Who Should Use It

The test is used to evaluate a candidate's aptitude and potential for programming. Ideally suited as a pre-screening test for educational institutions.  We offer the International Programming Aptitude Test (I-PAT) to all educational institutions interested in "screening" potential students enrolling in Information Technology courses.  We do not sell to individuals, nor to for-profit corporations.

This test is also invaluable for supplying career counseling or guidance services to potential computer technology applicants who are unsure of their abilities in this field.

The test is ideal for assessing...

  • Entry-level candidates (no prior experience or education with computers)
  • Computer trainees
  • Computer Science graduates
  • Experienced applicants (pre-screening only)

What it Measures

The test answers the question "How good a programmer-Information Technology person is the candidate likely to be and why?"

The test is not education-oriented; nor is it a speed test. High school graduates with better logical skills will do better on the I-PAT than college graduates who do not demonstrate the same level of precision reasoning skills.

  • Procedural ability: ability to recognize, and follow, detailed procedures.
  • Procedure creation: ability to create generalized procedures.
  • Ability to follow instructions precisely: ability to recognize predefined symbols and follow precise rules.
  • Data Manipulation: ability to evaluate complex instructions, manipulate data, and utilize table look-up to solve problems.
  • Ability to Generate Symbolic Instructions: ability to translate, or code, simple directives into symbolic language instructions.
  • Accuracy: ability to solve progressively difficult problems according to predefined technical specifications.
  • Generate Logical Solutions ability to apply logic and reasoning for the purpose of generating problem solutions.


The IPAT test takes only 2-3 hours of the candidate's time.

A scoring guide is provided to you with each purchase of tests.  Scoring is quick and easy.

Validation Studies

Winrow Testing stands behind the effectiveness of the International Programming Aptitude Test (IPAT).  We have performed validation studies on this test to ensure that measurement error and bias have been removed from the test.

Content Validation (1995)

The content validation study was conducted at an independent community bank in Florida. The Computer Programmer I must accomplish fourteen tasks to successfully perform his/her job responsibilities. Within the scope of testing, a total of 55 traits were judged to be essential to accomplishing these tasks. Of these 55 traits, 35 are assessed by one or more questions in the International Programming Aptitude Test.

Thus, a significant portion (63.6%) of the intended domain is assessed by the IPAT. As well, if the relative importance of the essential traits tested, to the ''weighted'' importance of the task, is considered - the overlap percentage improves to 64.8% for the Computer Programmer I.

Given the demonstrated relationship between the abilities and traits required to perform the fourteen key tasks of the Computer Programmer I job, and those measured by the IPAT, the test represents a content valid evaluation device for that job.

Predictive Validation (1999)

The concurrent validation study was conducted at a large and prominent university (Concordia University) in Montreal, Canada. A sample of 81 candidates who were enrolled in four different programming languages courses as a part of an intensive computer certificate were evaluated.

The results showed a statistically significant relationship exists between the IPAT scores and overall programming success (i.e. course grades).

The correlation coefficient (r = 0.345) is significant to the 0.01 level and indicates that the IPAT is highly predictive of success with respect to programmer language training.


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