Amazon SDE Online Assessment Practice [Coding & Work Style]

 

Amazon Assessment Expert

Hi, I'm David, JobTestPrep's expert for the Amazon Assessment Tests. Have a question? Feel free to send me an email at any time.

 

 

Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 Amazon Online Assessment (Interns, New Grads, and Experienced Roles)

Once you move through the initial resume screening, your next step will be passing the Amazon online assessment.

You’ll be taking the online assessment on either SHL’s AMCAT platform or on HackerRank’s one. Both platforms are not proctored, and it doesn’t matter which one you get, so don’t sweat about it.

Now:

As the assessment differs depending on the SDE position you’re applying to, we'll only focus on the most popular ones: Internships, New Grads, and Experienced (SDE 2).

Let’s review each of them.

Amazon SDE Intern and New Grad Online Assessment

The assessment structure for both position levels is similar and includes three parts. So, they are placed here together.

Note that you get all three OAs regardless of how well you do on them. The result (pass or fail) will only be revealed after you have completed all three segments.

Amazon OA1 (Part 1) – Code Debugging:

On this segment, Amazon will give you seven debugging questions that you must complete within 20 minutes. These include figuring out what the functions do, and how to fix them, along with additional typecasting errors, etc.

Amazon OA2 (Part 2) – Coding and Workstyles:

This contains two subsections - the first is a 70-minute coding assessment, in which you need to answer two coding questions.

To master the OA2, It's highly recommended to practice Data Structures and Algorithms. In our complete course, you can find hundreds of coding problems focusing on the most common Data Structures & Algorithms: Arrays, Stacks, Queues, Linked Lists, Trees, Graphs, and lots more.

Here's how one of these coding problems looks like on our platform:

Amazon SDE Online Assessment Arrays Sample Question


The second sub-section is a 10-20 minute Workstyles Assessment where you must choose statements that represent your work style.

The following is an example of the question types you'll see on Amazon's Work Style Assessment. To access the full Work Style assessment practice test, get the complete prep course that's found on this page.

Amazon SDE Online Assessment Work Style Assessment Example

Amazon OA3 (Part 3) – Technical Problem Solving:

The last part of the online assessment for interns and new grads is a work simulation, also called "Day-in-the-Life SDE Simulation" (in previous years it included a logical ability test as well).

Amazon gives you up to four hours to complete the work simulation portion, although many need even less time. The SDE Work Simulation is an interactive simulation designed to give you a window into a typical day in the life of an SDE at Amazon.

It includes scenario-based questions that some of them ask you to prioritize potential projects and deal with team conflicts, underperforming colleagues, tight deadlines, and more.

Important: It’s crucial to base your answers on Amazon’s Leadership Principles, as the scenario questions are built around them. You’ll also need to use these principles in your interview, but more on that later.

Amazon SDE 2 Online Assessment for Experienced Positions

For more senior SDE roles at Amazon, you’ll get only one assessment invitation email (as opposed to three emails for a New Grad/Intern position).

The 2021 Amazon SDE 2 online assessment includes the following:

Amazon Coding Assessment (105 minutes):

Here you get two coding questions and a Coding Approach Questionnaire, in which you need to describe your preferred approach for solving coding questions.

The Amazon SDE 2 coding challenge's opening screen will be similar to this (the coding questions will vary, of course):

Amazon Coding Challenge Example


Don’t make light of the Coding Approach part as real people will read it, and you’ll be asked about it in your interview.

Here's an example for one of the coding questions you'll see on our complete prep course. This problem resembles the question types you'll see on the actual Amazon SDE assessment:

Amazon SDE II Assessment Sample Question

Amazon Workstyle Assessment (approx. 15 minutes):

This is a personality test designed to evaluate your preferred work style (as the name implies) through multiple-choice statements.

Feedback Survey (5 minutes):

A quick survey Amazon has been using on its OAs over the past years.


How to Prepare for the Amazon Online Assessment?

The best way to prepare for the Amazon SDE online assessments and interviews is by using practice materials that are as close as possible to the real thing.

This ensures that you'll know what to expect and that nothing will catch you off guard. Moreover, you'll get the most out of your prep time, and avoid practicing generic stuff that won't appear on the test at all.

You don’t get a second chance to take Amazon’s SDE online assessment for your desired role's level (Intern / New Grad / SDE 1 / SDE 2). This means that the results you get on the tests stay with you until you apply for a different position level!

In the preparation pack found on this page, you'll get access to a thorough prep course that covers the question types seen on the actual Amazon coding assessments and interviews.

Use it to sharpen your coding skills and dramatically improve your chances to beat the assessments and interviews.


Helpful Prep Tips for the Amazon Online Assessment and Interviews

 

Get Used to Coding Under Time Pressure

As you already know, your online coding assessment will be timed. So, it’s crucial that you use a timer while you practice coding questions at home.

Try to analyze how much time every part takes you and finetune it. For example, see how long it takes you to read and understand the question.

The more you practice working under time pressure, the less you will be panicked on test day (plus it’ll make your coding way more effective!).

Focus on the Logic Behind Your Solutions

When you practice for the online assessment, don’t just memorize the answers. Strive to understand the reasoning and patterns behind the solutions, so you can use them on other coding questions.

Amazon changes its coding challenges frequently. So, you might encounter a coding question that hasn’t been uploaded to LeetCode yet.

However, if you know the logic behind every solution, this won’t bother you at all.

Learn How to Articulate Your Though Process

It’s one thing to master dozens of coding questions at home. But explaining your solution and thought process in a high-pressure situation like an interview is taking things to a whole other level.

Like almost any other thing in life, it’s a skill that can be improved.

Here are a few tips for you to use as guiding points:

  • Get used to talking and thinking out loud as you code. This way, even if you’re stuck with an answer during the interview, you’ll be able to express your thought process (and avoid awkward silences).
  • Don’t use abstract or ambiguous wording, make sure to refer to a coding concept by its formal name.
  • Break down your coding explanations into logical sequences, thus making it easier for the interviewer to follow along.
  • If you have several weeks until your Amazon interview, go to a few “practice makes perfect” interviews in other companies. It will help you gain more confidence, and with time, the answers will start rolling off your tongue.

Study Amazon’s Leadership Principles Hard

As you may already know, Amazon is OBSESSED with its Leadership Principles.

In fact, Amazon recruiters and interviewers expect you to answer using them.

So, to get hired you must learn them by heart and use them throughout your assessments (Workstyles and Work simulation) and interviews.

Specifically, you’d want to be ready with at least two real-life work-related examples for every leadership principle (and don’t use the same example more than once!).

Master the Art of Presenting in Front of a Webcam

As of 2020, Amazon has replaced its on-site interviews with virtual ones. And I’m talking about a 5-hour interview for experienced roles, and between 45 minutes to a few hours for New Grads and Interns.

Pretty tough.

Now: These interview sessions cover not only behavioral questions, but also coding solutions on virtual whiteboards. So, make sure you know how to run it smoothly and without any technical glitches that could mess things up.

Don’t Stress Out from the Bar Raiser Interview

The Amazon Bar Raiser interview is hard. I won’t lie to you.

The coding question is going to be a difficult one. And on the behavioral section, the Bar Raiser interviewer will drill hard on questions, asking you about every little detail you provide (yes, this will be annoying).

But if you prepare beforehand, you can significantly increase your chances of passing it:

  1. First, keep in mind that the interviewer doesn’t have anything against you. It’s just part of Amazon’s hiring policy to make part of the interview much harder, so it shortlists the most suitable candidates.
  2. Second, when you practice your answers at home, ensure to break them down into little pieces and details, so you’ll be ready with an instant comeback for any question.
  3. And lastly, remember that the Bar Raiser is a “freak” of Amazon’s Leadership Principles. So, your whole interview will be based around them.

 

 

 

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