How Long Does the Lambda School Admissions Process Take?
Jan 29, 2021
Lambda student works on a computer


Our goal at Lambda School is to teach you the technical and career skills you need to land a great job in 6-9 months. Before you get to the curriculum though, you’ll need to spend some time on your application and Admissions requirements. Depending on your level of experience before applying, your chosen track, and your preferred tuition option, the amount of time it will take you to complete the process may vary. Altogether, your application can take as little as 2 hours and up to a week. We’ve found that most applicants don’t rush through the application, and would recommend that you don’t, either. 

In this article, we’ll break down each of the steps in the Lambda application process and give an estimate on how long each might take you.

The Application — 5 minutes

The first step is to create your Lambda School account. We’ll ask for your full legal name, current residence, and contact information, including your phone number so our Enrollment Advisors can reach out during the Admissions process. You’ll then select your course of study (web development, data science, or backend development) and which schedule works best for you – remember all courses are taught on Pacific time.

Next we’ll ask some questions to ascertain your technical acumen and legal eligibility to attend our school, before you spend time showing off your academic aptitude. You must be 18 years of age or older to attend Lambda School, and tuition options can vary by country and state.

Please make sure that you’re always entering accurate and truthful information on your application; misrepresenting yourself can cause serious consequences, up to and including a lifetime ban from Lambda School. If you’re concerned about something like access to a particular tuition option that isn’t available in your state or country, it’s better to reach out to us and discuss your options rather than bend the truth.

Entrance Test (CCAT) — 15 minutes

Once you’ve landed on your Admissions Dashboard, you’ll see a link prompting you to take the Criteria Corp Aptitude Test (CCAT). This is a 15-minute test which assesses your ability to solve problems, analyze and use information, think critically, and learn new skills. Your score is based on several factors, including how many questions you’re able to answer accurately, and which areas of ability (verbal, spatial, and logical) you excel in. There are a total of 50 possible questions. Most people who pass are able to answer a little over half of them in the allotted time and are particularly strong on verbal questions. (You can access our free CCAT study guide here.)

Skills Assessment— 30 minutes

Data Science

If you’re a Data Science applicant, you’ll take the Data Science Skills Challenge in addition to CCAT . How long this takes will depend on your own comfort level with data science, how quickly you learn, and whether you experience test anxiety. The Data Science skills test consists of 15 multiple-choice questions to solve in a maximum of 45 minutes. Most people complete the assessment in about 15 minutes. (Pro Tip: check out our DS Challenge Study Guide!)

To pass, you’ll need to earn 11 out of 15 points. Can’t pass on your first try? That’s okay! You can retake the skills assessment once every 24 hours. We recommend checking out the official precourse work if you’re struggling. We’ll tell you more about precourse work in a moment.

Enterprise Backend Development

If you’re a Backend Development applicant, you’ll take the Backend Development Skills Assessment in addition to CCAT. There are ten multiple-choice questions in the assessment, which you can complete in any order. You will need to submit each task after you have completed it. You will have 30 minutes to complete all ten. The assessment is open-book; you may use a Java resource of your choice if necessary. (Pro Tip: check out our Backend Development Assessment Study Guide! You can take a practice test here to help build your confidence.)

You will need to achieve a minimum score of 60% to proceed to the next phase of the admissions process. If you don’t pass the first time, don’t worry! You can retry the assessment after 24 hours.

Full Stack Web Development

If you’re a Full Stack Web Development applicant, you won't be required to complete a skills assessment in addition to the CCAT. You will instead be required to complete mandatory precourse work to help you develop the technical skills you’ll need to be successful in Unit 1. 

Educational Verification (CA/DC/TX) — 30 minutes

For most applicants, this will be the end of the application process and you’ll move on to your Enrollment Paperwork. However, there is one last step for residents of Washington DC, California, and Texas. These states have regulations requiring that incoming students have an “ability to benefit” (ATB), or, in other words, that you have a sufficient foundation in basic high school level math and reading skills to be able take full advantage of the Lambda curriculum.

You can provide this proof by uploading your high school diploma, transcripts with proof of degree or diploma earned, or a General Education Development certificate. Alternatively, you can take the 30-minute Wonderlic ATB test.

Confirm Start Date — 5 minutes

You’ve been accepted to Lambda School! Congratulations! Now all that’s left is your Enrollment paperwork. The first piece of paperwork is to confirm your start date and give us some information about your emergency contact. Make sure you’ve calculated class times in your time zone (all classes are taught on Pacific time) and that you can make 95% of the posted class hours. If your circumstances change, simply reach out to your Enrollment Advisor or our Support team, and we’ll be able to help you switch schedules. If there are no changes to make, it should only take a few minutes to complete the confirmation form.

Sign Enrollment Agreement — 15 minutes

After you’ve confirmed your start date, we'll email you an Enrollment Agreement through DocuSign. This agreement details important school policies as well as your start and graduation dates. Make sure to read it carefully and ensure all the information you’ve entered and the dates reflected are accurate. It isn’t a long document, so we expect you’ll be able to read and understand it in about 15 to 20 minutes. Once you sign the agreement, your Admissions Dashboard will update with your next steps for your tuition.

Finalize Tuition Option — 15 minutes to 2 business days

If you chose to finance your tuition through an Income Share Agreement or a CA Retail Installment Contract, you will immediately see a link on your dashboard to complete the ISA or RIC application. This should take you about 15 minutes if you have already familiarized yourself with the terms of your selected option. Make sure you are entering your legal name and the email address you applied with. After you complete your application, a member of our Finance team will review and approve it, usually within one business day. It's a good idea to check your Admissions dashboard after you complete your ISA or RIC application — if it doesn’t say that it’s pending review, you might not have completed the final steps of the process, or you might have used the wrong email address. In that case, reach out to us, and we’ll make sure your ISA or RIC is completed and properly linked to your account.

If you opted to pay tuition upfront or using a tuition installment plan, you will receive an invoice from our Finance team within one to two business days. The invoice will include instructions detailing how to wire your tuition payment. Let us know if you don’t receive your invoice or if you’re concerned about your payment reaching us by your Enrollment deadline, and we’ll make sure you don’t miss out on your preferred start date.

Precourse Work – 7 days

We've designed a self-paced pre-coursework experience for each course to ensure that all learners are prepared with the foundational programming concepts and skills they need to be successful in Unit 1.

Completing the precourse work is essential for your success at Lambda School, and required for Full Stack Web Development learners. The Lambda curriculum moves quickly and learners who do not have prior coding experience may fall behind without self-study prior to day one.

The precourse work will take you about 15-25 hours to complete, depending on your track, so please plan accordingly so you can ensure that you've completed all of the requirements before Lambda Launch begins.

You can find links to the precourse work for Full Stack and Data Science below:

Full Stack Web Development Precourse Work (mandatory)
Data Science Precourse Work (Encouraged)

The Enterprise Backend Development course does not require precourse work, but we encourage enrolled learners to keep their skills fresh with the resources listed in our Backend Skills Assessment Study Guide.

Take the first step to a new career

Whether you’re just starting to consider applying for Lambda School, or you’re already halfway through your precourse work, we highly recommend connecting with one of our Enrollment Advisors––either to help expedite your application for a fast-approaching deadline, or to discuss and consider which one of our track, schedule, or tuition options best suits your needs. 

You can learn more about the Lambda School admissions process, or if you’re ready to get started, apply now.

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