Recently had a Baker Tilly Assessment Centre and there isn’t too much coverage of it online so I’ll give you my experience to help anyone with one coming up.
First we had two exams which have been mentioned on here. Basically you have a booklet about 8 pages long with info about a disaster relief charity. You get ten mins to read and take in the info. I took some notes but the main thing is to get the jist of the content of each page. This is important as the exams are broken down into sections with “x” questions per page. So you read it for ten mins, just about enough to get a decent understanding. Do not worry too much about taking in details such as graphs and tables as during the tests you can refer back to the more precise areas of info. After the ten mins you have a few examples which I basically used as extra time to read the booklet.
Then you have a verbal reasoning test on the material, 40 qs in 20 mins. Sounds a lot but they follow the a) True b) False c) Not enough info structure so some you can answer without referring back. I found the best approach was to answer when 80% or more certain and ones you can’t instantly find the info for i noted what I thought it was and came back to at the end. Again, 20 mins is just about enough but you have to work quickly as they are testing your info retention aswell as your ability to understand the information.
After that we immediately had a numerical test. Quick example and then 30qs in 35mins from the material in the book again. The questions are no harder than the online tests, just stay calm and do not get flustered by how much info you have to sift through to find the appropriate data. Some are very easy, some require several calculations. But if you’ve done lots of SHLs and are comfortable working at that pace then this should be ok for you. I personally thought I had messed up the tests, we were informed at the start that some would be going home after the tests so it was pretty tense when waiting for the results. Our papers were marked and then 3 people were sent home. I’d advise practicing a few SHL tests the day before just to get the practice incase its been a while since you’ve done one.
We then moved on to the group exercise. The group was split in two. Our group were given a company and 5 business proposals to read through and take notes on for 20 mins. It is very important that you make notes and understand all of the proposals so that you can give meaningful contribution in the discussion. I don’t want to give details on the task as I’m not sure what the rules are on that. After the reading time you have half an hour to discuss the proposals and arrive at a decision. Our discussion was sat in on by two managers who just took notes. As with all group tasks its just about putting your ideas forward, backing them up with the material and being a team player. In my experience all of my group were very active in the discussion so the decision of who went in the next cull must have been difficult. Its worth bearing in mind that their decisions are based on the whole application to that point.
We then had lunch with two recent graduates on the team. This is a good time to ask a few questions about what their experiences have been etc…
Then three more were sent home and only a few of us were left for the afternoon. All we had after lunch was an interview with two directors. This was somewhere between a competency interview (career motivation is key) and a general chat. As with any interview, preparation is key in knowing what it is you’re applying for and why Baker Tilly interest you above their competitors. I wasn’t directly asked any commercial awareness qs but its always good to have a deep understanding of events in the financial world so you can have a conversation with the interviewers about it. The people I was interviewed by were lovely and to be honest all at BT seemed very friendly. Obviously being friendly doesn’t get you through but in my AC the people who survived the culls were the most talkative and friendly all day.
Hope this helps anyone preparing for their AC coming up.