We use a number of methods to find the right people for PwC - the methods you'll encounter will depend on the role you apply for. As well as an application form, you'll need to complete other forms of assessment. We ask everyone applying for a student role to sit online and paper ability tests, a group exercise and a written exercise. When combined with interviews, these assessments help us build a clearer picture of what you're like and where your strengths lie.
Can you tell me more about the types of assessment?
All our roles require you to have an ability to work with numerical and verbal information so you will be asked to take online numerical and verbal reasoning tests. Don't be put off by the tests - ensuring you take the time to prepare and try some practice tests will give you the best possible chance to succeed. Later in the process, you'll sit the paper versions of these online tests, so this online stage is good preparation.
A group exercise allows us to observe how people perform when working in a team. We give you a pack of information and ask you to use it as a team to come up with solutions to a range of issues. This type of simulation allows you to demonstrate communication and influencing skills, teamwork, and your ability to manage a project and deal with changing priorities.
The written exercise is designed to assess your written communication ability. You’ll have time to read the exercise briefing materials and prepare a written report on the given subject. This exercise is designed to assess your ability to produce written reports to an appropriate standard. Your report will be assessed on the basis of your application of structure; use of clear, concise language and logical and coherent presentation.
How should I prepare for the assessments?
What happens during the ability testing session at the assessment centre?
A certified Test Administrator manages each assessment session and will tell you clearly what to do and how to do it. We do everything we can to make all our candidates' assessment experiences professional and fair. Please help us by being considerate of other candidates, including respecting their privacy and confidentiality.
Do you use negative marking for the tests?
Each assessment has its own scoring system. During the introduction to the test we'll explain the best way to answer.
For most ability tests, your accuracy can be checked. We advise working quickly and accurately. If you're unsure of an answer, mark your best choice and avoid wild or random guesses. Your 'best choice' is when you have narrowed the answer down to one probable answer or two likely answers, and then select one of them. Wild guessing is when you cannot decide which of the multiple-choice answers is correct and randomly pick one.
Is there a pass mark for the test?
Before using any assessment tool, we work out what level of achievement indicates that a candidate has the potential to do a specific job successfully.
We'll compare your results with the level of skill needed by the role you've applied for; and with those of candidates who have a similar educational background and have previously applied to similar roles.
We look at your score in combination with all the other information generated by your application and take an overall view of your suitability for the role you've applied for.
Does it matter in what order I answer the questions?
Sometimes the questions in a test become progressively more complex, but not always. It is best to listen closely to the instructions given at the assessment session. Usually the best strategy is to work through all questions in order, and as quickly and accurately as you can.
Am I expected to finish the test?
Some people will complete an ability test in the time allowed, others won't. Don't be too concerned if you can't finish all the questions. We score on the number of correct answers given in the time allowed, so just work as quickly and accurately as you can.
Will you tell me how I did?
Yes, we’ll talk you through your feedback from the assessment centre, once a recruitment decision has been made.
Can I use a calculator during my numerical test?
You can use a calculator in our numerical ability test. We'll let you know in advance if you'll be allowed to use one and the Test Administrator will let you know again at the start of the session. If you are allowed to use a calculator, we'll provide you with one. Or, if you prefer, you can bring your own.
In every case, the rules of your testing session will be the same for all other candidates applying for the same role.
I have substantial experience/qualifications for the role I applied for. Why do I need to take tests as well?
The assessment tools give us extra information on particular areas like reasoning ability or the quality of your team working skills. It's difficult to assess these skills objectively from other parts of the selection procedure.
Each assessment focuses on a specific, job-relevant skill. People who have little experience of a particular job may well be very capable of doing that job, and the test gives them the chance to prove it. All candidates for a role complete the same assessment exercises which means we can compare them fairly and objectively.
Can I fail the tests? And if so, what effect will this have on my chance of getting a role?
It is possible to fail the tests. Before using any assessment tool, we work out what level of achievement indicates that a candidate has the potential to do a specific job successfully. As such, if you fail to meet any of the criteria, at any stage of the recruitment process, your application will not progress any further.
What are your commitments to candidates completing the assessments?
We're committed to the fair and ethical use of assessment tools and provide information to help you understand why and how we use them in our recruitment process. We've also prepared a detailed statement of our commitment to all candidates.