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The Berger series is a group of tests that are used for assessing computer programming and operational aptitude. There are four tests in the series: programming (form D), programming advanced form, computer operator, and systems operator. These tests are frequently used by employers to determine whether or not an individual has the ability to learn and efficiently use these computing skills. They are used to find the individual who is best suited for a particular position, regardless of experience.
Each of the Berger series tests has approximately 24 to 30 questions. The test time ranges from one to two hours, depending on the complexity of the subject. Completed tests are scored by Pyschometrics, Inc., which is the only company to offer the exams. Results are typically sent by mail, though the Berger Systems Programmer Aptitude Test is scored over the phone.
As the tests in the Berger series measure aptitude, they do not necessarily favor individuals with previous experience in programming or operations. Most of the tests are written so that no experience is necessary in order to understand and complete them successfully. Questions are written in such a way that the taker must use the same problem-solving skills as would be used by a programmer or operator.
The Berger series Aptitude for Programming Test Advanced Form, also known as B-APT AF, requires some knowledge of the field in order to complete it successfully. It is usually used to find top-level resources for more complex programming positions. An ideal candidate for the test will have taken some computing classes and has an entry-level understanding of programming language.
All of the tests in the Berger series use scenarios to test candidates. The exams simulate a typical computing environment. Questions guide the test taker through work samples, each of which has a problem which must be solved. The problems are divided into sections, with questions that measure how an individual would handle both simple and complex issues.
Raymond Berger, PhD, and Frances Berger, PhD, are the creators of the Berger series of tests. Together, they are the directors of Psychometrics Inc., a company that designs information technology (IT) assessment tests. Their exams are typically used to determine whether an individual has the technical ability necessary for a particular job. They may also help to determine what training is necessary to give the test taker the necessary skills for a position or whether or not a candidate is ready for a promotion.
@everetra - Yes, I agree. If you’re applying for a job, you usually need to bring some certification to the table if you want to stand out from the competition.
It’s not the job of the prospective employer to screen you. The article does say that there are advanced Berger tests which measure proficiency with certain languages like Java or C++.
But I still believe that the vendor specific tests (and certifications) are better predictors of how well an employee knows his stuff.
@Charred - That’s great. Everyone has a story to tell about how they got their first job.
I don’t know much about these Berger tests, but just from what I’ve read, I don’t think most companies would put too much stock in them.
That’s just my opinion. The reason is that there are so many vendor specific tests out there that do a better job of measuring programming aptitude for a specific technology.
I realize that the Berger test is generic, not geared to a language. But there are other ways of finding if someone is “wired” for programming, like if they have taken computer classes or done any internships.
I suppose if you have nothing else to go on, the Berger test would be adequate. I can see where it would work for an internal job applicant, like your case; I doubt it would be useful to ferret out candidates from the outside.
My first break into computer programming came when I worked for a drop shipping mail order company. I had been a data entry operator for them and expressed a desire to move into their IT department.
Of course as a data entry operator they didn’t know off hand whether I could work as a programmer; I knew I could, since I had learned BASIC programming as a teenager years earlier.
Anyway, they gave me the Berger test for computer programmers. I had to complete it in an hour, which I did. When the results came in, I scored very high, and they gave me an entry level position in I.T.
I mainly did scripting and some light networking stuff, but still, it was a lucky break.