GoBuyside Apt Test

Vector1990's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 113

Anyone taken the GoBuyside aptitude test? What's been your experience with it?

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Comments (33)

Mar 31, 2014


Mar 31, 2014

anyone? interested in this too.

Sep 10, 2014

Recently spoke to one of the headhunters at Gobuyside, was told the median test score was ~40. I was surprised at first but he told me the test was purposely structured this way to prevent score inflation.

Not sure if others have any more insight on this.

Feb 13, 2015

Bumping an old thread.

Anyone have an experience with it?

Feb 15, 2015

Does the score ever get released to other people who see your profile? Or it never gets published?

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Feb 13, 2015

When you apply to a job through the site, i's released to the firm. Quick and easy to compare you to other candidates.

Feb 19, 2015

how hard is this exam?

Feb 13, 2015

how hard is this exam?

no idea - haven't taken it.

Feb 19, 2015

Maybe this means I fail on that site but I cant find where to take the test on their website.... can anyone post the link or give some direction??

Feb 13, 2015

Maybe this means I fail on that site but I cant find where to take the test on their website.... can anyone post the link or give some direction??

log-in to your account, click the tab that says "Profile" and the link is highlighted in a orange.

Mar 2, 2015

Curious, did you end up taking the test?

Feb 19, 2015

No. I haven't. Perhaps later on when I have some down time I will. I don't know how long it is...

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Oct 26, 2015

bump. Anyone end up taking this? What is on there? how long is it? Hard?

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Mar 3, 2015

Is thereanyway to apply to the jobs on GoBuyside without a recommendation?

Best Response
Oct 27, 2015

I took it almost 2 years ago and it was pretty hard. Scores are probably more inflated now but back then the average was 50% or something. It's meant to be challenging.

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Jan 10, 2016

I took it today and got 40%, which I wasn't too surprised about, even before learning about the median score. There aren't any instructions, and all but one of the questions were write-in answers. With that said, I didn't know if I could use rounded answers or not, and I did. I think the questions didn't give all the necessary information either (if I recall correctly, one of the questions was to calculate the cash flow from investing, and you are given the BS and the IS. You can calculate the increase in PP&E in the BS, but you don't know the exact increase because you don't know how much of the depreciation in the IS was accounted for that particular year's capex. I know that's more granular than they are looking for in the 5 minutes you get per question, but it lacks information nonetheless.

Jan 26, 2016

I took it yesterday and had a similar experience. It didn't feel great to type in a result of a somewhat open ended question that took a couple of steps to calculate. I ended up getting a 40% too.

Jan 10, 2016

Well, someone said the median was 40%...I'm okay with that then, I guess. I have noticed a lot more investment managers downloading my profile, and I haven't been applying for too many jobs, so must've made some impact.

Feb 7, 2016

Took it a few days ago. Agreed on the strange format - doing fill in the blank answers for some of these was odd and giving 5 minutes per question was sort of uneven (some things took me 4:55 and some took like 30 seconds). Scored right around the median, wasn't satisfied, took it again and scored many points higher. Both scores show on my profile, so don't know if that helps or hurts....

Feb 8, 2016

I was told that only your highest score will be considered. Haven't taken the test yet though.

Feb 14, 2016

I had to take the test for an interview process and just finished. It is all M&A, cash flows, and a couple returns questions. Really would like to know what the median score currently is and if that 40% is accurate. Did alright on the test but now that it shows up on my profile as a data point would like to know how I stack up and if I need to waste time re-taking this thing.

Jun 14, 2016

Any guidance as to how long you should expect it to take/how many questions are on the test?

Jan 10, 2016

If I remember right, you were given 5 minutes per question. I think there were 5 questions.

Jul 21, 2016

anyone know the criteria firms use for allowing candidates to submit a resume. I seem to be blocked out of some job postings and not for others, with no real pattern. FWIW i scored 50% on the apt test, which appears in line with the above posters.

Sep 11, 2016

Bump. Did anyone take the test recently?

Feb 4, 2017

I took the test recently.

I was given five minutes per question, and there were more like 20 questions total, though some could be done very quickly while others took the whole five minutes.

It seemed close to 50/50 open response vs. multiple choice, and I too was unsure of how many decimals to use with the open response questions. I would also echo the sentiment that some of the questions felt like trick questions.

In general, the questions would use an exhibit displaying several assumptions and you would be asked multiple questions off of those assumptions. Some examples of questions below:

Give basic assumptions of shares outstanding, debt, P/E, etc of two companies, and asked if A bought B with 100% debt, would it be Accretive or dilutive? What if 100% equity consideration? and so on.

Several questions on cash on cash returns for buyouts. One is essentially a full paper LBO, where you need to calculate from EBITDA down to FCF and debt balance in order to back into a purchasing price that can achieve a 3x cash on cash return.

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Mar 5, 2017

Just took it and got a 45% which seems in line with above posters. It's 5 min per question and maybe 15 questions. It felt a little silly given the write-in component on many of the questions, the rounding issue, units, and what felt like missing information.

Apr 26, 2017

I took the test once back in August 2016 without prep and scored 65%. A GB recruiter (probably one of the best impressions I have received and super high level of professionalism) said the score was in the 91st percentile. 40-45% as the median sounds reasonable.

Apr 26, 2017

Given banking analyst training and 1-2 years on the job, you should at least be able to get 60% on this test, 40% is quite lacking IMHO. Some questions will leave you a bit tight on time, but they are all solvable. I'm not really sure what's so unclear about how to answer the questions, or maybe that's where I lost points (I got 80%, but think I lost 3 questions because of time).

Unfortunately the test doesn't include any theoretical/interpretation questions, that would have been nice!


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Mar 8, 2018

Has the test changed? I just took it and scored a 30% which seems to be much lower than many of the referenced scores above.

Nov 4, 2018

Y'all. This test is not for the faint of heart. If you don't have a FIRM understanding of accounting and valuation models don't even bother. I have very basic knowledge and scored a 15%. They seem to have changed the format and as described above there are some multiple choice. The write ins are tough - really tough for the most part. Took this as part of an interview process so don't think I have any choice but to try again as 15% seems, well, not great. You should know how the 3 statements interact, how to calculate and/or back into each line item, and understand advanced terminology. Have your excel sheets out and I'd highly recommend having a few basic models that you know you way around well already prepared. IMO unless you have been doing this for a while there is small chance you could develop the models you need on the run. Good Luck! to you and to me tomorrow morning.

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Jan 21, 2019
Feb 3, 2019