30 Questions to test a Data Scientist on Deep Learning (Solution – Skill test, July 2017)

Dishashree26 Gupta 03 Feb, 2023 • 9 min read


Whether you are a novice at data science or a veteran with Deep Learning Course certification, Deep learning is hard to ignore. And it deserves attention, as deep learning is helping us achieve the AI dream of getting near-human performance in everyday tasks.

Given the importance to learn Deep learning for a data scientist, we created a skill test to help people assess themselves on Deep Learning Questions. A total of 644 people registered for this skill test.

If you are one of those who missed out on this skill test, here are the questions and solutions. You missed the real-time test but can read this article to find out how many could have answered correctly.

Here is the leaderboard for the participants who took the test for 30 Deep Learning Questions. If you are just getting started with Deep Learning, here is a course to assist you in your journey to Master Deep Learning:


Overall Distribution

Below is the distribution of the scores of the participants:


You can access the scores here. More than 200 people participated in the skill test and the highest score obtained was 26. Interestingly, the distribution of scores ended up being very similar to the past 2 tests:

Clearly, a lot of people start the test without understanding Deep Learning, which is not the case with other skill tests. This also means that these solutions would be useful to a lot of people.


Helpful Resources on Deep Learning

Here are some resources to get in-depth knowledge of the subject.


Skill test Deep Learning Questions and Answers

1) Is the data linearly separable?

A) Yes
B) No


2) Which of the following are universal approximators?

A) Kernel SVM
B) Neural Networks
C) Boosted Decision Trees
D) All of the above


3) In which of the following applications can we use deep learning to solve the problem?

A) Protein structure prediction
B) Prediction of chemical reactions
C) Detection of exotic particles
D) All of these


4) Which of the following statements is true when you use 1×1 convolutions in a CNN?

A) It can help in dimensionality reduction
B) It can be used for feature pooling
C) It suffers less overfitting due to small kernel size
D) All of the above


5) Question Context:

Statement 1: It is possible to train a network well by initializing all the weights as 0
Statement 2: It is possible to train a network well by initializing biases as 0

Which of the statements given above is true?

A) Statement 1 is true while Statement 2 is false
B) Statement 2 is true while statement 1 is false
C) Both statements are true
D) Both statements are false


6) The number of nodes in the input layer is 10 and the hidden layer is 5. The maximum number of connections from the input layer to the hidden layer are

A) 50
B) Less than 50
C) More than 50
D) It is an arbitrary value

Solution: A

Since MLP is a fully connected directed graph, the number of connections are a multiple of number of nodes in input layer and hidden layer.


7) The input image has been converted into a matrix of size 28 X 28 and a kernel/filter of size 7 X 7 with a stride of 1. What will be the size of the convoluted matrix?

A) 22 X 22
B) 21 X 21
C) 28 X 28
D) 7 X 7

Solution: A

The size of the convoluted matrix is given by C=((I-F+2P)/S)+1, where C is the size of the Convoluted matrix, I is the size of the input matrix, F the size of the filter matrix and P the padding applied to the input matrix. Here P=0, I=28, F=7 and S=1.  There the answer is 22.


8) In a simple MLP model with 8 neurons in the input layer, 5 neurons in the hidden layer and 1 neuron in the output layer. What is the size of the weight matrices between hidden output layer and input hidden layer?

A) [1 X 5] , [5 X 8]

B) [8 X 5] , [ 1 X 5]

C) [8 X 5] , [5 X 1]

D) [5 x 1] , [8 X 5]

Solution: D

The size of weights between any layer 1 and layer 2 Is given by [nodes in layer 1 X nodes in layer 2]


9) Given below is an input matrix named I, kernel F and Convoluted matrix named C. Which of the following is the correct option for matrix C with stride =2 ?


Solution: C

1 and 2 are automatically eliminated since they do not conform to the output size for a stride of 2. Upon calculation option 3 is the correct answer.


10) Given below is an input matrix of shape 7 X 7. What will be the output on applying a max pooling of size 3 X 3 with a stride of 2?



Solution: A

Max pooling takes a 3 X 3 matrix and takes the maximum of the matrix as the output. Slide it over the entire input matrix with a stride of 2 and you will get option (1) as the answer.


11) Which of the following functions can be used as an activation function in the output layer if we wish to predict the probabilities of n classes (p1, p2..pk) such that sum of p over all n equals to 1?

A) Softmax
B) ReLu
C) Sigmoid
D) Tanh

Solution: A

Softmax function is of the form  in which the sum of probabilities over all k sum to 1.


12) Assume a simple MLP model with 3 neurons and inputs= 1,2,3. The weights to the input neurons are 4,5 and 6 respectively. Assume the activation function is a linear constant value of 3. What will be the output ?

A) 32
B) 643
C) 96
D) 48

Solution: C

The output will be calculated as 3(1*4+2*5+6*3) = 96


13) Which of following activation function can’t be used at output layer to classify an image ?

A) sigmoid
B) Tanh
D) If(x>5,1,0)
E) None of the above

Solution: C

ReLU gives continuous output in range 0 to infinity. But in output layer, we want a finite range of values. So option C is correct.


14) [True | False] In the neural network, every parameter can have their different learning rate.


Solution: A

Yes, we can define the learning rate for each parameter and it can be different from other parameters.


15) Dropout can be applied at visible layer of Neural Network model?


Solution: A

Look at the below model architecture, we have added a new Dropout layer between the input (or visible layer) and the first hidden layer. The dropout rate is set to 20%, meaning one in 5 inputs will be randomly excluded from each update cycle.

def create_model():  
    # create model  
    model = Sequential()  
    model.add(Dropout(0.2, input_shape=(60,)))  
    model.add(Dense(60, activation='relu'))  
    model.add(Dense(1, activation='sigmoid'))  
    # Compile model  sgd = SGD(lr=0.1)  
    model.compile(loss='binary_crossentropy', optimizer=sgd, metrics=['accuracy'])  
    return model

16) I am working with the fully connected architecture having one hidden layer with 3 neurons and one output neuron to solve a binary classification challenge. Below is the structure of input and output:

Input dataset: [ [1,0,1,0] , [1,0,1,1] , [0,1,0,1] ]

Output: [ [1] , [1] , [0] ]

To train the model, I have initialized all weights for hidden and output layer with 1.

What do you say model will able to learn the pattern in the data?

A) Yes
B) No

Solution: B

As all the weights of the neural network model are same, so all the neurons will try to do the same thing and the model will never converge.


17) Which of the following neural network training challenge can be solved using batch normalization?

A) Overfitting
B) Restrict activations to become too high or low
C) Training is too slow
D) Both B and C
E) All of the above

Solution: D

Batch normalization restricts the activations and indirectly improves training time.


18) Which of the following would have a constant input in each epoch of training a Deep Learning model?

A) Weight between input and hidden layer
B) Weight between hidden and output layer
C) Biases of all hidden layer neurons
D) Activation function of output layer
E) None of the above

Solution: A

Weights between input and hidden layer are constant.


19) True/False: Changing Sigmoid activation to ReLu will help to get over the vanishing gradient issue?


Solution: A

ReLU can help in solving vanishing gradient problem.


20) In CNN, having max pooling always decrease the parameters?


Solution: B

This is not always true. If we have a max pooling layer of pooling size as 1, the parameters would remain the same.


21) [True or False] BackPropogation cannot be applied when using pooling layers


Solution: B

BackPropogation can be applied on pooling layers too.


22) What value would be in place of question mark?

Here we see a convolutional function being applied to input.

A) 3
B) 4
C) 5
D) 6

Solution: B

Option B is correct


23) For a binary classification problem, which of the following architecture would you choose?

A) 1
B) 2
C) Any one of these
D) None of these

Solution: C

We can either use one neuron as output for binary classification problem or two separate neurons.


24) Suppose there is an issue while training a neural network. The training loss/validation loss remains constant. What could be the possible reason?

A) Architecture is not defined correctly
B) Data given to the model is noisy
C) Both of these

Solution: C

Both architecture and data could be incorrect. Refer this article https://www.analyticsvidhya.com/blog/2017/07/debugging-neural-network-with-tensorboard/



The red curve above denotes training accuracy with respect to each epoch in a deep learning algorithm. Both the green and blue curves denote validation accuracy.

Which of these indicate overfitting?

A) Green Curve
B) Blue Curve

Solution: B

Blue curve shows overfitting, whereas green curve is generalized.


26) Which of the following statement is true regrading dropout?

1: Dropout gives a way to approximate by combining many different architectures
2: Dropout demands high learning rates
3: Dropout can help preventing overfitting

A) Both 1 and 2
B) Both 1 and 3
C) Both 2 and 3
D) All 1, 2 and 3

Solution: B

Statements 1 and 3 are correct, statement 2 is not always true. Even after applying dropout and with low learning rate, a neural network can learn.


27) Gated Recurrent units can help prevent vanishing gradient problem in RNN.

A) True
B) False

Solution: A

Option A is correct. This is because it has implicit memory to remember past behavior.


28) Suppose you are using early stopping mechanism with patience as 2, at which point will the neural network model stop training?

Sr. No. Training Loss Validation Loss
1 1.0 1.1
2 0.9 1.0
3 0.8 1.0
4 0.7 1.0
5 0.6 1.1


A) 2
B) 3
C) 4
D) 5

Solution: C

As we have set patience as 2, the network will automatically stop training after  epoch 4.


29) [True or False] Sentiment analysis using Deep Learning is a many-to one prediction task


Solution: A

Option A is correct. This is because from a sequence of words, you have to predict whether the sentiment was positive or negative.


30) What steps can we take to prevent overfitting in a Neural Network?

A) Data Augmentation
B) Weight Sharing
C) Early Stopping
D) Dropout
E) All of the above

Solution: E

All of the above mentioned methods can help in preventing overfitting problem.


End Notes

I tried my best to make the solutions to deep learning questions as comprehensive as possible but if you have any doubts please drop in your comments below. I would love to hear your feedback about the skill test. For more such skill tests, check out our current hackathons.

Learn, engage, compete, and get hired!

Dishashree26 Gupta 03 Feb 2023

Dishashree is passionate about statistics and is a machine learning enthusiast. She has an experience of 1.5 years of Market Research using R, advanced Excel, Azure ML.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Responses From Readers


shalni 03 Aug, 2017

Really Good blog post about skill test deep learning. provided a helpful information.I hope that you will post more updates like this.

Quan Nguyen
Quan Nguyen 03 Aug, 2017

Question 18: The explanation for question 18 is incorrect: "Weights between input and hidden layer are constant." The weights are not constant but rather the input to the neurons at input layer is constant. Tests like this should be more mindful in terminology: the weights themselves do not have "input", but rather the neurons that do. Question 20: while this question is technically valid, it should not appear in future tests. Since 1x1 max pooling operation is equivalent to making a copy of the previous layer it does not have any practical value. The sensible answer would have been A) TRUE. Could you elaborate a scenario that 1x1 max pooling is actually useful?

Daniel Guilhon
Daniel Guilhon 08 Aug, 2017

In question 3 the explanation is similar to question 2 and does not address the question subject.

Federico Baldassarre
Federico Baldassarre 09 Aug, 2017

Hello , I've read the article and I have a few remarks on the questions and the answers. Question 6 A better explanation is "the MAXIMUM number of connection IS THE PRODUCT of the number of nodes in the input layer and the number of nodes in the hidden layer", while writing "the number of connections are a multiple of number of nodes in input layer and hidden layer" leads me to think of multiples of 10x5 like 50, 100, 150... Question 8 The dimension of the matrices depend on whether you represent your vectors horizontally or vertically. If you go for the column representation that is common in textbooks the input x will have size [8x1]. The first layer applies a linear transformation h = w x + b where the result h has size [5x1], hence the weight matrix will have size [5x8]. Vice versa, if the input vectors are horizontal the weight matrix will be [8x5] Question 12 In the first layer of an MLP, every neuron is connected to every element of the input, so for an input of size 3 these three neurons are associated to a [3x3] weight matrix, leaving out the bias for simplicity. Then there would be other 3 weights from this first layer to the output. I think the question actually was meant to refer to a single neuron model with three inputs, because that's the case where you have only three weights. "Assume a PERCEPTRON model with three inputs, whose weights are resp. [4, 5, 6]. What is the output of the neuron if an input of [1, 2, 3] is applied?" Question 15 You write "The dropout rate is set to 20%, meaning one in 5 inputs will be randomly excluded from each update cycle". This can be interpreted both as - "on average each input sample will be 1/5 smaller that its original" (correct) - "in a batch one in five samples will be ignored" (incorrect, it would work just like a smaller batch size) Plus, I'd point out that 0.2 does not represent the exact percentage of alive neurons at every update, but rather the probability of every single neuron to be switched off. What is true is that on average, over all the update cycles, the percentage of dropped neurons will be distributed around 20%. Question 17 I'd say that "Overfitting" and "Training is too slow" are actual training challenges, while "Restrict activations to become too high or low" is the effect of applying BN, which in turn helps with those challenges. Question 18 I've read the discussion with Quan Nguyen and I agree with his observation. Regarding your answer: when I depict a neural network I definitely see input neurons at the far left (or right if you prefer), but the first weights you encounter are the ones placed in the first layer, between the input neurons and the first group of hidden neurons. When you talk about "defining the concept in code" I think you refer to a Keras-like "InputLayer", but even in this case it's not like the weights of the input layer are not updated, but rather they do not exist and that layer simply acts as a placeholder. Question 20 Same here, I agree with Quan Nguyen that pointed out that max pooling is always intended to be larger than 1x1 or otherwise pointless. Of course you can write MaxPooling((1, 1)) and it would still work, but given the True/False nature of this question, I think it goes a bit too far in trying to trick the readers. One last note about the solutions. To me, many of the explanations provided don't seem to add much to the answer. For instance, take question 30 "What steps can we take to prevent overfitting in a Neural Network?", the answer is "E) All of the above" and the explanation is "All of the above mentioned methods can help in preventing overfitting problem", much clearer now...

BELAMIRI 07 Sep, 2017

Hi, In the intro to this post, it is mentioned that "Clearly, a lot of people start the test without understanding Deep Learning, which is not the case with other skill tests." I would like to know where I can find the other skill tests in questions. Indeed I would be interested to check the fields covered by these skill tests. Based on this example about deep learning, I tend to find this concept of skill test very useful to check your knowledge on a given field. Thanks in advance,

Bernd Wert
Bernd Wert 11 Dec, 2017

Answer of Question 7: It does not mention the meaning of S in the denominator.... Please explain. Great job!

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