Comments (48)

Feb 19, 2015 - 2:45am

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??

"If you want to succeed in this life, you need to understand that duty comes before rights and that responsibility precedes opportunity."
Jan 10, 2016 - 7:46pm

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.

Feb 7, 2016 - 5:26pm

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 14, 2016 - 5:42pm

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.

Best Response
Feb 4, 2017 - 10:00pm

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.

Mar 5, 2017 - 4:49pm

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 - 6:45pm

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 - 7:35pm

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!

Nov 4, 2018 - 4:56am

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.

Feb 27, 2020 - 6:44am

Doable but no clarity about decimals/rounding, definitions (e.g. inclusion of cash in change in NWC), etc.

Expect items on income statement/ebitda calcs, cash flow & three-statement interplay, listed entity purchase accounting, EPS accretion/dilution questions, stock mergers, and buyout (debt + equity quick forms).

I would say for CFA, accountants, and/or bankers this should be fairly straight forward, but the definition/rounding unclarity and tight timing on some questions make it more complicated than the actual content is.

Indeed about 15 questions, 5 mins each. Set aside an undisturbed hour to be "comfortable".

LBO-modeling companies on a Corona-adjusted normalized proforma run-rate EBITDA basis since 2020.
Jun 8, 2020 - 2:40pm

It's basically financial modeling questions on how to calculate important metrics and accounting questions related to the ties between the balance sheet and CF statement. I really wouldn't bother with it though. Not many people get interviews from GoBuyside - they're a total scam and my business school, top 3, is in the process of putting out a community release for our class due to their practices. DM for further details if needed. You're better off with traditional headhunters: Oxbridge, Amity Search Partners, Henkel, etc.

Aug 28, 2020 - 6:06am

Hey, anon. If you got an interview, that's great news and I hope your process goes well. I personally found they had a pattern of acting in bad faith towards customers including myself and other classmates. I provided solid documentation of that to the appropriate parties and am patiently awaiting my refund as the company wasn't willing to engage. The fact that they've been sued multiple times over the last few years for alleged actions in bad faith by employees and contractors backs it up. Never worked at/with or invested in a company that's been sued for not paying multiple employees more than once in less than 3 years. That, along with the significant turnover, unusual lack of experienced recruiters (GoBuyside's recruiters usually <2 years out of undergrad), and the fact that they threatened legal action against a classmate via an anonymous listserv while cc'ing an employee that's apparently a first year graduate from a non-target university (no outside counsel or internal GC), seems pretty sketch. The overall lack of transparency is reminiscent of a shelf company. They have 3 employees on LinkedIn which is odd given that headhunting is a relationship and trust business, and every other staffing/headhunting firm (from Henkel Search Partners down to RobertHalf) has their employees on LinkedIn. It's very clear they target low-wage/low-skill labor if you do a search for past employees on LinkedIn.  Of the <10 that show up, only 2 had more than 2 years experience before working there. Without the relationships, their service has to be more of a resume dump, like a, rather than a headhunting firm that works closely with the prestigious names in finance, which is the segment they seem to try and position themselves in and the reputation they take advantage of to upsell the premium account. It's entirely possible they do a placement or a few a year, but from word of mouth, they're not the quality or volume that they try to represent. Far better ROI on time spent through traditional headhunters and they'll never ask for a dime; they survive on evidently solid placement fees.

TL;DR: You should probably quit working there, anon.

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