Aptitude Tests in the Consulting Industry – A Pocket Guide

In the following article, we will give an overview of the most common aptitude tests used by major employers in the consulting industry.

While aptitude tests are prevalent among most (if not all) major employers, the consulting industry is currently setting a standard in innovative, unique aptitude tests.

We will begin by explaining what aptitude tests are and why they are used and continue by describing the aptitude tests of six highly lucrative consulting firms:

  • BCG – Pymetrics Games
  • McKinsey – McKinsey Problem Solving Game (PSG)
  • Bain & Company – SOVA Online Assessment
  • Deloitte – The Deloitte Online Immersive Assessment
  • KPMG – Pymetrics Games
  • PwC – SkyRise City, AON SmartPredict, and SHL

Note: Some employers use more than one assessment for a given position. Bear in mind that these assessments vary between positions. You should always do due diligence in checking which test you are about to take.

What Are Aptitude Tests

‘Aptitude tests’ is a very broad definition for tests designed to assess your ability to perform certain tasks. Therefore, aptitude tests assess a virtually infinite variety of abilities – ranging from basic math to computer programming.

Yet in the job market, aptitude tests mostly assess cognitive skills – a collection of core functions the brain uses to store and process information.

Cognitive skills, in turn, are vicariously assessed by a series of practical tests – and these are what most people mean when they use the term “aptitude tests”.

Why Are Consulting Firms Using Aptitude Tests?

Cognitive skills measured by aptitude tests have a very strong correlation with an individual’s ability to solve problems, process information, and generally perform all sorts of mental tasks required in modern industries.

Yet it’s not all about skills – aptitude tests form a sort of automated screening method which allows employers to narrow down the candidate pool quickly and efficiently. Usually, around 80% of the lowest-scoring candidates will be eliminated at this stage.

Sad, but true.

The enormous demand for jobs, combined with the simplicity of applying to multiple jobs through the internet, has made this automated step essential for the hiring process of nearly all major employers.

And the highly competitive consulting industry is no exception.

Main Aptitude Tests in Consulting

In nearly all cases, aptitude tests for the consulting industry are not conducted by the employers, rather by companies referred to as test providers. Each employer chooses its own preferred test provider, based on a variety of factors.

Below we will briefly present the most popular aptitude tests used by six of the largest employers in consulting:

  • BCG – Pymetrics Games
  • McKinsey – McKinsey Problem Solving Game (PSG)
  • Bain & Company – SOVA Online Assessment
  • Deloitte – The Deloitte Online Immersive Assessment
  • KPMG – Pymetrics Games
  • PwC – SkyRise City, AON SmartPredict, and SHL

BCG

Boston Consulting Group uses a gamified test that is rapidly gaining popularity – the Pymetrics Games.

To be exact, Pymetrics Games are not aptitude tests, but personality tests. The test is actually a series of 12 simple psychological games, analyzing 91 personality traits such as generosity, effort, attention, or risk tolerance.

While a common misconception presents Pymetrics as a harmless game that you cannot and should not prepare to, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Your behavior is constantly monitored, and by understanding the way these tests work, you absolutely can prepare for them and top your competitors.

Visit the Ultimate Guide for Pymetrics for a detailed description and accurate practice simulations of the Pymetrics Games.

 

McKinsey

McKinsey uses one of the most unique and elaborate aptitude tests in the industry, known as the McKinsey Problem Solving Game (PSG), or Imbellus.

This test is, in fact, a game (or rather, a collection of mini-games), replacing the company’s older PST (Problem Solving Test), and evaluating critical thinking, decision-making, situational awareness, and more.

Get a complete overview of the McKinsey PSG, including screenshots, preparation tips, and access to an interactive simulation of the assessment.

 

Bain & Company

Unlike the other two firms on the Big Three, Bain & Company uses a much more traditional-looking aptitude test – the SOVA Aptitude Test.

It is a three-section assessment conducted by test provider SOVA, containing multiple-choice numerical, verbal, and abstract reasoning questions.

Solve some sample questions and get familiar with Bain’s SOVA Aptitude Test.

 

Deloitte

Being the largest of the Big 4 and employing nearly 350,000 employees, Deloitte conducts a large variety of tests to its candidates.

The most popular of which, however, is the Deloitte Online Immersive Assessment, tailored and administered specifically for Deloitte by test provider Cappfinity.

This 35-question test is a simulation of an ongoing project in Deloitte, based on which you are required to answer cognitive, situational judgment, and personality profiling questions. To solve these questions, you will be constantly going through various info sources, including videos, data charts, and voice messages from your superiors.

 

KPMG

Like many of its competitors in the finance industry, KPMG also uses Pymetrics Games extensively for recruitment and has been doing so for the last number of years.

Visit the Ultimate Guide for Pymetrics for a detailed description and accurate practice simulations of the Pymetrics Games.

 

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)

PwC uses several aptitude tests, which often vary based on both position and location. Some of the popular tests the company uses are:

SkyRise City – a highly gamified, interactive assessment comprised of 9 mini-games assessing memory, decision-making, risk tolerance, and more. The game is developed by test provider Arctic Shores.

AON SmartPredict – a collection of four gamified challenges assessing thinking skills, attention span, and reaction speed.

SHL Tests – SHL is one of the world’s largest providers, and until recently has been almost the exclusive test provider for PwC. Their tests are more traditional in structure and contain numerical, verbal, and logical tasks.

Prepare and Pass Your Aptitude Test in Consulting

All employers in the consulting industry use some form of aptitude test in their hiring process. Science shows that the most effective preparation for a cognitive task is achieved by simulating the actual task as closely as possible.

Therefore, to pass the assessment, beat your competitors, and get a job in consulting, you must be fully prepared for the exact assessment you are about to take.

Do your research, find out your test, and prepare accordingly.

At JobTestPrep, we offer accurate test preparation for most major consulting employers, including McKinsey, Bain & Company, BCG, and more.

 

This article was written by Shlomik Silbiger, JobTestPrep’s expert for finance industry assessments. Feel free to contact Shlomik at ask_shlomik@jobtestprep.com.