The Bain Sova test is a new component of the Bain application process used to screen candidates before moving them on to live case interviews. This is a comprehensive psychometric test designed by Bain in partnership with Sova, which is a UK-based recruiting software and talent assessment company. It aims to test a candidate’s numerical and logical reasoning ability as an indicator of whether they are likely to perform well on case interviews.
What is the Bain Sova Test?
The Bain Sova test is designed to assess your aptitude along the following four dimensions:
Numerical Reasoning & Math
This section tests your ability to comprehend and compute quantitative data. You are provided with numerical information as an exhibit, usually in tabular or chart (e.g., line, bar, pie) form. You are expected to interpret the data and then solve a mathematical problem based on the exhibit.
This section tests your ability to interpret and evaluate complex qualitative data. You are provided with text in the form of passages that are typically 1-2 paragraphs long. You are expected to understand the text and then answer a multiple-choice question in which you are given a statement and you must determine whether it is true/false/cannot say based on the passage.
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This section tests your inductive reasoning abilities while working with abstract or numerical. They typically involve pattern recognition problems where you are given a series of either numbers or figures arranged in a logical sequence. You are expected to identify the logic behind the sequence and then determine which figure/number would come next out of the options provided.
This section tests your personality fit for a management consulting job and includes two types of questions:
Situational judgment questions provide you with a workplace situation and a set of different responses to that situation. Based on your personality and judgment of how favorable the response is, you must rank the responses in order of what you would be most likely to do to what you would be least likely to do.
General personality questions provide you with a sentence describing a trait or habit and you must rank them based on how closely it fits with your personality along a scale of most like me, to least like me. This is designed to be like the Myers-Briggs personality tests.
Each section of the Bain Sova assessment consists of about 15 questions and there is no time limit imposed on the candidate to complete the test.
How Does Bain Use Sova in Recruitment?
Bain uses the Sova Assessment after the resume screen and before the live case interview. The firm has currently launched the test in its application process for European and Asian offices. It is unclear whether the firm plans to include it in its process for other offices globally in the future.
Once candidates pass the resume screen, they are asked to take the Sova test online. While the test is not timed, candidates are judged on a combination of accuracy and speed of answering the questions. It is recommended that you aim to finish the test spending on average 30-45 seconds per question. Once you successfully pass the Bain Sova assessment, you are invited to a fit & case interview with a Bain interviewer.
Adding the Sova test to the application process adds an additional step of screening before offering a live interview. This not only makes the recruiting process more efficient and cost-effective for the company, it expands the top of the talent pipeline without taking additional time. Bain can evaluate more candidates while its interviewers spend the same amount of time interviewing candidates.
How To Prepare?
While Sova test prep goes together with case interview preparation that is traditionally needed for management consulting interviews, there are some additional steps that can be taken to improve your chances of cracking the assessment:
Understand the Types of Questions
Understand the different types of questions that are part of the Sova test. By reading this article, you are on the right track. Looking at example questions online on the Sova website and other third-party websites, as well as speaking to peers who have taken the test before will help improve your understanding of the test.
Practice Different Sections of the Test
Management Consulted offers a variety of math drills including exhibit-based questions on our website that can be used to prepare for the numerical reasoning section. This practice will help you identify which parts of the exhibit are relevant to answering the question and improve your speed on the actual test.
There are practice questions and tests available online that can help prepare for other sections of the assessment. The reading section (passage-based questions) on the SAT/ACT exam would also be good practice for verbal reasoning questions.
Make sure to time yourself and monitor your progress while practicing. Based on your performance during practice, you can identify the sections which you need to focus on and develop strategies that will help you improve your speed and accuracy. Interview coaches at Management Consulted can advise you on your progress and help you come up with a personalized strategy to ace the test.
The Bain Sova test is increasingly becoming an integral component of the application process for various Bain offices and it is important to be prepared to take this test before you submit your Bain application. The assessment is only testing your aptitude and there is no specialized knowledge required to do well on the test.
Remember that the evaluation process is holistic and that successful candidates do well on different parts of the test. It is more important to complete the test in a timely manner than to get all questions correct.
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