Did you apply for a position at Bain & Company and receive an email from a recruiter asking you to take a test? The Bain Online Test is becoming the first hurdle to clear in the interview process with the firm. While our data tells us the Bain Online Test is not employed in every office or for every role, it is seeing increasing use as a screening tool similar to the McKinsey PST / Digital Assessment and BCG Online Case / Pymetrics Test.
Composed of multiple parts, the Bain Online Test assesses an individual’s skills (problem-solving, analytical, logical reasoning, etc.) – all under extreme time pressure. In this article, we’ll explore what the Bain Online Test is and how to prepare for it.
What Is the Bain Online Test (Assessment)?
Bain & Company, as a top global consulting firm, is invested in procuring the best candidates for future employment. As a precursor to obtaining an interview at Bain & Company, the Bain Online Test (or assessment) is used to evaluate potential strengths and weaknesses and to filter out candidates in the early stages of the application process. Why? This saves the firm thousands of hours – and a lot of money – by avoiding wasted time from interviewing candidates that get through the resume screening but don’t have the chops to do the job.
The Bain Online Assessment is a bit of a doozy. It has components that are like the GMAT, which many aspiring MBA program candidates take months to prepare for. But GMAT-like questions are only one component of the Bain Online Test. You must also be ready for a case interview, personality assessment, and more. But what can make the Bain Online Assessment trickier than the McKinsey or BCG equivalents is that the test is not standardized. Questions, format, length, and more may differ across regions and offices, making it even more difficult to prepare for.
The Bain Online Test is typically composed of five general elements:
- An aptitude test
- A personality test
- An analytical test
- A business case
- A video interview
Some good news: you’re likely to only see 2-3 elements in your test process, not all 5. What are the segments like? Like traditional standardized tests, the aptitude section of the Bain Online Test is focused on three different types of reasoning skills: verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, and logical reasoning. In contrast, the personality test is focused on a psychographic assessment which determines how you would fit into Bain’s culture.
The analytical section of the Bain Online Test closely resembles the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and focuses on multiple choice questions in the areas of critical reasoning, data analysis, and problem-solving. Like testing at other consulting firms, the business case section includes questions which measure reading comprehension, mathematical skills, deductive reasoning, and communication skills. Finally, the video interview is a recorded one-way interview that is meant to showcase how you present yourself in “real life” and includes multiple fit and case questions.
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How To Prepare for The Bain Online Test
Make no mistake, you can and should prepare for the Bain Online Test. Like any assessment, prepare for the Bain Online Test by studying the test format and potential questions. Specifically, there are a variety of practice assessments and test questions available to prepare for the Bain Online Test. Because the assessment has similar questions to the GMAT or the SOVA assessment, you can also prepare with practice tests for those assessments as well.
In addition, you should study each section of the test and refresh your skills in those areas. GMAT prep resources will be incredibly helpful for a large portion of the Bain Online Assessment. For the business case section, you can utilize our McKinsey PST prep guide, since the tests are similar. For the video interview, read up on case and fit interviews. And, of course, because the Bain Online Test is given on a computer, make sure your technology is updated and that you have everything that you need to complete the test from start to finish.
Is This the Same as The Bain Multiple Choice Test?
The Bain Online Test is not the same as the Bain multiple choice test. While the Bain multiple choice test includes a one-way interview and multiple-choice questions, the Bain Online Test includes multiple assessments. If you need to know whether you are taking the Bain Online Test or the multiple-choice test, pay attention to the language used by your recruiter. Reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager for clarification if you’re uncertain.
Tips For Passing the Bain Online Assessment
There are a variety of tips and recommendations to ensure you perform to your potential on the Bain Online Test. First, for those who have taken standardized tests such as the SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc., many of the prep tips for those tests also apply to the Bain Online Test. For example, remember to read all instructions carefully and take notes as you work through the assessment. It will also be helpful to refresh your skills in subject areas that you are not as familiar with, such as mathematics, logical reasoning, and reading comprehension.
At the same time, because this is a time-based test, time management is critical. You must avoid overthinking. One of the simplest, yet most effective, test-taking strategies is employing the process of elimination. Identify and eliminate clearly wrong answers first, so that you can then quickly analyze the remaining choices.
Be sure to refer to the instructions that Bain gives to see if there are penalties for wrong answers. If guess penalties are in play, skipping a problem is better than having points deducted for wrong answers. Pro tip: double-check those instructions to see if calculators are allowed (but practice like they won’t be).
The Bain Online Test has traditionally remained clouded in ambiguity – until today! It is possible to prepare for it. And, chances are, if you are given the opportunity to take it, the firm likely thinks you have what it takes to make it through the Bain interview process. If you put the prep time in – meaning, you build the requisite analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills – the Bain Online Test shouldn’t be too much for you to handle!
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- Case Interview: Complete Prep Guide