Is This True: PE/IB Firms Ask Your for Your SAT Scores?

I've read this I think once or twice on WSO and many other times on random places on the internet. Clarifications from anyone who is actually in PE would be much appreciated.

If they do ask, could one just lie, or do they go through the trouble of requesting evidence?

Also, is it possible this is true only for people from non-targets (not that it matters for me; my alma matter is a target school)?

Went through FT recruitment last fall. About 50% asked about SAT scores but then never brought it up again throughout the interview process. Would highly recommend you never lie about it even if they're low.

Even if you lie... Best case scenario you get the job and then have to maintain a lie with that firm the entire time you work there. Worst case scenario they find out and it becomes apparent you think a score is worth more than your integrity. Honesty really is the best option for most things in your professional life.

Best Response

Because it's an easy way to filter out candidates. When there are hundreds/thousands of applicants who are capable of doing the work, they can have their cake and eat it too. Instead of looking through 5000 resumes, it's easy to whittle it down to a very solid 20 if you're looking for Harvard or Wharton/2350+/3.8+/GS TMT/FIG, MS M&A or BX RX. There's also academic literature suggesting that reasoning abilities (using SAT or something similar as a proxy) stay pretty constant over time. It falls under the heading of "life is unfair."

Am I screwed if my SAT score was a 2240? I go to a HUGE target, mind you, and I'm aiming for a 3.7-3.8 GPA. What's annoying is that my score is 2-3 questions away from being a 2300.

Also, currently I'm not at all interested in HF's

Perfectly fine for IB. Most HF analysts don't have 2300+ anyway. There technically aren't that many people out there with super high SAT's and a very small % go to a HF anyway. The most selective ones will be picky and ask for near-perfect, in addition to elite undergrad, elite IB, top GPA, etc. b/c they can.

But just don't lie b/c they can ask you to validate. If they don't then obviously it wasn't that important to them in the first place.

I got into college with an SAT score from 7th grade, but I have since taken the GMAT. When people ask for my SAT scores, I explain that I recently (~1 year ago) took the GMAT and it is a better representation of my abilities. I never report my SAT scores, and I've never had a problem with it.

You said PE, then you said BB. Are you trying to get into PE or IB? If you've done your time as an analyst at a reputable IB, then no, we don't care about your SAT score.

I said hired from a BB, which means second year analysts leaving to PE. To be honest, I don't trust what you are saying. Have you been through the recruiting process?

Whoops, re-read and I got it. Again, most places won't care about SAT score unless you're a) going for an entry level job or b) have no prior experience worth talking about. I'm pretty sure no PE firm hired or didn't hire a guy because of his SAT score. In fact, I've seen many resumes without an SAT score and never bothered to ask why. Leaving something like GPA off will raise eyebrows, but SAT? No one cares after entry level.


I'm not too sure that no one cares about SAT's after entry level, that's a bold statement. I was told this by an headhunter, so in some way or the other it's legit information at least for megafunds. My question is though, does all private equity firms focus on whether you've taken the SAT's or not? If you are saying that your shop doesn't, then I guess that answers my question. Are you in a middle market shop?

When you go in for a PE pre-MBA associate interview, whether you have taken your SAT's or not could come up if you leave it off your resume, but not everyone will ask because it simply isn't a priority. From my experience both as an interviewee and interviewer (I am currently at a middle market $2bn+ PE shop in the Bay area and have been in charge of associate recruitment for 2 years now), if you're already at a stage where you've done a couple years of IB at a respectable bank, SAT score falls in the same bucket as college internships and extra-curriculars.

At the end of the day, if you are a strong candidate, you interview well, you have solid experience and your referrals check out, not having taken the SAT's will not hurt you at all, especially if you explain the situation to the interviewer. I can almost promise you that.

onelifetolive32 - Yes, it helps.

Sushiology - Your total score is good enough to report the entire one. It'd raise questions why your score is only out of 1600, like when people put "Major GPA" or "Junior Year GPA."

jackdonaghy26 - Then, report your ACT. I've had friends go through PE recruiting with only an ACT score, and it didn't hurt him.

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