BCG Pymetrics test

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

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BCG Pymetrics test

If you’ve applied for a consulting position with BCG, you may have been asked to take a Pymetrics test. You’re probably wondering what this test looks like and what is measured.

Like McKinsey’s new digital assessment, the BCG test is an algorithm-based online assessment.

The test is beneficial for BCG because it screens candidates in an automated fashion, efficiently identifying candidates with traits that match those of successful BCG consultants and moving 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 give you an overview of the BCG Pymetrics Test and provide insight into what the test is assessing.

If this is your first visit to My Consulting Offer – head to Case Study Interview Prep for an intro into the management consulting interview process. If you want to know all about BCG’s new Pymetrics test, you’re in the right place.

Let’s get started!

What Is the BCG Pymetrics Test?

Pymetrics test

The BCG Pymetrics test is a series of short games you can take on your smartphone. 

  • 12 mini-games
  • 2-3 minutes each
  • assessing 91 skills and traits
  • 25 minutes total

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 game pictured to the right, measure traits such as cognitive flexibility, attention control, how candidates manage risk, and many 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 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 varies of industries and markets.

By measuring personal traits, BCG 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 Pymetrics Test Assess?

Here are the skills the Pymetrics test accesses and the examples of its 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 an image of someone’s face and given a short bit of textual information. You’re asked to determine the person’s emotion.
    • Effort – You’re asked to choose between different tasks based on their difficulty-levels and the rewards for completing them.
    • Fairness & Generosity – You’re given a scenario in which money is distributed across a group and asked to judge whether the distribution is fair or unfair.
    • Decision making – You’re given a pattern of colors and asked to move the colors in a second pattern to match the first in the fewest possible moves. Or you’re asked to choose between one sum of money now or a larger sum in a set number of days in the future.
    • Learning – You’re tested on the number of digits you can memorize and recall correctly.
    • Risk tolerance – You earn points by pumping air into a balloon. The large the balloon gets, the more points you earn, but you lose points if the balloon pops. (See image above.)

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

After taking the test, candidates receive a Traits Report from Pymetrics that documents their personal traits as assessed by the games (see example below.)

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.
 
It may be that BCG will use the 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 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 a 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.

7 Tips to Prepare for the BCG Pymetrics Test

The 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.

To prepare, view this short Pymetrics video to get some sense of what the test will look like. 

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 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’s 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 Are Pymetrics Tests Being Using in Candidate Decisions?

The Pymetrics test is now part of the application process for all undergraduate and experienced-hire applicants. MBA students outside of core schools will be asked to complete the Pymetrics test as well. It’s not yet clear whether BCG is using the Pymetrics tests to make decisions on moving candidates forward to first round interviews. They may just be analyzing the predictive power of the tests or, in other words, looking to see whether candidates’ scores on the Pymetrics test correlate with hiring decisions made through the traditional interview process. In the past, top consulting firms have  tested changes to their recruiting process carefully before using new methods to make recruiting decisions. Because of this, you’ll want to ensure that 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 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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3 thoughts on “What You Need to Know Before You Take the BCG Pymetrics Test”

  1. Hi.
    I completed my pymetrics test and got my result but i didn’t receive any email from the company i had applied mentioning that they have received my game result. So I am in great confusion whether the company automatically gets my pymetrics test result or are there any other steps I have to take?

    Reply
    • My Consulting Offer’s head recruiting coach says it can vary by applicant, but on average it takes 1-3 weeks to hear back from a firm after the Pymetrics test. She believes the firms automatically send the Pymetrics test once an application is fully submitted. There aren’t any steps to take once the Pymetrics test has been completed. You just need to wait until they can review your application.

      Best of luck!

      Reply
  2. Hi! very interesting read,
    I took the Pymetrics test a day ago and 3 of the traits results don’t match with my personality at all. For example, in decision making, it says I have a gut-feeling approach, but I am always very rational. I am always told that I am very rational by friends, colleagues and even my psychologist. Now, I don’t think following intuition is bad, but if I don’t get the position, it will feel very frustrating. Also, if an HR person reads my results, I don’t think they can understand who I am really. To be honest, it’s quite disappointing. Let me know if someone resonates with this, or if instead your results match perfectly.
    Best,

    Reply

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