Economics Majors to Pioneer New Bloomberg Assessment Test
Issue   |   Wed, 01/25/2012 - 01:42

This Saturday, Jan. 28, the College Career Center will be hosting a free administration of the Bloomberg Institute’s Bloomberg Assessment Test (BAT). The three hour long exam is designed by educational consultants working with the Bloomberg Institute to evaluate the aptitude of individuals wishing to pursue careers in finance or consulting.
The BAT examines a student’s abilities in 11 subject areas including verbal skills, situational judgment and financial modeling skills. The BAT is an aptitude test, meaning that no prior preparation for the exam is required, although several practice questions are available on the Bloomberg Institute’s website. The results of the BAT are available to students approximately three days after the exam and are also stored anonymously in the Bloomberg Institute’s BAT Talent Search database, which provides clients with data for recruiting purposes.
“Recruiters can search the database to find students who have strengths in areas of particular interest to them. The recruiter then invites the student, who remains anonymous, to connect with the company and learn about potential positions. Students interested in the company can accept the connection and will then be contacted by the recruiter.
“More than 500 test takers have already made connections with prospective employers,” said a press release from the Bloomberg Institute.
Michael London, the CEO of the Bloomberg Institute, believes the BAT, which is only one-year old, is on its way to transforming how the finance industry finds and recruits candidates. In fact, according to London, the exam may eventually be even more important than a resume or college transcript:
“The exam gives potential employers information that they can’t get from a resume or a transcript …and allows them to distinguish between two candidates who on paper may look very similar, but the test goes deeper and looks at the actual differences in their skills.”
When asked about the accuracy of the test, London noted that although there has not been much time to evaluate the results, firms have found the results highly important in their recruiting and hiring processes. In addition, the test format and questions were developed by a diverse team of academics, educational consultants and finance industry experts and reviewed by the Bloomberg Institute’s in-house auditing team. Interestingly, the Bloomberg Institute has found no correlation between a student’s major and his or her performance on the test, which London cites as further evidence of the test’s accuracy.
The Bloomberg Institute, which produces the test, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bloomberg LP, one of the largest financial data companies in the world, and was created to apply the principles of data collection and analysis to educational ventures. The BAT is the first, and, for the time being, the only project of the Bloomberg Institute, but has already made a large impact, reaching out to students from over 700 colleges and universities worldwide.
The College is fortunate to be one of the first schools offering the test to its students this year, and, according to London, was chosen by the Bloomberg Institute because many of its clients expressed interest in reaching out to liberal arts students for careers in finance and consulting. Although specific information about the Institute’s clients is confidential, London said that the Institute’s clients spanned the entire spectrum of the finance and consulting industry, including investment banks, hedge funds and public relations and marketing firms.
The test will be administered at 10:00 a.m. Saturday Jan. 28 in Webster 102. Students wishing to take the test must first register online at taketheBAT.com, and they must bring a valid photo ID and arrive 30 minutes before the beginning of the test.

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Comments
skeptical alum (not verified) says:
Mon, 02/13/2012 - 20:34

It should be noted that this is not a test to gain entrance into a post-graduate educational program. Rather, it is a way for financial firms to gather data to formulate ever-savvier ways of recruiting students. Because of their resources, they can pay to gather such data on which students to target at which schools. Would that other noble professions, like teaching, had the same deep pockets, and could reach out as aggressively to students who may still be searching for the most fulfilling ways -- but yet unexplored -- ways of putting their Amherst education to use. On the campuses of some peer institutions, some students have begun "Stop The Brain Drain" initiatives to raise awareness of the issue of aggressive financial and consulting industry recruitment.

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