Pwc graduate assessment day 2011/2012

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#1

I had the pwc assessment day for graduate role starting 2012, so thought I would put up my own experiences as I didnt really know what to expect!

Firstly, had to arrive at 8.45 ready for commencing at 9. We had to sign in as we arrived and put on a name badge that stated which group you were in for the day (A,B,C,D,E). We all went into one room together, where we were given a run down on what was happening that day - numeracy and logical tests, report writing and group assessment.

Group A,B,C had to stay in the room, and groups D and E went to seperate rooms to do their group assessments. I was in group A so first up for up was the report writing. We were all given a double sided A4 page and a booklet containing all the info we would need. The report issue was basically an environmental issue on businesses saving water, and the booklet contained lots of different scenarios about ways to save water. We then had 30mins to write the report. I did get my finished, but did feel very time constrained! I would definately recommend looking up the format of a report before you go so you know the general layout.

As soon as the report writing was over, the pages were collected and the numeracy test handed out. There was no break inbetween so was pretty full on! Had 20mins to answer 20 numeracy questions. I had read that the numeracy test was much harder at the assessment centre than the online tests which had panicked me a bit - but I completely disagree, it was the same standard if not slightly easier! Again, time was tight and I had a few questions not finished so towards the end I just guessed as it is not negative marking - you are marked on how many you get right. So makes more sense to guess when time is almost up and hope you pick right! Then straight after we were given out the logical reasoning tests - 40questions in 20mins. Again time is tight so just guess if you run out!

After the tests we had the chance to use the toilets and grab a coffee. Might be a good idea to try and break the ice with people in the same group as you before you go into the group exercise! So in the group exercise, there were 4 of us in my group. We sat around the table, the assessors sat around the outside of the room and to be honest you do forget they are there. Everyone in the group has a booklet with all the general information for the task, and then each person has a page with information regarding the argument they have to put forward in the discussion. You have 20mins to read the info and prepare. There are a few basic calculations you prepare but they are really simple and nothing to worry about. Then the assessor says you have 30mins to discuss. My group was quite good and nobody really dominated so we all got involved. We each took a turn to tell our argument, and then worked towards meeting the objectives. Half way through the assessor gives you “an urgent email” which, in our case, was the budget being cut. So you just have to work around it, and come to a decision. Our group seemed to run out of information to discuss, as we all agreed on the answer pretty early on, so we did go off on a slight tangent at times. But have to say, it was really comfortable and nowhere near as nerve-wrecking as i expected!!

#2

Hi jc14, great overview of your assessment day, sounds like you are pretty confident with how the day went, how long till you find out the result?

I just wanted to ask a few questions; with the report, you mentioned about looking up the format of a report, do they give you a format of how it should be written before the exercise? what is a format of a reportt, as I dont’ know how to prepare…

and for the group exercise, do you have to make notes as a group throughout the discussion? what was the general overview and task you had to discuss about in the group exercise? and from what you have mentioned, i assume it was working around a budget you were given? when discussin as a group, do you draw upon ur outside knowledge or do you mainly focus on what has been provided?

your post is so helpful, much appreciated, good luck on the outcome!

#3

my group exercise was terrible, one guy seemed to be perfect. he completely controlled the discussion and spoke most of the time. Other people managed to speak but I completely froze and stayed quiet most of the time. Ugh not looking forward to finding out my dream is over :frowning:

goodluck everyone with PwC!!!

#4

dont worry! with my group exercise I thought I completely messed it up because I didn’t know what to say! Someone even tried to bring me to talk! I did manage to get a few valuable points in in the end… and in the self assessment form at the end I was completely honest and said I could have done much better! I was convinced I didn’t pass… but I got a call 3 hrs later saying that I passsed! So don’t worry too much about it :slight_smile:

#5

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#6

citychick123 - i found out today i got the interview. no they dont tell you what the format of the report is, it just says ‘prepare a basic report’. but it does state in the booklet 3 bullet points you need to cover in the report, so you know the direction you have to go in. a report is a formal thing, so dont write in slang. it is normally divided up into titles and subheadings, so say;
1.0 Summary
2.0 Introduction
3.0 Title of first topic you will discuss
3.1 Title of second topic etc etc
4.0 Conclusion
5.0 Recommendations

I heard some people saying they used the bullet points it gave in the booklet as their headings, but i dont think it matters. i dont think it is as much what you write, but more the layout, and getting it finished in a tight time-frame.

for the group exercise you dont make notes, no. our topic was all about a company who produced a bi-product when they produced oil, and they wanted to use the bi-product to make an environmentally friendly product. so each person in the group had a page with our own individual information on it - it was an email about the environmentally friendly product you had to put forward to the group. so it gives you the set up costs and expected profits etc. during this time you should write down bullet points of important points on your info so you have the info handy when you are explaining your product to the group. but the group does not have to write down anything when the discussion begins, you just have to come to a verbal conclusion. it specifically says only rely on the information in the booklet, do not use your outside knowledge. and yes you are right about the budget thing, the company was willing to put forward 5% of their profits into the environmentally friendly product and you can also secure a grant for some of the cost. the new info half way through was then that the grant was no longer available.

sorry for the essay, hope that helps! also i think some other offices have interviews at the assessment day but we didnt, so you might want to check that out before you go!

#7

hi, i have an assessment day for pwc on thursday, for the written report do you need to write your structure before you start the report or just include what you are going to do in your introduction?
thanks

#8

i think it is up to yourself, the guy beside me looked like he had done a completely different structure to me and he got through! so i dont really know whatt they mark you on.

in the introduction i just said briefly what i was going to do! but try to get on and get the report written asap as u r very time constrained!

#9

Hi JC14:

I just wanted to ask which office did u have your assessment center? and Thank you for sharing your experience!

#10

Hi JC14,

just wondering how many pages of information did you get for your report wrtting?

#11

Hi JC14,
also just wondering what sort of calculation you had to do in the group exercise?

thank!

#12

JL2011,

I think I can answer your questions. For the written report, it will be around 16 pages. I can’t be exactly sure but it is around 16 + -. Not all information is relevant. You will need to pick the ones that you need for the report. Basically search for the options and their pros & cons.

As for the group exercise, you need to calculate the amount of budget which is available. It is merely a percentage of the total profits. Mine was 10% of the profits for the 1st five years.

Hope this helps.

#13

x

#14

Hi Guys,

Wanted to share my assessment day experience. I was successful in mine so here’s how it went. I found out 6 days after so don’t panic if you don hear straight away!

Started introducing ourselves, went round and said our uni, our degree and an interesting fact. the order of the rest of the day varies as you are split into groups.

I started with the individual report. we had a brochure that was about environmental issues and business, the specific topic does not matter and in fact if you know about it you will be penalised for using info outside of what is given in the booklet. the booklet is around 16 pages, and has a brief and a compilation of emails, news articles etc surrounding the subject, and you have to write a business report. the best way i was told to do it is an intro with the aims of the report, headings for each solution to the problem, a brief description and then the pros and cons, then a conclusion. i got good feedback for my structure but the content lacked depth - focus on the figures! i knew mine lacked depth as i struggled with time so wasn’t surprised with that. you have 30 mins, try and read for 10 write for 20, or do both together if you can.

Then i had the group discussion, you all have info on a topic and you have i think 20 mins to read it, you also have an individual brief or case to put across for implementing a certain scheme. There will be a budget, you will have to report the profit after a certain number of years and other basic calculations. I suggested we go round and each put our solution across to the group, focus on the figures, they asked how much mine cost and i had not written it down! near the end, your budget will be slashed and you will have to rethink. it is just a discussion and is mainly about how you communicate not the end result, we didn’t have to actually report our decision officially to our recruiters. my feed back was i could have contributed more, i had a good understanding of the issues, but should have been quicker working when the budget was slashed (maybe this is because i knew it was going to happen!)

we then did the test, 20 Qs in 20 mins for the numerical, 40 Qs in 20 mins for the diagrammatic. don’t guess! they look at you success rate, so my feedback was 14/17 i attempted for numerical (76th percentile) and 33/40 for the diagrammatic (66th percentile). and most people did not finish.

you then get to have lunch and talk with partners and graduates, this is informal and not assessed, but is a good time to make an impression with our partner and ask questions. they are very honest, the graduates especially, they don’t just promote pwc.

any questions feel free to ask!

Thanks

#15

oh and also, in the numerical, the questions aren’t logically ordered, so question 1 4 7 and 10 may use the same graph, and then 2 3 6 etc, so maybe try and answer the ones with the same graphs together, thats what i did, so you get used to the info

#16

Can you detail the diagrammatic test? Thanks!

#17

Yes, what do you want to know? there were 40 Qs in 20 mins, a sequence of 4 diagrams and you had to identify what the fifth was from a choice of 4 - same as online tests. i thought they were of the same difficulty, most people didnt finish, me included as it is very time pressured

#18

Thanks! Some people wrote about another type of diagrammatic, like: CGHGH->SDFGH; ERET->DSSRERT; WQER->?

#19

I didnt have anything like that no.

#20

anyone here also attended the AC on 16 Feb ?
I haven’t heard from them so far.
Called and they said it might take up to 10 days…
I’m worried now.