Passing the PwC AC - my two cents! :)

#1

First of all: I actually failed my first AC with PwC on account of the report writing, so having attended it twice I have definitely learned a few things that have helped me pass it the second time. Since this forum has helped me tremendously, so I just wanted to give something back!

The day is pretty enjoyable; I have attended a few different AC’s, and PwC is one that really makes you feel welcome. It is also quite brief (only half a day) and everything seems concise and purposeful.

The numerical/diagrammatical tests are standard. 20 in 20 mins for the former, and 40 questions in 20 mins for the latter. Again, I found that a stop watch helped me tremendously. They do provide a clock, but I find that the actual countdown paces me. Practice makes perfect. I did Maths up to A levels and hadn’t done it in 3-5 years after that (non-related degree) so I did have to practice. Invest in tests if you have to: Assessmentday/ Graduatewings really helped me. Once you practice, you’ll notice an emerging pattern. Ratios/percentages; you’ll be adept at it! The diagrammatical/logical/inductive tests are possible to finish - some questions are extremely easy, and some are more difficult. Go through the easy ones quickly, don’t second-guess; this was an issue that another candidate and I discussed, and skip the ones you don’t know. I would say NOT to guess; I personally skipped the ones I didn’t know and scored well. They do rate your accuracy, so bear that in mind. I finished 16/20 in the numerical, and my score was 5/6, and i finished 35/40 for the diagrammatical, and got 5/6 also. Again, quality over quantity.

Finally the group exercise was definitely the most enjoyable part. You are given a booklet containing information on a company, and each candidate is given a separate brief entailing a specific topic. Remember this - a groupmate actually did not realise there was a separate brief, and had to rush through it during the exercise. You are given 20 mins to prepare. My structure was; read the brief first, make bullet points of your notes so you get a clear idea of your topic. Then go through the booklet, correlating the info of your brief with the general info. Such as, does your start-up costs tie in with the funds available? What is the company emphasising - environmental impact or fiscal profits?

Start speaking immediately. I volunteered, and got good feedback. Maintain eye contact, and know everyone by name. Don’t be nervous! Express your brief in a clear, concise manner; elaborate but keep an eye on the clock! Express your personal opinions but be flexible - don’t stubbornly insist on your brief if it is clearly a no-go. What I did was, after everyone had finished expressing their briefs, I clearly outlined the direction of the discussion. E.g. ‘For the purpose of maximising the time we have, I think we should first outline the direction of the discussion. I think, from hearing everyone’s briefs, it is clear that the company’s purpose is… etc.’ This will cut down time, and also show that you have a good understanding of the topic. When someone gets stuck in an unresolved issue, gently guide them toward the general discussion in a firm but polite manner. My group struggled over agreeing on the funds available (e.g. with government grant or without), and I got good feedback for suggesting we stick to the lower amount and moving the conversation along. Take charge, but don’t be domineering. Let other people speak. Drive your point in but know when to surrender - don’t be that person holding everyone back by insisting blindly on their proposition when everyone else has voted against it. Be calm and cool, don’t get agitated when you keep getting interrupted; remember that reflects badly on THEM, not you. Just always refer back to the company’s PURPOSE and time, and you should be fine. Again, I hardly think it matters what you decide upon, as long as you have logical reasoning behind that!

So all in all - do your work, practice the tests, research reports, write mock reports if you have to, and you will be fine. I don’t think they are looking for the perfect candidate, because I certainly was NOT perfect, but really just potential. Bring a stop watch! Personally I found that to be instrumental in me passing it. Hope this helped guys Good luck everyone and wish me luck in the partner interview!

1 Like
#2

Hope you got the job man … you are awesome for sharing your experience

#3

Hi! I’ve just failed my PwC assessment centre, I did well in my numerical/diagrammatic tests and written report. But the group assessment let me down. I’ve been told I can reapply in 3 months. If I do that will I have to start the entire application again and go through all the stages again (telephone interview, online tests etc)? How did you do yours? Did you get to go back straight to the assessment centre? Thanks for you help! I hope you’ll passed your partner interview and are now enjoying life at PwC

#4

hi, did u have retake ur telephone interview when reapplying? i reapplied immediately after 3 months and am wondering the same since i am awaiting a decision as i cleared the online tests.

#5

Thank you so much! What you’ve written here is really really helpful to me! Thank you!

#6

Hi! Regarding the group exercise at the AC, I’m worrying over the calculations! We have to calculate payback or payback period? and how do we calculate these? Any other calculations? Thanks!!!