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Excel Test

New to the forum but been reading for few months.

i have an excel test coming up as part of the job interview.  i am pretty good with excel but concerned about the format of the exam and how it is delivered.  how do these exams work and are they pretty cut throat as in you only have one chance to do something it asks?

Excel tests greatly differ. I have done quite a lot. Some of the ones I have done lock you into the program, you can’t exit, and you can’t use a mouse. That was probably the most strict one. The most relaxed test was done a couple of months ago by a manager who gave me a sheet of tasks to perform, I could do them any way I wanted as long as I figured out how to compile it in the spreadsheet.

"A theory that you can't explain to a bartender is probably no damn good."
- Ernest Rutherford

the test is 1.5 hours long.  Is this the normal?  What could they ask? pivot tables, vlookup, if, sumifs etc?

oceandeep wrote:

the test is 1.5 hours long.  Is this the normal?  What could they ask? pivot tables, vlookup, if, sumifs etc?

1.5hrs sounds more like financial modeling than an excel test. thats a long time.

"A theory that you can't explain to a bartender is probably no damn good."
- Ernest Rutherford

What job is this?

"A theory that you can't explain to a bartender is probably no damn good."
- Ernest Rutherford

equity research associate for a large mutual fund company

Entry level?  Maybe they want to weed out candidates who cannot properly do if, sumif, tables etc??

Cant imagine a large mutual fund company asking you to model during the interview - maybe if it was very small mutual fund company or IB.

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

Yeah, but 1.5 hrs seems so odd?

Those tests usually take 10-20min tops.

"A theory that you can't explain to a bartender is probably no damn good."
- Ernest Rutherford

Isaiah_53_5 wrote:

Yeah, but 1.5 hrs seems so odd?

Those tests usually take 10-20min tops.

oh lol ok. yeah i have no idea.  Never had these tests.   1.5 hours is too long for anything.  maybe they are doing IQ and behaviroal tests too

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

The test is quite long, I thought OP has the Excel test for commando job in IB.

I have only one Excel -VBA question in my life: “Do you know how to use Excel and to code in VBA?”. I lied: “Yes, I do”. And I had this internship.  :-).

I repeat: CFA is the abbreviation of my last name!

infinitybenzo wrote:

Isaiah_53_5 wrote:

Yeah, but 1.5 hrs seems so odd?

Those tests usually take 10-20min tops.

oh lol ok. yeah i have no idea.  Never had these tests.   1.5 hours is too long for anything.  maybe they are doing IQ and behaviroal tests too

Yeah that has to be it. I’ve taken some behavioral + IQ tests for companies that do take 1.5hrs. Especially the 1000 behavioral questions.

"A theory that you can't explain to a bartender is probably no damn good."
- Ernest Rutherford

I was given a few Actuals and had to model plus write a brief analysis in 30 minutes. It wasn’t tough but the interviewer wanted to make sure I could use Excel quickly and write in proper English. Good luck OP.

PierreCFA wrote:

The test is quite long, I thought OP has the Excel test for commando job in IB.

I have only one Excel -VBA question in my life: “Do you know how to use Excel and to code in VBA?”. I lied: “Yes, I do”. And I had this internship.  :-).

hey whatever you gotta do man.  Once you are there, you are the winner…learn as you go though.  the key is getting there.  none of these finance jobs require you to put a guy on Mars or find a way to design a missile that will break the mach 10 speed barrier at sea level. 

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

Isaiah_53_5 wrote:

Yeah, but 1.5 hrs seems so odd?

Those tests usually take 10-20min tops.

when you took yours, were you able to make corrections or have a chance to fix things? Or is it you have one shot and you’re done.  For example, it may ask to do vlookup. and you have to perform the task on the first try?

oceandeep wrote:

Isaiah_53_5 wrote:

Yeah, but 1.5 hrs seems so odd?

Those tests usually take 10-20min tops.

when you took yours, were you able to make corrections or have a chance to fix things? Or is it you have one shot and you’re done.  For example, it may ask to do vlookup. and you have to perform the task on the first try?

Some tests were computer programs where if you didn’t click in the right order, you got dinged and it moved to the next question.

Other tests, it hasn’t been a computer program, but just a task to complete.

Its probably going to be the latter.

"A theory that you can't explain to a bartender is probably no damn good."
- Ernest Rutherford

A pure Excel test would be the stupidest thing ever. If you hire a candidate with even the slightest quantitative talent, they should be able to learn VBA and Excel immediately. In fact, most entry level math, engineering or similar people have no meaningful exposure to Excel. Yet, they are the ones who eventually surpass the less technically oriented people.

A financial modeling test based on Excel would be far less useless. However, it’s still a pretty lazy way to approach the process. A blind test is subject to randomization of what the candidate just so happens to remember at the time.

“Visit the Water Cooler forum on Analyst Forum. It is the best forum.”
- Everyone

these tests are usually aimed at building some kind of forecast based on inputs on growth rates/escalation. set it up in a nice transparent way (i.e. calculations linked to inputs instead of numbers hard coded in the formula), and show a logical waterfall to the output (usually some kind of coverage ratio or capacity ratio).

is g still roe * rr ?

"You want a quote? Haven’t I written enough already???"

RIP

i am scheduled to take the exam next week. This is for an entry level ER and pretty sure my competition are other 22 year olds…..i am going to email the hr about it but i am leaning towards some kind of IQ/behavioral test with simple excel test.

Bro, if you can’t code a sub call to a bundled class module in the VBE compiler, I’d say you’re pretty much toast on this exam. 

"When what I'm doing isn't working, that's when I'll take your criticisms." -- Me, some time ago

Destroyer of Worlds wrote:

Bro, if you can’t code a sub call to a bundled class module in the VBE compiler, I’d say you’re pretty much toast on this exam. 

Is that VBA? I have no idea…..

oceandeep wrote:

Destroyer of Worlds wrote:

Bro, if you can’t code a sub call to a bundled class module in the VBE compiler, I’d say you’re pretty much toast on this exam. 

Is that VBA? I have no idea…..

It is, but I’m just busting your balls…I’m not even sure if they’ll test any VBA whatsoever. 

"When what I'm doing isn't working, that's when I'll take your criticisms." -- Me, some time ago

excel is still used now a days? I’d ask what address to mail their thank you letters

whatsyourgovt wrote:

excel is still used now a days? I’d ask what address to mail their thank you letters

I’ve pretty much used excel all day everyday in every analyst role I have had. 

I spend so much time with excel, I decided to get MS Excel bedsheets. So now I sleep with Excel too. She is with me always. 

"A theory that you can't explain to a bartender is probably no damn good."
- Ernest Rutherford

Next on list: Excel shower curtain and boxers

"A theory that you can't explain to a bartender is probably no damn good."
- Ernest Rutherford

whatsyourgovt wrote:

excel is still used now a days? I’d ask what address to mail their thank you letters

what field are you in? Literally in the “field?”

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

Destroyer of Worlds wrote:

oceandeep wrote:

Destroyer of Worlds wrote:

Bro, if you can’t code a sub call to a bundled class module in the VBE compiler, I’d say you’re pretty much toast on this exam. 

Is that VBA? I have no idea…..

It is, but I’m just busting your balls…I’m not even sure if they’ll test any VBA whatsoever. 

i sure hope not……graduated from a decent school but i think very few of my friends actually know vba.  anyone in SFO area?

whatsyourgovt wrote:

excel is still used now a days?

I hope sarcastic

none from the SFO?  The excel test was 1.5 hours consisting of basic excel formulas and an IQ exam to make sure I am semi bright.

good luck on that. i went to a school in SF.  One of my brothers as well…but my school is far superior in every way although he thinks otherwise…..We’d crush them in every pac10 meets lol…now pac12 soon to be pac 20?

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

I will send you a message.  We might be from the same school.

I got an invitation for an in person interview with the PM.  Is it considered taboo to ask the HR about the expected duration of the interview and what the PM will go over?