Lying about SAT score for PE Recruiting

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I've been reading about headhunters using your SAT scores in order to determine candidacy for private equity firms. I've read that there are cutoffs, and I assume I'd be below that cutoff with a 1200/1600 SAT score (no, it's not on my resume).

When considering the possibility that I could be blocked out of interviewing at firms where I'd like to work, it is possible to navigate around this obstacle? Now, with an SAT score of 1200, it probably goes without saying that I'm at a nontarget. But I think that removing the bad SAT as a roadblock could probably help me break in.

Do private equity firms or headhunters verify SAT scores as part of some kind of background check?

Edit 1: I'm not considering putting the fake SAT score on my resume, rather I'd tell it to the recruiter who (i assume) would use it to filter which candidates they want to send to the firm. I guess they could send it over to the PE firm too, but do PE firms jump through the hoops necessary to check something like an SAT score?

Comments (54)

 
  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 7, 2020 - 11:46pm

Some firms verify, others don't. Your best option is to study your ass off for the GMAT and not put SAT. Your second best option is to just not put any score. The worst option is going to be lying about the score...even if you get an offer at one shop that doesn't check immediately 1) they could check down the line 2) you switch shops.

 
May 8, 2020 - 2:10am

I’m in a similar spot to OP, except I never took the SAT

it will hurt you if they look into it, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get an opportunity to prove yourself. if you’re concerned take the GMAT, get a 730+ and just crush the competition in all other areas and you’ll land somewhere good

could also look at it like this:

if you don’t put it and prove yourself otherwise, you could have a job you know is in your hands

if you lie, you’ll get an offer that will be rescinded and you’ll be black listed

you pick

 
May 8, 2020 - 6:32pm

Would it ever be better to just retakt the SAT then restudy for the GMAT? Assuming that you'd be only taking the GMAT for this purpose?

"Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent."
 
  • VP in PE - LBOs
May 8, 2020 - 6:44pm

Just an FYI -- Most PE funds will do a background check on you before you join (e.g. Kroll). The PE fund may not check everything from your background but there's a good chance those guys will.

That said, I'm not sure how a firm would take it if you lied about your SAT scores. Like on one hand, it's incredibly dumb and reflects poorly on you and your priorities, but on the other hand who really cares? If they liked you and you had the intellectual horsepower to get through technical interviews, modeling tests, etc. then does a couple hundred points on the SAT matter at all?

Array
 
May 8, 2020 - 6:50pm

HH will ask you for your SAT score on their online forms so I don't think taking the GMAT would entirely solve the problem. It would, however, show improvement in standardized testing and I've had a friend who did this (got a 780).

I would 100% not lie because some firms will background check you. I've had a friend who got his offer rescinded for an old social media account from high school so the background checks can be pretty in-depth. I don't think your SAT score will make or break your chances if you're prepped in every other way. If you're that worried about HH, you could focus some energy into networking.

 
  • Research Analyst in HF - Event
May 9, 2020 - 8:51am

How the hell did you even get a 1200? I surely wouldn't hire anybody with a 1200, and I don't think anybody else on this site would either.

Array
 
  • Research Analyst in HF - Event
May 10, 2020 - 5:39am

Oh and I didnt even see that you're still an intern...you want to get a PE offer out of undergrad? Sorry buddy, BX and KKR only hire from Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton...obviously you dont go to any of those.

Array
 
Funniest
  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 10, 2020 - 7:07am

No where in this entire thread does it say that I want a PE offer out of undergrad. Unfortunately, I guess your expert-level sentence structuring skills don’t translate to reasoning ability.

You’re lucky to be in a career where your math-savant Aspergers is beneficial, but you’ll have to develop some social ability once you’re pushed into wealth management after a robot takes your job and your entire industry is dead.

 
  • Research Analyst in HF - Event
May 10, 2020 - 7:14am

Now I'm entirely sure you're retarded since you think "robots" are going to take my job. Well, who do you think makes those robots dumbass? At the end of the day, I make more money than you and will certainly have a better career. I don't think KKR cares much about how many white claws you slammed at your IU party, at least not based on my experience interning at a similar firm. They certainly take retards, I can confidently say that for all firms.
And by the way, I played lax at a top California prepschool, so I think my social skills are fine.

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 10, 2020 - 7:27am

Hahahaha “I played lax at a top California lax school so my social skills are fine”

Yet you’re confused by the ms and genuinely don’t understand why people find you unlikable. The asperger’s story line really writes itself. At the end of the day, I haven’t gone through an interview process and been denied (true story). I’m getting ready to start at a middle of the road BB, and my career hasn’t even started yet. I’ll probably make more in PE than you, if we’re really dick measuring, because success in the HF industry is entirely luck based. Have fun making algorithms at fidelity, because people aren’t going to pay HF fees for the same money-losing service 10 years down the line. And let’s not act like anyone really gets rich in finance. You’re still a wage slave until you found a start up and successfully exit. Hope VCs don’t ask for SAT scores

 
  • Research Analyst in HF - Event
May 10, 2020 - 7:37am

Intern in IB - Ind:

Hahahaha “I played lax at a top California lax school so my social skills are fine”

Yet you’re confused by the ms and genuinely don’t understand why people find you unlikable. The asperger’s story line really writes itself. At the end of the day, I haven’t gone through an interview process and been denied (true story). I’m getting ready to start at a middle of the road BB, and my career hasn’t even started yet. I’ll probably make more in PE than you, if we’re really dick measuring, because success in the HF industry is entirely luck based. Have fun making algorithms at fidelity, because people aren’t going to pay HF fees for the same money-losing service 10 years down the line. And let’s not act like anyone really gets rich in finance. You’re still a wage slave until you found a start up and successfully exit. Hope VCs don’t ask for SAT scores

Let me get your logic straight. Because I'm smarter than you, I have aspergers. Is that it?
And I like your speculations, I find them quite funny. You probably read a Business Insider article stating that Warren Buffet dislikes Hedge Funds, so you think the whole industry is going to fall apart. I'm more than happy to take you up on that bet, Mr. RBC Capital Markets Intern.

And do you really think you'll make more in Private Equity than me? Because any amount of money I make now is more than your private equity salary, which is zero. Go and take a look at the to PE firms partner list. People like you with 1200s and IU degrees aren't there, its people who went to the schools like mine, and internships like mine. That's another difference between me and you. I've worked at an UMM, you won't even get a call back. I chose to decline my return offer.

And yes, the VC firms where my shop send people to, ie Sequoia, don't ask for SAT scores. But my current fund did. And let's just say that you wouldn't have made the cut.

Array
 
  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 10, 2020 - 7:57am

It’s your lack of social skills (mostly the douchebaggery) and your obsession with test scores that makes you seem like a sperg. Of course, saying that you’re not because you played lacrosse doesn’t help.

You should’ve taken the return offer at your UMM, because hedge funds have been consistently losing capital and have been dropping like flies for years. With machine learning, most quants really won’t have any practical use in the future. Unfortunately for you, your skills aren’t useful for any other well-paying industry, so congrats on currently making more than a kid that hasn’t even attended his graduation yet. It’s a very impressive accomplishment.

As for being a partner, I’ve actually seen partners at UMM firms graduate from nontargets worse than mine. Of course, many of them went to good business schools after some work experience. I know this because I interned at an UMM PE firm after my sophomore year and also turned down my return offer. My reasoning was more along the lines of them not being heavily involved in the industry where I want to start a company. Considering the fact that working until I’m 50 for a job isn’t what I want to do (mentioned start ups earlier), I’m not even concerned about becoming partner. Good luck trying to become a PM in a dying industry! You’ll only still have to work until you’re 60 if you actually want to be considered rich by other rich people.

 
Most Helpful
May 11, 2020 - 12:04am

I second this dude. don’t feed the troll man. at the same time I don’t condone a 25-30 year old taking the time out of his day to just shit all over a kid because his life wasn’t together at age 17. no need to be unnecessarily mean and rude about it HF - Event! no benefit to you & not the right forum to be elitist :/

look you’re gonna have a tough time with the 1200 no doubt - just cuz these PE bitches want blue chip all the way, they want to know you were top shelf from the very beginning. I’m 10 years out of high school and Elliott still asked me for my SAT scores 3 months ago...the MFs are probably out for you but there are a ton of other PE shops that will give you a look if you’ve got solid deal experience and won’t auto filter you after the 1200. the headhunters will be a tough gate to crack because they’re prestige whores too, and so you probably should take the GMATs or something so you can supplement the SAT question. maybe just retake the fucking SATs your senior year this year and you can truthfully put your most recent score (it’ll be a weird wtf if Kroll comes upon this oddity but it won’t nix your offer).

I’m not going to lie on-cycle is going to be tough, but it’s tough for 95% of hopefuls. there just aren’t enough spots to go around for every aspiring IB analyst. your best bet is to also talk to your 2nd year analysts (when you start FT) and see where they’re placing and meet as many people as possible from your group alum base in PE exits. I never did on-cycle so I wish I could be of more help, but I’m trying to add a bit more value than HF - Event. I’m trying to think if I would hire a kid with a 1200 and it would raise some flags maybe but I don’t think it’s a dealbreaker IF you’ve potentially got a bunch of mitigating factors/other solid experience on your resume to offset it. it just gets tough when there’s 4 other people with similar experiences and 1550+s willing to suck your dick for the same job

 
May 10, 2020 - 5:30pm

also this isn’t true. I saw a guy go to BX from a complete non target

life isn’t some linear progression where if you don’t get X you can’t get Y.

i find it Hard to believe how someone with such linear thought processes can be successful in a business that requires independent thinking.

maybe you studied algebra for the SAT a little too much pal

 
May 9, 2020 - 8:50pm

I strongly strongly disagree with many of these comments. For years I have worked summers/part time as an SAT tutor at one of the more reputable upscale companies in the country (sessions cost upwards of $500/hr) and one of the most frequent questions we get from parents is whether colleges can or can’t see if you have sent all of your scores or only one test date out of many. And our answer is always (and this applies to here) that NO ONE CAN ACCESS ANY OFFICIAL COLLEGEBOARD RECORD without your written (paid) consent. Call the collegeboard. Call your university. Call your headhunting agency. It’s a huge misconception, and I even remember my high school guidance counselor convincingly telling me just blatantly false info on the matter.

It’s a question of your own morals. You wanna lie, that’s all you big guy. No one will ever know, and there’s no such thing as an “SAT background check” as everyone on this sub is convinced of. If they ask you to produce your records, then ouch. Can’t help you there.

 
  • Research Analyst in HF - Event
May 10, 2020 - 5:36am

My firm asked for a printed score report of all SAT and Subject Test scores, in addition to a few other printed reports.

Array
 
  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 17, 2020 - 9:45am

If you’re going to the extreme of lying about your SAT I’m sure you would be comfortable with / capable of forging a screenshot to show a perfect score.

If I was afraid my score was below cut off I would do this. 100%. They can’t check, there’s nothing to lose.

Fuck the system that holds your 6-year-old test performance over your head.

 
May 10, 2020 - 7:04am

One of the PE firms I used to work for required all new associates to consent to a background check as a condition of employment. While we hired folks a year in advance, we didn't conduct the background check until right before their start date. I don't know the reason for the practice. However, this means that if the candidate ultimately doesn't pass the background check, they won't have time to re-recruit.

I've never actually seen a candidate fail the background check. I imagine if they did, we would have a very real discussion about whether to keep them. Depending on the severity of the misrepresentation I'd say it may be a 50/50 chance.

My advice: don't risk your entire finance career in order to show an extra 100-200 points on your SATs, which in the grand scheme of things is one of a large number of factors in deciding if you get an interview.

CompBanker

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 11, 2020 - 1:09pm

If they retook the SAT score during/post undergrad to bump up their score, and the background check showed that it was taken years after high school, would that be something you/your firm would revoke on offer based on?

Array

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 16, 2020 - 11:17am

I’m in the same boat but with ACT. People with really strong scores won’t necessarily understand but I always got extreme anxiety while taking standardized tests because I felt like too much was at stake which resulted in really poor performance. I wouldn’t lie, you have about a month or so to study and take the GMAT. I talked to some of my friends that got near perfect scores and most of them aren’t that much smarter (some are waaaay smarter tho) than me and probably you.

Array

 
  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 17, 2020 - 9:41am

If scores are only valid for 5 years, are they even accessible via background check / college board inquiry?

It’s ridiculous that PE firms screen candidates based on a test they took their junior year of high school. Why would a “college readiness” exam be used as criteria at this point instead of actual college performance?

SAT scores are much more a function of prior education and preparation than they are of intelligence. Why are top private schools feeder for ivies and other top colleges? It’s not because they simply have 99th percentile IQ students (this is statistically impossible anyway), it’s because students from these systems are groomed for years to succeed on standardized tests (I.e. taught Latin to decipher words in the vocab section).

Use GMAT (most have taken it anyway by this point), GPA, even an actual IQ test. Don’t hold students accountable for their performance 5-6 years ago.

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