Essentials Level Test

The test is taken online and you can use the web, ‘man’ pages and any other resources you would usually use when programming. The questions are mostly independent and you can answer them in any order.

You will need to clone a git repository and full instructions can be found either here or through the GitHub icon in the top right-hand corner of our webpages.

The test takes around 90 minutes from when you enter your name, email and affiliation. There is no time limit for completing the on-line test.

Please make sure you have read our Data Privacy Policy before you take the test.

When you’re ready, click on the link below….

Take the test here

Elibibility, Grading & Results

The test is mandatory for those who are studying for advanced degrees, such as M.Sc. and Ph.D., and those employed as Post-Doctoral Research Assistants/Associates who have less than two years HPC experience.

The Test is graded as follows:

  • 60% and above: Pass: The test was completed successfully
  • Up to 60%: Fail: You will have three months to re-take the test from the date of receiving your results.

The 2018/19 test round closed on January 11th 2019. The 2019/20 test round will open in October 2019.

If you have not taken/passed the test by the deadline we will contact you and your supervisor to discuss your case. At this point we will be able to arrange further assistance for you so you can pass the test and continue to use DiRAC resources in your research.


During the registration process we asked you to complete a small number of multiple-choice questions designed to assess your starting skill-level in the various areas where we provide training.

At the end of the Essentials Level test, we have asked these questions again and it would be very useful to us if you could re-assess that skill-level in the light of any training you have taken and tell us how you think your skill-set has changed. The questions will only take a couple of minutes to answer.

Data Privacy

We use the information from these pre- and post-training surveys to help us better understand the needs of our user community and to identify areas where we can improve and more closely target our training offering to those needs. Our aim is to continually develop and innovate DiRAC’s training offering as those needs evolve.

The information you give will not be shared with anyone outside our small training team and we will never share your personal contact information with any external organisation. Once matched-up, your responses to the pre- and post-training surveys are fully anonymised before any analysis is undertaken.

To read more about how we handle your data please take a look at our Data Privacy Policy.