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banking tests

Banking Tests

  • 22 tests
  • 307 questions
banking tests

Those wishing to pursue a career in the banking sector (retail or investment) may be expected to sit an online banking test as part of the recruitment process. As positions in prestigious banking companies are highly sought after, performing well in these psychometric tests can improve your chance of success.

What skills do bankers typically need?

To work in the banking sector you will need a very logical and structured approach to solving problems and completing tasks. It goes without saying that you will be expected to have a certain level of aptitude in working with numbers and figures, and should have an analytical mind.

Bankers read data and apply the results, acting upon it where necessary. They take numerical data from a range of sources, and must use analytical skills to see the bigger picture to advise stakeholders, clients or managers.

Although bankers need a strong grasp of numerical data, they must also have the communication skills to explain complicated processes to stakeholders and customers. They must be articulate and confident when addressing everyone they work with, including customers, colleagues and senior managers.

As banking is a competitive and fast-paced sector, a good banker will continually strive to improve and grow within their role. There is a lot of scope for career progression in banking, so motivated and ambitious employees willing to dedicate the time and effort tend to do particularly well.

What psychometric tests do banks typically use to assess these skills?

As part of their recruitment process, banks need to establish that applicants have the desired skills. To do this, they often administer an online banking test, made up of various psychometric tests carefully designed to test aptitude and ability.

Typically, you will be tested on numerical reasoning, situational judgement, abstract reasoning, verbal reasoning and your personality type. Results of these tests give an indication of how you might perform as an employee in a banking company.

Numerical reasoning tests

Banking requires quick thinking and the ability to not only understand numerical data, but to interpret it, draw conclusions, manipulate data according to the task, and identify any anomalies or potential problems. You will also be required to generate reports that explain your findings to clients and stakeholders.

A typical numerical reasoning question might present data in graphs or charts and ask you to analyse it, draw a conclusion, and choose the most suitable recommendation from a selection of multiple-choice answers.

To prepare for the numerical reasoning test, refresh your knowledge of mathematical principles, including statistics, ratios, and reading and interpreting graphs and tables.

Situational judgement tests

As an employee of a bank, you represent the company values at all times. A situational judgement test is designed to assess how well you understand what is expected of you, and how you apply this to situations that may arise in the workplace.

A typical situational judgement question would describe a scenario and offer multiple-choice options for possible responses. You will be asked to place the options in the order of how appropriate and suitable you think they are, from most suitable, to least suitable.

Questions often present a moral or ethical dilemma that has no clear or obvious answer. Your answers give the employer a picture of your integrity and honesty and how you might fit into the company culture.

banking assessment tests

Abstract reasoning tests

An abstract reasoning test allows your employer to assess whether you can take information, quickly analyse it and spot patterns, and apply your findings to work situations.

As an employee of a bank, you will need to not only understand and manage data but also use your findings to make suggestions, compile reports, influence clients and stakeholders, and raise concerns.

The abstract reasoning test is designed to assess logic and analytical skills. You will be presented with a series of shapes that all follow a logical pattern or sequence. A typical abstract reasoning question would require you to identify the pattern and select which of the presented options is the next shape in the sequence.

Verbal reasoning tests

Communication skills are vital for a role in banking, as you are expected to translate complex results and data, identify any issues or problems, and communicate quickly and clearly with the appropriate person.

The verbal reasoning test is designed to assess your ability to understand and analyse written information, identify important points, draw conclusions and make recommendations.

A typical verbal reasoning question might present an excerpt of text followed by several statements. You must read and interpret the text, then decide whether each of the statements is true, false, or you do not have the necessary information to say.

The verbal reasoning test will be of moderate difficulty because although banking focuses primarily on numerical skills, a candidate with well-rounded skills is likely to perform better in day-to-day work situations.

Personality tests

Workplace skills are important for a career in banking, but your employer also wants to know how your personality fits with the job role with their company. A personality test assesses the way you approach problems, your outlook on life, and how you interact with those around you.

A typical personality test question might ask how strongly you agree with the statement, ‘I sometimes lose track of time and have to catch up on my work in the evening’. The answers range from ‘Strongly agree’ to ‘Strongly disagree’. Your answer reveals how you manage your time, prioritise your work and maintain a good work-life balance.

By the end of the test, the employer has a good idea of how you manage your work and life, as well as your strengths and weaknesses.

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Banking assessment centres

Some banking companies ask that you attend an assessment centre for a day. You could re-sit psychometric tests at the assessment centre, and might also be asked to take part in other activities.

Often you will be put into groups with your fellow candidates and asked to work on a group project that reflects a typical working situation.

You might be presented with reports and data sheets and have to interpret the data, make a concussion and report back on your recommendations. You may also be required to give an individual presentation in front of your peers and a selection of managers from the bank.

The employer is looking to see how you perform under pressure, how you communicate with those around you and whether they think you’ll fit into their team. The assessment centre is also a chance for you to ask questions and get a feel for whether the company is right for you.

Further information for specific banks

Swiss banking firm UBS provides individual, corporate and institutional financial services. Read more about UBS’ application tests.

Lloyds Banking Group is one of the oldest and biggest financial institutions in the UK. Read more about Lloyds’ application tests.

Multinational banking corporation HSBC has offices in more than 80 countries. Read more about HSBC’s application tests.

Barclays is a British multinational investment bank with headquarters in London. Read more about Barclays’ application tests.

Citi offers a broad range of financial services and products to consumers, corporations, governments and institutions. Read more about Citi’s application tests.

RBS is a global company that offers nine different career paths to employees. Read more about RBS’ application tests.

BNP Paribas offers graduate training programmes to become fully qualified analysts. Read more about BNP Paribas’ application tests.

Swiss-based bank Credit Suisse offers financial services around the globe. Read more about Credit Suisse’s application tests.

Global financial group Macquarie originated in Australia and now operates in 31 countries. Read more about Macquarie’s application tests.

The Goldman Sachs Group is a multinational investment bank and financial services company. Read more about Goldman Sachs’ application tests.

German-owned Deutsche Bank offers a graduate training programme that covers many areas of speciality. Read more about Deutsche Bank’s application tests.

BlackRock combines financial services with technology innovation. Read more about BlackRock’s application tests.

JP Morgan Chase & Co offers global opportunities for graduates. Read more about JP Morgan’s application tests.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) offers a supportive graduate programme that allows you to specialise in your chosen area. Read more about BAML’s application tests.

Santander is a multinational bank and leading graduate employer. Read more about Santander’s application tests.

Morgan Stanley focuses on five areas: wealth management, investment banking and capital markets, sales and trading, research, and investment management. Read more about Morgan Stanley’s application tests.

NatWest Group is a British banking and insurance company. Read more about NatWest’s application tests.

Nomura is one of the biggest financial services companies in the world. Read more about Nomura’s application tests.

Rothschild & Co has been run by the Rothschild family for over 200 years and is a leading private wealth and investment company. Read more about Rothschild’s application tests.

Schroders is one of the UK’s largest wealth management companies. Read more about Schroders’ application tests.

London-based banking group Standard Chartered makes 90% of its profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Read more about Standard Chartered’s application tests.

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