Custom Assessments vs Standard Assessments

Jan 21, 2019

Custom Assessments vs Standard Assessments

Custom vs. Standard Assessment Tests for Campus Recruitment Drive

Campus recruitment drives require good assessment tests to evaluate the subject understanding and thinking ability of the students who sit for them. Assessment tests are the means by which average performers get filtered out, and only those with sound knowledge and good problem-solving ability go forward for further rounds. These tests can be conducted in various formats, such as online and offline, although online tests are taking precedence in the current hiring scenario, and can be designed to evaluate the candidate’s understanding of the core subjects, their aptitude, language and communication skills, and technical knowledge. Assessment tests are time bound and offer limited time to the students to attempt and score; therefore, they are a great help to the recruiters as the best performers get shortlisted easily, saving a lot of time and effort for the company.

Typically, assessment tests are either custom designed or are in a standard format. Depending on what skills to evaluate, the recruiter can create a test series on their own, which is the case of custom assessments, or can hire a third party organisation to create a standard assessment module which is more generic and focused on evaluating the basic subject understanding of the students. Often, Recruiters find themselves in a fix when it comes to choosing a standard or custom assessment tests for a recruitment drive.

If you are a hiring company pondering over which type of assessment tests to choose for your upcoming campus recruitment drive to hire the best candidates for your firm, stay with us till the end of this post for a detailed explanation of each of these test formats in order for you to decide which one would be most suitable for your recruitment session.  

Custom and Standard Assessments

For recruiting purposes, assessment tests involve two broad categories – custom and standard tests. Both of these formats assess the skills and subject knowledge of the students and shortlist the top performers for the next round, i.e. face-to-face interview.

Custom Assessment

Custom assessment tests are custom-designed by the subject matter experts and the senior HR in the company to evaluate specific skill sets desired as well as required for the job profile. For instance, if the company is into creating AI-based products, it can design tests with questions pertaining to AI and machine learning disciplines and evaluate candidates for their knowledge, interest and understanding of AI. The subject matter experts and the R&D teams of such companies plan the questions for custom assessment tests and shortlist students who perform well for the interview round. Third party companies that develop evaluatory tests have no role to play in developing custom assessment tests.

Standard Assessments

Standard assessment tests are designed to evaluate the basic knowledge of the candidates for a particular role in a very short duration of time. Typically, they focus on aptitude, generic programming skills, problem-solving ability, basic subject knowledge and writing ability of the students to filter them for a more specific evaluation in the interview rounds. Such standard evaluation format is followed by service-based companies that target to hire candidates for promoting their services and enhance their market hold. The assessment tests contain questions from programming languages, English, mathematics, and reasoning discipline and are conducted either as objective or subjective tests.  

Pros and Cons of Custom Assessments

Although custom assessment tests may seem like the go-to option for a company aiming to hire good candidates for a particular industry or discipline, it has to face a few challenges till it locks in the right candidate for the job profile. Designing an appropriate evaluation test and coming up with good questions is just one of the many challenges faced by the company. Following are a few advantages and disadvantages of creating a custom assessment test for a campus recruitment drive.


  • Evaluate candidates on the basis of specific company requirement
  • If the candidate cleared the assessment, chances of him or her getting selected is higher
  • The candidates get a fair idea about what does the company do or what would be expected from them on the job
  • Effective utilisation of time to hire the right candidate


  • It takes time and effort to put together the right questions
  • Effectiveness of questions has to be evaluated from time to time
  • Questions have to be changed as and when required.

Pros and Cons of Standard Assessments

Standard assessment tests are an easier route to assessing candidates in a campus drive since the it helps to filter out the best students based on their scores and  allows the company to focus better in the interview round, where these filtered candidates are subjected to more stringent scrutiny and shortlisted only for their in-depth subject knowledge. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of standard assessment tests.


  • They follow the questions and are easily available
  • Services of third-party companies can be utilised to save time
  • Tests to different skill sets can be created


  • General evaluation of candidates, not specific to a particular skill or talent
  • Prone to errors in score calculations or filtering candidates
  • Not suitable for shortlisting “interviewable” candidates as the exact skill set to be tested in interviews would not have been covered by them in depth

Key Takeaways

Assessment tests are a quicker and efficient way of shortlisting eligible candidates for an interview because they help to eliminate under-performers and retain only those who have the desired skill sets. These tests can be specific (like custom tests) or very generic (like the standard tests) based on the recruitment strategy and requirement of the company. If the firm focuses on shortlisting students only on the basis of their technical understanding of the subjects, they choose the custom mode of assessment that is designed by the subject matter experts of the firm. If the firm wants to evaluate the general skills of the candidates and assess for other specific capabilities in the interview session, it can conduct standard tests to shortlist students. To know more, visit

Jan 21, 2019

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