Any feedback/tips for the Bain Online Pre-Screening Test for SEA Office?

Bain Bain & Company Online Assessment Online Tests
New answer on Apr 09, 2021
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 07, 2021

Hello! Has anyone recently taken the Bain Online Pre-Screening Test? Based on my research, it’s mostly used in the SEA offices. According to the invitation, the test consists of 25 multiple-choice questions based on practical Bain casework; there will be 50 minutes to complete the test. The test will be powered by HireVue and there will be no digital video interview portion. Does anyone have any feedback on this test?

I’m assuming it’s similar to the McKinsey PST. However I’m curious about certain details like:

1. Are calculators allowed?
2. Are you allowed to revisit/revise previously answered questions?
3. Will you be required to turn on your webcam while accomplishing the test.

I’m not sure if it would be okay to ask my recruiter these questions. So any tips/input/advice for anyone who has taken it will be greatly appreciated!

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Florian
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replied on Apr 07, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

You are correct. It is very similar to the former PST or the former BCG Online Case.

It is divided into sub-cases, with each case representing a typical client problem accompanied by a lot of information in text and exhibits.

In general, it consists of four types of questions:

  • Reading comprehension requires you to read, filter, and understand information and data from text, charts, and other exhibits to select an answer that correctly reflects the data
  • Math word problems require you to set up and perform simple to medium-complexity calculations. Consulting math will never be too difficult. The challenge comes from the time limit and the stressful situation
  • Deductive reasoning questions will have you select true or false statements
  • Recommendation questions have you choose a specific recommendation for the case from a given selection

To your questions:

1. Yes, there is no way for them to check so it is allowed. The tricky part is rather to come up with coming up with the correct equations.

2. I believe so since some of the questions are all linked together.

3. No!

If you want to read more about it, I have written an article about it here: https://strategycase.com/the-bain-online-test/

Kind regards,

Florian

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Ian
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updated an answer on Apr 07, 2021
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Hi there,

  1. Generally they are not. The test will tell you.
  2. Generally, yes. Again, the test should tell you. If you can go back, then, of course, skip any "difficult" questions and come back to then at the end - this tactic maximixes your chances of answering more questions correctly
  3. Nope!

General Preparation Tips

Honestly, all of these online tests are very similar

Format? Somewhat. Content and what's required from you ability-wise? Not at all.

The best way is to really find online tests / questions and practice. Regardless as to whether is a new or old test, the principles are mostly the same:

  • Time management (need to think quick)
  • Business knowledge/context (incl key formulas)
  • Critical thinking (answers that are very similar to each other...clues "hidden" in the text)
  • Ability to interpret data/charts

Think of it as a merge of a case and the GMAT/GRE.

You need to be clear on some key case-related and account formulas (margin, growth, breakeven, etc) as well as be good at critically understanding the question (including nuance to questions) and parsing through complicated text with a fair amount of distraction.

You'll also need to be good at chart/graph reading.

The (old) McKinsey PST, BCG Online Test, Bain SOVA test, etc. are all quite similar so leverage resources across all of them.

https://www.myconsultingoffer.org/case-study-interview-prep/bcg-online/

https://www.shl.com/shldirect/en/practice-tests

https://www.psychometricinstitute.co.uk/Free-Aptitude-Tests.asp

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 08, 2021
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Hi there,

I just helped a candidate who passed the Bain SEA test. For this particular candidate, there was also the final video interview part.

PST and BCG Potential Test would indeed be good to practice for it, the questions are quite similar.

Answering your questions:

  1. Calculators are not allowed (in theory) – they explicitly mention this in the initial instructions. However, they cannot really check it ;)
  2. You cannot go back to previous questions
  3. When the assessment includes the video interview, the webcam is automatically activated once you login. I don’t think they will use it to check if you are doing the test on your own though, rather just for the video part. Not sure if the webcam is activated automatically in case you don’t have the video part

If you have additional questions please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous B on Apr 08, 2021

I recently did the test in SEA and can confirm that Francesco's answer is the correct one

Clara
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replied on Apr 09, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Most of the online tests are very similar, and test the same skillset. It´s a good thing, since you can prep for them with a very unified approach. Although this may not seem so at first sight since the formats may differ, what is important here -as well as when solving cases- is the core skillset they are tryng to test. This is common, and the most important skills are:

80-20 analysis: capacity to analize, interpret and extract conclusions quickly and in a agile way from a ton of data -of which not all is useful-

Analytic and critical thinking: many ways tested with graphs, charts and tables, that you need to understand and derive decisions or insights from

Mathematical skills: are always somehow present, for which you need to be fast int he basics

The way to get better is practicing as much as possible with similar exercises -those targeted at the same skillset-. Hence, I would strongly recomment you practice it with the Integrated Reasoning part of the GMAT exam.

There are free exams in the internet that you can use for practice (the one of LBS MBA page, Verits prep, as well as some free trials for courses such as the one of The Economist (https://gmat.economist.com/)

Furthermore, you can leverage the MBB tests (https://www.myconsultingoffer.org/case-study-interview-prep/bcg-online/, https://www.psychometricinstitute.co.uk/Free-Aptitude-Tests.asp, and many others)

Hope it helps!

Best,

Clara

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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