BCG Pymetrics Test: How to Prepare and Excel

What is the BCG Pymetrics Test?


The BCG Pymetrics Test is an online assessment in which candidates have 25 minutes to play through a series of twelve mini-games that take 2 to 3 minutes each. The assessment uses data science and algorithms to assess a broad range of 91 different cognitive traits.

BCG Pymetrics Test Overview

 (Source: Pymetrics)

Similar to how McKinsey has launched their McKinsey Digital Assessment, the BCG Pymetrics Test is BCG’s version of an innovative, digital assessment.


The BCG Pymetrics Test was created in partnership with Pymetrics, a company that leverages behavioral science and artificial intelligence technology to help companies build diverse teams of top performers without bias.


Overall, the games will feel similar to exercises from brain training apps. The different games you’ll see are simple and intuitive. You will not need any prior business knowledge or video game playing experience to do well.


Examples of potential games you may see:

  • A memory exercise to see how many digits you can memorize and recall


  • A focus exercise in which you are shown a series of different colored shapes and asked to tap the keyboard only when you see a particular shape or a particular color


  • An emotional intelligence exercise in which you are shown pictures of people’s faces and text with information. You are asked to determine what emotion is being displayed


  • A fairness exercise involving distributing money across a group. You are asked to judge how fair the distribution of money is under different circumstances


  • A prioritization exercise to see how you handle choosing tasks based on their difficulty and payoffs


  • A risk tolerance game in which you earn points by pumping a balloon with air, earning more points as the balloon gets fuller. However, you lose points if the balloon bursts   


  • A problem solving game in which you are asked to make a pattern of colors match another pattern of colors using the fewest number of moves


  • A decision-making game in which you are asked whether you would prefer to receive a particular amount of money now or a larger amount of money a certain number of days in the future


Screenshots of the game may look like the following:

(Credits to Randstad Group YouTube channel)

BCG Pymetrics Test Screenshot 1


BCG Pymetrics Test Screenshot 2

BCG Pymetrics Test Screenshot 3

BCG Pymetrics Test Screenshot 4

BCG Pymetrics Test Screenshot 5

It is important to note that the BCG Pymetrics Test is a computer-adaptive test. It will adjust the conditions of each game that you are playing based on your behavior in order to further determine and measure your personal qualities.


Therefore, the experience that you get with the BCG Pymetrics Test may be different from another candidate based on the specific actions you took during the assessment.


After taking the BCG Pymetrics Test, you’ll receive a report that documents your personal traits, noting which particular qualities are most unique to you.


Why does BCG use the Pymetrics Test?


There are seven reasons why BCG is using the Pymetrics Test.


1. The BCG Pymetrics Test is an automated way to screen candidates


BCG does not have the resources to interview every candidate that applies. By using an automated online assessment, BCG can quickly screen through tens of thousands of applications each year.


2. The BCG Pymetrics Test measures personal qualities beyond what is listed on resumes


While a resume may provide a lot of information on a candidate’s skills and accomplishments, it provides very little information on a candidate’s personal qualities and characteristics. The BCG Pymetrics Test gives recruiters additional information and data on candidates to make more informed decisions on who should receive interviews.


3. BCG wants different types of thinkers on its consulting teams


BCG wants to have different types of thinkers on its consulting teams. They believe that there are five different potential environments that businesses face and that each requires a different strategy and leadership to succeed.


Therefore, BCG can use the Pymetrics Test to ensure that it hires a wide range of different types of thinkers in order to help their clients thrive in any business environment.


4. The BCG Pymetrics Test will help BCG increase job acceptance, improve job performance, and increase employee retention


One of the goals of Pymetrics is to help candidates find jobs that best fit them. The better a job fits a candidate, the more likely the candidate is to accept the job offer, perform well on the job, and stay at the company for a longer period of time. The BCG Pymetrics Test can help BCG improve these.


5. The BCG Pymetrics Test reduces bias in the hiring process


BCG previously used the BCG Potential Test, which is a traditional math-oriented exam, to screen candidates. A big issue with this exam is that it puts candidates with lower socio-economic backgrounds at a disadvantage.


Since the BCG Potential Test has standardized problems, it can be mastered through practice and memorization. Therefore, candidates from higher socio-economic backgrounds can dedicate resources to study the test and improve their performance. Candidates from lower socio-economic backgrounds typically do not have the resources to do this, which puts them at a disadvantage.


The BCG Pymetrics Test aims to remove these biases. The test cannot be as easily mastered through extensive preparation or memorization, helping even the playing field for candidates.


6. BCG wants to improve the recruiting process for candidates


The BCG Pymetrics Test helps make the recruiting process more engaging and less intimidating for candidates. An online assessment comprised of a series of short games is much more fun and approachable than a multiple-choice exam.  


7. The BCG Pymetrics Test is good marketing for BCG


Standardized tests to screen candidates have been used for decades at consulting firms. By launching the BCG Pymetrics Test, BCG is demonstrating that it is an innovative and forward-thinking consulting firm.


This may help give BCG’s brand a slight edge when it comes to recruiting candidates that have cross-offers from multiple top-tier consulting firms.


What Does the BCG Pymetrics Test Assess?


The BCG Pymetrics Test assesses 91 different cognitive traits that are aggregated into 9 different categories:

BCG Pymetrics Test Qualities


  • Attention: Are you methodical in the way you complete tasks? Or do you prefer moving with speed?


  • Decision Making: Do you make decisions based on gut-instinct and intuition? Or do you make decisions by planning methodically?


  • Effort: Do you approach work selectively? Do you focus on the tasks that give the highest reward for the time invested?


  • Emotion: Do you interpret emotions more from facial expressions or from information present in the situation?


  • Fairness: Do you judge most situation as fair or unfair?


  • Focus: Do you think quickly and easily handle changes in environment? Can you work on multiple tasks at once? Can you adapt to changing circumstances with efficiency?


  • Generosity: Are you more focused on achieving personal goals or sharing resources willingly with others?


  • Learning: Do you learn quickly from mistakes? Do you find it easy to detect patterns in your environment? Do you adapt your behavior and respond to feedback with ease?


  • Risk Tolerance: Do you carefully test options and choose the safest method? How averse are you to negative outcomes?


Each of these categories has a wide spectrum of extremes. For example, looking at risk tolerance, some candidates may be extremely risk-averse while other candidates may be the complete opposite, risk-seeking.


The BCG Pymetrics Test will place you on a spectrum for each of these nine categories, which creates your own unique profile. Your profile will be compared with high performers at BCG. The more closely your qualities match with high performers at BCG, the more promising you look as a potential hire.


So, what qualities should you focus on demonstrating during the BCG Pymetrics Test?


In general, successful consultants have the following qualities:

  • Attention: Consultants need to be methodical, but also move with speed.


  • Decision Making: Consultants make decisions by planning methodically. Although gut-instinct and intuition is used, these feelings need to be supported by data to move forward.


  • Effort: Consultants are selective in how they approach work. They focus on completing tasks that give the highest rewards for the given amount of time invested.


  • Emotion: Consultants need to have great client skills. It is important to be able to read people’s emotions to understand what they are truly thinking and feeling.


  • Fairness: Consultants need to be able to mediate conflict while working on teams. Therefore, it is important that consultants can identify instances that may not be perceived of as fair in order to mitigate conflict before it happens.


  • Focus: Consultants need to quickly and easily handle changes in the environment. They need to be able to adapt. Consultants will often be working on multiple tasks at once.


  • Generosity: Consultants work closely in small teams. Great consultants are team players and make personal sacrifices to benefit the team.


  • Learning: Consultants need to be able to learn quickly, adapting their behavior and responding to feedback with ease.


  • Risk Tolerance: Consultants are fairly risk-averse. They carefully test their options and usually provide recommendations that tend to be more conservative and less controversial.


Remember, these are general guidelines on what qualities make a successful consultant. There are many examples of high performing consultants that do not have these exact qualities.


If your results from the BCG Pymetrics Test are different from these qualities, this does not mean that you did not pass the test. Remember, BCG wants to hire a wide range of different thinkers, so the qualities that make you unique can also make you an attractive candidate.


BCG Pymetrics Test Tips


Follow the BCG Pymetrics Test tips below to give yourself the best chance of performing well.


Tip #1: Practice by playing a few games on brain training apps


Many of the games in the BCG Pymetrics Test are similar to exercises in brain training apps. If you have not done any brain training exercises before, it may be helpful to download a brain training app to understand how the games work and what to expect.


A few free braining training apps that you can download include: Elevate, Lumosity, Peak, Mensa Brain Training, and Fit Brains Trainer.


Tip #2: Know what qualities BCG is looking for


Before taking the BCG Pymetrics Test, it may be helpful to review the qualities that BCG is looking for in candidates. You can re-read the “What Does the BCG Pymetrics Test Assess?” section of this article to refresh yourself on what qualities make a consultant successful.


Tip #3: Take the BCG Pymetrics Test when you are well rested


The games in the BCG Pymetrics Test may be simple, but can be mentally exhausting. Therefore, you want to take the test when your mind is fresh and sharp. You will need to be able to think and react quickly in each of the games.


Tip #4: Make sure you understand the instructions of each game


Although the BCG Pymetrics Test is a timed assessment, you will not be timed when you are reading the instructions for each game. Therefore, take your time and make sure that you fully understand how the game works and what the goal or objective is.


Tip #5: Develop a strategy before starting the game


Since you will not be timed when you are reading the instructions of each game, develop a strategy during this time. Try to predict what problems you may face and how you will deal with or react to these challenges. This way, when the game starts, you’ll be making decisions according to some sort of plan rather than making uneducated guesses.


Tip #6: Adapt your strategy if needed


During the game, pay attention to all of the details. How is your strategy performing? What could you be doing better? You may need to change your strategy halfway through a game if you observe new information.


How Important is the BCG Pymetrics Test?


As of this time, the BCG Pymetrics Test is still being tested and used for research purposes. Therefore, how much weight and effect this test has on your overall application has not been determined.


From speaking to consultants at BCG, there seems to be a consensus that the BCG Pymetrics Test is not being used to disqualify candidates.


If you do not get an interview from BCG, it is likely due to your resume, not your performance on the test. However, if you score very well on particular qualities in the BCG Pymetrics Test, this could improve your overall application and push you over to getting an interview if your resume is on the borderline.


Anecdotally, there have been candidates that scored in the bottom quartile of particular qualities and still received offers from BCG.


Therefore, don’t worry too much about the BCG Pymetrics Test. It likely does not have a significant impact on your application since it is still being tested and researched.


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