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First round BCG Netherlands

Anonymous A

Dear all,

in a couple of weeks I will have my first round of interviews at BCG's Amsterdam office. A component of the first round is the 'online case' does anyone know if this is a case similar to the cases in the interactive case library on BCG's website? Or is it more quantitative, a bit similar to the PST at McK?

many thanks

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Vlad replied on 04/10/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

You may have either Online Test or Written Case (pls check with an HR)

I've uploaded some samples here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zor4m49eyx5qxal/AABeUN6mtiGkWhEklRjszX2Oa?dl=0

(ask me for a password)

As for particular recommendations for online test:

  1. Try to find as many people in your country as you can who have done the test. Ask them for the topic, industry, and questions they remember. For example in one of the countries there was a test about airlines and reading a couple of articles / company reports / wikipedia articles with industry terms could significantly improve performance
  2. Try to practice tests with strict time-management. McKinsey PST from the official web site and all mck and bcg -like tests you can find online
  3. Additional resources can be GMAT Integrated reasoning from the official guides and apps if you feel that you are not p[erforming well
  4. As far as I remember calculator is allowed on BCG test. Make sure you know how to simplify calculations and use it fast

The best way to prepare for the written case is the following:

  1. Check if the calculator is allowed. So far it was. If not - you have to train mental math. I posted the main tips here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/tips-to-do-big-multiplications-in-my-mind-726#a1422
  2. Prepare for a regular case interview - it helps a lot. Basically, prep lounge website is about it
  3. Practice making slides. Look for publically available MBB presentations for reference. Good books are "Pyramid Principle" and "How to make it with charts"
  4. Practice reading cases fast and prioritizing the information. I found useful two sources:
  • Written cases you'll be able to find in google or in case books. I've seen a couple in "Vault Guide to the Case Interview" and "Insead Business Admission Test"
  • Harvard cases - either buy or try to find online. You can find a couple of MIT cases here for free: https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/Pages/Case-Studies.aspx Unfortunately free cases don't have the prep questions.

The appropriate structure for BCG written case is:

Slide 1: Context, Objective, Recommendations

Slide 2-4: Analysis (Usually 1 slide with a table, 1 slide with graphs and 1 slide with pros and cons)

Slide 5: Next steps or risks & mitigation

Good luck!

Francesco replied on 04/10/2018
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for coaching sessions (1400+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

the BCG online case (Potential test) is a multiple choice computer test with 23 questions to be answered in 45 minutes. It has one single case only. You receive +3 for each right answer, 0 for no answer and -1 for a wrong answer.

For the preparation I would recommend the following:

  • Practice as much as you can on Potential test simulations. You should be able to find online the Med-Lines case, either on a PrepLounge or on Scribd (just google that). After that, Igotanoffer has several others you can purchase online
  • Once completed the BCG test simulations, move to PST practice. You can find a good number of PST test online for free. PST is different from the Potential test (the structure is not the same, in the Potential test you get penalized for wrong questions while in the McK PST you don’t, etc), but it is definitely closer to that than GMAT questions.
  • Do all the simulations with a time constraint. Then, after each test, report all the mistakes you did in the test. You will likely find mistakes have something in common (eg, wrong math; too much time wasted on some questions; wrong interpretation of graph; etc). Then work on these categories one by one. Many people do these simulations concentrating only on the final score and don’t spend time categorizing the type of mistakes, thus not improving their performance.
  • If possible, don’t print the sample tests; rather, do the simulations while at your computer. As it is a computer test, during the actual one you cannot write down notes near the questions and you will have to go back and forth to the different parts online; if you practice on the paper version only, you will find different dynamics the day of the interview which could influence your performance.

As additional notes:

  • Calculators are generally not allowed, but there are exceptions in some countries (you can clarify that with HR).
  • You have to take into account you get penalized for wrong answers, so you should adapt your strategy accordingly.
  • Math practice, graph interpretation and quick reading training can also be useful. You can find some more comments on that at the following link:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/online-analytical-tests-483

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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