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Francesco

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7

Has anyone taken the BCG 2021 Potential Test? If so, could you share your experience, which industry is covered?

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Hi there,

First of all, I would check if you have to do the Potential Test or the Online Case Experience (Chat Bot version). In both cases, the industry is not important compared to preparing on some of the points below.

POTENTIAL TEST

The BCG Potential Test - also called Online Case in some offices - 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.

Calculators are generally not allowed, but there are exceptions in some countries - you can clarify that with HR if needed.

I recommend the following approach to prepare:

  1. Look online for reliable BCG test simulations. You can find an example here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/bcg-potential-test-1-13
  2. If possible, don’t print the sample tests; rather, do the simulations on your computer. The day of the test you won’t be able write notes near the questions or turn pages. If you practice on a paper version, you will find different dynamics the day of the interview that could impact your performance. You should also do all the simulations with a time constraint
  3. After each test write down the mistakes you did. You will probably find that the mistakes have something in common – eg wrong math, too much time wasted on some questions, wrong interpretation of graph
  4. Work on each area of improvement. Many candidates do these simulations checking only the final score and don’t spend time analyzing the mistakes - thus they don’t improve
  5. Once you have done all the BCG test simulations, move to PST practice. You can find a good number of PST tests online. The PST is different from the Potential Test – in the PST there are multiple cases, the types of questions are different and you have more time available. However, it may still help to improve your performance

As additional notes:

  • Remember you are penalized for wrong answers - you should adapt your strategy accordingly
  • Aim to identify the main areas of improvements already with the first test - the typical ones are math, graph interpretation and ability to absorb information quickly
  • Try to distribute the tests between the day you start practicing and the day of the test for constant learning – avoid to do them just at the end

If you want to practice on a real example of a BCG Potential Test, you can find the one I published below:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/bcg-potential-testonline-case-1-13

With this test you will be able to:

  • Prepare on the exact same format of the BCG Potential Test – 23 questions in 45 minutes
  • Identify your possible improvements thanks to detailed solutions for all the 23 questions
  • Practice on material tested by multiple candidates who did the test and successfully passed the Potential Test.

Below you can find a screenshot of the test:

CHAT BOT VERSION

The Online Case Experience (also called Chat Bot Case) is a new 8-question test BCG started to use in 2019 globally. It is structured in 2 parts:

  • 8 questions to be taken in 25 minutes
  • 1 video interview question at the end, where you have to provide a recommendation

There are some variations in some countries, which is why sometimes you hear it is a 10-question test. The 8 question format is the most common though.

The main differences compared to the previous version (BCG Potential Test) are the following:

  1. 8 questions instead of 23
  2. 25 min instead of 45
  3. No negative points
  4. Calculators allowed
  5. Presence of open questions
  6. Video sum up at the end

The general logic though is similar to the old test.

I helped several candidates who did the chat bot test and succeeded in it. The main challenges based on their feedback are:

  1. Time. Questions are not particularly difficult, however you will feel time constraints also due to the fact you don’t know how difficult could be the next questions - thus how much time they may require.
    • Implication --> Try to practice PST and/or BCG Potential Tests with a strict time constraint
  2. Math. Candidates usually find the math challenging
    • Implication --> Many candidates said the old BCG Potential Test is the one resembling the most the math required
  3. Chat bot interaction. Unlike a test like the McK PST, you cannot proceed “at your own pace”. You will have to follow the evolution of the test. In that sense, it is not dissimilar from the old BCG Potential Test, where information was revealed step-by-step
    • Implication --> Practice on PST/Potential Tests working questions by questions, without skipping any

Please feel free to PM me for more info.

Best,
Francesco

Hi there,

First of all, I would check if you have to do the Potential Test or the Online Case Experience (Chat Bot version). In both cases, the industry is not important compared to preparing on some of the points below.

POTENTIAL TEST

The BCG Potential Test - also called Online Case in some offices - 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.

Calculators are generally not allowed, but there are exceptions in some countries - you can clarify that with HR if needed.

I recommend the following approach to prepare:

  1. Look online for reliable BCG test simulations. You can find an example here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/bcg-potential-test-1-13
  2. If possible, don’t print the sample tests; rather, do the simulations on your computer. The day of the test you won’t be able write notes near the questions or turn pages. If you practice on a paper version, you will find different dynamics the day of the interview that could impact your performance. You should also do all the simulations with a time constraint
  3. After each test write down the mistakes you did. You will probably find that the mistakes have something in common – eg wrong math, too much time wasted on some questions, wrong interpretation of graph
  4. Work on each area of improvement. Many candidates do these simulations checking only the final score and don’t spend time analyzing the mistakes - thus they don’t improve
  5. Once you have done all the BCG test simulations, move to PST practice. You can find a good number of PST tests online. The PST is different from the Potential Test – in the PST there are multiple cases, the types of questions are different and you have more time available. However, it may still help to improve your performance

As additional notes:

  • Remember you are penalized for wrong answers - you should adapt your strategy accordingly
  • Aim to identify the main areas of improvements already with the first test - the typical ones are math, graph interpretation and ability to absorb information quickly
  • Try to distribute the tests between the day you start practicing and the day of the test for constant learning – avoid to do them just at the end

If you want to practice on a real example of a BCG Potential Test, you can find the one I published below:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/bcg-potential-testonline-case-1-13

With this test you will be able to:

  • Prepare on the exact same format of the BCG Potential Test – 23 questions in 45 minutes
  • Identify your possible improvements thanks to detailed solutions for all the 23 questions
  • Practice on material tested by multiple candidates who did the test and successfully passed the Potential Test.

Below you can find a screenshot of the test:

CHAT BOT VERSION

The Online Case Experience (also called Chat Bot Case) is a new 8-question test BCG started to use in 2019 globally. It is structured in 2 parts:

  • 8 questions to be taken in 25 minutes
  • 1 video interview question at the end, where you have to provide a recommendation

There are some variations in some countries, which is why sometimes you hear it is a 10-question test. The 8 question format is the most common though.

The main differences compared to the previous version (BCG Potential Test) are the following:

  1. 8 questions instead of 23
  2. 25 min instead of 45
  3. No negative points
  4. Calculators allowed
  5. Presence of open questions
  6. Video sum up at the end

The general logic though is similar to the old test.

I helped several candidates who did the chat bot test and succeeded in it. The main challenges based on their feedback are:

  1. Time. Questions are not particularly difficult, however you will feel time constraints also due to the fact you don’t know how difficult could be the next questions - thus how much time they may require.
    • Implication --> Try to practice PST and/or BCG Potential Tests with a strict time constraint
  2. Math. Candidates usually find the math challenging
    • Implication --> Many candidates said the old BCG Potential Test is the one resembling the most the math required
  3. Chat bot interaction. Unlike a test like the McK PST, you cannot proceed “at your own pace”. You will have to follow the evolution of the test. In that sense, it is not dissimilar from the old BCG Potential Test, where information was revealed step-by-step
    • Implication --> Practice on PST/Potential Tests working questions by questions, without skipping any

Please feel free to PM me for more info.

Best,
Francesco

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Hey there,

Please clarify with HR if you are doing the older Online Case or the newly introduced chatbot case.

In general, for both the industry context has no impact. It is important to focus on the key skills the case evaluates. You need to have an approach that works regardless of domain expertise (see below for the key skills).

It is likely that you will deal with the new chatbot case. I have had several candidates who recently took it and provided some insights as well as BCG consultants who took it 'for fun and calibration.

The format is different from the previous Online Case, however, the types of questions are the same (math, word problems, logical reasoning, chart interpretation). You are asked to solve a business case of a fictional client.

Consequently, you should prepare in a similar fashion. Your counterpart will be a chatbot, who will ask you subsequent questions, which are sometimes related. As you rightly said, the questions are multiple-choice, open format, where you have to write up to 3 lines, as well as a one-minute video interview.

In order to prepare, use existing materials for the Online Case and focus on

  • Case math skills
  • Chart interpretation skills
  • Logical reasoning skills ala GMAT and others
  • Top-down communication and synthesis

I copy from my own source:

  • The new type of assessment will be online and can be taken from home before the interview rounds
  • The test lasts around 30 minutes and has a maximum of 8-10 questions (contrary to 45 minutes and 23 questions of the old format)
  • Some open questions instead of single/ multiple-choice questions
  • The scoring of answers is unclear as they also contain qualitative elements, however, there are no negative points for wrong answers
  • Calculators are allowed
  • At the end of the test, there will be a short, roughly 1-minute video recording, in which you will have to explain your recommendations and analytical approach to a fictional client

Let me know if you need help with it.

I have written a longer free article on both types of the Online Case / Potential Test here: https://strategycase.com/bcgs-online-case/

Cheers,

Florian

Hey there,

Please clarify with HR if you are doing the older Online Case or the newly introduced chatbot case.

In general, for both the industry context has no impact. It is important to focus on the key skills the case evaluates. You need to have an approach that works regardless of domain expertise (see below for the key skills).

It is likely that you will deal with the new chatbot case. I have had several candidates who recently took it and provided some insights as well as BCG consultants who took it 'for fun and calibration.

The format is different from the previous Online Case, however, the types of questions are the same (math, word problems, logical reasoning, chart interpretation). You are asked to solve a business case of a fictional client.

Consequently, you should prepare in a similar fashion. Your counterpart will be a chatbot, who will ask you subsequent questions, which are sometimes related. As you rightly said, the questions are multiple-choice, open format, where you have to write up to 3 lines, as well as a one-minute video interview.

In order to prepare, use existing materials for the Online Case and focus on

  • Case math skills
  • Chart interpretation skills
  • Logical reasoning skills ala GMAT and others
  • Top-down communication and synthesis

I copy from my own source:

  • The new type of assessment will be online and can be taken from home before the interview rounds
  • The test lasts around 30 minutes and has a maximum of 8-10 questions (contrary to 45 minutes and 23 questions of the old format)
  • Some open questions instead of single/ multiple-choice questions
  • The scoring of answers is unclear as they also contain qualitative elements, however, there are no negative points for wrong answers
  • Calculators are allowed
  • At the end of the test, there will be a short, roughly 1-minute video recording, in which you will have to explain your recommendations and analytical approach to a fictional client

Let me know if you need help with it.

I have written a longer free article on both types of the Online Case / Potential Test here: https://strategycase.com/bcgs-online-case/

Cheers,

Florian

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Hi,

I'm sorry but this isn't the right approach.

Any and every industry and topic can be covered.

Just for reference, I've seen shipping/transport, banking/finance, oil & gas, etc.

Just like when preparing for casing, you cannot prepare for any one thing specifically here. Rather, you need to learn how to learn or learn how to think through any problem.

=================================================================

Now, how do you prepare for this?

All of these 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

Hi,

I'm sorry but this isn't the right approach.

Any and every industry and topic can be covered.

Just for reference, I've seen shipping/transport, banking/finance, oil & gas, etc.

Just like when preparing for casing, you cannot prepare for any one thing specifically here. Rather, you need to learn how to learn or learn how to think through any problem.

=================================================================

Now, how do you prepare for this?

All of these 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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Hi

I can tell you the following about the new online case assessment:

  • Case consists of 8 - 10 questions, Chat-bot based
  • In the end, you have to record a 1minute video, you have one minute to prepare
  • 25 minutes to complete the test
  • Make sure not to close any exhibits you might need them later again, so make sure to not close any windows
  • Questions can be multiple-choice, short answer or fill-in
  • There are multiple industries covered, this will be different from candidate to candidate

I would try to make sure that your answers still follow a top-down approach, be as precise as possible.

Hope that helps.

Kind regards,
Lukas

Hi

I can tell you the following about the new online case assessment:

  • Case consists of 8 - 10 questions, Chat-bot based
  • In the end, you have to record a 1minute video, you have one minute to prepare
  • 25 minutes to complete the test
  • Make sure not to close any exhibits you might need them later again, so make sure to not close any windows
  • Questions can be multiple-choice, short answer or fill-in
  • There are multiple industries covered, this will be different from candidate to candidate

I would try to make sure that your answers still follow a top-down approach, be as precise as possible.

Hope that helps.

Kind regards,
Lukas

Thanks for your advice Lukas. If I could imagine something similar to what you described that would be the cases from the BCG Interactive Case Library rather than the BCG past Med-Lines test ? Even though they both cover the same skill sets — Sandra on Feb 02, 2021

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Hi there,

in addition to what has been already said: you don't really need to have a deep knowledge about any industry. What is being tested is your ability to apply logic and reasoning to a problem.

You need to know your maths though :)

Feel free to write me if you need any help regarding the preparation for the test! Happy to help.

Cheers,

GB

Hi there,

in addition to what has been already said: you don't really need to have a deep knowledge about any industry. What is being tested is your ability to apply logic and reasoning to a problem.

You need to know your maths though :)

Feel free to write me if you need any help regarding the preparation for the test! Happy to help.

Cheers,

GB

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Hi, I have some past tests to practice with. Feel free to text me for sharing

Best,
Antonello

Hi, I have some past tests to practice with. Feel free to text me for sharing

Best,
Antonello

Hey Antonello, would you mind sharing them with me? Thanks! — Sabine on Feb 11, 2021

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Hello!

For both the test-that has been amazingly explained by my colleagues- and the cases, industry-specific knowledge does not give you a considerable competitive strategy.

This test the way you think and problem-solve, not your previous knowledge.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

For both the test-that has been amazingly explained by my colleagues- and the cases, industry-specific knowledge does not give you a considerable competitive strategy.

This test the way you think and problem-solve, not your previous knowledge.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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