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Search Insert Position Test | Pre-employment assessment - Testlify
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Search Insert Position Test

Overview of Search Insert Position Test

The goal of the problem is to find the index of the target value and if it is not found then return the possible index where it can be in the sorted array.

Skills measured

  • binary search
  • greedy

Available in



Coding Test


20 Mins





Use of Search Insert Position test

The solution approach of the problem is to use binary search. Initializes two variables, lo and hi, which represent the lower and upper bounds of the search range, respectively. Initially, lo is set to 0 (the first index) and hi is set to nums.size() - 1 (the last index). Use a while loop to perform a binary search within the search range (lo to hi) until lo becomes greater than hi. This indicates that the search range is exhausted, and the target should be inserted at index lo.
Inside the while loop, the calculates the middle index mid using the formula lo + (hi - lo) / 2. This formula ensures that the midpoint is always closer to the lower bound in case of an even-sized range.
If the value at the middle index (nums[mid]) is equal to the target value. If it is, the target value is found, and the function returns mid as the index of its occurrence.
If nums[mid] is greater than the target value, it means the target should be inserted in the left half of the search range. Therefore, the code updates hi to mid - 1 to narrow down the search range to the left half.
If nums[mid] is less than the target value, it means the target should be inserted in the right half of the search range. Therefore, the code updates lo to mid + 1 to narrow down the search range to the right half.
The while loop continues to iterate and perform the binary search until lo becomes greater than hi.
If the while loop exits without finding the target value, it means the target value is not present in the array. In this case, the code returns lo, which represents the index where the target should be inserted to maintain the sorted order.

Relevant for

  • Software Developer Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Software Engineer

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binary search

Binary search is a fundamental search algorithm used to find the position of a target value within a sorted array. In the "Search Insert Position" problem, mastering binary search is crucial for efficiently determining the correct insertion point for a given target value in the array. By dividing the search space in half with each comparison, binary search greatly reduces the number of comparisons needed to find the target value or its insertion point. This skill is important for improving the efficiency of search algorithms and optimizing runtime in various programming problems.



The greedy skill covered in Search Insert Position is the ability to quickly determine the position where a given target value should be inserted in a sorted array. This skill is important because it allows for efficient searching and insertion of elements in an array, which is crucial in various algorithms and data structures. By being able to quickly identify the correct position for insertion, it helps in optimizing the performance of algorithms and improving the overall efficiency of the program. Mastering this skill can greatly enhance a programmer's ability to solve problems involving searching and sorting efficiently.

The Search Insert Position test is created by a subject-matter expert

Testlify’s skill tests are designed by experienced SMEs (subject matter experts). We evaluate these experts based on specific metrics such as expertise, capability, and their market reputation. Prior to being published, each skill test is peer-reviewed by other experts and then calibrated based on insights derived from a significant number of test-takers who are well-versed in that skill area. Our inherent feedback systems and built-in algorithms enable our SMEs to refine our tests continually.

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