BCG Pymetrics Test - What It Looks Like and Traits It Measures

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BCG Pymetrics test

The BCG Pymetrics test is an online, game-based assessment that measures candidates on the personal traits required to succeed at BCG. If you’ve applied for a consulting position with BCG, you may have been asked to take the Pymetrics test.

The test is beneficial for BCG because it efficiently identifies candidates with traits that match those of successful BCG consultants and moves them forward to in-person interviews. It’s good for candidates too because this efficiency allows BCG to consider candidates beyond a small group of core schools where BCG recruits on campus.

In this article, we’ll tell you what the test looks like, what traits it measures, and how to prepare for it.

Let’s get started!

What Is the BCG Pymetrics Test?

The BCG Pymetrics test is a series of short mini-games you can take on your smartphone. There are 12 mini-games which take 2-3 minutes each. Candidates may be asked to complete one game or several. The games asses a variety of skills and traits including:

  • Attention & Focus
  • Effort
  • Generosity & Fairness
  • Learning
  • Decision making
  • Risk tolerance
  • Emotional intelligence
Overall, the BCG Pymetrics test takes 25 minutes to complete.

How Does BCG Use the Pymetrics Test?

Pymetrics test

Pymetrics does pioneering work on using neuroscience games and artificial intelligence to match candidates with jobs in a bias-free way.

Pymetrics games

Its short neuroscience games, like the balloon pump mini game pictured to the right, measure traits such as cognitive flexibility, attention control, risk tolerance, and more.

These traits are non-directional, meaning that there is “no wrong answer,” but rather some behaviors are better for a particular role at a particular company than others.

Job candidates’ traits are compared to those of high-performing employees for the hiring firm, as measured by the results of those employees on these same neuroscience tests.

Why Does the BCG Pymetrics Test Measure Personal Traits?

BCG, as well as other top management consulting firms, are looking for great problem solvers, which is why the case interview is important to their decisions on which candidates get offers.

But they’re also trying to hire a wide variety of people, particularly those who think differently.

Consulting clients face different types of business situations:

    • stable, slow-growth markets,
    • fast-growth markets with evolving technology,
    • markets that can be manipulated by dominant players or new and disruptive business models.

The strategies and leadership traits that will succeed in these markets differ dramatically. Because of this, BCG wants different types of thinkers on its consulting teams. This will enable their teams to develop solutions that will be successful across a wide variety of industries and markets.

By measuring personal traits with the BCG Pymetrics test,  the company hopes to hire people who think differently and will help their teams identify the best solutions for their clients.

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What Traits Does the BCG Pymetrics Test Assess?

Here are the skills the BCG Pymetrics test accesses and the examples of its 12 mini-games:

    • Attention & Focus – You’re shown a series of different colored shapes and asked to tap the screen when a particular shape  or color appears.
    • Emotional intelligence – You’re shown images of faces with different facial expressions. Some faces will have a short bit of textual information. You’re asked to determine the person’s emotion.
    • Effort & Decision-making – You’re asked to choose between an easy and a hard task based on their difficulty levels, the rewards, and the likelihood of success. This measures the way you balance effort and reward and how you prioritize tasks.
    • Fairness & Generosity – Money is distributed between you and a partner. You are allowed to send money to your partner and it will be tripled. They are allowed to send some back to you. After the transaction, you’re asked to judge whether the distribution was fair or unfair.
    • Decision making – You’re shown 3 towers made of colored rings. Then you’re shown a target tower and asked to recreate it by reordering the rings using the fewest moves possible.
    • Learning – You’re asked to memorize a series of digits in order. Then the order will be changed and you’ll be asked to put them in the original order.
    • Risk tolerance – You earn points by pumping air into a balloon. The larger the balloon gets, the more points you earn. You can bank your money and move on to the next balloon, or continue pumping, but you lose points if the balloon pops. (See image above.)

Once your profile is established, it’s compared to the profiles of successful BCG consultants. Good matches result in candidates moving on in the interview process.

Logical Reasoning & Quantitative Skills Games

Source: graduatesfirst.com

In addition to the personality-trait games, there are 4 games based on logical reasoning and quantitative skills. These 4 games take 7-10 minutes to complete. They include completing a numerical sequence or a pattern, identifying simple shapes found in a complex shape, and identifying which of two images has a higher proportion of dots of a certain color.

After taking the test, candidates receive a Traits Report from Pymetrics that documents their personal traits as assessed by the mini-games. For example, the feedback might say that your risk tolerance is high or your emotional intelligence is low. See the example below for more details.

BCG Pymetrics Test feedback shows the trait that was being measured on the test and the candidates results.
Source: Pymetrics
Other companies use the data from Pymetrics tests not only to assess candidates for the position they applied for, but also to guide candidates who are unsuccessful in landing the position they applied for toward different positions better suited to their trait profile. For example, if your risk tolerance score was lower than that of successful employees in the position you applied for, they might suggest a position that requires less risk tolerance.
 
It may be that BCG will use the Pymetrics test to direct candidates better suited to non-consulting positions to alternative roles in the company.
 

What Is BCG Looking for When It Reviews Pymetrics Test Results?

While the BCG Pymetrics test is non-directional, certain skills and characteristics are valued in consulting and possessed by many successful consultants.

    • Attention & Focus – Consultants need to be able to drive the analysis of a problem from formulation, through research & analysis, and to a recommendation. Doing this requires focus and attention to detail.
    • Emotional intelligence – Consultants need to be able to read body language to perceive when a recommendation is being met with resistance by someone in the client organization. They also need to bring clients on board with recommendations and process changes.
    • Effort – Consultants work long hours to ensure their recommendations will result in the best outcome for the client.
    • Fairness & Generosity – Consultants need to mediate conflicts on teams and be seen as even-handed in their recommendations.
    • Decision-making – Consultants need to have strong problem-solving skills and make data-based decisions.
    • Learning – Consultants need to be able to absorb new information quickly and accurately. They need to adapt their hypotheses and recommendations to what they learn.
    • Risk tolerance – Consultants need to use the 80/20 rule. They will never have 100% accurate information but need to move forward toward a recommendation nonetheless. Doing so means that they limit their risk, but must accept a certain amount.

Bain Pymetrics & Other Versions of the Assessment

Bain has also rolled out a Pymetrics Test in some offices. It’s very similar to BCG’s test so you won’t need to do much extra preparation for your second time taking the text.

There are a few things to consider if you’re asked to take both the Bain Pymetrics and BCG Pymetrics tests: Bain and BCG prioritize skills, values, and behaviors differently. This will impact how they interpret your results on the Pymetrics test. BCG may place more value on the speed at which you do quantitative analysis. Bain may prioritize your willingness to take risks.   

So you may take the exact same tests, get the exact same scores, and be a more appealing candidate to one of the firms. Just keep that in mind to help keep your sanity during this process. 

If you’re taking multiple Pymetrics tests for different firms, you may want to take the one for your preferred consulting firm last so that you have an opportunity to get some reps under your belt. 

Additionally, since the firms prioritize different values, they may choose to evaluate you using different games. Be prepared to have a different experience with each test. Breath and do your best!

Head’s up! Bain uses Pymetrics as well as several other online assessments. Check with your recruiter to be clear which one you’re being asked to take. And check out our Bain Online Assessments article for the scoop on each of them.

7 Tips to Prepare for the BCG Pymetrics Test

The BCG Pymetrics test is non-evaluative—it’s not like a case math question that you can get wrong if you make an arithmetic mistake. Instead, it looks for similarities between your traits and those of successful BCG consultants.

In addition, here are a few tips to help you do your best.

  1. Practice using other brain training apps. These games will not be the same as those on the BCG Pymetrics test, but they will help you get a sense of what to expect. Free brain training apps include Peak, Mensa Brain Training, and Elevate.
  2. Read up on what BCG is looking for in candidates and the firm’s values. Since your characteristics will be compared to those of successful BCG consultants, it doesn’t hurt to have a sense of what that looks like.
  3. Get a good night’s sleep. The games are short, but they are mentally challenging. Make sure you’re rested.
  4. Ensure you have a quiet environment with no distractions so you can focus on the test.
  5. Take your time understanding the game instructions. The time you spend reading the instructions is not limited, so make sure you understand them before you start.
  6. Start with a strategy. Since you’re not timed while reading the instructions, plan your strategy before you start the game. Adjust your strategy as you go, if needed.
  7. Be ready to absorb data from images flashed quickly on the screen. You may need to respond to the images you see with keyboard entries or remember a number you’ll be asked to recall later.

Then, just relax and take the test.

How Is the BCG Pymetrics Test Being Used in Candidate Decisions?

The BCG Pymetrics test is part of the application process. You’ll be asked to take it after you pass the resume and cover letter screen. Make sure your consulting cover letter and resume are as strong as possible, as these are still the primary things that will determine which candidates get interviews.

After this, you’ll need to be ready for the BCG case interview and behavioral interview.

After reading this page, we hope you feel ready to take the BCG Pymetrics test. After you do, tell us what you thought of it in the comments below!

 Still have questions?

If you have further questions on the new BCG Pymetrics test, leave them in the comments below. We’ll have one of MyConsultingOffer.org’s coaches provide more information.

People who are interested in the BCG Pymetrics test typically find the following other My Consulting Offer pages helpful:

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