Computer Programmer Aptitude Battery (CPAB)

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Appropriate For New Applicants
Existing Employees
Comprehensiveness Intermediate
Administration Time - 1 hr
Format pencil icon
Scoring Options hand icon
Language English
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The CPAB tests can help determine an individual’s aptitude for success as a computer programmer or system analyst. Five subtests help assess applicants’ abilities in the following areas:

Verbal Meaning: Understanding vocabulary commonly used in mathematical, business and systems engineering literature. Eight-minute time limit.

Reasoning: Ability to translate ideas and operations from word problems into mathematical notations. Twenty-minute time limit.

Letter Series: Ability to use abstract reasoning to find patterns in given series of letters. Ten-minute time limit.

Number Ability: Ability to quickly estimate reasonable answers to computations. Six-minute time limit.

Diagramming: Ability to analyze problems and figure solutions in a logical sequence. Thirty-five minute time limit.

Normative Data: Percentile norms are listed by subtest and total score for the following job classifications: trainees, experienced applicants, entry-level positions and community college students.

Validation Studies: Validation studies were conducted for the following organizations:

• Computer service company
• Data processing college (students)
• 53 financial service companies
• Railroad company
• Retail catalogue company
• Retail organization
• Two banks
• Two computer manufacturing companies
• Two insurance companies
• Two research organizations
• Utility company

Two test forms available (A and B) and are comparable and can be used for retesting.

The Short Form of the CPAB includes only the Reasoning and Diagramming sections from the Long Form. The Long Form includes the following sections: Verbal Meaning, Reasoning, Letter Series, Number Ability and Diagramming. Reasoning and Diagramming were chosen for the Short Form because previous research and analysis demonstrated that these two components are the most valid predictors of computer programmer performance. The CPAB Long Form comes with a booklet and a separate answer sheet for the applicant’s responses. The CPAB Short Form is offered in a carbon-copy booklet and the scoring is described to the administrator after tearing open the booklet to review the applicant’s responses.

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