Bloomberg Assessment Test - Worth It?

I'm sure other posts have been written on this topic, but search didn't really turn up anything useful. I go to a semi-target and my school started offering the Bloomberg Assessment Test (BAT) pretty recently. I didn't know anything about the test at all, but I looked at the website and it seems fairly legit. Obviously the Bloomberg name has a fair amount of cachet and the test is free the first time so it seems like there's really nothing to lose. Still, I'm a little skeptical as to how useful/valuable it actually is. I'm not personally interested in taking the test but I'm still curious about how it's regarded in the finance industry.

For monkeys that have recently gone or are currently going through the recruiting process, has anyone taken the BAT? (apparently the website says around 100k people have taken it so I'm guessing at least a couple of you have.)

For those of you that work in the finance industry, how is the BAT thought of? Is it ever an important factor when deciding whether or not to give a candidate an interview?

Comments (27)

Mar 26, 2013

A senior audit at GS in Salt Lake City came to my school couple months ago to give a presentation on their recruitment. I asked him if the BAT is nice for my resume, considering that there is no measurement of your proficiency (i.e. exam) until you take the CFA, etc...

He smiled, and then responded saying that it is nothing to worry about, but it would help a bit. Seemed to me like it's just marginally important, but can tip the scale if you have similar credentials to another job seeker.

"What the hell would I ever say to a gorrilla?

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Mar 26, 2013

No, it's stupid. Spend your time doing something valuable. I would view passing the BAT as a negative because it shows that you think you need to pass a test to use Bloomberg when really you can just ask the drones on Help Help any stupid-ass question your imagination can create.

Mar 26, 2013
STIBOR:

No, it's stupid. Spend your time doing something valuable. I would view passing the BAT as a negative because it shows that you think you need to pass a test to use Bloomberg when really you can just ask the drones on Help Help any stupid-ass question your imagination can create.

It has nothing to do with Bloomberg terminals, it tests finance knowledge

Mar 26, 2013

My school has recently starting pushing for this though I'm not going to take it. Spoke with multiple people in the industry who pretty much said its useless.

Mar 26, 2013

I wouldn't do it. I don't even know how it's scored. "You scored a 5 on the BAT...good for you? Maybe? Can I just have your SAT score?"

A test is only as good as its recognition. You would be way better off studying for the GMAT and putting up a 720+ score. Even then, you would be better off networking (assuming you don't want to go to bschool).

Best Response
Mar 26, 2013

I would say that there exist a few reasons why one would take the Bloomberg Aptitude Test (it was renamed recently after it was shortened from 3 to 2 hours and 150 to 100 questions). First, let's set some groundwork. The test has only been around since 2009 or 2010 I believe so it is still relatively new. In turn, it takes some time to establish credibility among potential employers in the industry. Bloomberg already has a strong reputation in the financial world and is trying to push the BAT into the mainstream because they receive revenue from the potential employers that access the database of scores and test takers. The more credible the test, the more people take it, the more revenue Bloomberg can generate from it, etc. The key is whether or not firms view the test as a valuable method of distinguishing candidates and that's a question that I can't answer with certainty as it depends on the particular recruiters at the firm. From what I understand the test isn't much of a deciding or distinguishing factor for employers when it comes to hiring new grads. Perhaps there are some but as of right now I don't think it is something to focus on. That being said, that doesn't mean you should disregard it. As I said in the beginning, there are a few reasons why it may be valuable to you.

First, the test covers 10 categories ranging from quantitative skills to economics to investment banking and other areas. By taking it, you can test yourself and perhaps gain a better understanding of what areas are your strengths and what areas you may want to work on more before you graduate.

Second, it does show initiative to employers. Granted, more initiative is shown by spending time in credible internships and working on the CFA but perhaps if you are a little lacking in those areas it can still show you have a genuine interest and if you do particularly well in certain fields of the BAT, and if the employer is looking for those particular skills, then you can emphasize those in your application and interview.

Third, if you are coming from a semi-target school it can be more useful to you than to someone from a target school. Employers are first and foremost going to look at what school you are coming from, then experience, then CFA, then maybe the BAT. If you are competing with other students from the non-target or semi-target category then the BAT would be of greater value to you than to someone from a target school.

In the end the decision is yours of whether to take it or not but considering that it is free and takes two hours you might as well take it for the hell of it and see how you do. If anything, again going back to my first reason, it will help you identify what areas you are best in but don't let it take your focus away from internships or the CFA which are both more important.

"Successful investing is anticipating the anticipation of others". - John Maynard Keynes

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Mar 26, 2013

I took it. Didn't cost anything and it only took a few hours of my Saturday. It didn't help, but it didn't hurt either.

Look at as a free call option. It might pay off or it might now but it doesn't really cost you anything.

Mar 26, 2013

Thanks for all the info guys! especially Sven - that was really comprehensive.

Mar 27, 2013

I took the test last year as a sophomore and scored in the 91st percentile. I've had two employers reach out to me because of the test. One was a BB bank but it was for a technology position and the other was a legit global advisory shop with an office in NYC. I'm also non-target. Since you don't study for it and it only takes 2 hours this year, it seems like a pretty good ROI if you score well.

Mar 27, 2013

It's ok if you have 3 hours to spare. It's sort of like cfa level 1 crossed with the gmat but easier.

Mar 27, 2013

carries more weight than a Wharton degree

Mar 27, 2013

I took it, really does not mean much. Most employers do not know what it is and I am considering saving the space on my resume

"I am not sure who this 'Anonymous' person is - one thing is for certain, they have been one hell of a prolific writer" - Anonymous

Mar 27, 2013

It is such a small amount of your time, why not try. I took it a couple years ago and did extremely well, had several phone interviews with a hedge fund because of it and was contacted by other potential employers (some shitty, but a few good ones). None of them materialized into anything before I took the job I have now, but it doesn't hurt at all to take it. Plus it's about 3 hours of your life, where the CFA Level 1 is a few hundred.

Mar 27, 2013

It's worthless. I took it over a year ago and scored in the top 5% but haven't received a single email regarding it since

Mar 27, 2013

I took it last year at my university (funnily enough, my uni's name is spelled wrong in their database - and it's a European target school); got a pretty high result (97th percentile I think) but never got contacted by anybody. As Unforseen said, it only takes you a couple of hours; just do it, and if you get a shitty score whatever.

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Mar 27, 2013

I think they're pushing this thing hard until it somehow becomes a credible credential.

I took it as a curiosity. Didn't hurt me in the slightest.

Mar 27, 2013

I took it last summer with little to no prep (only because it was free at my University) and scored what was 70% at the time but they've recently changed the marking system so I now have a 570, which is in the 87th percentile. I have been contacted by a few institutions for for my CV but I haven't scored any interviews.
Overall the test was quite easy if you have a basic knowledge of finance

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Mar 27, 2013

Took it almost a year ago as well; probably wouldn't do it again. I wasn't even able to enter all my resume-related information and, while I did score good (although far from perfect), haven't been contacted by anyone since. A week ago I received an email reminder from Bloomberg I was among the top 10% test takers, which I have no actual benefit of.

What I did like about the test, 'though, was the comprehensiveness. It gives you quite an overview of how you stack up in certain areas and helps you identify topics you might have to work on. Given it's free, you might as well take it...

Mar 28, 2013

I scored a 590, putting me in the top 90th percentile. I took it unexpectedly and with no prep, so to be honest I don't know how any employer could take it serious for now.

Mar 29, 2013

I also scored in the 90th percentile. I found that most bankers didn't know what the test was if I listed it on my resume and I was not contacted by any employers through the program that I would have seriously considered.

Apr 3, 2013

This is Adam from the Bloomberg Aptitude Test team. I wanted to share some of our perspective on the BAT's value proposition.

As you may know more than 100,000 students around-the-world have taken the BAT in the past 2.5 years. Through our survey work we have found 3 main reasons why students take the test. First, they receive a proprietary assessment report which shows their relative strengths and weaknesses in each area of the BAT. This is useful as it enables test takers to compare themselves to global averages and determine where aptitude may be higher than previously thought as well as potential areas for improvement. Second, students can put a strong BAT and individual section score on their resume or LinkedIn profile. We have heard a lot of positive feedback on this because it enables candidates to differentiate themselves against their competition. Third, if you do particularly well (overall or individual sections) and/or have a profile in demand (e.g., major, year of study, region, career interest, language ability) then one of the 140 employers currently using our Talent Platform may try to connect with you.

Using both our online tool and the Bloomberg Terminal these 140 clients have made more than 11,000 connections with students in the past 6 months alone. The users include some of the most prominent Bulge Bracket banks in the world, quantitative and event-driven hedge funds, consulting firms and insurance companies.

To learn more and watch some testimonials of students who found top jobs in finance after taking the BAT please visit our site: takethebat(dot)com.

Apr 8, 2013
BAT_Adam:

Using both our online tool and the Bloomberg Terminal these 140 clients have made more than 11,000 connections with students in the past 6 months alone. The users include some of the most prominent Bulge Bracket banks in the world, quantitative and event-driven hedge funds, consulting firms and insurance companies.

Piece of advice. Don't go throwing numbers around like "11,000 connections" in the last 6 months alone. Context of how many jobs/internships have been gotten would be much more relevant. You'll have better luck selling this to students with more tangible numbers, like "100 internships in the U.S. in the last 6 months". When you throw around a super high number people's bullshit sensors go off and figure that it's a pretty meaningless number (which it is). You are trying to sell this to the best and brightest finance students who should be good with numbers and statistics, yet you throw these numbers out like you are trying to recruit idiots for a multilevel marketing company.

I was one of the earlier test takers and got a great score, and I have gotten probably 8-12 connections from it (the format has changed over time). I only ever talked to one company because of it though (a decent quality hedge fund). The rest would get my resume and ignore it. Out of the 8-12 connections that I had gotten, only 3-4 were desirable, and by that I mean most people here would love to have these jobs right out of college if you were open to good finance jobs that aren't BB IBD. Others were things like back/middle office and financial adviser trainee crap.

Jan 29, 2014

I placed Global top 5 in this test. I still got nothing from this system .This test is completely useless.

Feb 4, 2014

In the 97th percentile, just got an email from Oracle recruiting

Nov 11, 2014

Will take the BAT this Thursday. Even if nothing comes of it connections-wise, it is still valuable in the sense that you get to see where your strengths and weaknesses lay. I'll update this post after taking it.

Miguel Silvestri
UCONN School of Business '16
B.S. Fincancial Management Candidate

Nov 11, 2014
Comment

Miguel Silvestri
UCONN School of Business '16
B.S. Fincancial Management Candidate

Dec 19, 2014

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