I heard that there is no specific problem solving test at Bain, only a kind of GMAT test (not like Mckinsey PST or BCG potential test).
What is the problem solving test version at Bain?
The written case which Vlad talks about is actually given at Final Round interviews, so comparing it to the PST is not particularly helpful.
You are right - Bain does not have a pre-interview problem solving test which is rolled out globally. However, local offices have started experimenting with their own "PST-like" versions - for example, our Africa offices are doing this. In other offices (e.g. London), Bain only currently uses a pre-screen quant/verbal test (think CEB SHL test, which you can find lots of examples online).
Hope this clears some things up!
Bain has a written case. Though it's not a test, it has somehow similar in nature to McKinsey PST. Basically, it has 2 parts:
- Case information you have to go through
- Slides with missing info you have to complete
I've uploaded the example here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zor4m49eyx5qxal/AABeUN6mtiGkWhEklRjszX2Oa?dl=0
(PM me for a password)
Since each question in a written case has an exact correct answer, the success criteria is the number of questions answered correctly.
The best way to prepare is the following:
- Prepare both McKinsey and BCG type tests - it helps
- Check if the calculator is allowed. 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
- Prepare for a regular case interview - it helps a lot. Basically, prep lounge website is about it
- 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 answer depends on the office you are applying for. In Brazil for example Bain is using a test that is a mix between the GMAT and the BCG Potential test, with 15 questions for each part. I would recommend verifying with HR for the specific office you are applying for.
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The case study is the most important element of the case interview, which you'll have to nail in order to get into strategic consulting. Here you can learn the specific skills and concepts necessary to solve them.
Written tests such as the PSTs
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