Go through the following faulty palindrome detection pseudocode and test cases. For which of the test cases would the code return true?
 image
Testcases
A: a
B: aba
C: aaa
D: aac

Medium

Rewards Activities Order
Database Connection
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A new popular app tracks the activities performed by its users and grants them rewards based on each individual's total activities performed in a year. This data is maintained in a database table (activitesinfo), with the following columns: userid, totalactivities, reward. This year, due to fundraising activity, the company has decided to further reward its users by enhancing the reward as per the following formula: If reward < = 4000, increase it by 2%, If 4000 < reward <= 8000, increase it by 4%, If reward > 8000, increase it by 6%.
The tech team has written three different scripts to calculate increment for each slab, each script is to run as a separate transaction. Here are the three scripts:
Script 1:
For users with reward <= 4000, set reward = reward * 1.02

Script 2:
For users with reward > 4000 and reward <= 8000, set reward = reward * 1.04

Script 3:
For users with reward > 8000, set reward = reward * 1.06
Each script is to be executed separately. Which of the following options will update the rewards as expected:
A: Execute Script 1 followed by Script 2 followed by Script 3
B: Execute Script 2 followed by Script 3; Script 1 running concurrently throughout
C: Execute Script 3 followed by Script 2; Script 1 running concurrently throughout
D: Execute Script 3 followed by Script 2 followed by Script 1
E: Execute Script 2 followed by Script 3 followed by Script 1

Hard

Graph Traversal and Data Storage
Graph Theory
Algorithm Analysis
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Consider the following pseudo code implementing a specific graph traversal algorithm:
 image
What is the order in which the nodes are processed, and which data structure best represents the graph `G` for efficient traversal?

Medium

Implementing a Browser's Back Button
Stack
Data Handling
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You are tasked with implementing the "Back" button functionality in a web browser. This feature allows users to return to previously visited web pages in the order they were viewed. The browser maintains a history of URLs in a data structure. Considering the nature of web browsing, where users can go back multiple steps and then navigate to a new page (at which point the future history should be cleared), which data structure and algorithm would best implement this functionality?
A: Use a heap, add the current URL when navigating to a new page, and remove the top element when the back button is used.
B: Use a queue, enqueue the current URL when navigating to a new page, and dequeue when the back button is used.
C: Use a single stack, push the current URL when navigating to a new page, and pop when the back button is used.
D: Use an array, add the current URL to the end when navigating to a new page, and remove the last URL when the back button is used.
E: Use a linked list, add the current URL to the head when navigating to a new page, and move backwards when the back button is used.
F: Use two stacks, push the current URL to the first stack when navigating to a new page, and use the second stack to store the pages when the back button is used.

Easy

Linked List Element Removal
Linked Lists
Element Removal
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Consider a singly linked list where each node contains an integer value. Write a function `removeElement` that removes all occurrences of a specific value from the linked list. The function should return the head of the modified linked list.

Pseudo code:
 image
What will be the content of the linked list referred to by `result` after executing the above pseudo code?
🧐 Question🔧 Skill

Medium

Session stickiness with ELB
Cookies

2 mins

System Design
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Medium

Decryptor
Strings

2 mins

Technical Aptitude
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Hard

Fibonacci codes
Time Complexity
Pseudo Code

2 mins

Technical Aptitude
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Hard

Palindrome Test cases
Strings

2 mins

Technical Aptitude
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Medium

Rewards Activities Order
Database Connection

3 mins

Technical Aptitude
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Hard

Graph Traversal and Data Storage
Graph Theory
Algorithm Analysis

3 mins

Data Structures
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Medium

Implementing a Browser's Back Button
Stack
Data Handling

2 mins

Data Structures
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Easy

Linked List Element Removal
Linked Lists
Element Removal

2 mins

Data Structures
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🧐 Question🔧 Skill💪 Difficulty⌛ Time
Session stickiness with ELB
Cookies
System Design
Medium2 mins
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Decryptor
Strings
Technical Aptitude
Medium2 mins
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Fibonacci codes
Time Complexity
Pseudo Code
Technical Aptitude
Hard2 mins
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Palindrome Test cases
Strings
Technical Aptitude
Hard2 mins
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Rewards Activities Order
Database Connection
Technical Aptitude
Medium3 mins
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Graph Traversal and Data Storage
Graph Theory
Algorithm Analysis
Data Structures
Hard3 mins
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Implementing a Browser's Back Button
Stack
Data Handling
Data Structures
Medium2 mins
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Linked List Element Removal
Linked Lists
Element Removal
Data Structures
Easy2 mins
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Reason #4

1200+ customers in 75 countries

customers in 75 countries
Brandon

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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Reason #5

Designed for elimination, not selection

The most important thing while implementing the pre-employment Software System Design 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 Software System Design 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

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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 System Design Assessment Test

Why you should use Pre-employment System Design Online Test?

The Software System Design 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:

  • Proficiency in system design concepts and principles
  • Ability to design scalable and distributed systems
  • Knowledge of various network protocols and their implementation
  • Experience in database design and optimization techniques
  • Familiarity with cloud computing platforms and services
  • Strong understanding of algorithms and data structures
  • Expertise in performance optimization and tuning
  • Hands-on experience with microservices architecture
  • Understanding of distributed systems and their challenges
  • In-depth knowledge of system security and protecting against threats

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 System Design Online Test?

  • System Design

    System Design involves the process of defining the architecture, components, and interfaces of a system to satisfy specific requirements. It focuses on designing scalable, reliable, and maintainable systems that can efficiently handle high volumes of data and user traffic.

  • Algorithm and Data Structures

    Algorithm and Data Structures deal with designing and analyzing efficient algorithms and organizing data for optimal storage and retrieval. Proficiency in this skill is crucial as it enhances problem-solving abilities and aids in writing code that performs optimally with minimal resources.

  • Network Protocols

    Network Protocols are a set of rules that govern the communication between devices in a network. Understanding network protocols is essential for designing systems that can effectively exchange data, ensuring secure and reliable communication.

  • Database Design

    Database Design is the process of creating a structured representation of data and defining the relationships between different entities. It involves creating efficient schemas that support data integrity, querying, and indexing for optimized storage and retrieval.

  • Distributed Systems

    Distributed Systems consist of multiple interconnected components that work together to achieve a common goal. Measuring proficiency in this skill is important as it ensures understanding of concepts like consistency, fault tolerance, and load balancing, which are fundamental in building scalable and resilient applications.

  • Cloud Computing

    Cloud Computing involves delivering on-demand computing resources over the internet. Proficiency in this skill enables efficient utilization of cloud-based services and infrastructure, leading to scalability, cost optimization, and enhanced performance of applications.

  • Performance Optimization

    Performance Optimization focuses on improving the speed and efficiency of systems. Proficiency in this skill helps in identifying and resolving bottlenecks, optimizing algorithms, and eliminating redundant operations, leading to faster execution and reduced resource consumption.

  • Microservices Architecture

    Microservices Architecture is an architectural approach where applications are built as a collection of small, loosely coupled services. Proficiency in this skill allows for scalability, fault tolerance, and flexibility in deploying, modifying, and scaling different components independently.

  • 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 Software System Design Online Test to be based on.

    System Design
    Load Balancing
    Caching
    Scalability
    Database Sharding
    Consistency Models
    Distributed File Systems
    MapReduce
    CAP Theorem
    Consensus Algorithms
    Network Protocols
    TCP/IP
    HTTP
    DNS
    WebSockets
    Database Design
    Relational Databases
    NoSQL Databases
    Indexing
    Query Optimization
    ACID Transactions
    Distributed Systems
    Message Queues
    Eventual Consistency
    Replication
    Fault Tolerance
    Distributed Locking
    Cloud Computing
    Virtualization
    Containers
    Serverless Computing
    Elasticity
    Microservices Architecture
    Service Discovery
    API Gateway
    Event-Driven Architecture
    Circuit Breaker Pattern
    Performance Optimization
    Load Testing
    Profiling
    Caching Strategies
    Distributed Tracing
    Scalability Testing
    Microservices Orchestration
    Monitoring and Alerting
    Microservices Security
    Algorithm and Data Structures
    Sorting Algorithms
    Search Algorithms
    Graph Algorithms
    Tree Data Structure
    Hashing
    Dynamic Programming
    Network Flow
    Cloud Computing Fundamentals
    Performance Monitoring
    Security Best Practices
    API Design
    Service Level Agreements
    Containerization Technologies
    Continuous Integration and Delivery
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What roles can I use the System Design Online Test for?

  • Software Engineer
  • System Architect
  • Technical Lead
  • Full Stack Developer
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Database Administrator
  • Network Administrator
  • Cloud Engineer
  • Security Analyst
  • Performance Engineer

How is the System Design 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

  • Solid understanding of software architecture patterns
  • Capability to analyze and optimize application performance
  • Experience in working with large-scale data processing systems
  • Knowledge of caching mechanisms and strategies
  • Ability to design and implement fault-tolerant systems
  • Proficiency in containerization and orchestration technologies
  • Expertise in designing and managing distributed databases
  • Understanding of event-driven and asynchronous architectures
  • Ability to troubleshoot and debug complex system issues
  • Experience in designing highly available and scalable services
Singapore government logo

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.


85%
reduction in screening time

System Design 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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No trick questions.
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